Two hours after I wrote and posted “A Great Friend” last night, I got an unexpected phone call.
“Is this Alison?” a woman’s voice inquired.
I assured her that it was.
“I used to work with youm” the voice, continued.
“Ok” I thought, “so who are you?”
“Did you used to work for Recycling?”
I was now wondering what this was all leading up to, but I timidly answered: “Yes” and then more boldy: “Who are you?”
“It’s Mary Rose” the voice replied.
I literally sat down on the floor. I hadn’t spoken to Mary Rose in close to eight years!
I had no idea why she decided to call me now, but we had been best of friends before we had a silly falling-out over something relatively minor. Looking back, we didn’t even fight or exchange harsh words. We just stopped calling each other.
I recall that Mary Rose was having man troubles and starting a new career, and although I wanted to be supportive, I wearied of the constant complaints about problems I honestly felt she could handle but never seemed to. I am sure she felt that I was sometimes unsympathetic or perhaps, opinionated about what I think would make life easier, more successful, and more satisfying for her — if she would only take my advice seriously. Mary Rose had no idea at that time that I would soon become a full time life & career consultant and author of several self-help relationship books. I had no idea at that time that I would have to develop a thicker skin and not try to push, when clients didn’t accept my advice.
I think we just got tired of too much contact, and needed to take a break from each other. We didn’t have any idea that it would be this long.
She’d gotten married. Her father had died. My sister had died. I’d been published. She won a body-building competition (one of her true goals).
We went back and forth, exchanging news, catching up.
After about half an hour, we agreed to get together. We will, I am certain. I was genuinely glad to hear from Mary Rose and felt that it took quite a bit of courage to just pick up the phone and dial my number after not really ending our friendship, but not having a friendship, for all these years.
There are some relationships where you can re-enter flawlessly as if you never were apart. I’m not sure quite how Mary Rose and I will react to each other now that we have both exited our 40’s and are working on our 50’s. Certainly we’ve both been through a lot. It should be interesting to see where the relationship road goes, next.