Yesterday, after months of no communication, Shari called. Once to inform me she was "rushing Oz to the hospital!" The next call to berate me for a multitude of sins I’ve committed against her and humanity.
She had called me on her way to the hospital. When I calmly told her it might not be a good idea to talk and drive (she claimed she was “hauling –ss through heavy traffic”) she agreed, we hung up, no problem.
I knew she would call back and figured when she did I’d take the call and practice tactful things I’ve learned here at ehell. I wasn't expecting her to be so angry though!
So a few hours later she called, angry, talking fast. Why didn't I want to talk to her! She can drive and talk at the same time! Where was I – was I at the parking garage yet? Why didn't I contact her after she got back from her trip (the one where I couldn’t ferry her to the airport)? What kind of a friend was I – she neeeeeds meeee.
Keeping an even tone I reminded her that I been there through multiple times of rushing Oz to the hospital including driving her to a distant town one time and ferrying her bored child home a different time. She interrupted to say that I had missed several of their medical emergencies. I wanted to say, “I’m not your on call ambulance chaser” (we already know I’m not the on call taxi driver), but instead settled for a tamer, “You’re right. I have missed several of your emergencies.”
In the same even tone I asked her if she thought it was reasonable that I should be required to drop everything whenever Oz has these symptoms. She asked again where I was but I asked her to answer my question first. Begrudgingly she agreed it wasn’t reasonable then abruptly changed subjects saying I should’ve been there to take her to the airport, all I had to do was drop her off, why was that so hard?
I said, “Shari, you live 5 miles from the airport. I live 30. That’s a 60 mile round trip for me. Is it reasonable for me to take you?” I could tell she didn’t want to answer the question. She mumbled, “well, I guess you had to do what you had to do” but in a lowered and exaggerated mocking voice. I can’t describe it, but it was child-like.
Then she started bawling. She choked out, “I’m sorry I went off on you. I’m sorry I’ve been telling everyone what a rotten jerk you are (Sweet monkey fritters!?), I’m sorry I expect you to do things for me and be there and blah blah blah.”
I just let her ramble while I checked the air in my tires, did my nails, scrubbed the kitchen floor, played a round of golf….
I will never do anything for Shari, or with Shari, ever again. There is no hope for a friendship of any kind. It’s just too toxic.
Quickly she cycled through the tears and returned to anger. Where was I? She’d already been at the hospital 2 hours waiting for me to show up! I said, “I’m sorry you feel that I’m not there for you. You’re right, I’m not. Shari, you have to understand that I’ve got things going on too. Did you know that I’m working now? Did you know that DH had a heart attack 3 weeks ago? No, because we’re not running in the same circles anymore. I’m not coming to the hospital and I’m sorry that makes you angry–”
And that’s when she hung up on me.
I’m expecting another call where she apologizes and claims she’s under a ton of stress. And that’s why I have an answering machine…