I think I'm a loyal person. I value loyalty in others and think that remaining loyal is a ethical standard I uphold. However, I just dumped my hair guy. The thing is, he was fabulous in a I'm-not-your-lover-but-I-act-like-I-am sort of way. He was always picking up my hair and flinging it around and rubbing my shoulders and beaming at me in the mirror. We talked about everything and he was very attentive. Straight and very cute. And expensive. And the last haircut he gave me sucked. I have great hair (sorry) and it actually started to look like crazy hair in a matter of weeks. So, I dumped him after I don't know, 5-6 years? Now I have a skinny, sweet 21 year old who gave me a great haircut, costs less, doesn't make me feel like I'm cheating on my husband and doesn't tell me I'm gorgeous.
My cleaning lady has been with me since Luke was little through 3 houses. I pay her a lot and she does a good job. Not a great job but she's through and honest and reliable and loyal. Loyal to me. I've recommended her to others and they have expressed a lack of enthusiasm but those people also lack a steady cleaning lady. Every Tuesday my house looks gorgeous. And she loves my son & the cats. So, I'm loyal to her. The one time I hired a Polish cleaning agency, my walkman disappeared. (long time ago!)
I was loyal to my last boss and it was a terrible mistake. I defended her, I kept her secrets, I followed her advice and when I was up for a job that I created she totally dropped the ball and let them hire someone else. She did not fight for me. My loyalty was misplaced and blind. I needed to recognize her limitations and cut my ties to her but love was involved. I am not always a very savvy politican.
I was loyal to my remaining sister until this last Christmas. She treated me with hostility, condescension and outright nastiness and I finally recognized my need to stop trying to be good enough for her, I cut her off. She gave my mother and me clothes that don't fit for Christmas, taking out a garment bag while everyone else received nicely wrapped presents and ordering us to try things on and choose while people were siting around talking. She blamed me for people opening presents too soon and told me I should clean up the kitchen even though we were guests in her house. She recently sent me an e-mail with a bulleted list of all the things I did to offend her and I did not reply. I've had enough.
I have ended some friendships although it's very hard for me to accept defeat. Usually it's a number of unpleasant situations that seem to leave little room for forgiveness or resolution. I grieve over the loss of my sister and some of my friends because I generally see the failure as my fault. But I also understand as my late sister Catherine once told me that sometimes things just end. Sometimes you have to take a deep breath and say goodbye and understand there may be hope for a future but at this moment you need to walk away.