Friday, May 09, 2008

Rain in Delaware

The rains arrived this morning. I listened to the comforting sounds of the rain glancing off of my skylights in the sun room. I opened my front door, leaving only the glass door to protect me from the rain. The brightly colored flowers that lined the walkway to my front door proudly showed me their freshly washed faces. Thus another new day retired in Delaware. I worked last night at the Inn. I don’t have to go back to work until Monday night. I have the whole weekend to luxuriate in the rain, sun or whatever Mother Nature delivers to my home on Delaware coast. I’m thankful that we’re getting rain this year. Last year we had a drought in this area of southern Delaware. It was so sad to watch the cornfields wither and die because of the lack of rain. So far this year, the unpredictable forces of nature have been kinder to the farmers' fields of grain in Sussex County. From my sunroom vantage I could see a large flatbed truck hauling stacked crates of chickens to their doom this early morning. While I am always sad to see these poor creatures hauled off to their death, I’m sadden more that I have come to accept the loss of a friendship. We go though life, making friends and losing friends. Sometimes friends are lost when we move to a new area of the country. Other times friends are lost because of death. But sometimes, there is a decision to part ways with a former friend because of incompatibility. The reason for the incompatibility is almost always a personality clash based on real or perceived disrespect of the one friend towards the other. Generally, when the first warning signs appear of disrespect. The friend who is being disrespected doesn’t want to believe what is happening. However, over a period of time the disrespect becomes more blatant and hurtful until, eventually, angry words are hurled. In the past I have brought his dismissive use of words directed at me to his attention and that I didn't appreciate it. His response was “get over it!” Thus, dismissing my feelings and very real concerns I had for the continuation of our friendship. My mistake was that I chose to overlook and rationalize what I now know in retrospect, was a serious problem underlying our friendship. I had several discussions by e-mail and one by phone that I didn’t appreciate being talked to in such a manner. All to no avail. Thus the stage was set for Sunday night at a local eatery when my former friend was in high form out in public and my social inhibitions were lessoned by a couple of martinis. It was the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back” incident that provoked my anger. My meal arrived half an hour late, after the others had finished eating. Under normal circumstances (without the alcohol) I would have been angry. However, I was having a good time and wasn’t really concerned. Someone (not me) mentioned that I had not received my meal. Someone else inquired to another waiter (not our original waiter) as to what happened to my order. The waiter left for the kitchen. He came back and said something to the order “Oh, I don’t know what they’re doing out there in that kitchen!” He told me my order would be out shortly. Another 10 or 15 minutes passes. Then the order arrives. There was raw bacon on top of my, now cold hamburger. At least the French fries were hot. This was small consolation. No apologies from the new waiter. I did not see the original waiter again. Jokes were made around the table that they would watch me eat. Again, I took it all in stride. I wasn’t really bothered. Blame it on the alcohol. Then, my “friend” starts into a long explanation as to how it is not the waiter’s fault that I got my meal so late. Excuses were made that the waiter was new and the place very busy. That may have been so. My friend reminded everyone that he was once a waiter and they can’t be blamed for mistakes. I casually said “Bullshit. He made a mistake.” Now my friend launches into an impassioned and showboat defense of the poor waiter. For whose benefit was this "performance?" The waiter or those around us? I told my friend that I would not punish the waiter and in fact was not even mad at him. I understood that “things” happen. Yet, my friend, in his typical “I am always right” arrogance continued his defense of the waiter and hurls a “get over it” to me. Those were the words that set me off. I responded “Bullshit! The waiter made a mistake! Say it slow, the waiter made a mistake. It wasn’t my fault. The waiter made a mistake!” My “friend” gives me a deer in the headlights look and says in a voice like one would talk to a child or a dog “Now Ron” thus further fueling my anger. I said to him “Wayne, you too can be wrong you know.” Now my friend was beside himself because he was embarrassed at my outburst at a table full of his friends and onlookers nearby, where just minutes before he was in his full glory. As is typical with this him, it was more about him being embarrassed, than what he said to cause my anger. Awkwardly, our party of six left the restaurant. Since I rode with him to the restaurant, I now faced the uncomfortable prospect of riding back to his place with him, where my car was parked a short drive from my home. I attempted to apologize but he would have none of it. He walked ahead of me and once we got into his car he turned up his CD player to a defending volume. Nothing more was said during the ride to his place. I got into my car and made the short drive to my home. I had heard nothing until yesterday I read a posting in his blog. In a blog titled “Sunday” A Soaring Beginning; a Crash and Burn Ending” he states “What happened? I am not sure.” He wants to blame it on the alcohol but also makes sure the reader knows “but not by me”, thus absolving himself of any responsibility. He states “Perhaps when enough alcohol is consumed one’s true feelings surface. Ugly, hurtful words spoken –or screamed – in my direction. Friends don’t do that unless there is some underlying unresolved issue that has to be addressed and sorted out.” His assessment of the situation was correct. There was an unresolved issue, his thoughtless and dismissive words directed at me. His arrogance is such that he doesn’t even realize what he has done. He made another statement in his blog which has proved to be true. He said “Something died.” Yes, it was our friendship, such as it was, that died. He continues on in his blog, giving an example of how he misused a word before with another friend who took offense. He stated it wasn't resolved until "I finally internalized her translation and she understood mine”. Perhaps I did not have time for his translation of what “get over it” meant when I stated the obvious truth that the waiter made a mistake. In Wayne’s World, no one is permitted to have an opinion except Wayne. Then, to add insult to injury, one of his enablers leaves a comment on his blog that said “seems to me that you have to find the root of this performance, talk it out together and then decide if you think the friendship can be a positive in both your lives.” Note the derisive term “performance” and the singular use of the word “you”. No consideration of what caused the outburst or the offended party (me.) The person leaving the blog note goes on to say “Bottom line is this is NOT about you. It’s about this person’s issues.” Now here is a comment made from a person who does not know me nor was there to witness the event, or “performance”, to use his sarcastic term. This is a classic case of enablement. The real bottom line is that I will decide who my friends are and who isn’t. I have decided to move on. My friend has many good qualities and, at times, is a lot of fun to be with because of his wit and humor. Unfortunately, our personalities do not mesh and it would be best for both of us if I decided to move on. As with most of the things that have happened in my life, I have learned and grown from this experience. I wish my former friend the best. I hope he finds that happiness he is seeking.

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