Friday, March 14, 2008


No, not "Friends."

My longest running friendship is with my friend Buddy---I've known him since I was 4 1/2 years old. We went to elementary school together, albeit in different classes, different tracks in middle school, part of our high school time together, I dated a girl at his college 250 miles away, and we've stayed in contact ever since. It's a very long time, and he knows most of my secrets, most of my quirks, we speak the same language and the same shorthand.

About 20 years ago he got married, and I knew she wasn't the right woman for him. I didn't particularly care for her, She didn't care for her, but we kept our mouths shut, out of respect and out of love, because he was getting on in years, and needed a mate, needed the company, needed to share his life with someone else. Five or six years ago, their relationship has disintegrated to such a point that I felt he needed to get divorced, and soon, and I told him so. It took infinite amounts of courage on my part, I felt, to tell him his wife was horrible to him, that his son would withstand the trauma of a separation and a divorce, and to tell my oldest friend in the world how to manage his own life. But that's what friends are for.

I have a new friend, someone who seems to operate on the same wavelength that I do, someone that I care for and about, and I think the new friend may be making a mistake, may be heading down a dangerous or perhaps destructive path. And I've only known this new friend for about four or perhaps five do I let this information out without deepsixing the friendship? Can I tell this new friend, who alternates between being tough as nails and fragile as an eggshell, what I really think, without kissing the friendship goodbye?

My therapist and I work all the time on my communication skills, which are fine here, but woefully insufficient up close and personal...I'd be diving into a fairly shallow pool here with not much margin for error, and little space to turn the bus around once it starts to go downhill.

And we all know what a New York quickmouth I am.


MJ's Slave said...

You don't say if Buddy took your advice and how it worked out if he did...not that that's relevant to the new friend.

You don't say what "new friend" is about to do that makes you want to intercede, but if you have that strong of feelings, by all means speak up. You may see something they don't see.

I lost several very good friends in a former life because they knew my boy friend was cheating on me when i thought we were in an exclusive relationship, but they were protecting my feelings by not telling me. Well, it came out that they knew and as hard as i tried to see it from their point of view...i felt doubly think before you keep silent when you think someone needs to know something..

For me i try to use the golden would i feel in the same situation hair cut sucks...nope, don't need to know that...spinach in a girl out...


David said...

Speak up and share you feelings and concerns with your newfound friend. It would be a shame to repeat the same omission you did with your other friend that resulted in his long running failed relationship.

Let him know what you think, what your point of view is, ask him his, have a discussion. Someone who does not share their concerns about a friends possible missteps, is not as good a friends as they could be. Not getting feedback from those who know us and care about us is being short shrifted.