Why I Didn't Care When One of My Best Friends Ghosted Me
Nancy* was always considered a bit odd.
Perhaps it was her null sense of style, the fact that people told her she sounded like Sean Connery (a very deep-voiced male actor), or her sheltered upbringing, raised as an only child by two very closed-minded parents.
Yep, she was a strange one, but we crossed paths over the course of our college years because she was dating a nuisance who lived in my dorm. Like 'em or not, you're all kind of in this together, so, occasionally I'd socialize with this couple, among others. I didn't put much thought into Nancy, with the exception of an occasional swift salutation if we brushed by each other in the hallway of our university's journalism department.
The Beginning of an Unexpected Friendship
Before I knew it, senior year rolled around. At this point, I don't think I'd seen Nancy or her obnoxious loverboy in a year or so. But, sure enough, guess who was seated in my tiny circle my first day in our daily college paper's newsroom? It was actually a breath of fresh air, because I didn't know anyone else in the entertainment department of the paper, and she had actually been on staff for two years, so she knew the ropes. Despite her strange behavior at times, I always admired her intelligence, hard work and interest in travel, food and pop-culture. She was quite worldly, despite her bizarre upbringing.
She greeted me with open arms, and we instantly bonded over our shared paid gig. Working at the paper was fun. Only two new spots were offered during the term I applied, so it was truly a huge honor that I landed one of them. Nancy was incredibly supportive, and we had a blast coming up with story ideas and gossiping about other people in the newsroom (including my managing editor ex-best friend), who took themselves way too seriously. On top of the blast we had in the workplace, Nancy said she and her annoying boyfriend called it quits, and for senior year, she was single and ready to mingle!
I guess I have quite the effect on people, because, before I knew it, that incredibly dorky girl began to shed her old skin. She started hanging out with me and my tiny circle of girlfriends. Honestly, my group wasn't anything special—but I guess anything was better than who [?] she was kicking it with before. And at least my friends and I had fun and liked to go out. She was very in shape, so once we threw some Seven for All Mankind jeans on her and took her to the hair salon, she began to get noticed by a lot of guys—including a close friend of mine. Before I knew it, she was fully entrenched in my group.
Having Nancy around ended up being the biggest blessing in disguise. When my roommate was locked away in her study dungeon, Nancy was there to hang out with me. We talked about everything and we just oddly seemed to get each other. It was a lot of fun, truly.
Graduation approached, and Nancy's awful, narcissistic ex (whom she still was kind of in cahoots with) completely ruined graduation by demanding she hang out with him that night. We had plans, and he spoiled them. Don't even get me started on my college graduation. It was the worst—thanks, Joe*!
Following graduation, Nancy moved to Portland, Oregon, and I eventually moved to Los Angeles (after dilly-dallying for about a year elsewhere). We remained super close. Nancy immediately landed a job at this really fun, local lifestyle magazine, and seemed to really have a booming social life where she lived. All of her stories sounded so fun. I, on the other hand, was still figuring things out. While I was hopeful in L.A., things were still shaky for me, and I admired Nancy's tenacity and enjoyed living vicariously through her adventures in Oregon.
Break-Up to Make-Up
We continued to visit each other or meet up in different cities, picking up where we left off… until one day we had a huge fight over Joe. She was always up and down with him, and now she was telling me I couldn't stay with her on this visit we planned far in advance, because Joe would be staying. We went back and forth over the phone, and that was it—we were done! I was more annoyed than I was sad. But within no time, I was over it, and went on with my life without her.
A couple years passed, and Nancy and I were both asked to be bridesmaids in my former college roommate's Oregon wedding. When the week of the wedding finally approached, I was nervous to see her, and I'm sure the feeling was mutual. We ended on a really bad note, and I knew I wasn't in the wrong, so I didn't feel like any mea culpa was in order on my end.
But in an unexpected turn of events, she ended up being my saving grace during what was one of the worst, most wasteful weeks of the year. Over the course of the seven days I was in Oregon, we gradually started talking, and then it was just back to old times. We were back to laughing and sharing stories and rehashing the silliness from college.
But, the bride was none too pleased. While she initially expressed concern we wouldn't get along, it seemed she was far more distraught over the fact that we did! She made her distaste very apparent, and the whole thing was uncomfortable for me. It was the most bizarre experience and I hated every minute of it—but, it felt good to have my friend back.
I wondered if we'd stay in touch after the nightmare wedding, or if it was just a fluke—but sure enough, she just so happened to want a life for herself in L.A., and only a few months later, she rented a tiny apartment in North Hollywood and called the City of Angels home.
Giving It Another Go
My second time around with Nancy was like déjà vu of our senior year of college… kind of.
Without my influence over the last few years, she reverted back to her old ways of dressing, hanging out with weirdos and coming off demure and introverted. And once again, I lifted her up, introduced her to all my friends, gave her fun things to do and exposed her to an exciting lifestyle. Just like old times, we had so much fun. Really, nothing changed. We still laughed about the same silly stuff, and overreacted about dumb people. We went on numerous trips together (even with some of my L.A. friends). But, unlike college, things never fully seemed to click for Nancy in L.A.
She did have a weird, dark side that you'd see every once in a while. She would sometimes have these inexplicable meltdowns, usually over a boy. Long story short, she and Joe ended up getting engaged after a decade of on-and-off dating, but he ended things, leaving her distraught. Between her broken engagement and her weird, distant relationship with her father, her desperation to attract male attention was over-the-top. But it never fully interfered with our friendship (because, sadly, it's not like there was ever a consistent guy in the picture).
Aside from the guy issue, Nancy didn't have a fun job. She was writing and editing, but it was from a more technical side, not a creative side. I, on the other hand, was having the best time in my then-dream journalism job. While my friends all embraced her and were nothing but nice, she didn't really have anything of her own in this town. As someone who struggled my first two years in L.A. (and had things way worse than she did), I get how it can bring you down when you don't feel like you have anything to show for yourself.
The Beginning of the End
We'd been hanging out consistently in L.A. for about two years when I noticed I was hearing from Nancy much less. There were a few of my friends who she'd sometimes hang out with on her own, and I noticed she was spending more time with them. I certainly didn't mind, but it was pretty apparent she was making less of an effort. Again, not a big deal.
The holidays rolled around in 2013, and my friend and I planned a spontaneous meetup with Nancy, who was with one of my other friends and everything was fine. We caught up, and even made a tentative plan to hang out right before the new year, once she got back from visiting her family in Portland.
Welp, the night at the restaurant is the last time I saw her… it's now 2019.
We'd spent the last two NYEs together (and many in the past), but this time around, I didn't hear a peep from her leading up to it. In fact, one of our mutual friends texted her and asked if she wanted to join our group of friends, and she gave some hasty remark about how she's "been there, done that, don't need to do it again." My friend and I found the exchange quite peculiar and seemingly out of nowhere. But okay!
Weeks went by, and still not a word from her. Again, I wasn't at all distraught, but it was just really bizarre. Oddly, as close as we seemed to be, her absence didn't affect me at all. That said, when I noticed on Facebook that an old college friend of ours was in town, I did decide to shoot her a quick text, asking if he reached out while he was here. No reply.
I still liked keeping tabs on her via social media (because why not?), and I did find it amusing to see her out and about with certain people she met through me. It was never anyone I was super close to, and I honestly couldn't have cared less, but it was fun to watch… until I couldn't anymore.
That's right—out of nowhere, I was blocked, from everything. I immediately hit up a handful of friends, and sure enough, they were blocked, too! I couldn't see anything on Instagram, but on FB, I looked at our mutual friends, and we now only had two: the girls she was still in touch with. Everyone else (at least 30 people) were removed.
I was curious more than anything. Not hurt, not lonely, not sad—just desperate for more information. That's when I got in touch with a friend Melanie*, who survived the massive Facebook cuts. She invited me over for the afternoon and said, "Oh, goodness, I had to remove her from my life."
Melanie told me wild stories of a paranoid Nancy insisting that my friend group and I were planning all these things behind her back and that we were slowly inching her out (huh?). She also said that she could tell Nancy was having a midlife crisis of sorts, and that she tried to help her by including her in work or social events, but that literally every single hangout led to a meltdown—mainly over a guy. Any friend of Melanie's who crossed Nancy's path made a point to tell Melanie never to bring her around again. There was so much more she told me over the course of our two-hour conversation. It was crazy.
(Glee via FOX)
From the get-go, I knew Nancy's choice to ghost me stemmed from her own inner demons, and it was nothing I did to her directly. Clearly she was insecure, and it was probably difficult to see me surrounded by what she ideally wanted. I was never (and am still not) hurt by Nancy's actions. I'm more perplexed than anything. No one in my circle ever made her feel like an outcast, and I never did anything that should've given her the impression I didn't want her around. All this time later, I hope she got the help she's needed for years. My friend ran into Nancy randomly shortly after she blocked me, and said she didn't ask about me, but seemed really down and out about life in L.A.
Luckily, for her sake, I found out (via Melanie and her FB detective skills) she moved back to Portland a couple months after that run-in. Neither Melanie nor I (nor any of my other current friends for that matter) heard from her again. But like everyone else who comes and goes in life, she definitely served a purpose. I genuinely enjoyed our time together, and I know that in the thick of our friendship, she was solid. But people outgrow each other, and I think our relationship ran its course.
Based on Melanie's knowledge of the situation, it sounds like I dodged a bullet by Nancy cutting me out. She was going down a dark path, and I wasn't about to follow. What's even crazier is, all these years later, I noticed on FB that she's no longer friends with the other girls we were close to in college. Clearly it's not us, it's her.
I don't miss her—heck, I rarely think about her—but in rare moments of reflection, I look back fondly on our good times.
*Name has been changed to protect privacy
This isn't the first time I was ghosted by a close friend. Click HERE to read about the bizarre way my best guy friend ghosted me when he got a girlfriend.