Susie Meredith is an HR professional for one of the world’s leading online retailers. She currently resides in Nashville, TN with her Golden Retriever, Sadie and her two cats, Vinny and Joey. Susie saved Vinny and Joey from a hard life in the cat-mob on the streets of Tennessee. She received her Bachelor’s in HR Development from Indiana State University and is currently working toward her Master’s in HR Management.
While obtaining her Bachelor’s she was a member of the Gamma Chi chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha where along with holding several leadership positions she also spent a significant amount of time partying hard, having fun, and playing Harvest Moon on Nintendo 64 with her roommates. Susie moved to Nashville with her family after a lifetime of living in Indiana after college and loves being a transplant Nashvillian. In her free time she is a self proclaimed TV junkie, alien movie connoisseur, and craft extraordinaire. Her motto is “If you can buy it, I can make it,” which sometimes leads to some interesting projects and meals.
* * *
I’ve never been much of a “Dear Diary” kind of gal. I have always been the kind to be open and honest, but there is always a piece of me I hold back from people, and letting that piece of me out and putting it on paper gave me a sense of worry. Worry that someone would find it, read it and realize how truly vulnerable I am. My vulnerable side has only been seen by a handful of people and they have to pass my test.
It’s not something I’ve ever done intentionally but it always ends up happening. Once someone gets so close to me there is something that goes off in my head and it becomes testing time. If you can handle me when I’m at my mean and nastiest and you’re still willing to be my friend afterward, then a sense of freedom washes over me and you have truly gained my trust and I never look back. You have complete access to 98% of who I am.
I’ve never understood why it’s so hard for me to be completely free with most people. Unfortunately, not everyone likes it when they finally see that side of me. It’s always interesting to see what happens, it’s like they had this image of me in their mind and I just let them down, they look at me different; like I’m less important in the world. I’ve let them realize that I am a real human on the inside with feelings and insecurities and they decided they didn’t like it. They want the Susie that is sarcastic and silly that always has a smile on her face and always has a snarky comment to make. Looking back and thinking about this piece of myself, I remember an argument I had with a sorority sister in college and she was so angry at me because I didn’t let people in. Another time I remember sitting in the living room with another sister and opening up to her and she looked at me like she understood exactly what I was giving her, she understood I was letting see the real me that few people see.
The only person I have never accidentally tested is my best friend Nikki. We met in kindergarten before the world had a chance to get its paws on me and close me up. To this day, Nikki is probably the only person outside of my parents and sister that gets to see 100% of me all the time. There have been times throughout the years where we have grown apart but we have always found our way back to each other. No matter what we’ve both had going on in life, if I needed to call her at 3AM just to hear another human’s voice she would wake up and talk to me about how everyone is obsessed with that fiber lash mascara that everyone seems to be pushing and how much it gets on my nerves.
I’m not saying that I’m anything special and that everyone should want to know every detail of my life, just dissecting myself a bit. When I finally see a friendship come to a close, I have a reflection period where I wonder where things went sour, or why they thought to just use me for what they could get out of me and then toss me away. With this information we will now embark on our next stop on the Crazyville Express.
Going back almost exactly three years ago, I started a new job. At this new job I met a guy, for the purposes of this blog we will call him #2. I remember seeing #2 at work and thinking “who is this dude?” He’s super outgoing and seemed to be having a blast and that was right up my alley. He was at the vending machines and had a fraternity shirt on so I walked on over and made some comment about his fraternity and we sparked up a conversation and if life went perfectly I would be telling you that #2 and I became best friends and he figured out I was the girl he’s been looking for all his life and we lived happily ever after… but we all know that I definitely don’t live the Rom-Com life.
Over the course of the next year he did become one of my best friends. He seemed to put color in a grey world. We worked night shift and worked 60 hours a week and I didn’t even care. We just had so much fun. We had a group of other folks we hung out with at work and we would have lunch, sit outside at night and enjoy the fall air and plan each other’s birthdays that we were celebrating at work, ya know… fun stuff. I guess I never realized things would completely change so quickly.
In the first year, I learned he was going through a divorce, and he would talk to me about his struggles with that. She refused to sign the paperwork even though she lived on the West Coast and their relationship was definitely over. She had put him in a very bad place making him question himself. She had lied and kept things from him that he should have known. As all relationships go I’m sure he wasn’t perfect either but its always rough when you meet a great guy and you see how another woman has put him through the ringer. It really sucks for us “normal” girls who would never ever dream of treating someone that way.
He was college educated, smart, funny and quirkily cute. People would always mention to me how great we got along and how cute we were together. I just laughed it off and moved on. I knew he was going through a divorce and that it was taking a toll on him and I didn’t want to be a reason for stress but on the inside I would have considered being more than friends with him if he was interested. But he was like my best friend; I didn’t want to ruin the fun! #2 had taken a job that was way below his level just to get his foot in the door with the company, and I was his biggest fan. I talked him up to anyone and everyone gave him advice or any insight I could without violating the confidentiality of my job. Within that first year he ended up getting promoted and moved to another building in the area; with the thoughts of him leaving I felt crushed. I realized he had made it 98% in without realizing it. Before he left we did have a conversation at some point where it somehow came up about us possibly dating and I told him that if we didn’t work together I would be interested, but the conversation didn’t go much further.
Toward the end of our time working together more and more people started mentioning to me how we would be perfect together and for the first time in my life, I could actually see myself being able to stand someone for longer than a few years. #2 and I would have conversations about what we were looking for in someone to be with and we would pretty much describe each other every time. At one point I had considering going on Match.com and did one of their free weekend deals and his sister-in-law had put him on there and he showed up as a 100% match for me.
At that point I started feeling irritated about it and a little rejected but I made myself let it go. He owed me nothing and I was incredibly happy for him with his promotion. If I remember correctly he either messaged me or called me specifically to tell me that his wife had finally signed the papers and he was officially a free man. A piece of me hoped that he would open his eyes and see what was in front of him. When he left he promised me that we wouldn’t stop being friends and we would hang out, and I believed him.
Time passed and he went through all his training and came back to open his building. I didn’t press hanging out too much because I know how busy opening a building can be. One day I was asked to go to the building to help them out and I was excited, I would get to see one of my best friends again. What I didn’t expect was that he seemed to not have much interest in speaking with me. It was awkward and I don’t know why. I sent him a message and mentioned that it was weird and he just threw a yeah my way, told me he was busy and went on.
It would be an understatement to say my feelings were hurt, as I drove myself home from work that night, I cried.
The one person who had finally penetrated the barrier that promised me he wasn’t using me to get ahead had rejected me. After that I shook off my feeling of being rejected and chalked it up to being busy or in a new environment. I went to the building once more while he was there and got my hopes up just to be crushed again. I was talking to one of my peers and he came up and had this huge conversation with her and barely recognized my existence. I cried again on my way home. After that I didn’t volunteer to go to his building. I actually dodged it like the plague. I felt stupid, used, and like one of the middle school girls that is crushing on the high school boy. I text him once more that winter asking him when we were going to hang out and he yelled at me.
Time passes and hearts heal. I had damaged my reputation hanging out with him so much and hadn’t realized it so I spent a good year of my career building my reputation and becoming model HR professional. I was in a meeting one day and one of the manager mentioned that #2 had just left work one day and never came back. It seemed so unlike him, someone who was hard working and strived for excellence. He had worked so hard for that promotion I really struggled to believe that he would just abandon it. Everyone was making up their version of what happened so I decided to reach out to him. I first tried to text him but never received a text back.
A few days later I sent him a message on Facebook and he responded. He had gotten a new phone so he never received the message. We never really talked or texted on the phone so I didn’t think much of it. He told me had been diagnosed with an ailment and had moved back in with his parents and was working toward getting his health back on track. Then it all started coming back, he was cracking jokes and being silly and I started laughing again, like really laughing not the fake laugh you do to pacify people. It felt so good and I remembered why I considered him a good friend.
We chatted back and forth quite a bit, I never got a hope that he would suddenly want to explore a relationship but I thought maybe I’ll get my friend back. We are both big TV junkies so we always have a stuff to chat about. He later ended up resigning from his position and was looking for another job. Thinking my good friend was back I immediately offer to help. My mother works in HR as well and I had him send me his resume so I could pass it along to her as they were looking for some folks with his experience. I knew he would be excellent in the interview, and of course he got the job.
I was over the moon excited for him. But this is where things took a weird turn. My mother had to leave the company unexpectedly and it was like because she wasn’t there speaking to me was irrelevant. From what I’ve been told he showed up for one or two days of work then never returned back. I messaged him on Facebook and asked him how the new job was going and received no response.
That was almost two months ago.
And I am reminded yet again why I don’t let people in. As much as I hated that his ex-wife had treated him the way he had tainting him for other women, he in turn did the same thing to me. He made me less trusting in the opposite sex. And now I’m mad and thinking back at the signs I should have seen long ago. Not only did he promise we wouldn’t lose contact, he didn’t care that he hurt my feelings. He changed his phone number and when I asked him about it didn’t volunteer to give me his new one, he made our only form of communication through Facebook. I gave and gave and gave to him and all he did was take from me until he couldn’t get anything else.
I think about the wedding I asked him to go to with him as friends, he refused. He said he had plans with his mother, who he was living with. I asked him if he wanted to go out with a group of friends for my 30th birthday and he also turned me down. He always has a lame ass excuse. Maybe I don’t realize how I come across once people reach that 98%. Maybe I’m thinking I’m being a good friend and he’s just sitting there thinking I’m that annoying unattractive girl in middle school that the boys play tricks on and laugh behind their back. I’ve never seen myself as that but maybe I’m missing the mark. I have my faults both physically and emotionally, but I refuse to believe I’m that girl.
Getting over the feeling of being duped and used has been the hardest. I let someone in who I didn’t see who they really are, and I’d like to believe I’m a better judge of character than that. Sometimes the boy-friends are just as difficult to navigate as the boyfriends. I’m mad at myself for wasting time and emotion on someone who did not reciprocate and who ultimately must not deserve me. It’s hard to think someone could use someone like that then walk away from them so easily.
I gained nothing but a life lesson out of this friendship, maybe that’s all I’ll ever have. In time maybe I’ll understand how you can go from being best friends with someone, thinking you could actually see a future with them to absolutely nothing. But a part of me never wants to understand how you can treat someone like that and so easily walk away. I wish him nothing but the best in life, well maybe not the best but nothing bad at least. But I wish me better.
Oh, and I’m still waiting to receive that ‘Happy 30th Birthday’ on Facebook… because ya know that’s the only form of communication.
If you would like to get in touch directly with Susie you can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her on Facebook. Read her other guest blog: From Friendzone to Fetishville part 1 & part 2.