Wednesday, November 4, 2009

You May Wish to Settle in for a While - It's a Loooong Story.

I am one of a group of girls who all grew up together. We were all in the smart kids reading group when we were little or in honors classes together in high school when we met. To explain what's going on, one needs back story.

*K* - Dropped out of college and messed around job wise for a while. Got married after dating for a few months and after suffering two miscarriages. She now has one healthy baby girl and one girl (supposedly) on the way. She lives with her husband in her parents' basement. I have never liked her husband, but am trying very hard to get over that. Neither of them have a full time job, but they both work.

*M* - Went to a well-known university for Business, met a great guy (who *B* and I have a couple crush on), and bought a house with him. They will definitely get married, but are not in a rush. Not in the job of her dreams, but is living well.

*K2 - ME* I am the youngest of the group, but as of the end of this month, we'll all be 24 years old. I dated a guy for seven years, and everyone (including I) thought we were going to get married. We even went ring shopping at one point. While dating him, I went to a tiny college and got a degree in Physics. I went to grad school at a good university with my boyfriend where he dumped me. I met *B* and was in a much happier relationship, but dropped out of grad school because I hated the work. This is my second year teaching high school, and obviously, we just bought a house. We can't afford to get engaged/married right now, and I have to suck it up and deal with it for the moment.

There is more back story with the other two girls in the group, but the three of us keep in contact the most.

When *K* met her husband, she changed. Not just a little bit, but A LOT. She used to be an intelligent, confident woman with whom I could hold a conversation. Not anymore. If you are not a member of the "Mommy/Wifey" club, she seems uninterested. She appears to have no other interests than her daughter or having more children. It annoys me to no end that she professes to be very religious (first Lutheran, now Catholic because her husband is), but doesn't/didn't lead a religious life. I can deal with it if you tell it like it is, but I have a hard time accepting hypocrisy.

The thing that bothers me most is that I have worked really hard to get what I want by doing things properly. I know that you can argue me on that fact because we bought a house before marriage. But here is what I mean:
  1. I am careful not to bring children into this world out of wedlock. I'm a firm believer in this. I feel awful that she had to endure miscarriages. I'm sure there are few greater losses in one's life. But they wouldn't have happened if she was preventing them. You can't claim not to use birth control due to religious beliefs when those same beliefs don't permit pre-marital sex.
  2. I've been with my boyfriend for a substantial amount of time. Such a time period lessens the chance of finding out they're a complete creep (which, IMHO, her husband is).
  3. I will have a stable place to live before having children. Short of an unexpected crisis, we will be set with a home.
  4. We will have a stable financial situation with which we can support ourselves and our children. Short of an unexpected crisis, we will be financially stable.
I have done things to ensure that I am not creating a burden on anyone around me. I am being responsible.

I've pretty much gotten over the fact that I was "supposed to" be the first one to get married in our group. I know there's no such thing in life as "supposed to," but all those involved, even tangentially, thought my ex and I would be the first. Whenever I'm around *K*, I feel like she's sticking it in my face that she is where I want to be as far as marriage and possibly children. She even told me once that I'm jealous because she has a family. I have kept my lips zipped - this was an unprovoked comment.

When I'm with *M* and her boyfriend, it is the polar opposite. We have a great time, everything goes well. We like each other's company. But they live at least 45 minutes from us. *M* is very grounding, and makes me feel good about where I am in life, even if I still long to be engaged. At least we've started out life well.

Tonight was *K*'s daughter's first birthday party. Both *M* and I were invited to the party, but *M* couldn't make it. Whenever I go to gatherings with *K*, I feel a tension-not reciprocated, but within myself. I stood around for two hours by myself tonight while everyone focused on the baby and *K*'s impending second one (due in March). I am not self-absorbed. Of course I understand it's the baby's day and her's by default. But *K* spent all her time talking to other mothers about what the baby was probably thinking or if she was messing her diaper rather than anything of substance. I tried talking to other random people there, but they were all her parents' age. Even when talking to *K* alone, she just stops listening or talking and stares at or plays with her daughter in the middle of a conversation. It's like talking to a brick wall.

It's not that I can't deal with not being first to hit a major milestone - *M* got a house first and I was/am really happy for her. Whenever *M* has something happen in her life, I'm generally really excited for her. But with *K*, it just digs in a little harder, like somehow her success is directly to my perceived failure in life.

Here are the big questions:
  1. Why does *K*'s personal/family situation bother me so much?
  2. Why do I get so tense around *K* in general?
  3. Why can't I deal with people who get so absorbed into babies and motherhood at the expense of everything else?
Aside from the fact that I now feel like I'm a big whining baby, any thoughts?


  1. Sounds complicated. I know that I don't get along as well anymore with some of my best friends from high school simply because we have less in common now. It's hard to hold a conversation with someone who doesn't talk about anything that you're interested in at the moment. And conversely, maybe she's intimaded/jealous. Who knows? Also, it makes me mad/sad to see old friends in a hard family situation. I want everything to go right for my friends!

  2. I think it is normal and natural for friends to drift apart when their lives are taking different turns.

    I think on some of your points you are being very harsh with your friend. You are not in their marriage and cannot know if he really is good enough for her or not, and you don't know her heart religiously. Her religious journey is her own and a true friend in supportive of that in all its various aspects.

    Maybe it is time to just be causual friends and be thankful for the memories.

  3. I just wrote you a nice long comment and then I hit a button and it disappeared. Argh.

    I don't have much time, so I'll sum it up:

    The "Mommy" vibe probably isn't intentional...when your world revolves around another little person, it's hard to relate to anyone else who does not have a little person of their own for a long time. I still have a hard time with it--I tried talking to a beloved single aunt this last summer and the conversation died a painful death after about two minutes. She lives in the career world and I live in my home, there was virtually no overlap; and, consequently, not much to talk about without sounding completely self-absorbed.

    You get to choose your friends. Don't keep people around you who make you feel yucky.

    Stay out of the religion waters. In my experience, words do nothing to "help" in any religious matter. Live your life as you think you should, and let her live hers. It's not your job to help her see any light, it's her job.

    None of this is said in a mean manner...I always come across that way in print. I wish you peace over the matter. :)

  4. As for the religion part, I didn't mean that I want her to do as I believe. I mean that if she professes to believe something as often and loudly as she does, she should stick to it. But you all are right, her religious life is none of my concern. We all are flawed, yes? That was the main point I got out of the comments.

    And from the beginning, I tried (and perhaps failed) to say that all of this is my problem and not hers. I know that what I feel is not right. None of it is my place to say anything. It's just something I haven't fully been able to control.

    People do drift apart, it's true. I think that I have a hard time letting go because it is really hard for me to make friends. I hold onto these friendships that are not the best for me because I know it takes a very, very long time for me to make new friends.