Posted by: canthold | August 7, 2007

Damn Birthday

Today is the birthday of a woman who used to be my friend. We met in Kindergarten and again in fourth grade. From that point on, she was the most significant friend I had until a couple of years ago. There is something comforting about knowing someone for most of your life, as they have seen or experienced so many of the stages that happen throughout.

The date kept nagging at me as something I needed to remember all day. When I finally figured out what it was, though, I just shrugged.

As much as we always considered each other best friends forever, I’m much too secure in myself these days to give her that distinction anymore. She wasn’t that good to me or for me. Even as I know this, though, she was the one who snubbed me in the end and ended our friendship. I was loyal to the end.

When we were 18, her family was about to throw her a shotgun wedding. Instead of choosing me to be her maid-of-honor, she chose instead, a neighbor-friend that lived near her. It didn’t matter anyway, they never tied the knot. Fast forward years and years later, she finally got married for the first time and she didn’t even invite me to the wedding.

Perhaps she recognized the writing on the wall when I didn’t. I don’t know why she didn’t invite me. It wasn’t because we had lost touch. I made an effort to visit her every time I was in town. I invited her to my wedding, though because of an accident, she couldn’t come.

Afterwards, she sent me a wedding photo and I think I sent her a congratulations-on-your-wedding card. I never sent her another Christmas card or letter again, and I also removed her parents from my mailing list. The last I heard from her wasn’t even from her. It was a Christmas card from her parents the following year – before they stopped altogether – saying she was pregnant and it wasn’t going very well. I never found out what happened

Life goes on.

My life has never contained any amount of same. It’s always changing. People move in and out again and it shouldn’t be any surprise that this long-time friend is no longer present. I love the friends that I have in my life right now. They’re more in sync with the me of today than this woman would be anyway. I don’t miss her, but her damn birthday was stuck in my head.



  1. Hey I wrote the post you asked for on my blog.

    As an Army brat, I find that people move in and out of my life, too. And I let them even when they are trying to stay in touch… and then I mourn them. But I DID once made a concerted effort to remove all of the people from my life who were constantly saying belittling things to me. (Hello, divorce!) It makes a difference to be surrounded by people who are positive and happy and reinforce that part of you. In fact, I think I wrote a column about it–look in the book, it’s called Happy Vs. Other. Also on the website at

    You need to do something today to reclaim this day. Wait, since you posted this on Tuesday, you need to plan to do something to reclaim this day next year. Declare it “Mean People Suck” day and buy your kids ice cream and chocolate or something… I’m just saying…

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