Sunday, April 08, 2012

Friends Redux - Ebb and Flow

Rehoboth Avenue, Rehoboth Beach Easter Sunday April 8, 2012


Sunday evenings I used to dine with friends at the Purple Parrot in Rehoboth Beach.  That was a few years ago.  I started that mini-tradition when a friend, whose 32 year old relationship had recently ended, told me he was uncomfortable dining alone.  I told him that I would go out with him to keep him company. I like to dine out.  Bill, my spouse does not.

I don't like to dine out alone either (I remember so well the scene in "The Lonely Guy" with Steve Martin - that was me!)  so dining out with friends was a win-win situation.

My friend and I used to meet at the Purple Parrot in Rehoboth.  Soon other friends joined us.  The next hint we knew we had a tradition.  We would meet almost ever Sunday night in the off season (forget dining out in Rehoboth during The Season when Rehoboth is overrun with the touristas).  We had great fun.

A few years go when we used to meet every Sunday night at "The Feathered One."  No more


Then my friend decided he didn't want my company any more.  To this day I'm not quite sure why because he never explained it to me.  I think he was trying to save money.  He also got a job in town just down the street from the Purple Parrot so his need to dine out was gone.  I wasn't needed anymore.  He had all the social exposure and interaction he needed without the security blanket of me keeping him company so he wouldn't look like a loser dining alone.

Then there was the one time I blew up at him because I got tired of his snippy comebacks.  I'm a firm believer that if you give me enough snippy comments I'll throw them right back in your face and see how you like it.  He didn't like it.  Bullies never do. That was probably the beginning of the end of our somewhat fragile friendship, if there ever was one.

Many times after that I attempted to arrange dinner dates but he always had an excuse to not go.  Finally I gave up.  It takes me awhile but I can take a hint...eventually.  I was not wanted.  No longer needed.  Rejected.  This wasn't the first time in my life I've been rejected and it certainly won't be the last time.  One would think that one would get used to rejected but I'm here to tell you it hurts just as much the 100th time as it does the first time.  So I took the only course of action left to me and I walked away from what I thought was a friendship.  My mistake.

This morning Bill noticed another former friend's car over at one our  neighbor's house.  I looked and sure enough, the car belonged to my long time friend from Pennsylvania who I went to school with lo these many years ago.  Our friendship had also fallen by the wayside some years ago over some minor friendship infraction of what exactly I forget now.  He lost his friend/partner a few years ago.  He was alone now.  He was staying at our neighbor's house who had lost his partner of 40 years ago six months to this day.

I'm at the age now where I'm just too tired to carry grudges.  It just takes too much effort.  So I told Bill I'm going over and see what he was doing at our neighbor's house.

I knock on the door.  He comes to the door and is of course surprised to see me.  I invited myself in.  He knew I lived in the same neighborhood but wasn't sure.  We had a two hour visit.  I found out he is dog-sitting our neighbor's dogs.

Friend at the door after I knocked

We caught up on old times and new times.  Before I left we agreed to go out for dinner at the Purple Parrot tonight.  I just returned from our dinner.  We had a very pleasant evening.


OLD friends at the Purple Parrot waiting for our food!

Rehoboth wasn't crowded.  The weather was perfect.  The food was good.  The service, well it was slow but we'll overlook that.  Everything couldn't be perfect.

A walk on the deserted boardwalk in Rehoboth after dinner

What was nice was having dinner on a Sunday night in Rehoboth Beach with a real friend.

Me with the bench all to myself on the boardwalk in Rehoboth this evening

Thank you Ed.

My friend Ed who can see past my imperfections and accept me as I am as I accept him - no fair-weather friend here

16 comments:

  1. One of your best yet. Once the last of my siblings depart the beach in the morning I will spend 2 days with my parents and what I look forward to is eating at two of my favorite seafood restaurants tourist free.

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    1. Thank you Roger! I always appreciate compliments. About the tourists, I may complain but I do realize that tourism is our main industry here in southern Delaware. I do appreciate them. I just don't want to swim with them.

      Have a great day!

      Ron

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  2. anne marie in philly11:30 PM

    rejection at any age sux (ask me how I know this).

    sometimes you have to take a huge step forward; you are either rewarded or kicked. YAYZ for you getting rewarded this time!

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    1. You understand Anne Marie. Thank you.

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  3. I'm a firm believer that you don't have to like everybody, and not everybody has to like you.
    I don't like everybody I meet, or know. And not everybody I meet or know likes me and I'm good with that.
    Still, I imagine it would be hard to lose a friend for really no explainable reason.
    But then it's better to reconnect with an old friend.
    Win win.

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    1. So right Bob! I don't like everybody I meet nor does everybody like me (for whatever reason). It is hard though to lose someone who I thought was a friend who really wasn't. My true friends have seen the worst of me (and I have my share of "bad" moments) and they remain my friends. That is the definition of a true friend.

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  4. very wise of you not to hold a grudge.

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    1. Dr. Spo,
      No, I don't hold grudges but I never forget being disrespected. I never look at them the same way again. I don't think that is hold a grudge. Is it?

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  5. Dining down close to the ocean sounds nice. I also don't like dining out alone. If I have to go somewhere for work, I am more likely to order something and take it back to my room.

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    1. Scott,

      Dining next to the ocean is very nice. I love it. I've dined alone many times in my life including my many visits to Provincetown. I've never gotten used to dining alone. Dining with friends is always better. When I dine alone I feel like that I'm taking up a whole table which annoys the help at the restaurant because they are losing money on tips. I've never gotten used to dining alone but sometimes I don't have a choice. All my life most of my friends don't have any money. I seem to be the only one who can afford to dine out. Just the way it is.

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  6. I used to go to a bar on Santa Monica Blvd called the Purple Parrot! He later became the Revolver. Not sure if it's still there now.

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    1. Jeff,
      I did a search once for the Purple Parrot without putting in the town of Rehoboth Beach and I was surprised (which I probably shouldn't) of the number of bars and restaurants named "Purple Parrot." Obviously a popular and fun name. The Purple Parrot in Rehoboth is a fun place. If you're ever in town it is a must visit for you.

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  7. Rehoboth Avenue, Rehoboth Beach Easter Sunday April 8, 2012 is one of your best photos.

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    1. Sean,

      I haven't been to Rehoboth on a Sunday evening in over a year. As Ed and I walked out of the Purple Parrot this past Sunday, I was struck by the color and composition of the light on Rehoboth Avenue. This is where I am glad I have my iPhone and camera in my pocket. I captured "The Moment." Thanks for the compliment.
      Ron

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  8. I don't think I am grudge holder... but there is one thing a friend can do which I will never allow them back into my life or thoughts and that is betraying our friendship.

    There are two people who have betrayed me in my lifetime and I have never spoken, seen or spent much energy thinking about them since.

    That said, I was having a non-verbal argument with a good friend of mine that lasted for about 3 months of neither of us speaking to each other. At some point I realised that her friendship was more important than my pride and I contacted her and told her what her friendship meant to me and I apologised and she apologised and we had a sob moment and moved forward.

    For that good story, there is a bad one. I had another close friend with whom I had a falling out over a relationship I was in (but am no longer in) and we have not spoken in a few years. I went to reconnect with her and was told that if I wanted to be back in her life that I had to work for it.

    Maybe it was my pride again, but I thought, I have lived a perfectly happy existance without her and I am sure that I can continue to do so without having to beg.

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    1. Hank,
      We're on the same page here. I never forgive anyone who betrays me, never. I have friends with whom I have different political views but we're still friends in spite of those major differences. I have had other friends where we have had falling outs much like your friendship. One of my friends is cheap and a total opportunist and I've broken off our friendship several times but have always overlooked that character flaw in him and still speak to him, albeit not as friendly as we once were. One thing I will never, ever do is beg someone for their friendship. Never. I don't need anyone that much. I would rather be alone. Even if I lose everything else, including friendships, I have to have my own self-respect and I will.

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