I’m a little disheartened but I think I should not let my emotions be overrun by someone who might be impulsive and insensitive.
I’ve been on Facebook for 6 years now – never been a die-hard fan – and all these years I’ve had friends come and go. They come (added) because either they or I have approved friend(s) request, and they go (removed) because either there’s been no contact with the friend or some exchange of words, hurting one, or both.
Last year, I sent a friend request to someone I’d known from before. Though we hadn’t been close friends, we’d exchanged text messages and she’d invited me to her wedding. I couldn’t attend her wedding, but it wasn’t the reason why we lost contact thereafter for a decade. We weren’t close friends, until I found her on Facebook. She approved my request, was very pleased to be in touch, and we became virtual friends.
She liked my updates and commented on them, and I liked hers and commented too. She found my infant son to be super cute, and I found her 5-year-old son to be super loving. She was in India and I was in the US.
Then a time came when she sought my views about her possible move to the US with her son. She’s a naturalized American, and her son was born here, but she has lived in India for several years. I was glad that she was asking my opinion, which meant our friendship was maturing, and I advised her the way I would have.
My thoughts on how she and her son could live here included some pros and cons. A pro being, this is the best country to be in, and a con being, people might get lonelier after a while. She agreed, but also said that she was an American citizen and knew those things already – to which I said I’d never doubted that – that I was merely sharing my views since she’d sought them. Sensing that she was being rude, she made an effort to be cool in her later messages, like wondering if my zodiac sign was a certain sign, and she even liked a couple of my updates.
Hoping that our friendship wasn’t as slippery yet as a piled-up sleet would be after a Nor’easter, I asked her if she was on Whatsapp. Her response came after ten days in late Feb, which was unusual, because her responses before that often came within a day. Something was certainly amiss, and Facebook bought Whatsapp around the time.
Day before yesterday, when I was sifting through my friends list, I noticed that she wasn’t my friend anymore, and my instinct uttered a doubt that she removed me from her list. It was a shock, so I put two and two together, making sense of whatever I had said. And nothing could have annoyed her enough to remove me.
Was it the word lonelier – which I had certainly not used because she’s a single mother – because in the US, you must entertain yourself without expecting others to do it, whereas In India, everyone’s interested in your life to the extent that they’d give you unsolicited advice, after serving tea. Here, it’s you for you, and there it’s they for you mostly – and both can cause pain in the arse, going British for a change.
I considered her a good friend, was honest in my interactions and have always wished her well, which she wouldn’t deny.
And it’s a fact that I also remove friends from my list, but I choose those I don’t interact with at all. If I received even a single like or comment from a friend, I wouldn’t delete that person. And I’d certainly remove those who hurt me irreparably. Did I hurt her irreparably?
I addressed my hurt caused by my sensitivity by sending a message to her on Facebook — that I also look at my list once a while and remove the ones I’ve lost connect with it, that her removing me must be due to a strong reason, and that I’d never have removed her [remember she called my son super cute (she probably didn't mean that) and I called hers super loving (I meant)]. In that message, I also wished her and son good luck, giving her this blog’s address. She may or may not read what I’ve written here, but I wanted to get this off my chest. There’s been no response to my message.
I’ve begun to understand that though we weren’t close friends, we haven’t been friends at all. And if I look at my friends list, I may find many who aren’t buddies, although they might have liked my tattoo pictures.
I have also learned that not only is unsolicited advice unnecessary, but also solicited, and one-must-entertain-oneself (and-advice-oneself) makes sense, after all.