I am a daughter. I am a wife. I am a mother. But through it all, I have been and always will be, a woman.

Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category

Why are Women MEAN???

I was scrolling through Facebook earlier (yes, I should have been working, but I was taking a short break) and came across a post from a friend of mine:

“Every year around Valentines Day there is one of our doctors that gives everyone who works here a long stemmed rose. “Because every woman deserves a rose on Valentine’s Day” This doctor is off tomorrow so they were passing them out today. Guess who they looked at and kept walking by???? Yeah me. True story.”

WHY??? What was the point of this? To make her feel small? To embarrass her?

All they really succeeded in doing was making me MAD!! Seriously. I promptly ordered her some flowers and had them delivered today with a card that said they were from “Someone who thinks you’re Pretty Special.” Now, yes, she know I sent them. But her co-workers don’t. ūüôā They just see some beautiful red tulips (because EVERYONE gets roses! I had to be different) on her desk.

Yes, part of me wanted to rub it in their faces. They got A rose. She got a bouquet of tulips.

I didn’t like the way they made her feel — or how I imagine she felt — because I’ve felt that way.

Left out.
Ignored.
Excluded.
Inferior.
Unloved.

But she is NOT any of those things. She is WONDERFUL. She’s Smart. Witty. Funny. Wicked (in the best possible way). Beautiful, inside and out. She’d drop anything and everything for her friends and family.

She goes out of her way to make people feel cared for. Included. Important.

For these “women” to try to take that away from her just made my blood boil!!!

L. has been a great friend to my husband for a long time (no, we’re NOT doing that math), and (lucky for me) extended that friendship to me, even though she barely knows me.

She is Awesome! I hope she doesn’t let their pettiness get to her. There are people who believe in her. Who know just how Important she is. How Kind. Generous. Compassionate. Loyal. Gorgeous. And certainly more of a Woman than her co-workers will ever be.

Mean Girls may get older, but clearly they Never Grow Up.

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The English Language…..Complicated, and STILL Insufficient

Have you ever noticed how some words have 15 different words for them, and others only have 1! ¬†For instance, the color blue. ¬†There is blue, sky blue, teal, turquoise, navy, midnight, true blue, aqua, indigo, electric ¬†blue, ice blue….you get the picture. ¬†But you only have 2 words for someone you know: ¬†acquaintance and friend.

Well, guess what? ¬†That isn’t enough. ¬†I have acquaintances, and I have friends. ¬†I also have SO much more…and less. ¬†There are people I’ve met whose names I can’t remember (horrible memory!). ¬†There are people I’ve met several times (and know their names!!!), but I am not close to them. ¬†There are people I work with that I call friends with whom I share the minutia of my life (i.e. my husband made me mad; I’m going to strangle my children; my husband is the best fellow on earth; my children are brilliant). ¬†There are people I am close to that know most of my life story.

Then there is my husband.  He knows EVERYTHING.  Well, almost everything.

But there is where the English language fails.  Epically.

Best friend? ¬†Seems a little…….I don’t know…..grasping? ¬†Seriously, red can be Scarlet or Crimson or Maroon, but Friend only has itself or the word Best in front of it? ¬†For a language with a minimum of 5 synonyms of ANY word this seems a little insufficient. ¬†Or maybe that is just me.

My husband is my friend. ¬†I can talk to him about ALMOST anything. ¬†Yes, I said “almost.” ¬†And for you folks whining condescendingly that “you should be able to talk to your husband about ANYthing!” I ask you. ¬†Who am I suppose to complain to ABOUT him? ¬†Seriously! ¬†I’m supposed to be able to talk to my “best” friend about anything. ¬†If I can’t complain ABOUT him TO him, then he isn’t my best friend. ¬†Or he’s schizophrenic, in which case….well, that is just a setup to so many bad jokes that offend even me that I’ll be quiet.

I love my husband. ¬†He is my almost-best friend. ¬†He is (cliched as it sounds) my other half, my soulmate. ¬†As Demi Moore put it in her one bad movie (The Butcher’s Wife *cough*) my “split-apart”. ¬†Now that I have him, I don’t know how I ever did without him. ¬†Not to say I don’t fantasize about strangling him on occasion as I’m sure all wives do.

Friend? ¬†How do you describe that? ¬†There are so many different levels of friendship. ¬†There isn’t just acquaintances and friends. ¬†There are people you know that you would never DREAM of inviting to your house. ¬†There are people you know that you would love to know better but with whom you just can’t seem to align schedules. ¬†There are people you know too well and would love to see less. ¬†There are people you know so well you never want to see them again (exes fit in this category!). ¬†There are people you see that you love more than life itself but need a break from occasionally (such as spouses). ¬†I could go on and on (and on and on….) but I’m sure you’re bored now.

Seriously, have you ever thought how picky the English language is in some respects only to think another time how there isn’t a word to express what you’re thinking or feeling? ¬†Am I alone in this?

Or maybe it IS just me. ¬†I’ve had 3 real friends in my life — people that lasted through time, that I could and still feel I could call at any time and they would be there. ¬†One I married. ¬†Sorta took him out of the equation since I can’t call him anymore to B—- about my husband. ¬†ūüôā ¬†The other 2….well, we aren’t as closed anymore. ¬†Time and Distance do effect relationships.

I love my husband. ¬†He IS my friend. ¬†He is my BEST friend. ¬†And when I want to complain about him, I talk to the gals at work. ¬†Not about anything serious though. ¬†I mean, that person doesn’t exist. ¬†In real life OR the English language. ¬†So if you invent that word to describe the person you really can tell ANYTHING, ANYTIME, and ANYWHERE, would you let me know? ¬†Once I have the word, I may see if I can find the example.

Thanks.  What about you?  Do you have someone like that?

Scabs & Scars

I have two friends having marital trouble right now. ¬†Okay, the trouble is really over. ¬†One is signing divorce papers in a couple weeks, and the other……well, the paperwork may not be started, but I think it’s a formality. ¬†I feel bad for them. ¬†Really bad.

My first friend is hurting pretty bad. ¬†She tried to work it out, but just couldn’t. ¬†The details don’t matter — and if they matter to you, that’s just tough because it’s HER story to tell, not mine. ¬†I hurt for her. ¬†She lost several friends over this. ¬†She’s trying to take care of herself, her kids, her new place, and. . . . .well, her new¬†lifestyle. ¬†It all changed. ¬†It seemed like it changed in a blink. ¬†I’m sure it felt like forever to her, but to those of us that didn’t know what was going on inside her marriage (and we never¬†really¬†know what anyone’s marriage is really like, do we?) it seemed to happen in just a couple of day. ¬†There was a castle. ¬†Then there was a vacant hill. ¬†Boom! ¬†Gone.

My other friend is NOT hurting. ¬†That’s what worries me. ¬†She’s past all of that. ¬†When the pain¬†stops, that’s when you really know it’s over. ¬†I know from experience. ¬†When that final straw breaks and your first reaction is to smile, it’s over. ¬†It doesn’t matter what you do from there on out, it’s done. ¬†Finished. ¬†IF they work it out (and I doubt that’s going to happen) it will never be the same. ¬†I don’t think it will even be a marriage. ¬†When the other person in the marriage loses all power to hurt you, they lose their standing. ¬†A marriage takes two people to succeed. ¬†When one holds all the power and the other holds none, it just won’t work.

Trust is gone in both cases. ¬†Pain or not, there are wounds — some are just further along in the healing process. ¬†Scabs and scars. ¬†That is all that is left of two once good marriages. ¬†Now four adults and three kids all have different lives. ¬†They are different people than they were just six months ago.

And I can’t do anything for them. ¬†I’m used to trying to help my friends. ¬†That’s what friends do. ¬†We help. ¬†But I can’t. ¬†I can’t fix this. ¬†I can’t lessen the hurt. ¬†I can’t fast forward time until everyone feels better. ¬†Scabs and scars, and me with no band-aids.

I feel bad for all of them. ¬†I wish I could just DO something. ¬†But I can’t. ¬†All I have to offer is a shoulder, an ear, and hugs. ¬†I can be supportive, and listen. ¬†Those things seem like nothing when you’re watching marriages break apart like the ground in an earthquake. ¬†I just hope those scabs and scars cover wounds that are minimal.

On Divorce

I have a friend who is going through a divorce right now. ¬†I won’t say who because I think she deserves her privacy and it is her business to tell, not mine. ¬†But I have few thoughts on what she is going through.

The first time I experienced divorce it was my parents. ¬†Things had not been good for years. ¬†Long years. ¬†We all pretended things were okay, but we knew they weren’t. ¬†Cold silences. ¬†Tense atmospheres. ¬†Folded blankets and a pillow on the couch. ¬†Broken doorknobs. ¬†Evidence that things really were not “okay.” ¬†The divorce hurt us kids. ¬†Dad was gone. ¬†We moved from the home we had known for all our lives. ¬†We changed school districts and lost all of our old friends. ¬†New ones were hard to make. ¬†And every other weekend with dad didn’t always go well either. ¬†Everything changed, and it was all painful.

Those last few of their marriage and the first few after the divorce — until I could go to college and escape — were HARD. ¬†I coped by burying everything deep, deep inside and becoming an angry, sarcastic, “tough” kid. ¬†I didn’t need anyone. ¬†It didn’t help that my new schoolmates made it very apparent that I didn’t belong and never would. ¬†That just made the isolation and anger worse.

Fortunately, I had a teacher that got through to me. ¬†Oh, he didn’t turn me around and make me a loving, caring, wonderful altruistic member of society (I doubt anyone could have done that!), but he had a HUGE stabilizing effect on me. ¬†I may not know which roads I would have chosen without him, but I know they would have been a lot bumpier than the ones I did choose. ¬†Because of him, I didn’t make as many bad choices as I know I would have without his guidance. ¬†In a lot of ways, Danny Alexander saved me from myself. ¬†I eventually turned out okay, but I know in my heart that could not and would not have happened without him in my life during those two and a half years in high school when I could have let my parents’ divorce and my new culture change destroy all the good in me.

The second time I experienced divorce it was my own. ¬†I knew the day after I married that I had made a mistake. ¬†I’ve often wondered how different I would be, if I had never filed the marriage license and just walked away. ¬†But I didn’t. ¬†I stayed and I tried. ¬†I really tried. ¬†I loved. ¬†I begged. ¬†I pleaded. ¬†I talked rationally. ¬†I yelled irrationally. ¬†I cried. ¬†I gave up. ¬†I endured. ¬†And then HE asked for the divorce. ¬†I cried again. ¬†Then I was relieved. ¬†I should probably divulge the details of my marriage for you to understand just how bad it was for me, but I won’t. ¬†All I will say is that I did everything I could to save my marriage, and I failed. ¬†However, I don’t believe that I could have saved it. ¬†I believe that it was doomed from the start.

But even after escaping what I have described as “Four Years of Hell,” I had my weak moments. ¬†I remember a week after I left. ¬†I was sitting on my bed, tying my shoes, getting ready for work, when all of a sudden, I thought, “Holy Shit! ¬†I’ve left my husband. ¬†What have I done? ¬†Am I going to make it?” ¬†Then I looked around at my apartment. ¬†It was clean. ¬†The bed was made. ¬†The dishes were washed. ¬†There were no oily footprints on the carpet. ¬†And I could not see daylight between the walls and the floor. ¬†My next thought was, “You Idiot! ¬†Of course you’re going to be okay!”

What I mean by that is that no matter how bad a marriage is, it still hurts when it ends. ¬†You still doubt you’re self-worth. ¬†You still wonder if you could have done “more” to save it. ¬†You still feel as if part of you has been amputated.

Eventually, most of that goes away. ¬†But, if I’m going to be honest, the scars still remain. ¬†My husband now is a wonderful man and a fantastic father. ¬†He has his moments when he irks me, and other moments he just plain infuriates me, but I would not change him at all. ¬†I have something unbelievably good with him and I do not want to lose it under any circumstances. ¬†However, when we have a . . . disagreement, shall we say, those old scars start to hurt a little. ¬†Those self-doubts come back. ¬†Echoes of the past bounce around in my memory. ¬†Just because that first marriage is dead doesn’t mean it’s ghost doesn’t still walk around.

Life does get better, but the past never goes away. ¬†We have to reconcile ourselves with our past — something with which I still struggle. ¬†We have to make peace with it.

Divorce hurts. ¬†But like any physical amputation, the pain does dissipate — sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly — but it¬†DOES¬†dissipate. ¬†Just as the marriage ended, so will the pain.

So have hope, my friend.  And remember, some of us understand.  We will listen to you vent.  We will hold you when you cry.  We will rejoice when you smile again.

High School Reunions

It’s been 23 years since I graduated high school (I know, that makes me older than dirt). ¬†An old friend is trying to put together a reunion. ¬†I may not have graduated from this high school, but I attended school there most of my life and I consider it home. ¬†But in trying to help her find old classmates, I have begun thinking about old friends, new friends, and what it’s like to have a friend.

Old friends are great. ¬†You’ve known them FOREVER (or so it seems), yet after 23 years, marriage, divorce (sometimes), kids, career changes, moves, and all of those other life-changes that happen, are they really still “friends” or just people we used to know. ¬†They know how some old scars happened – first loves, first kisses, first car wrecks, the night you lost your virginity (and to who and whether or not it was any good), but what do they know about you lately? ¬†Are you still friends?

New friends are wonderful, too. ¬†They know all about your life now. ¬†They know whether you’re kids are driving you crazy today and you’re willing to give them away to the first sucker you find; ¬†or being sweet little angels you wouldn’t consider selling for a million dollars. ¬†They know if you’re rich or having financial trouble, if you are hormonal or even-tempered, if you’re fantasizing about jumping your husband tonight or smothering him in his sleep. ¬†They know it all. ¬†Except what made you who you are today.

The rarest friends and the best friends are both. ¬†They were there in the beginning, through everything in the middle, and came out the other side with you. ¬†Still standing beside you, supporting you and being supported by you. ¬†Laughing with you, laughing at you, crying on you, crying with you. ¬†They’ve celebrated every joy and grieved over every loss.

True friends are rare and precious. ¬†They are the ones you can call at any time and they’ll be there. ¬†Not with judgement or condemnation, just support and fellowship and love. ¬†Questions can wait til you feel like answering, IF you feel like answering. ¬†Secrets are kept. ¬†Details don’t matter. ¬†Helping does. ¬†Like the little boy who had a neighbor whose wife had died. ¬†He went over and visited. ¬†His mom asked him later what he did. ¬†The little boy said, “Nothing, mama. ¬†I just helped him cry.” ¬†That is a friend. ¬†How many of us have one of those? ¬†How many of us ARE one of those?

I hope each of you can count me as a friend like that. ¬†I will be there for each and every one of you. ¬†I’ll keep your secrets. ¬†I’ll hold your tears in my heart. ¬†I’ll keep you in my prayers. ¬†Please know that if YOU ever need a friend, you can call me. ¬†I’ll be there. ¬†No questions asked.

www.awriterweavesatale.com/

Author and Editor of Literary and Arts Magazine, The Woven Tale Press

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