Schadenfreude friends

Having a bit a stress evening. HP and I are talking tomorrow. I’m trying to brace myself for the worst, but I don’t know what the worst is. Taking E’s advice and trying to do stuff to keep my mind off of things.

Sarah talked Pete’s Aunty into babysitting and met me in Glasgow for the afternoon. The weather was horrible so we decided to make it an inside day. Coffee, cinema (‘The Imitation Game’, I highly recommend it), and drinks before getting onto the train back to Dundee. Neither one of us talked about our situations, just laughed and giggled at silly looking people. She said, at one point, it was nice to not talk about being a mum. I said it was nice not talking about being an agent. Then we snickered how we were now so old that having a glass of wine at 3pm felt indecent.

When I got home tonight, I messaged E. I’m sure she had lots on, being in the middle of the day CST, but she kept sending prompt replies. I wish I could be that good of a friend. About an hour ago, she finally said she had to take off, so as I sit alone in the flat, I’ll post the last emails between E and myself from last week.

It seems appropriate because I emailed E about my day with Sarah last Sunday, and I spent today with Sarah as well. I have a friend in the US who takes care of me, and I friend I despised for so long care for me. Oh, and Intern2 and Hubby have been amazing. It’s strange and wonderful who comes out of the woodwork to help in times of need.

Email reply from E, 9 November, Sunday:

C,

Sorry I didn’t answer sooner, but I was at a milonga, dancing.

I’ve been where you are now and I get how you feel. Try to keep yourself occupied with fun, healthy activities as much as possible so you’re not sitting there letting your imagination go wild and drive you crazy. Call a friend and see if you can see a movie? Take a good book and go read somewhere publicly, like a coffee shop or library. Do some research on your situation at work, try to funnel your energy into figuring that out. But that may just drive you crazy, too, so do your best to do things you enjoy that will distract you. Maybe take up tango. Reach to friends. And go ahead and Skype me. We’ll gossip and laugh and not talk about anything you don’t want to think about right now.

I’m sorry, that really sucks.

Love, E

My reply to E, late 9 November, Sunday

Hey E,

Thanks for getting back in touch. Spent the day with Sarah, and at first it was awkward. She couldn’t get anyone to watch the kids, so we took them to the Museum and pushed the pram about while we talked. The kids slept a lot (boredom I expect) we we mostly sat on benches and gabbed. Each time I see Sarah, it feels right, like old times. Then I get a bit tense because I’m waiting for it to go wrong. Today was no different, until…

Yep, there’s always an until.

She had been pradling on about pregnancy, this one was easier in some ways, except she’s more bloated, blah, blah, blah. Then she looks at her kids and says, ‘I wasn’t supposed to end up this way. Everything I’ve done in my life was meant to avoid this. I didn’t want to be like my mum. I went to Uni to meet the right guy. I did everything I could to steer clear of giesers in track suits. Mike was gentle, but never took charge. Tonga was full of spirit, but didn’t have a plan. Pete…you don’t expect a University educated Canadian hippie to leave you with three kids. How the fuck did I end up with three kids in three years? No job. No husband. Tiny one bed council flat.’

E, I was floored. She said what I’d been thinking. How did she end up in her situation?

I’d forgotten about my problems until she said, ‘You’re lucky to have HP. I know you’re having problems but he’s a good guy.’

How was I supposed to react to that? I would have looked like a total dick if I started banging on about my problems. She’s got it much worse than me. Then again, if I was to be friends with Sarah again, I should share…shouldn’t I?

So, I filled her in on the whole HP drama. All off it. Well, what I know. I still don’t know what HP is up to.

And you know what she said? She said she was glad I was miserable. That everyone in our group seems to have their shit together–jobs, relationships, property ownership–everyone except her. My shit love life made her feel better. So I told her about my crappy job, and she was ecstatic.

To be honest, in a weird way, I’m kind of glad Sarah’s in the shit. Because then I feel like less of a fuck up. (Granted, she’s got it much worse than me, and I worry for her and her kids, but I am the slightest bit happy I’m not the only fuck up of the group.)

Anyway, I think Sarah and I are friends again. I’m now realising that we’ve always had this kind of rivalry between us, and I think we’re passed that. It’s just so hard being in your twenties these days. So much pressure. So much expectation.

E, how did you get through it? How did you get through your twenties? Sometimes I think I’d rather be a teenager than a twenty year old. Different pressures but at least when I was a teenager I didn’t have the pressure of a mortgage…or two.

Anyway, thanks for being my sounding board. Back to work tomorrow, so that should help me take my mind off things.

Best,
C

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