I am sorry for my disappearance into the hole of the holidays…this has happened every year I have blogged and I am surprised by it each time. NOTE TO SELF: duh!
I have returned with a heavy topic for you. This series is meant to stimulate thought and conversation, but most importantly the former. Please keep your comments kind and positive.
I am a big fan of tolerance. The thread of my writings, if you’ve been reading me for long, are pretty consistent in the message “do what is best for your family; make an intentional decision of what that is.” I’ve been clear in stating that what is best for my family has nothing to do with what is best for yours.
My reading list looks like this:
Quasi Agitato, a brooklyn-based red head I have a lady crush on who combines humor with intensity,
Writing, Wishing, giving me a glimpse of motherhood from across the globe, supportive and community-minded
MODG, always makes me shoot coffee out of my nose, usually by the most creative use of swearing ever,
Sellabit Mum, sometimes sentimental, often funny, occasionally gripping, always a good read,
It’s On My To-Do List, Catholic homeschooling mother of four littles, this blog is about everything on Delena’s mind,
Four Plus An Angel, where I’m either going to weep or sit riveted at least once a week,
Bread With Honey, my crunchy mommy hero and an inspiration in how I cook and educate.
As far as what our lives look like every day, these women and I do not have a lot in common. In several areas we are on truly opposing ends of the lifestyle spectrum. There are things they write I would never agree with. There are things they do I would never do. I can say with 100% certainty that everyone reading this blog feels the same way about me.
But I like them, these bloggers. I have a burning desire to be friends with them, to hang out with them in real life, rather than just being their internet stalker. Despite the areas where my opinions and views are divergent, I still feel that I understand where they are coming from and I want to hug them, sit in a room with them, learn from them. I like who they are.
I was publicly “unfriended” by a real life friend whom I have been close with since I had only one infant. That’s more than a decade of shared nursing sessions, toddlers distracted, eyes rolled at whiney kids, secrets passed, feelings shared. And I don’t just mean unfriended on Facebook. This person unfollowed me on Instagram, Pinterest, and any other social platform we had contact through. I’m sure my numbers are deleted from her smart phone and my email address has been purged from her contacts.
I am still mystified by this encounter. I disagreed with this friend on a hot-button political issue.
Please understand, I have hundreds of Facebook friends. They are on every end of the political spectrum you could imagine. Many of these friends post links to, banners for, memes supporting, and articles about their ideas. I tend to leave those alone when I am not aligned with their thinking because I’m interested in knowing what they believe and why, and I believe in free speech. Even if I disagree with their position, I’m likely to read their link or article in order to better understand their view. So why did I get involved in this particular discussion?
The post began with “Unless you believe in this cause, unfriend me.”
I engaged in discussion because I assumed my friend just didn’t realize that there were people she liked and cared about and respected who didn’t feel the same. I knew I would be moved into the “crazy friend” category, and I wondered if I might stop receiving invitations to visit…but I never expected “You are dead to me.”
I’ll not bore you with the details, but once it was clear that I did, in fact, disagree with completely and not support the cause this friend was championing, I was erased from her life. She told me it was a sacrifice she was willing to make for her convictions.
As I see it, cutting someone out of your life for refusing to agree with you doesn’t make you a martyr, it makes you a jerk.
What about you? Do you have an issue that is a deal-breaker in terms of friendship? Religion? Abortion? Politics? The definition of marriage?
In my next post, I will reveal the issue at the crux of this public friend-cleanse I was a part of. Hint – it isn’t any of the above.