Monday, August 6, 2007

The Story of a Friendship

I met this friend in my Freshman year of high school so we've been friends for 17 years. He became a brother to me. His family was never around. His mom lived in Florida, his dad was a pilot, his step-mom a stewardess and they were never home. My parents pretty much became his surrogate parents. He came home from school with me just about every day, he ate at our house, did homework at our kitchen table. We had a lot of great times. I won't bore you with all of that. His world has always seemed to revolve solely around money and judging people on his perception of what they have or how much they make.


I wasn't much of a college student. It just wasn't my "thing." I never could settle on what I wanted a degree in and I couldn't see wasting my parents money while I figured that out. For a while I went part time and worked full time. Eventually that turned into working full time. I started at a State Extension 2 year college and I didn't fit there at all and didn't do that great. When I went to MATC, I think I was getting a 3.5 but it just wasn't for me. I've done just fine all of these years never having attained a degree. Maybe someday it will bite me in the ass but for now it's working out. I've been in the same job for the last 6 years. Even if I were to go back now, I wouldn't know what to get a degree in; I'd just be doing it for the sake of getting a piece of paper that declares me a college graduate. At the same time, I think it took my friend about 7 years to get through college because it really wasn't his thing either, but he graduated with an Engineering Degree.


Upon getting his first job which entailed moving do a different state he just couldn't wait to rub in our faces how much he was going to be making. None of us cared; your salary doesn't measure your worth. For the rest of us, it became a game; to not give him the opportunity to tell us his "number." Finally he just came out with it and instead of giving him the satisfaction my husbands snappy reply was, "Is that all? I would have thought you would have started at more." I really thought that comment would have brought him down off his high horse; but I guess not. He was too wrapped up in his money to realize we didn't care about his salary; we just cared about him…our friend.


Around this time I made him a quilt. I wanted to send him off into his new life with a nice rememberance of our friendship. He chose the colors - Red, White & Blue. I was going to make a lap size and he wanted a queen size for his bed. Upon getting it all he could say was, "It's about time" and "What am I going to do with this? I won't need something this warm where I'm moving to."


Fast forward to about 4 years ago. My friend was in town for the weekend and stopped by our place. Over dinner he was telling us about the $400 outfit that he had bought for his girlfriend and bragging about his new car. I could have cared less. I would have rather heard about his job or his apartment or even things about his girlfriend…without mention of the outfit, or the friends he had made in his new city. I was interested in him, not his money. My friend proceeded to bash his sister's husband who he found unworthy because he couldn't make a decent salary and then proceeded to compare me to him saying I probably made what his brother in law did since I didn't have a college degree. I didn't say a word; I was too hurt. I don't have a college degree but that doesn't mean I'm worthless. At that point he had undercut my supposed "worth" by about 15K. I didn't give him the satisfaction of a rebuttal because my "number" is no ones business but mine and my husbands. Needless to say, I was relieved when he left and I spent the next few hours too upset to do anything else. That day turned into two weeks of being completely infuriated. I knew I wouldn't get anywhere talking to him about it so I sent him an email explaining how money wasn't what mattered to us that HE mattered to us, that he completely insulted me and that I do have worth without a college degree. A piece of paper doesn't make a person. I never heard back from him again until YESTERDAY.


Yesterday I got a phone call from him saying that he had moved back to town with what I presume is his girlfriend. Enough years have passed; maybe he's even married. I'm not sure if the call was so much for renewing our friendship or to flaunt the town that he was hoping to buy a home in; scoffing at me that my husband and I are still living in our apartment. You know what; our money; our decision. Again he started in on his Brother In Law and bashing him for an anxiety disorder; saying he was a worthless husband and father. I think I repeated about 5 times that "We all have our issues." Another comment was made about me not having a degree. I was too upset to really listen to what else he had to say.


This conversation left me feeling completely irate. Where's my friend who just used to be my friend? Why does he call just to flaunt what he has or what he wants me to perceive he has? I really wanted to tell him not to call me again until he couldn't judge me for my lack of degree but I didn't.


I realize people change. I guess I’m just sad all over again that I've lost the friend I once knew.

Comments:
Monday, August 6, 2007 - Untitled Comment
Posted by (209.159.204.1)
I have a friend that is the same way although now I don't even talk to her any more. She thinks she's so much better than me because she is still a teacher and she's married (to a guy that is 20 years older than us) and has a kid. She still lives in my hometown and thinks she's great. They bought an a brand new Suburban just to drive to the All-school reunion. She makes maybe 27,000 as a teacher, so you know it's coming from her hubby. My uncle lives in CO and he is the same way, comes home once a year to show off what he's got, but it really isn't much and he writes these big emails all about himself. Some people are so into themselves! Edited by MoneikQuilts on Monday, August 6, 2007 at 12:04 PM

Monday, August 6, 2007 - Untitled Comment
Posted by lori (24.215.52.160)
Cindy I'm so sorry your feelings were hurt and you feel miserable .I used to be just like you ,now I chose who my friends are and any one who brings me down is quickly eliminated .A friend once told me "no one can hurt me unless I allow it ",don't allow this person to make you feel bad .Money is nothing unless you have happiness ,it sounds like this fellow has very low self esteem and must prove his worth by bragging .It's really very sad on his part .You on the other hand are very confident fun loving person ,you should be very proud of yourself .

Monday, August 6, 2007 - Untitled Comment
Posted by luv2quilt (12.205.65.49)
Jen, I'll send you an email later. I'm sorry I don't have the time to comment now. We all love you, and you are absolutely right. The only thing I will say right now, is we are all here for one purpose, and money has nothing to do with it. What I always say when this issue comes up is, 'But we all put our underwear on the same way" You have a good day. Love, Michelle

Monday, August 6, 2007 - Sorry to hear about your former friend
Posted by mamanance (24.127.100.247)
I say "former" because he sure doesn't sound like a friend now! You are not being fair to yourself to subject yourself to his calls to brag or whatever - this is a good reason for caller ID! You need to surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself - like us!!!

Monday, August 6, 2007 - Untitled Comment
Posted by jillquilts (216.68.236.9)
{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}} to you!! It is very upsetting when someone lets us down and that is what this guy did. You expected him to be your friend regardless like he was in high school and here he is talking himself up, making himself feel better at the expense of others, etc. What a jerk! You don't need that! Keep your chin up! You do have worth!!!

Monday, August 6, 2007 - Untitled Comment
Posted by 51050 (24.176.0.71)
Hi Jen, I'm sorry that you had to go through all of this, but I'm even more sorry for your friend. His self-esteem is through the floor. I suspect he's very jealous of what you had all those years and what he didn't have. He knows of no other way to let you know that he's "made it" then by flashing the money and belittleing you. Isn't that sad? You have so much more going for you than he did. You have a wonderful relationship with your mom. You and your husband sound like you have a good time together. you have a dog who loves your quilts!! : ) You have friends who love you for who you are. You've kept a job for all these years AND you campaigned to get the CULT removed from your apartment complex. What a gal!! What does he have in comparison?

Monday, August 6, 2007 - Untitled Comment
Posted by terry4321 (76.98.191.77)
You know someday he will realize what a good friend he has lost, I have been hurt like that too, it takes a while to get over it, but you never forget. The main thing is don't let it eat you up, you know what kind of person you are, and I can tell you just from reading your posts, YOU ARE A BETTER PERSON , than this guy is, and you are a better Friend to him than he ever was to you, I will no problem telling him off for you, just say the word !!

Monday, August 6, 2007 - Untitled Comment
Posted by lori (24.215.52.160)
Sorry I meant Jen not Cindy

Monday, August 6, 2007 - Untitled Comment
Posted by Vera (74.196.174.121)
Awe, what a sad story... maybe some day he will see what he is doing and change his ways....

Monday, August 6, 2007 - Untitled Comment
Posted by Trina (172.130.185.138)
Oh Jen I am so sorry to hear that. I have some relatives that are just like that! Drives me mad!! They LOVE to show off their"things" like clothing and big screen tv's yet just a few weeks ago they were having to take showers at my mothers because they won't pay their gas bill. I feel like they look down on me, because I stay at home, but I do it to raise my kids, not because I am lazy!!

Monday, August 6, 2007 - Untitled Comment
Posted by CountryQuilter (69.176.34.135)
Eduacation doesn't make you any better than anyone else. He may act like that because of the lack of attention he recieved from his parents. I have a degree in Finance, but I choose to stay home and be a homemaker (or a quilter) Hmmm...can a person be a professional quilter, if so I want to be one. Don't let him get to you, odds are he is just jealous of your life. Just think you have plenty of new friends on here and we all love you, for you... Kristie

Monday, August 6, 2007 - Friends...
Posted by take2quilter (207.200.116.66)
Jen, I've always told my children that when their friends, or mine, behave in a hurtful manner that "it says more about them then it does about you". Some people can only feel "good" about themselves when they make others feel bad. I do agree with the other comment that it probably has a lot to do with his parenting or lack thereof. They left him to make money and so that is where he feels the value in life is. Nevertheless, he hurts you and to me that is a toxic person. I'm sorry but maybe he shouldn't be a part of your life? I, too, have had "friends" do the meanest things (one of my "friends" had a lot to do with my shop closing). I know it hurts. It seems to me that you are well and truly loved by many people. Take care.

Monday, August 6, 2007 - And by the way...
Posted by take2quilter (207.200.116.66)
I didn't get that piece of paper either, not everyone is meant to go to college, some of us are made to work with our hands (quilting).

Tuesday, August 7, 2007 - Untitled Comment
Posted by orchidlover (90.196.228.155)
Oh Jen, I wish I was closer so I could come and give you a big hug. This guy is trying to force his low self esteem issues on you to make him feel better. He is nothing but a bully. You probably find that he associates money wioth love because of his upbringing. I would have nothing to do with him, he is no good for you. If a 'friend' can upset you that much then he is no longer a friend. love and hugs gina xxx

Tuesday, August 7, 2007 - Untitled Comment
Posted by Vesuviusmama (137.113.52.128)
My advice - drop him like a hot potato. He's not your friend. Friends lift each other up, not tear each other down. I bet his college-degree-carrying behind couldn't keep us all entertained the way you do, or produce as many beautiful gifts as you do. I bet he doesn't have people all over the world wondering, "I wonder what Jen is up to today?" Forget him and move on. Who needs him, you've got US! :)

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