Let me lay the groundwork. I have 3 really close friends(Tami, Kim and Barb--not their real names) and we've been friends for roughly 10 years. Tami brought us 5 of us together initially.
Over time one of our friends (Mary) drifted away and I know she still feels badly about how it ended. Basically Tami and Kim broke up with her because she rarely made it to any events that we invited her to--Mary did gossip about us behind our backs and is a bit of a social climber. When I see Mary (we attend the same church) I am very cordial to her but we are not close. This is only back story and not my main question.
Back on topic. Over that last 1-2 years Tami and Kim have started to complain about Barb. They feel she is b$tchy, too outspoken and critical of others--especially of Kim's parenting. I admit Barb can be b$tchy (pithy may be a more accurate description), but I prefer b$tchy over whiny so Barb and I get along fine. I kind of get where they are coming from but I am feeling very torn. They have started inviting Barb to join us less and less over the last 6 months.
This is going to be hard to follow but bear with me. About 6 months ago, Kim met a new man and fell in love (she's been divorced for 10+ years) and while we were thrilled for her, Tami, Barb and I had not seen much of her in the last 5 months or so. I get it--she's in love. She definitely deserves it.
Fast forward to this winter. I invited Tami, Barb and a few other friends (you can never have too many friends at my age) to do some fun things--a movie night in costume, etc. We did get together once and it was fun, but something was going on with Tami. Barb and I know that she has struggled with depression in the past but Tami was unwilling to talk about anything and started to decline any invitations by me. In fact, when another mutual friend of ours (more hers than mine) was at my house (I was coloring her hair), Tami texted said friend to invite her out. I blew it off. Tami has every right to invite whomever she wants to whatever she pleases. Barb and I continued to get together off and on by ourselves but we were puzzled by Tami's behavior.
Get your tissues ladies because this is horrific. About a month ago, Kim contacted me to tell me that her oldest daughter, 18, was in a severe car accident and in a coma. Sadly, Kim's daughter died 10 days later. Tami visited Kim and her daughter at the hospital. The next day Barb and I visited Kim and her daughter at the hospital. I know that Tami and Kim are very close and I am grateful that Kim has someone that she can talk to about her loss. I'm not really feeling left out but I'm really confused about Tami's behavior in all of this, because she seems to be acting so strangely:
1.I am getting the distinct feeling that Tami is dumping Barb as a friend (and probably me by association). She has stated that she cannot stand to associate with Barb and her husband together because she doesn't like the way that Barb treats her husband. But we rarely socialize with spouses anyway, but maybe that's the problem.
2.When Kim's daughter was in the hospital, I reached out to Tami because I could tell that she was in a lot of distress over all of this. Tami was still reeling from the death of another close friends' child a month previous. We took our dogs for a walk. She did not wish to talk to me at all. She was all business about Kim's daughter. Tami and Kim were in very close contact at this time. I asked her what was going on with her (Tami) that she was so upset. She curtly replied, “I'm not going to talk about that.”
3.Barb and I drove to the hospital where Kim's daughter was to visit together (1.5 hours away). When we were halfway there, Tami texted us to say that Kim's family was not allowing anybody but family at the hospital that day. Now I do think that Tami was just relaying information that she had gotten at her daughter's (Tami's) school. Tami and Kim's daughters' are the same age but not really friends because they attend different schools. Barb and I forged on ahead. Kim was not answering her phone or texts—she was a little busy and we understand that. When we got to the hospital, Kim was relieved to see us and grateful that we had come. Barb and I were able to say our goodbyes to Kim's daughter.
4.I went back to the hospital the next day and spent the night. I am close with both of Kim's daughters. We have traveled together with my daughter. Another friend of Kim's was there as well—she was a great help to Kim and her family.
5.After Kim's daughter passed, I felt it was really important that Tami, Barb and I get together to discuss how we could help Kim during this awful time. Tami didn't want to come but did in the end. I think that we really need to have a plan for those important dates, like prom, graduation, etc. Times when I expect that Kim will really struggle. I also shared what details I knew about the pending memorial service. Tami shared that she and her husband had spent some time with Kim and her bf (prior to all of this), that we all agreed that we really like. Tami looked and sounded terrible. She left after an hour. Barb and I were perplexed since Tami often acts like this.
6.At the memorial service, Tami acted like she didn't want to talk to me. Her husband literally said hi and walked away. Tami's daughter was friendlier to me than Tami herself. DD even noticed it.
7.Last week, Kim asked me if I would help her write thank you notes at her mom's house Saturday. She was feeling pretty overwhelmed by all of it. I was happy to help. Friday night Tami texts me to ask if I want to walk to Kim's mom's house (it's only a couple of blks away). But here's what I'm shocked about (I know this is a novel). Tami acted like she was fine, happy even. She reminded Kim that she (Kim) and her bf were invited to her house that night. I was not invited. I just did my best to help.
I am stumped! I have not shared any of Saturday's events (#6 & 7) with Barb. I have a tendency to over read situations and be paranoid. But I really think that Tami is dumping us. And I do wish to remain friends with Kim, and I think we will. I don't have a lot of other friends but this whole sitch makes me want to find some new ones. I'm working on it. I know I can count on you chickies to help me. I am sincerely thinking that I have to come clean with Barb about this whole drama. But I do not want to hurt her feelings, nor do I want her or both of us to confront Tami—that is a lose-lose situation. I want to invite Barb out for drinks tomorrow night. Do I spill the beans or not?