I moved to the opposite coast three years ago for a new job and have failed to build up any real friendships. I am a single woman in my mid-30s and not interested in dating. I feel very isolated and alone. Everything I have tried—volunteering, hobby groups, and going to the local gym—has only netted me superficial relationships. The only person I really connected with was my neighbor, “Margo.” She was pregnant with her second and an expat like me.
We would see each other almost every other day and Margo would ask me to babysit, dog-sit, or help her out with her household. She complained often about how she didn’t really like her village here and with her husband traveling felt very alone. I really started to think of Margo as family. Then I had an unexpected death in the family and had to take an immediate trip. I asked Margo if she would water my plants for the five days I was gone and be able to pick me up from the airport. She agreed—and then ignored my texts. I had to take a cab home and found all my plants basically dead. Coming home to an empty house full of dead plants after the funeral made me just start bawling.
Margo acted like nothing happened. Her excuse was her phone died (I saw she read my texts) and it just slipped her mind because she was too busy with the kids. I let her know how hurtful this was and Margo got very defensive. She told me she is a mother so I can’t “understand” her burdens. I let the conversation die and Margo acted like nothing happened. She still asks all kinds of favors of me and I am too much of a coward to say no. Is it even worth trying to salvage this friendship? Is it even a friendship? Or am I just the village idiot?