Rachel is one of my best friends. Rachel has another group of friends (Angela, Joanne, Kim) and they have been good friends for the last 10-12 years or so. Angela, Joanne and Kim were an established group before Rachel came along but from what I can gather, welcomed Rachel in and everyone was treated like one of the gang with birthday and Christmas presents exchanged and plans always including everyone except for the odd spur of the moment thing.
This year Rachel got very sick. Lots of tests, 3 months off work, lost her vision temporarily and lost her balance. It was a really scary and depressing time for her because no one could tell her what was wrong.
The group of girls purchased tickets to 2 very big music concerts during the year before Rachel got sick.
Rachel pulled out of one (still paid for her ticket, which included bus trip so no one was inconvenienced by her doing so) and also offered the ticket to Angela, Joanne and Kim to see if they could give it to someone else, which they did. Everyone expressed disappointment she wasn't coming but no mention of her illness or getting better soon etc.
Rachel has told me that during her illness, she rarely heard from Joanne, Angela or Kim. No texts or calls. No "how are you" etc. Except if she saw them down the street and they asked how things were.
Two events have occurred since then that Rachel is really upset at.
First: The group decided to go to the city for a movie at gold class. Rachel declined at first because she couldn't offer to drive and has to walk slowly and was worried the stairs would be an issue for her. The group all rallied around her and told her she HAD to come. They hadn't caught up for ages (i've seen the text messages back and forth). So Rachel goes. The girls decide to eat dinner at a restaurant they heard about. A considerable walking distance. rachel was slow and tells me the girls kept calling back to her to hurry up, to move faster etc. At one point they all ran across the road, leaving Rachel on one side on her own because she couldn't move fast enough to beat the traffic.
At the movies, the three girls walked up to the top of gold class. Rachel couldn't so sat down the bottom in a disabled seat.
Rachel tells me she spoke to Joanne about this afterwards when Joanne said to her that it was a pain to have to wait for her everywhere. Rachel apologised if she didn't make clear the effects of her illness and said her vision and balance were still bad. Joanne seemed to accept this.
Three weeks after that, second big concert comes around. Rachel had again tried to pull out but was told no.
There were 3 other girls on this trip as well as Rachel, Joanne, Kim and Angela.
Everyone suggested going shopping in the 2 hours before the concert opened. Joanne approached Rachel and said "they're going shopping, i'm staying with you. We'll go straight to the concert." Rachel thought this was really nice and thanked Joanne.
They get to the concert, Rachel suggests getting drinks. Joanne says no, let's find our seats first. Rachel says "I won't be able to get back up again and then down again."Joanne says no problem. They find their seats (walking down a stack of stairs, Rachel holding on for dear life).
Joanne then says "let's go back up and get drinks and stuff." Rachel again says she can't because the stairs were hard the first time around. Joanne goes anyway and comes back an hour and a half later with the rest of the group. No drinks for Rachel and just hands her back her money and says "sorry I couldn't carry anymore".
When the concert is over, Rachel tells me they all rushed for the doors, leaving Rachel on her own again climbing the stairs grasping the rails and being pushed and shoved by everyone around her.
Rachel gets out of the concert and can't find the girls. Joanne sends her a text saying they're going to get a drink at a pub a few blocks away and for Rachel to "meet us there when you can".
Rachel is tired and sad by this time and says "i might give it a miss. I'll go to the station and catch the train home". No reply from Joanne.
No contact from any of them since other than Joanne sending Rachel a text to ask what she wants for Christmas and to give Rachel suggestions about what Rachel can get her and the others.
Sorry for that long long post but here are the etiquette questions:
- Should Rachel have pulled out of the movies and second concert regardless of what her friends said about coming anyway knowing she had mobility issues?
- Was Rachel a SS for expecting her friends to slow down or to stay with her?
- Are the friends rude or clueless or neither?
- Is the friendship waning? (Sorry post was so long, I didn't include that there have been quite a few events, activities that rachel hasn't been included on this year, before and after these events)
Rachel thinks the girls are breaking away from the friendship and is ok with that, but really just wants to know if she should have done anything differently in these situations. I asked her if I could post here and get some perspective and she agreed.