The Last Straw

Perhaps it’s age, but my tolerance is down a quart.

I’m doing what could be called, summer cleaning of the selfish in my life….into the bag they go with the rest of the trash.

Yes, I’m being cryptic…and I’ll admit, part of the problem is me.

Once I decide to be your friend, you could have heads buried in your backyard and I’d still remember your birthday and invite you over for tea. Even if that meant pouring you a cup in the state penitentiary.

I’m unconditional Susannah…a trait I’m actually proud of that lately has been waning.

I recently had a fatal falling out with my friend from the funeral parlor…it was coming like a slow train with me finally realizing, I’ve just had enough.

My part was needing her equipment so to speak. She was handy…faxing…scanning Monday through Friday. I’m being honest. Every time she pissed me off I’d tell myself, yeah but she’s so good with those machines.

Doesn’t say much for me, but no one’s perfect.

A month or so ago she invited me to lunch, a nice thing, until when I told her it was hard for me to hear at the restaurant she wanted to go to she said, “But I want their crab cakes.”

I agreed to go but my irritation at her lack of consideration was fierce. When we got there the waiting list was two hours so, to my joy, we left. We ended up at another place quieter and actually nicer that also served crab cakes, so my fuse about to blow, simmered.

Before that we had Christmas. I borrowed money from my pal Hank to get her a nice gift…a silver pin I truly thought she’d like. She is never without one on the lapel of her black Brooks Brothers suit she wears as a uniform…

she has never worn my gift.

I’ve asked her, “Hey Millie…how bout the cat I gave you for Christmas?”

“Oh that….I’ll wear it…I’ll call ya on that day so you can come see.” There’s a passive meanness going on here I can’t quite decipher. It happens with other things, like how long she makes me wait when I offer to do something for her. I try to act in kind for the faxing, but feel taken advantage of as she talks on the phone while I wait.

When you’re as well-mannered as I am, it’s hard to adjust to someone’s blatant rudeness that can be downright disorienting.

You’re thinking, big deal…but these are only a few examples. The straw that broke the corpse’s back as it were, is an incident I can’t really write about. But trust me when I tell you, she’s lucky I didn’t smack her clear back to the Bronx where she lives.

Without saying why, she saw me in a state of upset you don’t normally see me in. Two men I hardly know were more concerned for my well-being that she was. Not even an e-mail let alone a call to see if I was okay. Then she prevented something from happening that meant the world to me.

I’m a good friend. I am…you never need to ask me to suit up when you’re hurting. I realize not everyone has the capacity for kindness, but frankly, I’m not buying that anymore.

You know someone for twenty-five years and they still don’t show up, into the Good Will bag they go.

Life’s short.

I want loving, caring people around me. Not the selfish who phone it in only on their time table.

And fuck their faxing skills.

To be truthful, it will feel good going to Kinkos for my future cyber needs. I’ll have to pay of course, but will feel better being more honest which comes with a price.

A free print-out isn’t a good enough reason to be friends with someone who doesn’t really care all that much about you.

You’re better off with a bill.

SB

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About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
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23 Responses to The Last Straw

  1. katecrimmins says:

    You are the kindest most tolerant person I know! I have been reading your stories for a long time and I am still amazed you really live in NYC! People who live there are supposed to be blunt and heartless. (Obviously I’m so wrong on that!) I have learned (the hard way) that some people enjoy when something bad happens to their friends. It makes them feel better about themselves or something equally stupid. Out with the trash! Goodwill is too good for her. You will make friends at Kinkos!

    Like

  2. micklively says:

    A very interesting issue you raise. I think the saw “moderation in all things” is good guidance. You say you’ve learnt your lesson. I doubt that. I know you well enough to say you’ll be back to unconditional giving within a week: that’s just how you are.
    Some people are takers: quid pro quo is a foreign language (yes, I know it’s latin!) to them. You have highs and lows. They are mean spirited and only have lows. Imagine having to live with someone like that, especially if the someone was yourself!
    So you have the joy of giving and helping people and shining your goodness on the world. And you’ll get slapped down and hurt from time to time. But overall, your account is in serious credit and you can look yourself in the eye without flinching.

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    • What a sweet little soliloquy…thanks Mick. One of the reasons I was her friend for so long was because I felt for her. She grew up in the south and can still remember not being able to sit at the same lunch counter as you and me. Trouble is, she never let it go. We’d wait for a booth in a coffee shop because she refused to sit at a table. She wanted the world to know, she was getting a booth. I’d tease her and say, you know Millie, Lincoln did free the slaves…and she’d shoot back,” Susie, some of the world has yet to overcome.” And I see now, she meant herself.

      I finally had to go…and I do like to give…really, it’s the best feeling to do so and not look back, so you’re right, I’ll get back on the horse pockets full of plenty 🙂

      Like

  3. Alva Chinn says:

    Separating the chaff from the wheat is a very good thing!  I’m sure it was a tad painful, but even more so to continue.

    Namaste,

    Alva

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  4. Elle Knowles says:

    She had it coming. You will never lack for friends. Sometimes you have to put yourself first! Can’t wait I until I can give up some of those self-serving BP,s when H retires in 2 years. They are all for one and one for all! I can say this because I doubt any of them read your blog!

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    • I think women tolerate a lot in general. My part in this debacle was knowing how she is and ignoring it for so long. I have to say, I don’t miss her in my life. I was thinking about it today…she never listened when I talked…just waited for me to finish…forgot about that…Happy 4th to you Elle…

      Like

  5. If I were in your neighborhood, you could use my fax anytime… I feel like I know you through your words. They are words of a true friend, they make me laugh, cry, they encourage me and they challenge me. I consider you a friend and I, too, am the faithful kind. I am so sorry you are going through this. I know I have been absent from the blog-sphere, but, I am having a time not being able to write honestly and truly, because I know my words would be seen and could cause hurt. Have missed you my friend and know you are daily in my thoughts and prayers. DAF

    Like

  6. manty67 says:

    I have so called friends like that, all take and no give, but like you needed to clear them from my life, I think I found it harder to say goodbye I’m not sure they even noticed, but I do feel much better now that I did. Your making the right choice 🙂

    Like

  7. manty67 says:

    I had a friend like that, all take and no give. Like you I had had enough so had to end the friendship. It certainly hurt me more than them, I’m not even sure that they have noticed. Your doing the best thing for you.

    Like

    • This is true…I see her on the Avenue and we walk right passed one another. What I didn’t reveal in my essay was that we had it out. I said something to her and she hit the ceiling…it was like Selma Alabama. I don’t care, like I said…it was coming. And what I’ve learned…if you put something off too long, when it does end, it explodes in the air. Nice hearing from you as always.

      Like

  8. Well let’s just say it’s a good thing she has those faxing skills. Forget Goodwill and go right to the dumpster. I am guilty of giving people way too many chances and making way too many excuses for heir poor behavior. See ya at the dumpster … we can help each other kick the bags before we toss them into abyss!
    You’ll have tons of fun at Kinkos and I’m sure we’ll get to read about those adventures.

    Like

    • I love…see ya at the dumpster. And yes, we’ll kick the bags. You are too funny. Please write some more. I check in…maybe there’s something there today…will have a look-see.

      Like

  9. skinnyuz2b says:

    Susannah, why is it that some of us tend to give waaay too many chances and excuses for a bad friend’s behavior? And you’re right, when we finally reach our breaking point, we tend to erupt.
    I’ve had several of these ‘friends’ myself. Mostly take and teensy, weensy give. And as mentioned by several others, they barely noticed when I left.
    In fact, one of them (a cousin) dumped me when I phoned her too often in a short amount of time (she lives far away and had cut off all communication with her four siblings) to let her know about the deaths of an aunt and an uncle, and the hospitalization of another uncle. I guess I can be such a nuisance! Silly me, I thought she cared and would want to know.

    Like

    • Consideration is not a nuisance. She didn’t appreciate how you were thinking of her, assuming she’d want to know. People are funny..remember that quiz show?

      I tend to let lots of things go when I shouldn’t I rationalize bad behavior. I think it’s the Catholic in me that’s so indelible. Hope you had a Happy 4th 🙂

      Like

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