Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Frustrating Friendship, Groucho Marx Style

Ron and I care very much about a couple who live by a variation of the famed Groucho Marx coda....I wouldn't want to be friends with anyone who would want to be friends with us. They pursue time with people who don't have time for them, and they don't make time for people who do have time for them.

Trying to have a long-term, active friendship with them is rather like dating someone with a huge fear of commitment. (Remember those awful days?) When we show no interest, they call frequently, invite us over to break bread, offer unexpected kindnesses and can't wait to catch up on our lives. When we reciprocate, as considerate friends do, they back off and disappear. Avoid the phone. Ignore us for weeks. Even forget dates.

We have a lot in common with them, and have a real heart for their family. But their unreliabiity and oddness, even rudeness at times, has been hurtful far far too often to be healthy for us. They're not family..... we don't have to do this.

I know they wonder at their loneliness and isolation from others. I'm not one to give up easily on people, but we're not the answer to their challenges. It's too bad. We care.

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