I have or perhaps had a friend who became my best friend this year. He is more than 30 years older than me. He is also so overweight that he can barely walk. His weight also interferes with his breathing, so he cannot skip hours of being on an oxygen concentrator machine while he sleeps. He was always worried that I would not like him because of his weight or his age or his strong opinions.
He's wrong though, none of that mattered much. What matters to me is not making commitments that you cannot keep. He would suggest that we eat lunch or dinner together and then cancel. He did not do this just once, but again and again and again. I even planned and paid for most of a trip that was designed just to cheer him up. He decided not to come at the last minute and sent along just his boyfriend instead.
I understand that sometimes he reneges on his commitments because of his health. If he's turning blue then there's no way he can be there. Sometimes he breaks his commitments because he is feeling depressed. In the end it does not matter why someone is unreliable, simply that they are unreliable.
Yesterday, he exploded at me. I told him that I was considering being apartment mates with a friend of ours who was losing his apartment mate at the end of this month. He was so angry he could barely speak. He actually hung up on me a couple of times.
Apparently, the few times that we had discussed living together next year to him represented a firm plan. How was I supposed to know that this was the one plan that he would stick to? In fact, the main difference here seems to be that I am the one who is not sticking with a commitment. I am the one letting him down.
Him letting me down is supposed to be fine, but the first time I let him down by not seeing the importance of this possible future it's too much. He even suggests that he might leave town never to return and, for all I know, he has. We did not have a place to live and he had not even begun searching, but this was a firm plan in his mind.
Meanwhile, I am living with an annoying apartment mate whose horrid table manners I experience without the benefit of fellowship that actually eating together provides. Also, this guy really can't take a hint because he literally and not just figuratively cannot see your nonverbal signals. I don't want to hate my apartment mate and I am getting pretty close.
A real opportunity for me to live with a different apartment mate comes up and I want to share my joy with my best friend. I tell my best friend and he is hurt and shocked. He suggests that I am interested in this possible apartment mate because of his youth and beauty. He also reminds me in a, sort of, woe is me waythat he is old and fat suggesting that this must be why I have decided to stab him in the back. I find myself flabbergasted.
When did we make a firm commitment and how was I supposed to differentiate between this commitment and all of those he reneged on? He complains that I should know he has no time to look for a place because he is in an intensive. He also complains that he has a lease that lasts throughout the summer that he has to pay. He complains about his depressed, needy and unreliable boyfriend. He complains about his crush who is straight or at least too far in the closet to be a real prospect. He complains about people whom I love, saying that he hates how they are always dealing with their personal issues
Now what am I supposed to do? This fit of pique by my best friend makes my previous desire to live with him go away. On top of that he now says that he is taking himself out of the running saying that he would not want to unduly influence my decision. In some ways I am back where I started before I knew that my considerations of living in an apartment with someone were such a heated topic. I am still considering whether or not to move, but I feel shell shocked.