How many of us have them?
Ones we can depend on
How many of us have them?
Before we go any further, let’s be

Is a word we use everyday
Most the time we use it in the wrong way
Now you can look the word up, again and again
But the dictionary doesn’t know the meaning of friends

Whodini – Friends

Definition of “friend” – dictionary.com

I’ll be heading home for Xmas for 3 weeks, thanks to Europe’s strong belief in vacation time – lots of it. I’m looking forward to going home; I’ll get to see my closest family members & friends, eat food that I’ve missed for 6 months, and just plain old enjoy myself without worrying about work. I’m hoping to get to at least 1 other state to see family, but if I can’t afford it, at least I’ll be in my hometown and I can try that another time.

I’ve always been a big believer in closure, even during times that I wasn’t able to get proper closure from others. I had to learn how to do so on my own. Needless to say, leaving the United States forced me into another round of closures. On a good note, my closures with my closest friends, family members & mentors only forged our ties even more. On the other hand, I completely cut ties with a few people (including family members) and cooled down ties with others.

I blocked someone on Facebook (and off-line) who got mad at me on the eve of my close-friends-only going-away dinner (how convenient) for something so stupid that it doesn’t even deserve mention on here. I only extended an invitation because the person couldn’t come to the informal gathering, but it’s the principle of the matter that counts. (The fool recently voted for my character on a game we used to play together on Facebook; it annoyed me but I laughed it off as a passive-aggressive attempt at being nosey. Yes, I’m an adult who plays a game on Facebook. Shoot me for needing diversion from time to time. 😐 )There are other people who I’ve known for years who should have attended (either 1 or both of) my going-away gatherings, but for some reason(s) or another, didn’t show up and made excuses. I’m not angry with them, but it made me see them in a different light….. especially since skipping out on things is a habit for some of them.

So far, I’ve only told my closest family members & friends who have maintained consistent contact with me (whether it’s once a week or once a month, it’s the thought that counts). I’ll see those people without a doubt, no matter how broke I am and no matter what it takes. The fact that they’ve kept in touch with me through the ups & downs of this experience speaks volumes and I can’t thank them enough. But the other people fit in a grey area.

You know those people.

Those are the people who didn’t know about my departure until a little over 2 weeks before I moved strictly because we weren’t that close to begin with and, when invited to my informal going-away gathering, didn’t make efforts to show up or couldn’t come for whatever reason(s) – valid (living too far away) or not. Also included in that group of people are those I’ve known for years who didn’t show up and made excuses (most of which were bullshit). A few of those people make it such a habit to not show up that I’m used to it, but I figured they’d at least try to make it to 1 of the 2 gatherings. And at least 1 of those people is so self-involved & shallow & superficial that the person wanted everything done on their watch, making everything about them as usual. That didn’t happen, nor will it ever again.

So….. What to do? I’ve been thinking about this for the past few days; I’ll be home in less than 3 weeks and this is a dilemma for me.

Has this happened with any fellow expatriates/travellers? How did you handle this before going home?

Any insight would be appreciated.



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  2. imblacknitravel · December 8, 2010

    You know the people to whom you feel the most loyal. You know the ones who’ve shown the most loyalty to you. They come first. Period. That’s the easy part.

    The rest wear the various shades of gray and can only be dealt with accordingly.

    It stings when we find out that those whom we saw as close friends didn’t see us in quite the same light. It happens. To bear a grudge only recycles the pain, which neither hurts them nor helps you. If you want to give them an opportunity to re-enter your life, open the door and let them choose whether to walk through it. If not, forgive them, free yourself from the hurt and go on with life.



    • ph2072 · December 8, 2010

      Thank you for your comment. I’ll likely talk to you further on Twitter.


  3. Nosakhere · December 8, 2010

    There is a story in the Bible which is a great example, a man invites people to a feast one says he’s just bought some cattle and he has to go check them out, another says he recently bought land that he must go see. They made excuses rather than attend a free feast. My point here is that making excuses is nothing new. In a true friendship there is mutual love and respect, being able to tell a friend that I can’t be at their event without making excuses is a show of that love and respect. I would warn you not to toss people aside, for when you do you lose an opportunity to help them grow. Sometimes people love you so much that they can’t bear the thought of you leaving, this isn’t healthy for them or you, it is what it is. Still other times people may believe that if you leave they are left behind as if there will be no more contact despite living in the most connected society in the history of mankind. It is interesting what fear will cause well meaning people to do or not do. I wouldn’t take most of what happens personally, especially from people who consistently make excuses; it says more about their lack of character than it does about how they feel about you. Let everyoe know when you will be back in NYC… see who appears or doesn’t.


    • ph2072 · December 8, 2010

      Wise words. I’ll take that into consideration along with the other comments. Thank you.


  4. Johanna · December 9, 2010

    While 3 weeks is a long vacation when compared to what most US workers get, it will likely not be long enough to see everyone you want to see, eat everything you want to eat, do everything you want to do, and have down time to rest. I say you focus on seeing people you miss the most. Don’t get caught up in other people’s expectations & do what feels right to you. Enjoy your vacation! Oh, and have some Denino’s for me. 🙂


  5. Lawrence · December 10, 2010

    One thing I learned in life Porsche is that people come in and out of our lives like parts of a book. Some come to us in chapters, some in pages, some in sentences and some in words. But each part is what makes the whole book. Each part is necessary. At the time I am sure that the people you speak of played some part in your life (good or bad). But they were put in your life for a reason and if their time has come then it has come. I am also beginning to look at some of the people in my life and beginning to make changes. You outgrow people. It may sound cold but you do. Life is too short and if you need to let go of some people to reclaim a little bit of peace, then so be it. Don’t look back. Those that were there from the start will still be there……


    • ph2072 · December 10, 2010

      Thanks Johanna & Lawrence. I appreciate it.

      Seems like the comments are conveying the same thing – focus on those who are most important & have tried the best, and take it easy with the rest. Correct me if I’m wrong please.


  6. Mummy Super Star* · December 10, 2010

    I agree with Lawrence. I am too feeling this way about “friends” at the moment. Until recent events I thought my friends were like my family. I love my friends and the ones who I chose to give them that title have been chosen wisely until this year where things have happened and I saw them for their true selves for the first time! They were there for a purpose, now that purpose has been served it is time for me to move on.

    I have decided to let them get on with their lives and I’ll get on with mines.


    • ph2072 · December 10, 2010

      It can be hard at times but sometimes it has to be done. Thank you.

      P.S. What I find interesting is that the ones who I wouldn’t expect, are the ones who have been there the most, especially with this move. I wonder what that’s about.


  7. Cathy Sweeney · December 12, 2010

    I don’t think that I can add anything to the comments here already. Very good advice. Enjoyed this thoughtful post — thanks for sharing and hope you have a wonderful holiday at home!


    • ph2072 · December 12, 2010

      Thank you.


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