While I was working on my latest Frisky article, I wondered if I should I include the times I was on the other side, when I was the dumper instead of the dumpee. In the end, I didn’t, but I’ve certainly thought about it, especially after seeing some of the comments from people who shared their stories about having dumped friends.
I’ve dumped friends twice, once much in the way that June dumped me – without explanation – the other time, after a falling out.
I hadn’t been friends with Person A for long. I knew him from before, but we weren’t friends. There were already some things I didn’t like about him before I dumped him. He was incredibly manipulative of my time, and only wanted to do things that he wanted to do. He’d get put out if I didn’t want to hang out with him for an entire day.
But the most annoying thing was that he tried to horn in on my writing. At the time I was working on Song of the Stranger, my YA novel, which is set in Hokkaido, Japan. Because Person A – who was white – had taken some Japanese classes and had been to Tokyo, he had a lot of suggestions about how I should write my book. He was also a wannabe writer. He dragged me to this Tokyo exhibit (although saying Hokkaido is like Tokyo is saying that Alaska is like NYC) and this lecture on women’s rights in Japan.
“I think you should include something about women’s rights in your book,” he told me.
Okay, one, it’s my book and not yours. Two, it’s from the point of view of a 12-year old Japanese American girl. Not really the place for a whole political discussion on women’s rights.
I was already sort of fed up with him when I heard that he talked shit about me behind my back, saying that he felt more qualified to write the book than I did. That was really the last straw. I mailed him back some books he lent me without a note, and just simply stopped talking to him.
I remember he wrote me a letter saying I owed him an explanation. I felt I didn’t. I felt like he should have known what he did. But maybe he was as in the dark as I am about June.
As for Person B, he had already pissed me off by the time we had a falling out. We had been friends since almost the beginning of college. We were close, or so I thought. When I came back after six months in China, he was one of the first friends I called, and our conversation went something like this:
- Me: Hey, Person B, it’s Angela!
Person B (PB) [sounding bored]: Oh, hi, Angela.
Me: I’m back from China!
PB: Oh. Congratulations!
Congratulations? What a weird thing to say. Welcome back! sure. Yay! maybe. But congratulations?
Then what followed was an incredibly stilted conversation where he sounded totally bored and asked me nothing about my adventures. He only brightened when he said, “You should meet my new girlfriend! We’re going to China in the fall and you have to give us recommendations!”
We arranged to meet for dinner. I got there 10 minutes early, as I tend to do. I waited outside thinking I’d see them come in. It was drizzling on and off. Those 10 minutes passed, then another 30. I peeked inside, but it was so dark, I didn’t think PB and his girlfriend would be hiding in the recesses of the shadows. I thought they’d be right by the door, or would have come out to find me.
Finally I called PB’s cell phone.
- Me: It’s Angela.
PB [that some bored voice]: Oh, hi Angela.
Me: Where are you guys?
PB: In the restaurant.
Me [shocked silence]: I’ve been waiting in the rain for 40 minutes.
PB: Oh. Why’d you did that?
Me [getting really mad]: I’ve been waiting out here for 40 minutes and you guys didn’t come out to check on me once.
PB [still bored]: Oh. Sorry. Do you still want to have dinner?
Me [flabbergasted at his bored, could-care-less tone]: No.
PB [sounding shocked for a change]: No?
Me: No. I could pretend that everything’s okay, but I’m upset. So I’m going home.
PB: So you’re just gonna go home?
PB [another moment of shocked silence]: Fine.
So I left. I was really hoping he’d come after me, but he didn’t. I was hoping he’d call or email, but he didn’t.
In that case, I thought it was pretty clear what happened. I was pissed, and he obviously thought I had no right to be pissed. He obviously felt our friendship wasn’t worth any sort of effort to make it right, even if I was being crazy. And after hearing how bored he was whenever he talked to me, even after six months of my being out of the country, I concluded our friendship had been a sham.
You know what’s funny: June was one of the few people who was totally on my side regarding my falling out with PB.
Other friends thought I had overreacted, even if PB was in the wrong too. PB even claimed to one of my friends that he had come out to see if I was there, which was complete bullshit because I was there early.
“That cow!” June growled when I told her what happened. Calling someone a cow was her way of calling out someone who had no decency or manners.
Who knows, maybe in the end she thought I was a cow too. Or like one of the commenters on my Frisky piece said, some time passed with no contact, some more time passed, and then suddenly it was more than a year, and she was too embarrassed to get back in touch.
I will probably never know.
Wow, you got such a response at the Frisky site, my comment would get lost, not that it’s particularly stand-outish. For my part, you hit the nail on the head about Googling and learning all sorts of things (what with Facebook, Linked In, engagement photo shoots that get posted online by the photographer, personal blogs, and Twitter) but not what would satisfy your/my curiosity.
When I’m the dumper, I think I’m like your Frisky commenter mentioned- embarrassed that time passed and reluctant to respond with paltry updates of my ho-hum life, and then more time passes….