We have all heard this saying “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck”. The saying is actually called the Duck test as a humourous term for induction reasoning. The test implies that a person can identify an unknown subject by observing that subject’s habitual characteristics (Wikipedia).
I love this saying because it is just so true. In our lives, we encounter many situations that we can see in front of our eyes and we try to deny it but reality stares us in the face. It is one of those situations where we don’t want to face reality. This can be seen in many areas like debt, friendships, work, children and school.
Recently, I asked someone to do me a favour. Anyway, when I asked the question, the person acted as if it was the last thing she wanted to do and that I was asking her to do something against her free will. I was very curious as to why this would be. I mean if we are such close friends, why the reluctance? I tried to relieve her of the obligation but she still did it anyway, but it was with anger. I never felt so hurt and disappointed in my life.
My reason for asking the favour was because we had not done anything as friends for a long time. In fact, more and more our friendship had become more complicated by an external factor. You see an old friend is visiting her long term and because the old friend and I don’t really get along, maybe she felt she has to choose. Her new friend would make certain gestures and comments that rubbed me the wrong way. Yet, she never saw it as a problem. In fact, whenever I visited her house, the “friend” would only speak to me if Janelle was around and acted like we were best friends.
Janelle and I had a huge disagreement and she told me that if I was wrong and accusing her friend then it would be terrible and maybe I was being paranoid. I thought oh really! It made me question the friendship in many ways. We used to go to the movies, for ice cream, the boardwalk, exercising and other places, that had all but stopped and if I asked her to do something she would look to her friend for permission. We used to talk every day, twice a day on Skype and FaceTime and now we barely even communicate and if we do, it’s always by chat, rarely by video message as in the past.
What was the reason she no longer felt the need to hang out with me? We always ended up at her house or mine. Was she ashamed of me? Did her allegiance fall to the old friend? Was I still important as her friend? Did I matter anymore? The kids missed their “auntie” and wondered about whether we were not friends anymore. I kept telling them that Auntie Janelle was just very busy and side stepped the question.
My friends mean everything to me. Once you are my friend, we are usually friends for life unless you decide not to be in it. I think the pain of feeling as if I am losing my friend is real. Yet, the saying comes back to haunt me. Is it really a duck? A part of me says no, but her actions don’t add up. I guess life is a cycle and we live it the best we can. My friend, who I will call Janelle, says that I am making too much out of it and to just relax but I am not crazy. Am I being a clingy friend or should I let Janelle on her way to spend time with her “new friend”?
I miss our friendship. Right now I have very few that are close to me and with everything going on, the company was good (and before you think it, I am not going lesbian). Janelle once told me that I was the best friend she ever had. Yet now it’s like I am non-existent as she focuses on her live-in friend.
Have you ever felt like this?