I've got a friend. A friendship that seems to be more one-sided than reciprocate both ways. I've known this person, let's call her Elva, for almost two years now and a friendship has grown in those two years. However, I've learned that this is a friendship like no other I have. She's not a person I'd call in crisis, and to be honest, hanging out with her is beginning to feel like a chore.
Everything is always about her. Everything. She may ask how I'd doing, but she doesn't really listen for an answer. I rarely talk about myself with her as most often my views or comments are dismissed. Elva has major issues with her mother and I've hung on the phone as she wailed and vented about that wretched woman. And yes, the mother is wretched to be fair. I've offered support as she weathered a family crisis. She calls me one of her best friends. And that always gives me a pause when she says it. She complains endlessly and I'm tired of it.
When I was going through my own personal crisis last summer, she knew the basics of what was occurring. I got hugs and sympathy, but no other show of support. I felt I was kind of handled as "hands off" during that time. The phone calls slowed from her. Maybe she was giving me space, I don't know. She has no clue about most of the things I have going on in my life. She doesn't ask. At all. Ever. But we are the "best of friends."
We do some things together as a group with another person or two. We are learning a new craft and as we make mistakes or have ideas, mine are not really listened to. Or I get shafted on quite a bit. She says it's because my personality is more amenable and she knows I won't get pissy if she shuts my idea down. So, the other person or two always seem to have their way. She has said it's easier for me to change than them for what we are doing. Now, how fucking fair is that? I have to adapt to fit the others who don't "get it." It sucks.
She was over to my home recently for the first time. As she sat on my couch and looked around my living room (with this odd look on her face), she remarked with this incredulous tone of voice, "Wow, you certainly have an eclectic decorating style in your home." Our living room consists of a deer head, three Packer prints and my lighthouse print. And tons of toys. We don't really have a theme. But it works for us at the moment. It's hodge podge, but we have kids and don't have a den for him to put the deer head and Packer art. It's lived in, not a showpiece. I let the comment roll, but was put out a bit by it. And then the kid talk started.....
See, she doesn't have kids. And let's be honest, there's a difference in lifestyle for most people if they have kids vs no kids. She thinks kids are cute as long as she doesn't have to touch them, or take care of them. I have childless friends and think nothing of it, and they don't really make an issue out of me having kids. Elva is a different story though. When we are on the phone and she hears my kids in the background, she nearly almost remarks "I don't know how you do it." Or, "Geez, you're kids are sure loud." Or so many countless others. It's starting to annoy the crap out of me, but I haven't said anything. Yet.
Her husband wants kids, in a major way. She's put him off for the last two years, saying she needs more time. She's held a couple babies in the last few months that have made her heart melt a little (her words). But she says her mind is stronger and her mind says no babies. I get that. And I'd be okay with it. If she didn't comment about how awful kids are, how much work, etc. Um, you don't have any, so shut the fuck up. Until you are up in the middle of the night, changing countless diapers, etc...keep your trap shut. You don't know what you are talking about.
It would be different if she'd talk about it to another childless friend. But no, I get to hear it since we are the "best" of friends. She called me the other month around 9pm on a Saturday evening to talk her out of children. Um, I have kids, why are you calling me? I've told her she needs to talk with her hubby about this more and really decide what she wants to do. And then this last week, she calls to tell me that she held a baby that day and it's making her heart melt again. Then she admits she's too selfish to have children. She wants her time to do whatever she wants, she doesn't want her body to go to shit (her words), she likes to sleep without interruption, and on and on and on. I don't know what to say in response. Honestly, I feel insulted.
I'd like to tell her that she needs to take her anti-kid attitude elsewhere since it's mildly offensive to me. But then I worry about hurting her feelings. I really hate that. So, I'm sure I'll continue to suffer through for a while until something is said that really irks me and I blow. I don't know how to tell her that we are not the "best" of friends.
There, I'm done whining and bitching.