Tuesday, May 29

And this is why I don't have friends

Well, not friends IRL, here in my immediate area. I do of course have old college friends like The Librarian, and blog-o-sphere e-friends.

Anyhoo, there is a mother of one of the girls that goes to pre-school with Piko. I guess you could say that we are friends. Our girls like to hang out together, and have fun. The Mom and I enjoy each others company and for the past 3 or 4 months have made plans after school and on the occasional weekend. She would call me when she was bored at work, and I would attempt to give her gym advice, and listen to her marital problems.

This mom is almost 10 years younger than I am, not that it matters, but I guess it's worth mentioning. So, her husband and Sarge work in the same field, but not in the same office, or on the same shift. Sarge also outranks him, so I'm sure that it makes him a little uncomfortable to socialize with us. Well, Sarge would rather not socialize with anyone, so it really is a non-issue.

I guess being young, the Mom is a little unhappy with where her life is going, or not going I guess. She is not quite 25, has 2 young children, stays home most of the day, and works at a retail job in the evenings several times a week. (I'm not knocking retail at all, I made my bones at a large multi-national book selling chain.) She mentioned to me that sometimes she lies in bed at night and thinks "So is this it? This is the rest of my life?" I'm guessing that she does not have any hobbies that she alone does that do not involve her husband or children. Which I believe is the key to my sanity and general happiness.

So what does this have to do with friends?

Well, recently there was an incident at Sarge's work. It's kind of a sensitive subject, and not something that should be getting around the base. Sarge told me about it, and he knows that I know better than to discuss his job and the doings on there with anyone else. I'm just the one person that he can talk with about things that are bothering him or stressing him out at work. It's basically my job, and it's one that I'm happy to do. And I'm careful to protect his confidence, or he may decide he has to keep all of his stress inside, and that's not healthy for anyone.

Well, the Mom mentions the incident to me one afternoon, and says that she heard about it from a friend of a friend who works at Sarge's office, and they were trying to find out if it was true, and who exactly was involved. Well naturally she had already asked her husband about it, and he got pretty upset that they were discussing the incident outside the office, and actively attempting to verify it. To me, other than being a sounding board for my husband, it really was none of my business. I claimed ignorance about the whole thing.

Ok, so now I have to go home and tell Sarge the scuttlebutt that is going around the base. He's not mad, but a little concerned that people should be discussing sensitive issues with us civilians in such an inappropriate manner, and he wants the Mom's husband to call him. Just to verify the people involved in this little chain of gossip. Lucky me, I get to tell the Mom that Sarge wants to talk to her husband about it.

This was about a week ago. We usually go to gymnastics or ice skating once a week together, and the kids usually have an afternoon play date, and this week. Nothing. I called her a couple of times to see if they wanted to come to the pool with us, or just to see what she was doing. Nope, too busy, too lazy, just gave the kids a bath. Excuses, excuses. I feel like I'm back in school, and I just don't have time for that kind of juvenile BS. The only one who is really going to lose out in this is Piko, because she wont get to see her friend anymore.

I suspect that her husband was quite ticked off at her for even asking him about it the first time, and then got even more upset at her for talking about it to me. And then to top it all off, my husband is one of the people directly involved in the incident (not that she knew that). And now she's mad at me. I guess I can kind of understand why, but really? I apologized to her just in case she was mad that I mentioned it to Sarge, and I made sure to mention to her husband that Sarge did not think that he was involved in the gossip.

Sarge feels bad, because as he puts it:
"I would hate for you to lose your *ONE* friend" And he really did emphasize the "one". Yeah thanks for your concern Sarge, but I just don't need that kind of shit.

So was I wrong to tell Sarge about it? Am I in the wrong at all?

Le Sigh, only one more week of pre-school, and then I guess it won't even be an issue anymore since they won't be going to the same kindergarten.


she said: said...

1. If you and I lived in the same area - we would be crazy friends. I can totally hear myself saying the exact same things you do. We're about the same age.. it's freaky.

Anyway - onto your delimma.

To have a good marriage your husband trumps everyone else.
Everyone I talk to knows right up front that everything they tell me, I will probably tell my husband. Not that I always do - but I might. It helps that nothing phases him. He never knows what kind of crazy thing I might bring up.

When you start setting up conditions for your friends, you start not knowing who you can tell what. My husbands family is like that and it makes me crazy.

Example "your sister is having shoulder surgery - I don't know if I should tell you that". WTF. What a stupid thing to have a secret about.

Next - when you turn 25, people always have a little crisis. But - if she wanted to have an exciting life she could have kept her va-jj shut or used some pills.

She probably sits home all day watching soaps and oprah thinking life is suppose to be this exciting glamorous thing. When in reality most people are neurotic freaks. Some people I know who have traveled the globe are more neurotic than I am. Just in a different way.

I think you did the right thing..and not just because I like you. She probably would have dropped off as a friend over time anyway, and its better to loose her than your husbands trust.

Plus - it sounds like she was an energy vampire. I don't know her and all.. but if you were listening to her marital problems.. I'd bet vampire. Just me.

MdG said...

Ok, I have to come clean. Actually I did talk to someone about the "incident" but it was the Librarian who is in our inner circle anyway.

I hear you though Mrs. S. I'm not letting it get to me, because there are other kids in her group who's moms are nice and fun too. And Piko likes their kids as well.

I just don't understand couples who don't have a give and take relationship. The folks that feel they have to share their maritial problems with me all have pretty onesided relationships with their spouses. Or at least that's the way they make it sound. Or they complain that everything is about the kids.

Look, I have *the* best relationship with my husband, and I know I'm very lucky. He understands that staying home with our child is not just sitting around watching Oprah. It can get very stressful, and add to the fact that there is very little adult contact during the day. And then he goes off to work at night. Sometimes the only other adult I see all day is the mail carrier. Not that I in particular crave the company of others. I actually crave time ALONE. So, at least once every other week or so, he takes Piko out alone for the day, or I go out alone for the day. Mommy's Mental Health Day. I in turn understand that his job is extreemly stressful, complicated, and discouraging at times. It does no good to argue with him about stupid things that do not matter in the long run. I don't pick fights, or nag him about his hours, or the fact that he often has to go into the office on his days off. He squeezes as much QT with us in as he can. And since we don't fight or argue, we almost always have a great time.

It bothers me when "friends" compain about their lives, because the only person that can fix that is YOU. You don't like the way your life is going? YOU change it. I'm not talking about a huge change, because we all know how hard that is. Find something small that makes you happy, and go for it. YOU being happy can only affect the rest of your family in a positive way.

Just don't punish me or my child because you have a poor relationship with your spouse. Or you get caught participating in gossip that you know darn well should not be getting around.