Comment from: Aunt Bann [Visitor]
Aunt Bann

Sounds to me like your Boulder “friend” is more of a “fair-weather friend” than a true friend. The one in Broomfield, however, is one actually worth keeping.

Keep writing, Dear. I enjoy reading! (And it seems that is all I’ll be able to do, for most of our lives, now, anyway!)

01/17/10 @ 23:12
Comment from: Judy [Visitor]
Judy

You know, I’ve lost a friend by living with her, too. I still don’t know how to mend that, or if I even want to. I do think that Lisarea’s is where you are meant to hang out - sorry about the friend in Boulder.

01/18/10 @ 09:20
Comment from: Alli [Visitor]
Alli

You definitely ended up where you were meant to be. Your Boulder friend seems to not really think things through… AH well, ce la vie.

01/18/10 @ 19:35
Comment from: Lorraine [Visitor]
Lorraine

Hi Diana,

How terribly upsetting.

It also sounds like your “roommate not host” is going through something you may know nothing about. Giving up her much-needed job etc seem like clues to me that she is hanging on by her fingernails and your presence, that might have been a joy at another time, just jangled her more. She may be persnickety to begin with or it may be a sign of, or exacerbated by, whatever it is in her life that is causing her such turmoil.

I have had friends who are wonderful people but who need a high degree of order to be able to feel at ease with the world. Others assume that everyone would know things like what a waxed table looks like and how to care for one. (Not me.) We often assume our friends have similar values and knowledge only to be confronted with a blunt surprise when they conflict.

It is hard to know what to do with your friend but my guess is that some kind statements at a time when she needs understanding might not go amiss though it is hard to do when one feels so wounded. I don’t know if I could put aside my hurt enough to respond by saying it sounds like she’s going through a hard time right now and I hope I didn’t make it harder. If she owns up to it, the life you save…

Of course, I’m a zillion miles away, and could be totally off base. Whatever the reason for her behaviour, I can certainly understand why you were upset. My wish for you is that the new in-town roomie works out better.

Cheers
Lorraine

01/18/10 @ 20:07
Comment from: diana [Member]

Great post, Lorraine.

I was hurt and angry (which, in my experience, always comes from pain) at first, but after the first 48 hours or so, I was able to see what you seem to automatically see. &#59;) I could imagine Dave–whereever he is, I hope he’s well–responding similarly.

This friend does require a high degree of order to feel comfortable, and I would not have been able to provide that, and if I could, I certainly would not have been able to sustain it. My friend and I come from very different cultures, as you point out. I believe–I hope, at least–we can remain friends, but just not living under the same roof.

She already has a full-time job. She gave up a teach position, though, which most grad students (present company excluded) try to get for at least one semester for the experience. There are other factors involves which are stressful to her, though, as you point out. (Obviously, I omitted the details as well as her name out of respect for her privacy.)

This is not aimed at you but at all my readers: This piece was meant to express my pain and disappointment (writing is an emotional outlet for me), not castigate her in any way. We’re just very different people.

d

01/19/10 @ 09:19
Comment from: Lorraine [Visitor]
Lorraine

Hi Diana,

It sounds like you have a good sense of perspective on this whole thing. And, by the way, your post in no way seemed a criticism of her. Your sense of bewilderment came through clearly. One never likes to be blind-sided, to have it happen when one is tired and supposedly in a safe, comfortable spot with a friend is all the more discombobulating, not to mention, painful.

Cheers,
Lorraine

01/19/10 @ 15:53
Comment from: Lorraine [Visitor]
Lorraine

Hi Diana,

Me again. You’ve really made me think, examine things. Life is filled with wonder, discovery and bewilderment as children because they are trying to decipher the world. It often seemed like when we would watch the adults play cards, trying to figure out what was significant and what the rules of the game were just from watching and listening. It was hard.

As adults, we have a deep data base of history that lets us make educated assumptions in most situations in life. Those same assumptions that let us operate at full speed, without having to stop to decipher each new situation, can be broad enough to get us into trouble when the fine specifics alter the situation, making our assumptions invalid. If that makes sense.

What you assumed going into that roommate situation was reasonable. Probably, so too were the home-owner’s. Different data sets, different experiences clashed once you two were in close proximity.

On another tack, I do see cultural differences causing everything from minor annoyances to wars. Most Canadians wouldn’t help themselves to another person’s fridge contents without asking specifically first. We have some American friends, very ebullient outgoing fellows, and when one or the other of them (they are each half of a different cross-border couple) is visiting, I often feel invaded. He will walk into the kitchen, start rooting through my cutlery drawer complaining that he can’t find something, like a cork screw to open a bottle of wine he’s seen or a knife to cut the bread we’ve set out on the side board for later. It’s all I can do to not smack his fingers like a schoolmarm and dismiss him from the kitchen, turning him towards the living room. Feeling invaded is my issue, not his. It does point out a subtle cultural difference in people I otherwise quite like but tend to only have over when we can all stay in the backyard, i.e., the summer. Here endeth the rant.

Cheers
Lorraine


01/19/10 @ 16:07
Comment from: Hinermad [Visitor]
Hinermad

Diana,

You know me well. (Grin) Yes, Lorraine made the point that I would make, that your friend may have had other sources of stress that left her with few resources to deal with a perceived invasion - even one that was invited.

(Lorraine may have the wisdom to see things like this automatically, and I respect her greatly for that. In my case, I had to learn the hard way.)

Another point I’d make is that sometimes a person doesn’t know where their own boundaries are until someone else bumps into them. Your friend may have been quite sincere in wanting to help you out, and not realized until later what it would cost her emotionally by having to surrender some control of her environment. (I’ve seen my daughter overcommit that way. It was heartbreaking to watch her deal with it, but she’s learned and is stronger now for it.)

I doubt you’ve lost a friend permanently, but I think a little time and space are in order. When you reconnect you probably won’t need to bring up this episode unless she needs to talk about it. Bygones, etc.

Aside to Lorraine: Your American friends may have a common attitude about making themselves at home, but it’s not universal. I wouldn’t dream of rummaging around in Linda’s kitchen without asking first. Also, I don’t think it would be out of line for you to explain the house rules to your guests. Other people don’t know where our boundaries are, either, unless we tell them. Sometimes a warning shot across the bow is necessary, but usually a simple “I’d rather you ask first” is enough.

Dave

01/20/10 @ 09:05
Comment from: diana [Member]

Thank you all so much for your perspectives! I truly have some amazing friends. :)

I have, I think, gotten over the hurt now, and much of that is thanks to your thoughtful comments and suggestions (although I do think a couple of good nights’ sleep–izzat grammatical?–goes a long way, too).

Also, good to see you, Dave! I was on the verge of sending an email to make sure everything was still well with you. I hope you had a wonderful holiday. :)

d

01/20/10 @ 10:03
Comment from: Lorraine [Visitor]
Lorraine

Hi Diana,
(And Hi Dave)

You make good points. I should remember what I often tell my son that two data points do not a trend make. Thanks for the reminder. In future, I shall remember not to tar all Americans with the same brush. This is an example of how prejudices are born. I would imagine that in a country with such a large population, you may have some variation from person to person.

Glad to hear that time, reflection and sleep have brought you peace, Diana. I hope this week is going well.

Lorraine


01/20/10 @ 10:21
Comment from: Hinermad [Visitor]
Hinermad

Diana,

Thank you. I did have a good holiday. I just needed a bit of a break to get my head back into the sunlight.

It’s amazing what sleep can do for your perspective. I know you know that people usually aren’t difficult on purpose; sometimes they’re just having a bad day. But it takes energy to keep your emotions from clouding your judgment, and when you’re tired that’s hard to do.

BTW, I like the new skin on your blog.

Lorraine: I hope I didn’t sound defensive. That wasn’t my intent, and if I did I’m sorry. I thought your friend’s behavior bordered on being rude. My point was just that some of us need more training than others. (Grin)

Dave

01/20/10 @ 11:11
Comment from: Lorraine [Visitor]
Lorraine

Hi Diana and Hi Dave,

No, I didn’t read defensiveness at all, just information. Up here, we just assume the bombastic visitors are American, the rest we presume are Canadian. (grin)

As far as training visitors goes, it may be the broken X chromosome males bear but that old adage of train ‘em early and train ‘em often doesn’t always work with some, besides, I don’t think it my place to make others conform to ease my discomfort. (That idea’s taking a lot of self-control.) My hints, some quite pointed, have had no results with those two fellows so we just deal with them in different ways. Mostly, we just don’t see much of them or their perfectly lovely families. Considering what delightful company we are, perhaps it’s their loss. (another grin)

Diana, this post has really struck a chord with people, as you can see. It seems that when it’s a personal incident, so lucidly communicated, with your own emotions involved, it really speaks to us. You’d mentioned that you wondered if we were out there listening (reading) because the responses were meager to the global warming post. I may be off base here, but to me it shows that the personal experience and the ensuing emotions engaged us the most. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t post on world issues that are so important to you. It’s only meant as an attempt at maybe explaining why the difference in responses.

Hope your week finishes out well.

Lorraine

01/21/10 @ 01:26
Comment from: diana [Member]

ADDENDUM:

She just wrote to tell me Dave was right (fwiw). The encounter was not enough to end our friendship, but this–writing what happened in an open forum–was. In her opinion, I have presented an incorrect, incredibly biased, one-sided and unfair account of what happened.

I forgot a couple of details when I wrote it (which she reminded me of). I acknowledge that her memory of what I said that night or since and what happened, exactly, differs from mine. (There is a reason eyewitness testimony is so unreliable.)

Anyone who reads this, please know that in every case, I did my best to be fair to her and to understand her point of view. I failed. I told the truth as I remembered it and I included all the relevant details I could remember. Despite this, I forgot some things she feels are relevant. I apologize publicly here and now to her for any unfairness or misrepresentation. They were unintentional.

I understand now that, even when I was deeply emotional and distracted all day after I was asked to leave, I was expected to tell no one why I was upset or why I am now staying in Broomfield. In her words, “People have disagreements; gracious and diplomatic people with decorum work it out between themselves.”

In her view (to tip the bias in her favor a bit here), my thought that we would go to dinner is an excuse and is ridiculous due to her schedule. If that’s what I really had planned, then it was presumptuous of me. (I’d planned to treat her to dinner, actually; it seemed a small enough gesture, considering the sacrifice she was making for me, but that’s neither here nor there.)

In her view, I’ve shown a lack of integrity by not simply admitting that I did expect her to feed me, too, and I was lying about my lifelong misunderstanding about “room and board” (!). I’m too smart to misunderstand such a common phrase.

I’m ingracious, my behavior atrocious. I have shown no sensitivity to her point of view.

That about sums it up, I think. If I have failed to understand anything here, it certainly wasn’t for lack of effort. (Oh and, Lorraine was also on the money: she would never think of helping herself to anyone’s home without being expressly invited to do so. Until this experience, this was a foreign concept to me among friends.)

She probably thinks this is a lie, as well. How do you convince someone you aren’t lying? You don’t. :(

d

01/23/10 @ 13:56
Comment from: Hinermad [Visitor]
Hinermad

Diana,

In a few rare cases it’s possible to demonstrate you’re not lying through your actions. But it’s a long shot, and it presumes you’d have opportunities to do so.

I’m sorry both of you had to learn this about each other.

Dave

01/23/10 @ 17:10
Comment from: diana [Member]

Me too, Dave. Me too.

She’s really an awesome person.

d

01/23/10 @ 17:12
Comment from: Hinermad [Visitor]
Hinermad

Diana,

That’s why I’m sorry. You are too.

Dave

01/23/10 @ 18:27
Comment from: diana [Member]

You rock.

d

01/23/10 @ 19:02
Comment from: Hinermad [Visitor]
Hinermad

Nah, just been there and lived to tell the tale.

“There ain’t no good guy, there ain’t no bad guy, there’s only you and me and we just disagree.”

Dave

01/23/10 @ 21:35
Comment from: Pa [Visitor]
Pa

Hi, Daughter!

I almost came to tears reading your problems, and mulled over it for several days. I have,, unfortunately, had to face things of that nature. In my home, and as I remember growing up, if someone was in our home, they could help themselves. You may remember that Mike G. sometimes walked in the front door, and went to the refrigerator before even saying ‘Hi". No problem to us. He ate 3 meals a day at our house for several weeks, and that was fine too, except we were running out of money and groceries feeding him that much. We had to ask him to help, if he was going to eat 3 meals a day. He quit for a while, then came back or several meals a week. Ayear or two ago, at a gospel meeting he was preaching, he introduced us as his ’surragate parents.’ I never knew he felt that way about us, but we (Mother, Noel, and I) sang at his wedding. It was an honor.

There is mmore to tell along this line, involving other people, and responses I did not expect, and had never been led to expect, over the course of over 40 years of very close friendship and love. It happens to us all. Glad to see Dave and Lorraine have helped. Thanks to both of you. D

01/26/10 @ 12:29
Comment from: Aunt Bann [Visitor]
Aunt Bann

Diana, I apparently had never read this post, and I don’t want to remind you of the hurt you felt at the time. Hopefully, you and your “friend” have either drifted apart or have come to an understanding, of some sort. My “take” on the entire episode, while you were at her house, though, was that she had never thought that you might be there when she had a male friend there, and she wasn’t prepared to have both of you there at the same time. Therefore, she had to get rid of you, in order to keep him.

I’m probably completely off base, and I AM happy that you came to an understanding eventually. Just goes to show that some people are not sincere when they accept the possiblity of one of their friends coming to stay overnight!

Love you!

01/06/11 @ 19:42


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