Monday, March 14, 2011


So my first real friend was named Katie. We were those kind of forced into friendship because our parents were friends so we had to be by default. The story went that when we were babies out moms met at the library and just instantly bonded. We were only months apart so they started to make dates to meet up and have play dates with the two of us.  Therefore we became friends.  I remember doing a lot of things with her and her family. Katie and I never attended the same school or played on the same teams or really did any of the daily activities together. Wait one year she and I both took dance classes from the same place because I have a picture of us together at the recital but I don’t think we were in the same kind of  dance class.

Katie had a great family. Her father was a hard worker and most of the time he was at work, but I remember him coming home and always being nice but quite. Her Mother was amazing she was an artist. She was the kind of mom you seemed to be able to tell anything to and would bring you snacks and make lemonade. She had a little brother who we would of course pick on a ton but he was a pretty good kid really. I think that my brother got stuck having to hang out with her little brother a ton when our families would hang out and I always knew how annoying that was to my brother.  But Katie’s family was the family that would always do fun things outdoors. They would go camping, hiking, swimming, sailing… All the cool things you wanted to do as a kid. The were also very artistic so we would make a lot of fun things at her house like drawing, painting and make up elaborate stories to act out for our parents.  She was truly my best friend. I loved going to her house to spend the night.

 I used to steal things from Katie. She used to have this huge drawer in the bathroom of hair clips and barrettes and super cute girly things that my mom never would bye for me and I was always super envious of. I used to take them from her, but I would do it slowly one piece at a time where I thought that they never knew. I remember being over one day and knowing that Katie caught me taking things and so I gave them back. I remember that she had a private conversation with her mom and I knew even at like 9 years old exactly what that talk was about. The thing about it is that they were that kind of family to have never confronted me about it. To this day I am not sure if they ever told my mom about it or if they just let it go. But that was the last time I stole stuff from her. We stayed really close until I turned 10 and then I moved across town, far enough away where or visits stopped being once a week and more once every few months.  I remember writing letters to her a lot after the move. I was pretty unhappy with my new life and so I would make up elaborate stories of totally untruthful things ( such as being lock in a school bathroom over night..  Yeah right!) just trying to mask this huge unhappiness I had.  For some reason with Katie and her family I always felt second best.  I always thought of my self as not deserving or worth having them like me or care about me, and so I always felt as though I had something to prove showing them all that I did deserve it.   We were able to still stay friends even after I moved and would still get the chance to take crazy trips to wonderful places.  But we started to drift as we hit middle school. I mean that’s what starts to happens when you don’t see someone daily.  She seemed to find this great life with school friends and activities while I still struggled to find where I fit in and had a ton of crappy family junk occur. I started to feel some resentment about how easy it all seemed for her while I was stuck struggling so hard. 

When I was 12 years old I remember taking a hike out at Mont Rainer with her family. It was an all day trip and just a few days before I had found out that my father was sick.   I was kind of roaming around a little behind them and all of the sudden it kind hit me the reality of my situation with my family. I started to cry. I mean because I was with them I tried my best to hide it, but still tears rolled down my cheeks and I’m sure I was visibly upset. What was weird looking back on that day was that nowhere along this hike did any of them come up to me and ask if I was ok, or all right, or why I was upset.  They just gave me space and pretended nothing was wrong.  At the moment I was grateful, but looking back I think WTF. I mean why didn’t they ask me what was up? Well what I found out a year or so later was that they already knew what was up.  See I didn’t find out about my father illness until after some of the key people in my life already knew. My best friend and her family knew that my dad was dying long before I even got told. For a 13 year old it made me really bitter and felt a lot of resentment towards both my parents and her family for the way this information got kept from me.  I mean shouldn’t a kid know about that key piece of her life before anyone else?  So now I understand why everyone just gave me a wide berth and let me cry that day.

That wasn’t the one thing that ended our friendship though; I think ultimately we just drifted.  I mean looking back I’m not surprised by it because that’s kind of what I feel like you would expect from two kids thrown into friendship by there parents random meeting. I think that during high school she came up to my area once for a birthday dinner and we made small talk, shared stories about our life. But the problem for me was by the time that my dad got sick I lost a huge part of who I was. My life changed so much at that moment and I think I became a little bit of shell of who I used to be or heck even wanted to be. I stopped putting a lot of effort into much in terms of our friendship and she I guess felt like doing the same. Neither of us fought for our friendship anymore and so it ended. What else was it to do?

She went out of state for college, became a doctor, got married and eventually moved back to the area. My mom still meets with her mom every few months just to catch up. Every once and awhile she asks if I want her to get Katie’s email address or something so I can contact her.  I always say no. I have no clue what I would say to her now; I have no clue if we would have anything in common. And I guess if I was going to be super honest with myself, I am still a litter upset that she gave up on our friendship just as much as I did. She could get my email from her mom and send me that first letter but hasn’t either.  I think it’s easy for me to walk away from people. To just say ok we drifted it happens and move on without a thought. Maybe I need to suck up my stupid pride and drop the dumb childhood expectations and just send her a letter. Maybe we’ll find a way to connect as adults. Maybe we would find that we have a ton in common. Maybe I’m being too stubborn to see that I have a great opportunity in front of me and retarded to not take it.  But maybe the part of me, that has always felt second best with Katie, is afraid that reaching out and making that step, that could crush me when all those feeling come flooding back. Maybe I really am letting my worthlessness make my decisions for me. Maybe those are the demons I have fight now.  So who knows I think that part of me revisiting my past and trying to grow from my mistakes is going to mean writing that email and just seeing what happens.We'll see.. I'm not sure I'm quite ready to commit to that yet. But I'm willing to think about what that letter is going to say and go from there.

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