Yes, I suffer from this as well. I have genuine guilt over losing touch with old friends. I know it’s not rational, because if they wanted to keep in touch as well they could have easily called me up too. Some are great friends till this day, others I would greet and catch up with if I ever ran into them on the street. Most though, I would hide from should we ever show up to the same party. On facebook I have them neatly organised into best friends, friends and acquaintances. I look at these pictures and wonder what their lives are like. Why did they “friend” me in the first place? It’s not as if we were inseparable to start off with. For others, I weep at the loss.
Prince – Doesn’t really count since we differ 13 years in age, but still a good friend who kept in touch all these years even though he never responds to my invitations to dinner at my house. Does he think I can’t cook?
Mona – We’ve been “long-distance” friends for as long as I can remember. Hung out when we could but lost touch in-between. Still an acquaintance even though she never made an effort.
Princess – My bff all through primary school. She was wise beyond her years with knowledge of stuff I never even thought about. She played a huge part in who I would eventually become and for that I am most grateful. Brilliant and ambitious, she was destined for bigger things and knew it. I tried reaching out after we lost contact but never got a reply. She now lives abroad.
Beauty Queen – My other bff from primary school. She lost her way for a while, but seems to be doing well these days. She and Princess are still good friends though because they went to uni together.
First-love – Amazingly I still have a tiny bit of contact with my first love. Though I would love more; hard because he now lives abroad too.
Plank – Beautiful and smart, we were besties through much of High School. This one really hurts because as soon as we left school she broke all contact and never returned any of my calls.
Shorty – We still chat every once in a while after losing touch for a few years.
Angel – Kept in touch for a while before she made some interesting choices and now lives in the Cape. Still interested in making an effort to see me when I visit down there though, so that counts.
Brainy – She was my ‘alternative’ friend. We are still good friends who talk at least once a week and see each other whenever we can.
Bitchy – We were roommates and good friends for a while, until for some reason she didn’t want to be friends anymore. Maybe I was too much competition and didn’t succumb easily to her domineering personality. Once connected on fb I was subjected to bitchy comments until the inevitable ‘un-friend’.
There are others too, though best-friendships were diminished over time. We still see each other at mutual-friend gatherings or every once in a while a quick chat on facebook, but no real effort goes into the relationship.
College and the decade following school:
Professor – We were inseparable, mutual interests, intellect and ‘firsts’. Until he got a girlfriend. And the one after that. And then he moved abroad. And then he started ignoring me altogether.
Cutie – Another amazing friendship based on similar values, interests and intellect. Until he got a career, and boyfriend, and another boyfriend. ;) Though he never returned the effort I made to keep in touch.
Genius – Yet another amazing friendship that lasted for 2 years. Until he got a girlfriend. In all fairness, he gave me fair warning.
(Mmm… I’m starting to see a pattern here. Apparently I’m the best friend who never gets to be the girlfriend.)
At the end of the day, I don’t really feel that guilty anymore. Perhaps it is really just a need for closure masquerading as guilt. We’ve all had some fun times, good memories and they have all played a part in my life. Some friends were just not destined to stay in your life. You know that old saying, people enter your life for a REASON, A SEASON or a LIFETIME!? Well, you just gotta let the past stay in the past and never stop making new friends.
Thanks to my bestie C, my life-time bud H, my newest friends who live next door, and all the new people yet to cross my path, I will hopefully be forever rich in friends.