They say friendships are like plants. If you don’t take care of them, they wilt and die.
Can a friendship truly last when it is strictly via text and has mostly always been that way?
When I met you when I was going through a horrible time in my life, you were having the most amazing time in yours. You were 8 months pregnant and about to embark on maternity leave and mommyhood, and my boss asked me to join your work baby shower on your last day.
I was in a meeting during your shower, but I pitched in for your gift and right before you left, you emailed me to thank me. We had crossed paths in the hallway but had never spoken over the last few years. But you knew I was the office admin, and I knew you were on XYZ’s team. I had scheduled a few meetings for you in the past. We exchanged several emails. You were nice. You were kind. I needed a friend. You gave me your cellphone number, and I gave you mine.
That same night, while feeling depressed and alone, I received my very first text from you. “Hello! It was lovely chatting today. I hope you had a good day. I just wanted to thank you again for the gift; it really made my departure special.”
That text really lifted my spirits. We texted back and forth for hours. Before I knew it, we were texting daily. It was instant and so easy.
When I say we texted daily, it wasn’t just a text here or there. It was full-on, day-long conversations. My phone was practically glued to my hand at work, at home, wherever I was. I had you by my side during my difficult time.
A few months after your daughter was born, you came to see me at work. It was a short, quick visit, but it was nice and appreciated.
You were there for me (by text) when I broke up with my ex. You introduced me to my now-husband (by text), and you helped me set things up to renovate my home (by text) before it went up for sale.
I showed up to your daughter’s first birthday.
I went to your birthday.
I went to your BBQ’s.
Fast forward 6 years later, we still text daily but we never, ever hang out.
I have tried. I have suggested things that would interest the both of us. A BBQ here. A BBQ there. A movie date. Dinner. Lunch. Breakfast. All of my birthdays. A friggin’ walk in the mall. I tried everything. It never worked out. You always cancelled.
Something always came up (and continues to come up) for you.
There was one time where the texting stopped for about six months. Ironically, when I was the one pregnant/having a baby.
What really did it for me is when you texted me three minutes before my baby shower started with: “I’m so sorry, I can’t make it!”
I just could not make myself respond. One, I did not have the time. And two, I just didn’t understand why you would do that to me.
I never got your gift. I never got a response to check in on how my baby shower went. I never even got a “like” on any of my pictures.
Soon after my son was born, I received a text from you. We hadn’t talked in three months.
“Hello! I saw the Facebook photos of your son. He is so adorable. I just wanted to personally congratulate you, I hope all is well.”
And my heart gave in again. It wasn’t long before the daily texts began again. It was like we never stopped talking.
Since then, when you announced your second pregnancy and I got your baby shower invite, I was the first one to show up.
But when I asked if we could meet for lunch the following week, to truly catch up one on one, you cancelled at the last minute.
Why was I surprised?
When I invited you to my very small, intimate birthday gathering, you cancelled at the last minute.
When I invited you to my girls’ night, you said it wasn’t your thing because you don’t know any of them.
I’m not sure why you always cancel.
Maybe you have anxiety or something really does come up.
But you make it to other stuff. I see the posts.
You are capable of going out to restaurants.
You are capable of going out with groups of people.
While mom life keeps both of us preoccupied and I totally get it, I am not one to cancel on you at the last minute like you do religiously to me.
So here I am, accepting that we simply text daily, but never hang out.
While I’ll never understand why you have trouble keeping your plans with me, I truly have no hard feelings.
I am 100% sure the texts will stop again one day. Perhaps for a short period of time or maybe longer, and perhaps we will reconnect again. But I will no longer waste energy in trying to make plans or including you in yearly traditions as I cannot accept cancellations like that.
Some of these events were really special and important to me.
I am too old, too tired, and too busy to deal with disrespectful, unapologetic cancellations.
So while I thank you for the daily texts, my efforts to hang out with you have diminished.
I’ve watered the plant. I’ve given the plant some sun. I’ve even picked up the leaves. It’s your turn now.