Saturday, 12 February 2011

Friend or Foe?

When I was a little girl I had a 'best friend'. Our Mums knew each other and we played together a bit in her garden when my Mum was invited round for coffee. They then moved away and lost touch but a few years later they returned to the house whose garden runs down almost to the bottom of ours. The girl and I resumed our friendship, now teetering on the cusp of being teenagers.

We experimented with our new found fashion sense and kissing skills (yes she really was my very first snog!) There was the natural young girl jealousies, she was petite, dark haired and tanned easily, her eyes were large, dark and framed by lashes that sneered at mascara, she had boobs before me and whenever I managed to cajole or pester my Mum into eventually buying a much wanted 'fashion item' (namely some hideous platform shoes, some hot pants and a pink butterfly dress) she would admire, note and appear in just the same outfit the next week.....

Every boy I liked during my early teenage years she threw herself at and 'got', being so much louder, forward and seemingly confident than me. Even the boy I went out with on and off for 5 years (age 15-20) wasn't off bounds to her, and during a couple of 'off' periods hung around with her. You get the picture? But we remained friends....... until at the age of 20 and then she finally blew it for me.

I had parted from my long term boyfriend and she took me under her wing and dragged me off to the city centre night clubs, to spread my wings and stop me moping. Of course what it then turned out was she wanted to snare the DJ there and hadn't got anyone to go with and I was left on my own for most of the night while she pouted, flirted and displayed herself in front of his 'booth'. Fortunately for me there was a girl there who had just started work at the same store as me and she let me join her and her friends (she so happens to be one of the ladies I now go on my annual Girlie Holiday with 30 years later!)

During one of these nights out, when I would accompany her into town and to the club and she would then latch onto DJ-Man and I would join my 'new friends' I bumped into a lad I had gone to school with. He had been my first crush, I had adored him for my 4 years of Junior School. He had grown, my how he had grown! Now 6'2" of gorgeous, golden haired, blue eyed lusciousness! We chatted and laughed and flirted and he asked me to go for a drink with him. I went out on a couple of dates with him and was quite smitten....... you can sort of guess what happened can't you? You can see it coming......

One particular night my 'friend' was going to a party, she asked for my help so I did her makeup, her hair and she borrowed my new bright yellow out fit (it was in then! it was the 80's!) I even dropped her off at the damn place she was going and then headed off into town to meet 'new friends' at the club and with the promise that First Crush would meet me there later in the night. He never appeared and 2am arrived and the clubs closed, I headed for my car (yes you are reading correctly, Clubs really did once close at 2 am and yes no one frowned and thought you were bad for drink-driving.....madness!) I dropped off all my friends and heading home happened to pass First Crushes car parked up next to 'friends' house. Yep, there she was a tangled mess of hair, makeup and my yellow outfit, wrapped round my new love interest in the front seat of his car.........

That truly was it! There was a calm but small scene and I told her she better be at my house in the morning to return my clothes! We never socialised again.

It was 9 years later that I saw her, I was married and pregnant with my first baby and knowing she had recently come back to the area and was working for her step-dad I called into the office one afternoon. She was thrilled to see me and we chatted a while. We talked about old times and teenage years (skirting over the unpleasant bits of course) and she told me she had always wanted to be like me! Me!?! Me????? Why????

Because apparently everyone loved me, I was sensible, people took me seriously, she loved my smooth golden brown hair, my blue eyes, my gentle golden tan. She liked my height, my long legs, my straight teeth! Jeez isn't being a teen mad! We had been total opposites and yet we had compared and envied each other all those years! She invited herself round that night to see my house and meet my husband (I can't say I wasn't a little bit uneasy at this LOL). We spent the evening catching up, drinking wine and talking about the impending birth of my new baby!

I never saw her after that........we never kept in touch....

A few months ago, 21 years later, she has found me on Facebook through a friend of a friend. She now lives down south and is married and has 2 boys much younger than my girls. We have chatted briefly on FB chat and we have commented on a few of each others photos. She then announced that she and her hubby were coming up to my home city in February and maybe we could meet up and go for Sunday lunch somewhere. I hesitantly agreed.

I then got a further message a few weeks later telling me that they were coming up to watch the Rugby (some corporate event of her husbands) and that could they join us for a meal or take-away in the evening....oh and could they sleep on my floor?????? I replied that I could do better than that, they could have my daughters room for the night as she would be at her boyfriends. Why did I do that?? Why didn't I just say no?? What got into me??

I have now received a message to say that they will be at our house around lunch time Saturday, that hubby 'may' go an visit an old friend of his and she could 'spend some time' with me and have a 'massive catch up' before they head off to the rugby match and then come back to us for food and bed....

Am I wrong to feel royally pissed off at all this? I know that I have gone along with it, that I could have said No, that I could have made excuses or said we were away.... I am not sure why I haven't. Perhaps some bizarre need to not let the past influence me, to still appear to be lovely, warm, friendly, forgiving me, it was after all 30 years ago, we are different people......aren't we?

Then there is the part of me that thinks I have managed perfectly without being in contact with her for all that time, why the hell should I feel any need to resume that contact now?

I also know that part of my reluctance and worry is that my hubby and now won't be able to put on a believable 'front', all our friends know how things are between us, we don't have to pretend or hide the distance between us, we are usually seen in public at do's or parties, plenty of people to mingle and mix with, we don't have to put on the facade of the 'Happy Couple'. This time it will be just the 2 of us with the 2 of them, so much harder to hide the cracks, I'm truly not sure how apparent our cracks are to an outsider.
I also feel I am once again 'being used'......or is that a terribly cynical assumption? Had it been the other way round I wouldn't have dreamed of inviting myself to stop over with what are effectively strangers, I would have booked a cheap hotel for my weekend and asked if they would be free for a drink and a meal..... So maybe we are still SO so different......

*sighs and wonders whether to feign some personal drama that means I have to leave the country that weekend*

1 comment:

  1. Send her a facebook message saying either

    a on reflection you feel it's more appropriate they stay in a hotel


    b you have no spare room little white lie about daughter plus daughters friends needing the floor

    She is being slightly cheeky asking to be put up and you should never have to feel uneasy about how you appear in your own home xxx