It’s so true. You cannot choose your family. These people you are bound to by blood, who will forever be tied to you whether you like them or not. Luckily, my family happens to be the most wonderful, crazy, quirky and most awesome bunch of nut cases on the planet. If I hadn’t been related to them, I would have signed up for their fanclubs – every single, last one of them. I admire them and love them so much – my beautiful mother, my gregarious and crazy dad, my wonderful brothers and my incredible little sister. These crazy fools I can call my own are bar none the best people on the planet. Oh, and I love my step parents too, even though I perhaps appreciated them somewhat less when I was a rowdy teenager…
Then there are people who you CAN choose: your friends.
Lately, the sad realisation that someone who was once probably my best friend, is now someone I am making the conscious choice to distance myself from. Not because there’s anything wrong with her, not because she’s done anything wrong or said something to offend me, but simply because I do genuinely feel we have grown apart. I still love her to bits, think she’s a wonderful person and there is a vast array of things about her that I admire, but I think we’ve just kind of fallen out of love. The spark and connection are both long gone.
With true friends, years can pass without speaking or catching up, yet when you do, you kind of just take up where you left off no matter how long it’s been. It used to be like that, but not so much any more. These days, I feel the conversation is stilted and forced and where we used to connect on what seemed like the very deepest levels, we now seem worlds apart. It’s not like I want to cut her off or anything – no way – but I am making the conscious choice to step back, not that I think she’ll even notice (which says it all really). If she approaches me, of course I’ll respond and welcome her, but as far as me reaching out to her goes, i guess I’m done. That probably sounds more severe than it is.
Maybe it’s just life, that you grow apart and through doing so end up in a place where it’s harder to understand one another. For example, over the past, say, ten years, whenever we’ve had a conversation, I’ve found myself unable to relate. Her world and her priorities are so different from mine and whereas we used to have all these things that made us howl with laughter, we now don’t seem to laugh at the same things anymore.
But why make a conscious effort to pull back? Why not just keep going like I have been? Well, nothing much will change. We’re hardly ever in touch anyway – I suppose the main shift is how I see the world, that I realised when I mulled over who my best friends are, that I can’t place her amongst them. Not for any bad reasons and again, she’s done no wrong, I think we just lost it, that’s all.
Oh, and I think I’ve destroyed Wifey’s reading pleasure…. She has dutifully (being a good wife an’ all) been reading Alice and commenting and offering feedback, and once the editor came back with their feedback I sent that to her too. Yesterday, she told me that she was reading a book but after reading my editor’s comments she doesn’t read in the way she used to, but much more critically and picking up on things she otherwise wouldn’t. Whoops. Perhaps I should send her some Salman Rushdie and Toni Morrison books, sounds like she might need to devour the works of a few Nobel Prize winners, given how commercial fiction might not work for her anymore. I’ll need to get her something nice for Christmas anyway, so perhaps dust those off and scribble an apology for killing her joy of reading…..
Monkey’s back today (YIPPIEEEEEEEEEEEEE), and of course these days he has a social life that would put Paris Hilton to shame, already there’s a play date planned with his friend J this evening, so I’ll be collecting the chimp from there closer to bedtime.
B and I have a good social life too, although most of it happens at home. Last night however, he took me out on a date. Proper date night! Both of us dressed up to the nines – me in my new dress (bad choice for the festive period – it’s pretty snug so I can’t pile on any extra baggage) and my favourite killer heels, B in one of the two new shirts I bought for him yesterday. Gosh, he’s so gorgeous it should be illegal. I just know what all other women are thinking when we walk into every place we go, how they secretly hate me for bagging such an amazing guy. That’s right – he is MINE. Hashtag smug!