Thursday, November 29, 2012

On friendship

I believe God sent me angels to get me through the tough times in my life.  These are people who have given me hope, courage, support, etc when I most needed it.   Some of them are the same people over and over again, like family or those few friends that have been a part of me for so long, I don't even remember when they weren't.  Those would be: Paul, mom, dad, Pat, George, Brian, Jason, Lisa, Amy, Laura, Maria, Denice, Julie, Michelle Watwood.

But I have also delighted in new friendships.  As an adult, those types of relationships involved taking risks.  They required trust and courage.  I have never been afraid to put myself out there either, never in all these years of meeting new people and falling in love with people over and over again.  Never, until now.....

People who renew hope can also take it away.  I am not a complicated person when it comes to accepting and owning my failures.  When I screw up, it does not take me long to realize it.  I have been humbled time and time again.  Even when the stakes get very, very high, humility is something that has come fairly easily for me.  Trust has also been unguarded for me.  I assume people who chose to get close to me are always going to feel that way.  But this year, I learned that was not always so.  As 42 years have gone by, I have seen people come and go in my life.  In looking back, I suppose those constituencies have made sense for the times in my life.  When I was in my 20's, my group of friends consisted of other young married couples with no kids and lots of time to do things like play co-ed sports, ski, go out on Friday and Saturday nights, and stay well-groomed and up to date on current events and happenings (being in the know).  Then as my 30's set in, this business of having babies moved in.  It was much, much harder than I expected for a million reasons.  It seemed that the circles I ran around in developed in different directions in the childbearing years.  Those who started earlier tended to get closer, and those of us who had babies later fell into different groups.  Then there was the inevitable subdivision of those of us who worked and those of us who stayed home with our babies.  These years, more than any others, really shaped, shifted and filtered that fast-track group of 20 somethings who were so well informed and well manicured. While I still consider that group friends, I don't spend anywhere near the amount of time with them.

Even though I was a working mom, I never really fit that group; and I obviously had little opportunity to fit in with the moms who were at home.   Oh, how I longed to be home with my babies.  My marriage paid a hefty price for it.  My hubby and I had tons of resentment toward each other associated with it.  I'm sure he thought I was not even a fraction of the women he had just spend a third of his life with, and I couldn't stop resenting him for being the EXACT same guy I just spend a decade with.  Eventually, and at a huge cost, it all came together like it should.  I became a stay at home mom, and much to my surprise, my husband has been doing his very best to support and appreciate the benefits that far outweigh the costs of that.  It has been a tough road, and it still offers challenges, but I know we are were we are supposed to be.

However, as my friendships go, most of them have just ridden a parallel with my life, like a glassy lake at sunset that reflects every stitch of detail of the mirror image above it.  When I am supposed to have certain influences and people in my life, they are there.  People come and go for reasons.  But this year, I learned that I may not always know or even begin to understand those reasons.  My good friend Shelly, whom I really believed was a gift from God, decided to exit my life as a close friend.  Now we are mostly acquaintances.  And it's not ugly, we have nothing but good exchanges when we are around each other. ,But there is an underlying sense of loss there now, where it used to be such a great feeling of peace and joy.  I am not sure I will ever really understand it-maybe later in my life.  But for now, it is just a huge and incredibly painful disappointment, and feeling of failure.  One of those things that I get a bit of a tummy ache when I think too much on it.  Partly because of the rejection I feel from being swiftly escorted out of the life of someone I so loved, but also, and maybe more importantly, because my little boys also fell in love with them-and I let them.  I suppose learning that people will let you down and break your heart is a lesson in life that you are probably never too young to learn.  But why is it at 42, I am still so depleted by it?  You might think I would be more seasoned and hardened to it by now.  But no, it still hurts, it still confuses me and I still feel amazed that I have not figured out how to avoid this.

I have had a few other notably difficult failed friendships.  Cindy, my former neighbor.  Of course, in that case, it was so very clear-I completely betrayed her, lied to her and turned into a monster.  I think jealousy and pure hatred for the life I was leading drove that disaster, but at least there is no ambiguity surrounding that one.

My closest friends Debi and Kirsten from my 20's/early 30's and I have grown apart too.  As have Michelle Watwood and I; those friends are working mamas.  And try and we may, our worlds just don't line up like they used to.  I can accept that as a part of the choices we make that just boil down to who we are-and essentially doing the best we can with what we've got.

So, why then, have I lost a hop in my step?  Why do I just want to bury my head in the sand so often?  I don't know.  I worry that I am unloveable.  That I have just screwed up too many things in my life to be rewarded with such kindnesses and gifts as dear friends that cost nothing but love.  In a world obsessed with money and things, those few treasures as these, elude me.  And in the end, that is all I ever wanted.

Life's Irritating Mysteries.....

These are examples of things in my life (and many other people's lives) that are just WRONG:

One shoe;  Is there anything more irritating in life than losing ONE shoe?  Why not just lose them both?  The one is a constant reminder of the fact that you have lost the match.   It also makes me want to throw it away.  But then the minute I do that, the other one will show up, like sunglasses or an ID I just replaced.

Fire alarms; first of all, we have had one fire in my kitchen-and not one single alarm in my house went off.  But every time I use my ovens at a temperature over 400, they just go off like a bad episode of Seinfield (which is a show about nothing).  Second of all-and FAR MORE IRRITATING, is the fact that the batteries always seem to run out at 2 in the morning, and that mind numbing beep/chirp sound is completely insufferable.  I don't know if it's because it's 2 am, or because they are just designed this way, but it is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to tell which alarm the chirp is coming from.  It is only after smashing every single one that the chirping stops=and even then, it's like it keeps on chirping from the dead.  It takes HOURS for it to stop, even when each one of them has been smashed to pieces.

Speaking of sounds that drive me crazy.  I cannot stand the sound of my dog licking his fur-especially in the middle of the night.  It's like that faucet dripping sound, or one of those old fashion clocks that tick so loud that it feels like your heart is beating.  

Another thing I cannot understand is people who act like they don't know you, but you know they do.  In fact, you have met them many times before.  I have neighbors like that.  Every time I see them, they act like they have no idea who I am, and we have lived 4 houses down from them for 10 years.  SO annoying.  What this really says to me is that I am not very memorable. 

Is it just me, or is it the most annoying thing ever when a you cannot find the beginning on a roll of tape.  Then you find one little strand, and it just peels off in tiny little strips.  Is there no better way?

And why, in such an advanced day and age of technology, do we still measure first downs in professional football with a couple of men holding sticks?  I mean, if we can see the red or yellow lines on TV, why can't they?

And don't you hate achronymns that make no sense?  Who thinks DVD stands for anything? It stands for digital versatile disc.  WHAT?  That's a real common term.  Good thing they abbreviated that!  Oh those wizards at Sony and Phillips!  And SOS, what is that all about?  Save our Ship?  Save our Souls?  Save our Sh*t?  How about just the word help?  Is that just too difficult?  VCR (now I am showing my age) is Videocasette Recorder-which is two words.  TV is television which is one word-television.  It's madness I tell you!

While we're at it, why not talk about compound words that are just ridiculous?  Like breakfast-how do those words fit together to describe a meal that is different to every person?  Bookworm?  What is that, someone who likes to read?  A worm is not something i associate with those who are passionate about something.  Do worms even have brains?  I mean, they stay alive if they are cut in half?  And egg nog?  The word nog is so goofy, that I can't even take anything seriously that uses it, but why egg?  I spend most of my picky childhood life thinking it was just a bunch of eggs hanging out in a glass.  When I finally worked up the nerve to try it, I could not believe how far the name and the taste were.  

I really could go on all night, but simply because I too tired, and completey irritated by my own ramblings, I will save it for another blog!