My daughter came home from D.C. and told me she saw the son of a former friend on her trip. I felt a pang for my old friendship with his mother, who we’ll call Jane. When our families first met at the temple we belonged to at the time, we started to spend holidays together since most of our close family lived out of state. My former sister-in-law lived here so Jane’s family became part of my ex-husband’s family’s events.
She and I had a lot in common. We had both converted to Judaism. We confided in each other when we were struggling in our marriages. She took me on a wonderful trip to Nevis sponsored by her company, when her husband couldn’t go. We socialized as couples, and she came to me to have her hair done. When it was clear that her marriage would stay in tact and mine would not, she and her husband chose to continue accepting invitations to holidays with my former sister-in-law’s family along with my ex-husband, and she stopped calling me.
At first, I tried to be understanding. I know It’s difficult to stay friends with both parties involved in a divorce, and much easier to stay out of it or temporarily choose camps until the dust settles. So I was patient, but I never heard from her again. Never a call to see if I was okay, to see if I needed anything, even though she knew I had no family support nearby.
My first reaction when Ariana came home and mentioned them, was curiosity. Wouldn’t it be nice to catch up, I thought. I did a little social media research. Jane didn’t have a Facebook page, and I didn’t have the right type of LinkedIn account to “In mail” her. For about 30 seconds, I actually contemplated paying for the upgrade so I could send her a message, because the last thing I was ready to do was call her directly.
Then I asked myself, if we did connect, after we talked about our kids and our jobs, where really, would the conversation go? Were we going to make plans to see each other? Meet for lunch or drinks? Get our families together, so they could meet my new husband?
I saw her a few years ago at my niece’s Bat Mitzvah.
“I guess I wasn’t a very good friend to you,” she said.
What could I possibly say? I just nodded and shrugged because it was true. She made her choice, and it wasn’t me. As much as I had some warm and friendly memories of her, that’s all they were – pieces of the past, and I realized they had no place in my present life.