I thought a lot before writing this..but I guess the fact that I am actually thinking about it,qualifies for it to be written.This is sort of a rant,so,feel free to skip it,if you are not in a mood for that.
So,lately,certain events around me have led me to wonder,if people we consider our friends are really friends or mere acquaintances or not even that..sometimes I feel they are just random people thrown together in similar situations and who end up hanging out together.
No,no,please don’t get me wrong-I have met some really great people over the years and many of them are very good friends.When I meet a person,I like,I don’t think about where they live/work/come from. For me,its the person that matters and I don’t stop at doing anything for them…anything thats physically possible for me to do.
Now if you are house-wife or SAHM mom like me,you will know,that your chances of meeting people are very remote..even more so,when you don’t have kids or have younger kids.Most people that you meet are through your husband’s work place or if you have school going kids,through their schools.
Initially,when I moved out of India,I would start talking to people in the laundry,library,grocery store,everywhere..inviting them over to my place,but the weird looks I got or the crazy specimens I met, were enough to discourage me..And so,I ended up meeting or being friends with SD’s colleagues’ wives.Sometimes I was happy on other times I was bored to death.But,after frequent moving,I realised that the friendships ended with each move. Catching up for a cup of coffee,while you were in the same building or same city was fine.. but no-one had the time to keep up a long distance relationship.I would still try to keep in touch and then finally pick up the pieces of my broken heart and move on..hoping to find new friends in the new place.
Then,we moved to Australia.And a couple of months after moving here,met this really nice group of friends..again through SD’s work place but everyone was warm and welcoming..and I thought wow.. I really got lucky this time..We would meet every weekend or every other weekend and it was fun.Even after we moved off to a farther suburb,the meetings continued and all was well. And then,SD got a very good break and changed his job.We were still in the same city and so still had the same friends.
Slowly things started changing..while previously a visit to our suburb was incomplete without stopping by at our home,just to say hi or have a cup of tea,now,the meet-ups were casually moved to another friend’s home..and mentioned to us,much much later. While earlier,if a picnic or dinner was being planned,I was asked/consulted on dates too.. now,I was just informed a day prior or so.. saying that it was a last minute plan..while,I was well-aware of when and where discussion had started.
Then,I got pregnant and was horribly sick and that became a convenient excuse to not visit.. quoting my supposed friend, ” I don’t visit because I don’t want to bother you”…Seriously,its no-one’s job to take care of me,when I am sick.. really,I don’t expect it..but having a friend over,can really cheer up even the sickest person.And I wasn’t on the death-bed..I was just experiencing pregnancy related sickness. I didn’t think much of that as well,until a friend,a mom I met at Babushka’s activity group came over.She had called up for a casual chit-chat and I told her I was pregnant and horribly sick and could we talk later.She hung up and turned up,2 hours later a box of sabji and said,”I know you are sick.. but I figured,seeing someone might cheer you up.”She stayed over,made me tea. Her own kids were at school and Kumon,she entertained Babushka and talked to me..That short half an hour visit made me feel so much better.
But,it made me think.. someone I knew for hardly 6 months..someone,who I met once a week for a short while,was thoughtful and considerate,then,why couldn’t somebody I considered a friend.A friend for whom I had gone out of my way and done things.A friend for whom I had inconvenienced my family…begged SD to drive for half an hour after work-just so we could go wish her son for his birthday;dragged a half- asleep Babs,just so I could deliver cupcakes for her daughter to take to school the next day.I feel like a fool now..really do.
Now,they are having a birthday party,for one of the kids..When I called up to wish,I was told,that we are still thinking about it..while all our other friends have already got the invitations.I think,I will just get a call at the last minute,with the same excuse that it was decided at the last minute. I am seriously considering,if I should call her bluff or politely decline.What would you do?
But the invitation is the least of my worries…really,what saddens me is that,I am not valued as a person.I was just considered a friend or person worthy of hanging out,because,my husband was a co-worker.Sometimes,I wonder if their attitude would have still changed,if SD had not got this new job..but it again brings me to the same point..A real friend,a genuine friend will not envy you your success..right? They would be happy for you..then,I wonder..if these people are really our friends?May be we were just a part of the corporate circle,who you had to interact in order to remain popular..you know like the necessary side-kicks!
May be this sounds trivial,but I had to write it to get it out of my head. What do you think?Waiting to hear your take on it.