Thursday, October 16, 2008

Who needs friends anyway?

I live in a place where making friends is difficult, to say the least. If you don’t belong to a church or are not a stay at home mother (it’s preferable if both apply to you) it’s not likely that you’ll be making any new friends any time soon.

I am what most people around here consider a heathen. And, in their opinion, I will be going straight to hell upon my death. So, no, I do not belong to a church.

I make more than two times what my husband does (which is not very much at all). So, no, I can’t afford to stay home with my kids – as much as I would like to.

With these very dark marks against me, I have very few friends. Add to that the fact that I am extremely shy when I meet new people (to the point that they think that I’m a stuck up snob) and I haven’t been able to make a new friend in a very long time.

So, I tend to cherish the very few friends I do have.

I have two close friends left from my previous, pre-married life. I love them both, but I don’t get to see either of them since I live two thousand miles away.

I really only have one close local friend, or at least I thought I did.

I feel like she is purposely trying to get me out of her life. She’s never been the one to make the initial contact and I just thought it was because she was so busy. Every time I would call her to make plans or just to talk she would respond with “oh, I was just about to call you”. I didn’t realize how annoying this was until one of the calls I made a few months ago.

She’s a stay at home mother. I was on maternity leave for the whole summer. Not once did she call me to see how I was doing. Even though this was extremely hurtful to me, a week before I was scheduled to go back to work I called her with the intention of asking her to go to lunch with me. I knew all of her kids would be in school and I wouldn’t have another opportunity to do such a thing once I did go back to work full-time. Before I even got a chance to ask her she gave me her normal response of “oh, I was just about to call you”. But then, her husband came home for some reason or another and she said that she had to go but that she would call me back later on that day. That call never came.

I called and left a few messages, but never heard anything back until I received an email from her inviting me to one of her friends’ baby showers. Emails were exchanged, and somehow plans were made for us to go see a movie. I left it up to her to let me know when would be good for her since she seemed far busier than me. She never got back to me.

The last time I heard from her was in another email inviting my family (along with a few others) to her husbands 35th birthday get together. We couldn’t attend, nor did I want to at this point.

In addition to her being a stay at home mother, she and her family are ultra religious. I wouldn’t say that they are zealots or anything, but I’m beginning to think that these differences are too much for her to get over. Because without them I couldn’t understand why she would be acting like this. I don’t think that I’ve done anything to make her want to get me out of her life, but then again I could be wrong. Although, I hope I would remember being so awful to a person that they don’t want to be around me.

I’m beginning to resent being the one to initiate contact, and then being blown off as if I’m annoying her. Also, I’m beginning to feel like I’m being a burden to her and she doesn’t see the friendship the same way that I do, even though she has referred to me as her 7th sister in the past.

I’m at a loss as to what to do. Hubby wants me to forget about her since she’s obviously not interested in being friends. I want to try and salvage what I can since she’s the only person I have outside of work and my husband. Am I just kidding myself? Should I take her signals for what they appear to be and move on?

We’ve lived here on and off for ten years. My husband has friends through school (he graduated over a year ago) and work. Obviously, it’s time for me to make new friends regardless of whatever happens with her.

I’d like to meet people who are in the same boat as me – mothers who work a regular 9-5. I’m not even all that concerned about their religious beliefs, though it would be nice if we could go out for a drink (of the alcoholic variety) every once in a while, but even that isn’t necessary. I’ve joined the PTA, though I’m only meeting mothers who stay home with their kids. As I’ve already mentioned, I’m a heathen so I’m not about to join a church just to make friends. Besides, I think Hubby might ask for a divorce if that were to happen.

So, what’s a girl to do?

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