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March 26, 2011 - Jennifer Brookens
For those of you here in the online world, chances are you are also familiar with Facebook, and how you can add friends, family, etc. But then if you decide to delete the connection to that person, you "unfriend" them. Funny that without Facebook, I wouldn't know a long-time friendship was over...

"Unfriended" by Jennifer Brookens (originally posted on Facebook. Of course.)

Friendships end, but it was never really made so official until the "unfriend" option came along.

Sometimes it's no big deal, it was someone you added for your Farmville or Mafia games and the numbers remain the same. Sometimes you feel a little slighted, but you never talked to that old classmate anyway so it's not a major loss. Then there are the times like this morning, when it's a sign that a long-time friend has finally drifted away.

I knew it'd been happening with this particular friendship for some time. We were solid when we were younger, then as life took us in different directions, we met different people who became important to us and developed different lifestyles. Over time, our fundamental beliefs ended on opposite sides. One was fixed, one was flexible. Well, different political and/or religious views shouldn't be a reason why we can't keep in touch and still be friends, right?

Guess not.

I guess I should have known when I started hiding some of her posts that rubbed me the wrong way. And the time I was offered the back-handed compliment while mentioning how I always "complain" about my children told me we were no longer seeing eye to eye. I remember that suddenly I was being careful of how I phrased what I would post, wondering if it would be taken the wrong way. I never complained about the things I saw posted that bugged me or went against my way of thinking. But I guess that's what happens when only one is being flexible, bending to the will of others.

So a dumb political joke on my account got me unfriended by a long-time friend yesterday. There is sadness, but I realize that that I censor myself enough in the rest of the world that on my own Private facebook page, I should be allowed to be "me" without having to justify or defend my every word. I know I'm no Polyanna. Yes, my kids frustrate me sometimes and I say so. Yes, my political views differ from a lot of people I know. And yes I'm a Mom who works as part of the rat race, otherwise we'd be setting those rats on fire for heat.

As for my now former friend: I'm sorry if who I am or the way I think offends you, but if that's the case maybe we didn't have a very solid friendship after all. I love all my friends: left or right political views, Christian or "other" or "none", whatever race. But if who I am offends you enough to unfriend me (or not even "friend" me in the first place), then so be it. While part of me wants to make a wisecrack about you up on your pedestal, I still love you and wish you well. I'm sorry we can no longer communicate as the friends we once were without these beliefs and views throwing up roadblocks. But I will also be happier knowing there is one less person in my circle of life that I have to worry about offending.

Peace be with you.


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