So I’ve been feeling a bit like I’ve lost myself as a person the last while, and when my friend Jeanette asked me if I wanted to be her plus one at the Woolworths Trenery A/W collection launch last night I jumped at the chance!
A night out with a good friend, watching a fashion show? Yes please!
It all felt very “Sex in the City” sitting on the runway with the most delicious champers with my runway booklet and pencil to evaluate my preferred looks as the (most gorgeous) models strutted their stuff.
Admittedly I am not a regular Trenery shopper. I look at their ranges and whilst I love them I often think of my pocket and the fact that I have two kids to feed and school and wistfully walk past.
Last night changed my perspective on this. After seeing the most gorgeous silk utility shirt in verdant green and a few pairs of fitted trousers that caught my eye, I am of the mind that it might be prudent to invest in core pieces from this range and build around them. I am also totes in love with the Catherine Nubuck loafers! Like obsessed in love!
I had the most wonderful time, drinking champers, sampling the most divine canapes and laughing with a good friend with not a discussion about snotty noses, school or what the hell to do during school holidays to stay sane! It felt good to be an adult woman, enjoying fashion and friendship. Thank you again Jents for inviting me! I had the BEST time.
So the other day I was having my usual morning chat while driving to work to one of my best friends. My mom. I was catching her up on what had happened in Chez Young over the weekend and we somehow got chatting about friends and friendship. My mother is truly one of my best friends in the whole wide world. I tell her everything and know that she will give me good, honest, ethical advise when needed, will whip my butt into shape when needed and will sometimes just listen and let me cry when needed. My sister is another best friend. One that drives me up the wall at times but a best friend.
I have always been the type of girl who has that one special girlfriend. A friend who doesn’t HAVE to be your friend (like a mother and a sister have to be) I have always had a substantial circle of friends but have always had that one “extra special” friend. You know the one I’m talking about right? The one who you can climb into bed with and talk non stop about life, boys, crap, laugh together, share jokes with and the like. As I morphed into being and adult then finding my partner in life, there has always been my close friend, my BFF if you will in my life. As Cliff and I got together, we joined not just our lives but our friends as well. So his mates became my mates and vice versa. We had single friends (me with that one special one mixed in there) and our couple friends. As we started battling with infertility we found that we were being left behind by our couple friends. They all had kids, we did not. We didn’t get their lifestyles and they started leaving us out of things to spare our feelings. We started drawing away cos we were hurting and not nice to be around. I lost many of my single friends too as my life was about obsessing about falling pregnant and theirs was about trying to find a husband and partying the nights away.
As life changed we made and found new couple friends through the fertility clinic. (To be fair Cliff made friends with the men cos I was friends with the women from the clinic) Many of us have (thank God) crossed over into being parents of our own kids. Life happened and it morphed again and somehow in all that has happened I find myself in a place where I have many good friends, one or two really close friends but no one I can say is that person that I can climb into that bed with. If you watch Greys think Meredith and Christina. I feel like Meredith who has lost her Christina.
I have a friend of 20+ years who I miss like crazy, I guess she will probably always be my soul friend… She and her family live in Dubai and when they visit SA it’s like no time at all has passed. She is my one special friend that I don’t think I will ever lose but it’s not the same as having that friend close by. The one who you go away for weekends with and put up with her dodgy husband cos you love her so much… Am I even making sense?
I miss having that person. That friend who I know I can call at 03h30 in the morning when the shit is hitting the fan and who will come get me in her jaarmies… That person that I can bitch about my much longed for family to. The one who will be honest with me no matter what. The one who will tell me when they disagree with my decisions, what I’ve said or whatever.
It is weird for me, because I like being that person to someone else as well. And right now I’m not. But maybe I will be again someday.
I hope so.
Today is the day before my dear friend moves to George.
Her life there is going to be immeasurably blessed, she’s going to live by the ocean (I’m green with envy really miss the ocean), and she’s going to be growing her twins in her belly and watching them grow up and frolic in the waves…
It sounds like bliss. But it makes my heart sad. Cos I will miss her very much. I still remember when we were the first two little farts on Fertilicare, I remember how nervous I was to meet her for the first time, cos it’s one thing to like someone via your computer screen and another to like someone in real life. But I was nervous for naught. She was (and is) as divine in real life as she was on the computer. We have shared many a laugh, many a sad time and many a good dinner and mojito together. We’ve been pampered together and she’s laughed unmercifully at my sometimes inadequate golf swing.
So while I wish her all the best for the move and her new life in George by te sea, my heart is heavy today. Thankfully we live in the day of the internet, twitter, skype and msn. So as much as I’m going to miss her, right now I’m saying Cheers but not Goodbye.
All the best Super M – you better stay in touch, otherwise I’ll have to come and box you 😉 (any excuse to come visit you know?)
There are many stigma’s attached to admitting that you’re infertile. But for me I think the worst stigma is the one where people think that you’re contagious and they avoid you for fear of catching it from you.
Initially we were very quiet about the fact that we were trying to conceive. We only told those closest to us – that being my Mom and sister and my two closest friends. But as the time went by and we realised just how big a challenge conceiving was becoming, we started being more open about our journey. We started trying before any of our friends did, in fact we started about a year ahead of everyone else. And now we’re the only couple in our circle of “fertile” friends to still be trying for baby # 1. Of all the couples we hung out with at the beginning of our journey, we’re the only childless ones.
As we’ve graduated from clomid, to AI’s to IUI’s to IVF we’ve told these people about our journey. We’ve shared what we’ve been through and when people ask we like to think that through us they’re learning about something that they would never have imagined. This openess definitley has a downside. I’ve seen many a pitiful look in their eyes when we talk about it. I’ve seen them take (sometimes physical) small almost imperceptible steps back from us – just in case they catch it. Just in case by hanging out with us they also battle for their next baby.
I’ve seen this in the cyber world too. You reconnect with someone on Facebook. They ask if you have kids. You say no and add glibly “unless you count my dogs of coursem, they’re my kids for now” (Word for the non wise – this is code for I’m battling to have human kids… at least it is 9 times out of 10, trust me). They comment on how long you’ve been married and ask why not. You tell them the truth. And poof just like that, the reconnecting becomes a quick disconnection again. Cos they do not want to be tarnished with the anguish of infertility.
How sometimes people actually state how they’re so happy that they aren’t like you. That it was easy for them to have their two children. How they would hate to not be able to have kids (with a look of abject disgust pity on their faces at the thought). How they look at each other and think secretly “Thank God its them and not us”. How when you talk about child rearing you get told “what do you know, you don’t have any kids anyway”.
And while I know that many of these people do not know how to deal with the reality of infertility, while I know that they say glib things to hide how uncomfortable we make them feel, while I know that they mean well when they offer platitudes cos it’s all they know how, I have to wonder if just a teeny part of them wonders if we could infect them with our “disease”.
And if it’s this fear that keeps them from having us over to their homes as often as they used to. If it’s this fear that makes them ask other friends about our journey behind our backs. As if asking us directly could make them like us.
Sometimes I just wonder if it’s me that’s pulled back from them cos we are in different places in our lives? Or if it *is* as my mind see’s it and that its them who have pulled back cos they pity us and see us as contagious.
I wonder. All the time.
I was working merrily yesterday and all of a sudden I get a msn pop up from an old friend”wanting to chat… I did not really think anything of the whole situation until later last night.
This is the friend who I had a little spat with a while back (read about it here and here) and while we have been trying to make the friendship work, due to the fact that she lives so far away and that our lives are in such different places the friendship we have now is more like a “hi how ya doing” kind of friendship than a deep one where we share everything. Also there have been a couple of instances where I’ve been left thinking “WTF just happened?” in recent times that have also got me thinking…
The first WTF moment was shortly after I’d found out that our last fresh IVF had failed and I was crying (I don’t cry very often so this is BIG) and she called me to chat and find out how life is. I thought I had pulled myself together enough to chat to her but she could hear that I had been crying and asked what was up. I told her that my last IVF had not worked and that I was pretty upset. She then crapped all over me for not telling her we had done an IVF and then proceeded to tell me that she’s so sorry but she had to go cos she was at her son’s prospective pre-school for an open day and it was due to start in 2 minutes. WTF right? Why call someone for a long chat if you’ve only got 5 minutes to spare and once that person tells you her heart is breaking hang up on her? Crikey! Maybe I’m from a different planet, but in my world we don’t do that here… But I left it. It was important for her to be there to see the school she wanted her son to attend and I do understand that I am not the be end to end all…
Then about three weeks ago I get this call from her out of the blue – I was in a meeting so missed the call but she had left no message. I called her back and we had a long chat about life and how things were for each of us. She then says to me oh I’m actually in Joburg this weekend and would like to meet for coffee – how about tomorrow… Um hello? Last minute anyone? I was working over that weekend and had made other plans as well so could not meet up with her and when I told her that she sounded all peeved at me. I asked her why she left it to last minute to tell me she was coming and she told me that it was a very spontaneous trip to Jhb for her neices christening. Alarm bells ring for anyone else? I don’t know how it all works (not being a Mom myself yet) but I’m pretty sure that when you plan a kids christening a little more preplanning than one or two days goes into it right? This experience just left a sour taste in my mouth and I was really annoyed at the fact that she expected me to drop all my plans and just meet her for coffee cos she had deigned to call me at last minute for a catch up. But I left it. I mean it *can* happen that her anal type A sister in law would not have planned her babies christening in advance right?
Cue the msn conversation of yesterday, which stared well with the how you doings and what’s news and all, then turned all chirpy and telling me that she’s looking into getting a job cos her kids are bigger now and she needs the stimulation; but that she really just wants to see what’s out there and does not want to waste time with agency interviews if the market is bad, and gosh she’s been out the loop so long can I suggest anything to her?? Of course I’m going to help a mate out and so gave her a load of suggestions of job sites to look at etc and hey ho, sorry she’s gotta go – kids need to get to swimming and time to toodles, kbyenow…
The more I’ve thought about this friendship, the more I come to the conclusion that this is looking pretty one sided. I’m cool to chat to when she’s got 3 minutes to spare in her hectic shedule (which I get I really do, I know life gets busy and hectic), and good for a last minute hook up, and good for work suggestions but when push comes to shove, and I need her (failed IVF and crying – crying for gosh sakes honest to goodness tears and sobs for crying out loud) it’s inconvenient.
And while I don’t want her out of my life exactly, it’s just that I’m not really prepared to put in the effort I have been until such time as it’s recipricated. I’ve got wonderful friends out there who give as well as take – and they are the ones who deserve my love and energy. Cos that is what I get back from them in return.
What you say internet? Good decision or bad decision?
Over the festive season my dear friend of 19 years ( let me check my math again – 14 years out of school, were friends for 5 years in school – YES 19 YEARS – GO ME!!!) came to visit her home country. We got to spend some great quality time together on Boxing day and well, honestly? We drank copious amounts of champers together…
On the way home to drop them at her sisters home (Cliff was sober and driving – good boy, here’s your cookie) her husband took some photo’s of us… and we obliged by posing and playing the fool…. Well, nuff said! Evidence that clearly champers makes me tiddly!!!