Recently, a friend of mine called me up and said I shouldn’t crack jokes at her expense and that I had overstepped my boundaries. She also said a few other things which I honestly never thought could come from her. Anyway, I reassured her that I wouldn’t joke about her and told her to take it easy. Now, our kids carpooled for soccer with a couple of other families. So, I wasn’t sure how things were going to turn out after this conversation. Should I back out of the carpool? Should I pretend like nothing happened and continue on? After all, the other families were not involved in this. I did assume that our friendship was over. My so-called friend had said some very hurtful things.
A couple of days later she called me and asked if our kids could play together. I was shocked – AGAIN. She obviously thought the friendship would progress as before, as though nothing had happened.
But things had changed. I was wary, careful about everything I said to her. I wanted to be neutral.
Our carpool continued as usual but that involved minimal interaction. At the soccer games, I made it a point to stay away from her and sit on the other side of the field. Over the course of the next two to three weeks, she continued to call me for frivolous reasons.
Soon we reached an uneasy truce. The phone call she had made to me was never mentioned. I continued to talk to her but was very noncommittal in my dealings with her.
This incident made me wonder though. I had always assumed friendship was a two way street. To a certain extent, there is a degree of ease, of comfort that lets you joke or confide in your friend. Sometimes, yes, you may overstep your boundaries but that can happen in any relationship. Maybe I was wrong to think I could take that liberty with her, although when I think back, there were plenty of times when she had joked at my expense.
I visualized our friendship as a beautiful flower vase that was broken. It had been glued back together but its beauty was marred by the broken lines.
The same way our friendship continues but there are subtle cracks that cannot be smoothed over. Does that make sense?