What caused your toxic friendship to end?

So, I see this question asked a lot on Reddit and it always reminds me of one friend. I love her dearly – I do. I won’t name her. I don’t think she reads this blog. We worked together for about a year and stayed in touch after we both left the job. We just clicked. And I care for her a lot – but at the same time, she does things that drive me crazy.

This is a general pet peeve of mine. I love to cook and enjoy entertaining once in a while. The pandemic has been hard because I haven’t been able to have friends over like I used to. Not that I did very often in the old place given parking and the mice. It was just so gross.

But during Christmas season, friends always want to catch up and go out to eat. In an effort to save some cash, I thought I’d cook a meal for my friends. I had the food already and could whip up something no problem.

My one friend Bev, I went all out for her and made like a four course meal. She showed up a bit early so I had to quickly hug her (pre-pandemic) and run to the stove to rescue the cream of asparagus soup. I think I even blogged about it here.

She was overjoyed with the meal which was a garlic shrimp, grilled asparagus, and creamy soup. We had a glorious evening drinking rum, working on some art. Lord have I missed her this past year.

But my other friend who I’ll call…. Jamie for the purpose of this blog.

Jamie had a habitual problem for being late for dates. It go to the point where I knew to take my time in getting ready. She was usually 10-15 minutes late. But this night – she was about 45 minutes late. The dinner which was a casual affair – had to be put back into the fridge so it wouldn’t spoil. By about the 30 minute mark, I was losing my cool. No phone call. No text messages. I thought I had been stood up and was ready to call it a night.

She waltzes in a few minutes later without an apology. Kind of a dick move I thought, but I’m sure she has a good explanation. Nope. No story given. Okay – maybe she was having a bad night. I can forgive that. Let’s just get on with dinner.

I pulled the food out of the fridge and we had dinner for about an hour. The whole visit felt off like she didn’t really want to be there. And then she started asking me for favours and to look up some information for her. Okay, no problem. I can do that, I thought. She’s my friend. She would do the same for me.

Then she looked at her phone and said – and I’m not shitting you here.

“I have to call my cousin, it will be really quick okay?” she said.

I nodded, made some coffee and started putting the food away. I even packed her a doggy bag as she loved the egg dish I had made. She watched me as she sat on the living room chair while chatting on the phone. About 20 minutes into the conversation, she made her way to the door and started putting on her boots.

FORTY minutes later she finally hung up the phone. By this point, the kitchen had been cleaned up and I was done. Finished. I just wanted her to leave so I could watch a movie and relax. I had cooked for FOUR hours and cleaned the night before. I was not impressed.

And before you throw shade my way – let me tell you. I hadn’t seen Jamie in over a year at this point. I had really missed her and was so looking forward to our dinner date. I put in a lot of work and thought into preparing foods she could eat as she had dietary restrictions. Like I planned for DAYS. I don’t think people appreciate how much time and work this is.

So, she ends the phone call and leaves without a sorry. Promises to catch up soon, yada yada yada.

Well, it’s been like two years since that visit and I haven’t seen her since.

I texted her the other day to let her know our mutual friend had died. I asked her if she wanted to watch the funeral and I would send her the link. No response. Okay, whatever. By this point, I had given up on whatever her problem was.

Three days later, I get a short text back saying, “Sorry to hear about Harriet. I take it was a stroke? Hope you are doing well?” We exchanged a few short texts. And then she says, “Okay, later.”

I sat there today staring at her text and was like – what was the point of that conversation?

Do you have friends like this? Do you put up with this kind of behaviour or do you state your boundaries and cut them off? I love this person. I do. But I have my limits too.

It’s about respect.

Friendship is a two way street – and if you aren’t putting in effort, then I’m going to lose interest in the relationship fast. One person can’t do all the work. And I’ve lost other friends because of this. I started resenting them when I realized that I was the one putting in all the effort.

Most of my female friends were ladies I worked with in the office at one time or another. And these are the friends I’ve made for life.

I’ve come to realize that friends come and go from your life when you need them. Some friends, you can pick up like no time has past – like my friend Bev. Or Dakota. Or even Louise who I’ve known for over a decade.

I can forgive lateness. I can forgive someone who is having a bad day. But when is enough, enough? How many chances can you give someone? I know this won’t be the last I see “Jamie” – but this might be the last I reach out to her for a while.

But seriously folks, what is your limit? What caused you to lose that friend that you thought would be in your life forever?

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