Saturday, February 06, 2010

an unexpected development

It has been a strange week.

I've been sick all week. But more importantly, I'm sad and angry at losing my best friend Dan. Longtime readers will remember many mentions of Dan woven throughout this blog. I met Dan when living in the same dorm in college. After graduation, we both worked at Microsoft. Later, he referred me to Google. We've been friends for half my lifetime. We supported each other through work crises, family drama, and countless relationship ups and downs. When my relative was ill, Dan helped me google for medical information.

Years ago, as a game, we predicted the likelihood that we would remain friends until our dying day. I said 97%. Dan said 100%.

How quickly times can change. If you'd told me last year that in 2010, Dan and I would stop being friends, I would've laughed at the absurdity. And yet it has come to pass. (If you're wondering, it is not because one of us became romantically interested in the other. It has always been platonic. It's also not because we got into an argument.)

I've accepted the facts ("God grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change"), but every once in a while, something funny or thought-provoking happens and I wonder what Dan would say. Then I become angry. You only get a few chances to make a lifelong friend. Why must a good and rare thing be thrown away?

My brother was shocked when I told him. "But you and Dan have been friends for a bajillion years," he said. I realized that Tom was only a child when I met Dan. For as long as he can remember, Dan and I have been friends.

No matter what happens, I think both of us will always feel lucky for the times that we shared. One of my fond memories occurred last spring, before all this happened. Dan and I were sitting around his living room, chatting while both using our computers.

Me: "Frank confides a surprising amount to me. He must not have a lot of confidantes."

Dan: "Yeah."

Me: "Who do you confide in? I guess mainly me. Who did you confide in before me?"

Dan: [looking at monitor] "There was a time before you?"

44 comments:

Jeremy said...

How do you know you lost him as a friend? Sometimes good friends drift apart for a while.

Anonymous said...

I'm interested in hearing more about how such a friendship could suddenly dissolve if it isn't one of the obvious three reasons (romance, argument, or death).

Kristi said...

That is tragic! He seems like one of those people whom you will 'always be friends' even when you are not. Maybe in a few years down the road? If you didn't have an argument and it was not romance... I'm thinking he has a girlfriend who stopped you from being friends? Jealous? Money issues? He betrayed you to another friend? Oh dear, now I am curious.

I had a friend like that, we fell out for about 4 years. When my brother died, they got in touch and we started talking again and time had passed and now we are the best of friends again.

I wish you luck in the future.

John said...

The only scenario I can think of is that Dan got married and his wife does not feel comfortable having Dan remain such good friends with another woman (i.e. jealous & insecure type).

Mike said...

Sad news.

Perlin Rosy said...

I'm quite sorry to hear that. I used to enjoy being regailed with some of the odd conversations you'd have together. Maybe one or both of you will eventually pull back from this decision as time goes on. I sure hope so. I still occasionally eat lunch with someone I swore I'd never talk to again, though it took an entire year for me to cool off enough to even consider it. Best of luck to you both.

girlrobot said...

Nooooo! I feel like I know Dan through reading your blog all of these years.

Daniele said...

I just drop in this blog, and the first thing I read it is this news. I don't know you and Dan, but I lost some very close people. There is a great danger of saying something that can look trivial. Without knowing what happened, but only the result, the only reasonable thing to say is that I am sorry you have to feel this pain. If we are not talking about death, please keep a little hope things could change. As a human being in the same identical situation, I can understand what you feel. I wish you to be able to overcome it soon.

Jess Lee said...

While reading this, I had a split second of panic where I interpreted your post to mean that Dan was terminally ill. I certainly hope it's nothing like that, although it's hard for me to imagine that anything other than death would keep you guys apart. :(

Anonymous said...

I totally don't get it. I can understand growing apart and not spending so much time together, but that doesn't sound like that's the case. How do you suddenly stop being friends without the obvious things like one wanting to date the other or fighting? How is that even possible?

Kirk said...

Men and women can never be "friends". I told this to my daughter for years and it was not until her late twenties that she finally understood. You may have thought of him as a friend never realizing he was in love with you until the pain of being only a "friend" became too much for him to bear. I predict you will reconnect (provided you both can forgive each other for exceptionally hurtful things that may have been said) once he marries or falls in love with someone else.

He can NEVER be your lover.

Minggie said...

that's really sad. I have a friend who we would have intensely fought things out and mend with appreciation of each other's persisitent existence in each other's life.

I hope you two would go pass whatever divides you tow with only stronger bond.

:(

Anonymous said...

I think one of you (or both) told someone else something bad about the other person. The bad thing that was stated was very inexcusable. It spread from many different sources to the recipient. Thus, the breakup.
Often, the culprit is not the source of the information; but, the spreader of information.

ArC said...

*shock*, and *sad*

Niniane said...

Thanks Jess Lee for your kind note. It means a lot to me because you know both of us and worked with Dan. :)

The latest Anonymous is not correct -- there was no rumor-mongering.

Niniane said...

Thanks to everyone else for your supportive comments. It means a lot to me. I am shocked too. Thanks to the people who say it might only be temporary. Sometimes I am hopeful for the future, but that doesn't really help in dealing with it right now.

Anonymous said...

"Did you see that last post of Niniane?" my friend asked me this morning. She points me to your blog from time to time, and often I need a little context from her to understand what's going on... Not so today. Her friendship is an inexplicable gift for me, one that we both cherish, one that we both are afraid of losing one day. We also head our fights and our 97% - 100% talks. Today, once I had read your post I knew what she meant. There must be big hole in your life now and nothing can fill the emptiness. Dan, being your friend, won't feel any less pain than you do. So many emotions, so much hurt. There are some situations where it's very hard to help our friend, when our hands are bound, when we are hurt ourselves, but we can always try, can't we?

Anonymous said...

Just get marry and live your own life. You're much too clingy.

Anonymous said...

I bet Dan will make it up to you on V-day.

Anonymous said...

How could such a longstanding friendship suddenly dissolve like that so resolutely and not be caused by romance or argument? Is one of you in a relationship with someone who is at odds with the other? Anyway, I wish you peace.

Anonymous said...

Can you post some pics of that hot Russian dude you were dating? You should go back and date him. What's his name so I can Facebook stalk him?

Jenny Kim said...

I'd suggest you not spend anymore energy on hoping for the future. As you said, you were shocked and it had nothing to do with rumors or romance. Therefore, what basis does Dan have to break off such a treasured friendship? You can't trust him anymore. He let you down. If the future holds anything, it's peace of mind that you don't waste your time with him. My heart goes out to you. Please get and stay healthy physically and mentally.

Anonymous said...

Niniane no longer kicks ass.

kiatng said...

Just move on.

sun of free dom said...

I am Egyptian Was greatly impressed by your blog

pz express said...

technically speaking you weren't wrong. you need to repeat the experiment a few times to get an estimate of the true probability of "not being friend until you die". your sample size is too small.

and besides, you could still become friends again before you die. so really the experiment doesn't end until one of you dies. so chin up! you can still win your bet

Anonymous said...

It's kind of unfair to all your readers to talk about an "unexpected development" but leave out just that.

You have chose document your life on a blog so the new "i know a secret but can't tell" attitude is an unwelcome change.

Sure some things can and should remain private but if you have no intentions of posting what caused this friendship breakup then why bother telling anything us at all?

Niniane said...

That is a valid criticism. I accept it, and am sorry.

Anonymous said...

Did Dan say something offensive about Asians?

Niniane said...

No. Also, that would fall under "argument".

hmf284 said...

As a longtime reader of your blog, I always looked forward to your posts involving Dan - so I too am sad. I appreciate you sharing good times & bad.

fmcm said...

So I would have to say it is both gratifying and disturbing that you have so many anonymous commenters who feel so free with their snark. Also, I see nothing here that contradicts the ass-kicking. I do agree that bringing your readers to the brink of understanding without the payoff is unfulfilling, though. However, you are in charge if your level of privacy here on your blog. Hope things work out the way they should.

Niniane said...

fmcm, the non-ass-kicking comment was in reference to my bet with Dan, which resulted in him putting an Easter egg in Google Maps that says "Niniane kicks ass!"

http://niniane.org/#shark

fmcm said...

@Niniane: I knew that, but I am saying nothing about your blog contradicts that assessment. So until there is evidence posted to the contrary you should still be assumed to kick ass.

"No no OOO! in surprise and alarm."

Niniane said...

Why are you saying No in surprise & alarm?

fmcm said...

It was an only tangentially related monty python quote. I said something that was interpreted differently than my original intent. Like Sir Bedevere in the cave behind the rabbit.

Joanna said...

However a blogger decides to tell and to hold back is at the discretion of the blogger. I feel that there should not have been an implicit bilateral agreement between the blogger and the reader. Just because a blogger decides to share a snippet of her life, that she thinks has universal appeal to others without knowing the specifics, is her creative right, and not her "obligation" to tell all. To say that she should have shared more down to the last detail (just because she shared a little), and that it's unsatisfying and unfair that she didn't, and that somehow she owes it to the reader, is an opinion not shared by all. On the other hand, for my own blogging, I do wonder about blogging personal stuff, even though I would so much like to sometimes. But for one, I can't really tell the whole story. But more importantly, the other person has no choice and no voice in the dialogue for something that involves them in a discussion for the whole world to see. It's v problematic.
Friendship, what a precious thing.

Anonymous said...

Political or religious differences can cause friendship to end. That's sad but also true.

RC

Not sure if it posted before said...

"Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young."


Some random advice from a random 90's pop song, worth what you paid for it. But I wish I had followed it.

Anonymous said...

if (dan.isDead()) {
cout << "Niniane, I'm so sorry :(";
} else {
cout << "What a drama queen!";
}

Andrey Fedorov said...

Even without knowing the details, I'm almost certain one day both you and Dan will look back on this and laugh. It might be hard to imagine how something so serious now could be trivial later, but life is full of such pleasant (in hindsight) misconception.

Niniane said...

Andrey, I hope you're right. If it were up to me, you would be right.

Richard said...

Regardless of the controversy over whether you should or shouldn't explain your split with Dan fully, I think it says a lot about you and your blog that there are a fair few people who'd like to know. I'd like to know. Sort of like I'd like to know how Lost will end. That is to say, quite a bit, but not enough to watch the series.
Anyway, you should stop dropping hints you big tease. 'If it were up to me, you would be right.' - bad Niniane. :)

None said...

friends ditch me all the time. one becomes used to it.