I've been on a roll. And though I have one more FO to show off, I think the roll is a bout to slow down dramatically. There are no more AFO's lurking about, and I've no wee projects to start.
So... here are the booties I finished up for CPY last night.
They look like baby thigh highs to me... but that's what Susan wanted, so that's what Susan gets.
Meanwhile, I've been pondering friendship. I've actually been pondering it for a long time, and have started this post repeatedly, but never quite liked what I wrote enough to publish it. I've decided that if I don't just do it... this post will badger me forever.
What does it mean to have a friend, or to be a friend? And how do friendships get started. Similarly, how do they end? And what happens when one person unilaterally decides to end a friendship?
I like to think I'm a pretty good friend. I welcome people to my home, I call or email or write letters or send instant messages (and lately -- even text messages). I pay attention to life's milestones, and try to acknowledge them. I give gifts, though far fewer than I would like, sometimes for the milestone moments, or the "obligatory gift giving" days -- sometimes just because. Once upon a time, when I was single, and had a nice hefty paycheck, I gave gifts without consideration of the cost. Now, with two children and aging teeth and a house that cost more to live in than we'd anticipated ... oh, and no job, I give less than I used to, and perhaps to fewer people. But friendship isn't based on GIFTS is it?
Friendship seems to me to be based on mutual trust, affection, respect and interest, and at times, simple familiarity. Somewhere, two or more people find that they share an interest, or that by circumstance, they see each other every day. And then, they find that they share attitudes or more interests. And through social interaction of some sort (meeting at knit-nights, rehearsing together, working together, having coffee or lunch, responding to blog comments, email, phone calls, what have you), they develop some sort of bond. And they respond to that bond by increased interaction -- and a thing we call friendship develops. And maybe even the urge to give gifts.
Over time, one or the other will commit some trespass that annoys the other. And discussions will ensue. Generally, with friends, we get past it, and the friendship continues. With mere acquaintances, we sometimes don't, and the relationship, such as it was, dissipates. But, from what I've seen, friendship isn't one of those things that you just switch off abruptly without reason. At least, that's what I've always thought.
I have (had?) a friend who has, of late, stopped responding to emails, stopped returning calls, stopped responding to comments to her blog, and hasn't acknowledged a gift I sent several months ago. Through her blog, I see that she is still communicating with other friends, talking on the phone with them, receiving and delighting in gifts -- because she blogs about it all. I see that she's not suddenly too ill to communicate with the world. I can only assume that I've done something unforgivable to her (or to someone she loves)-- but I can't for the life of me figure out what that something is. Six months ago, I was visiting her home, hanging with her family, and happily exchanging gifts and stories. Six months ago, she was "Auntie" to my kids. Now... the radio silence is deafening. I've even emailed to ask what offense I'd caused that she so steadfastly refuses to speak to me...(I told her that if she wants me to leave her alone, she need only tell me so (and why if possible) but have gotten no response.
And I'm sad to lose that friendship. I miss our emails. I miss her comments on my blog -- and I miss her responses to my comments on hers. I miss looking forward to visiting her again. I miss the phone chats we had for a brief while. But mostly.... mostly I'm confused. I can't quite let go because I just do not understand what happened that caused a person who emailed me three or more times a week to suddenly stop responding. I have pondered my many failings, and come up with nothing to explain why she's abruptly turned her back on me, silently.
Either way, it seems that I've been shunned.... for her other blogging friends (with whom I also used to have an intermittent email correspondence) have now also stopped responding to my comments on their blogs. Maybe I'm just not cool enough to be in their crowd. I linger on....
Perhaps, I overestimated our relationship. I thought I had a friend. I thought that her repeat invitations to stay in her home were signs of friendship. I thought our emails were exchanged in friendship. I thought that her gifts to me were sent in friendship. My gifts to her were sent/given in friendship. In fact --- I have another gift for her that I don't quite know what to do with... I bought yarn with her in mind. I designed and knit a small shawl with her in mind. And now, it sits ... languishing, neither worn nor bestowed, for I fear that it will be unwelcome..... or will be found wanting, or that it will be perceived as trying to buy my way back into her good graces. For a while, I admit, it sat because I was hurt and angry that she hadn't even so much as acknowledged receiving the last gift. But still, it seems to know it was meant for her. And I can do nothing else with it.... Every day, I think I should just mail it to her anyway.
Do rejected friends still have the right to give gifts? If not, what does one do with a gift that was conceived and made with prayers and thoughts for a former friend imbued in every stitch?