Tag Archives: teenage

An Ode to the Women Who Tolerate Us

23 Apr

Daisy and I were chatting today about friendship.

Well, not ours. We’re not friends; we’re heterosexual life partners.

We were talking about adult relationships with our childhood friends.

You see, Daisy and I each have one  friend who’s survived the murky waters of childhood, adolescence, those nasty teenage years, the rebellious post-high school mess, and adulthood. (Or, as Daisy puts it, “…friends since before I had hair on my twat.”) We call these two women, respectively, our best friends. And they are. But they almost weren’t.

Daisy’s Pre-Pube-Hair buddy surfaced in early elementary school. They went to middle school together, although she attended a different high school from Daisy and me. Even though this woman went to college several hundred miles away from Daisy, they maintained their friendship. Daisy confesses that their friendship endured some tumultuous times when their life paths drifted apart: Daisy jumped on the Weeds-esque suburban housewife train, while this woman pursued her education and then her career. Single and childless, she has made dramatically different life choices from Daisy.

My childhood BFF and I met in fifth grade. We played dolls together, took dance lessons together, and attended middle and high school together, only to part for undergrad. This woman has always been my “Jimminy Cricket,” so to speak. Unlike most people, I literally have an angel and a devil living on my shoulders, whispering suggestions into my ear. If Daisy is the devil, this woman is, and always was, the angel. I would skip school with Daisy during the day, then go to this girl’s house at night to cram for an AP exam. She and I are on similar life paths: we’re both wives and mothers, we have the same levels of education, and we’re in the same profession. In spite of all our commonalities, our friendship entered a decline.

Why does this happen, Daisy and I mused. How can we share so much history with these women, and harbor so much pure love for them, but not have the same quality of friendship we once shared? In Daisy’s case, she speculates that their diverging life plans kept them too preoccupied with different priorities to make time for one another. Between me and my Six Foot Conscience, we simply became too wrapped up in the day-to-day banalities of teaching, motherhood, and social obligations to remember to pick up the phone. These are simply excuses, and it doesn’t justify allowing our friendships to lapse like a magazine subscription you swear you’re going to renew.

Recent events have thrust these women back into our lives. Daisy and her friend have reconnected over – you guessed it – babies. This woman recently became an Auntie, and Daisy guided her through “What To Expect When Someone You Love Is Expecting.” The eternal expert on everything baby-related, this woman wisely turned to Daisy for information and guidance as she welcomed a new diaper-clad person in her life. My best friend and I had a bit of a spat, at the end of which we decided the only resolution was to make a commitment to one another to talk regularly (daily, if we could hack it with our conflicting schedules.) We realized that our friendship was in deep shit if we didn’t reach out to one another, and have upheld this bargain so far.

Daisy and I are learning how much work adult friendships are. Sure, fun-loving, personable girls such as Daisy and I have no problem making “friends” at work, play groups, or among other parents of children the same age as ours. But in a phase of life when one barely has time to take out the trash and scoop the litter box, do we really have the where-with-all to dedicate to new acquaintances? We agreed that it is crucial for us to nurture these respective friendships, if not for preserving their longevity, then because these women have loved us at our worst.

Tell us about how you’ve had to work to maintain important friendships in your life. We want to know we’re not curmudgeons. =]


Conversations with Myself or Schizophrenics with a Bitchy Voice

12 Mar

With my birthday looming around the corner, I’m starting to feel the full weight of my adult self. This will be my first birthday as a Mommy; the first birthday I celebrate around a baby’s bedtime routine. Even last year, toward the end of my third trimester, my birthday plans focused on my favorite meals at my favorite restaurant. Granted, I required three Oompa-Loompas to roll me to my table, but it was still MY birthday dinner at MY favorite adult restaurant.

Ten years ago, I was a carefree teenager. Daisy and I were causing enough trouble to render us “rebellious.” I was filling out college applications, and my biggest stressor was my SAT scores. I thought I was really cool. Now, I know I’m about as lame as they come. As a matter-of-fact, I’ve recently visited with 17-year-old Violet, and she’s pissed. She doesn’t like me at all. She thinks I’m a sell-out suburban Mommy, and has threatened, on more than one occasion, to kick my plump, dorky ass. When I asked her to explain to me why she has so much beef with present-day Violet, the little bitch actually produced a list.

  • I’m not nearly as impassioned by politics as she was. I’m more moderate, where as she was a bit of an extremist. She read several newspapers online daily and watched the news religiously. I, on the other hand, learned that Davey Jones died through my Facebook feed.
  • She has always hated minivans. The ultimate sell-out machine, she believed minivans were for boring soccer moms with 8 kids. She scorns me for wanting one really, really badly. I fear that when the day comes that I trade in my fuel-efficient coupe for my Mommy-mobile, she might hunt me down and slap me.
  • The other day, I caught her eavesdropping on my phone call to Daisy. She later chastised me for the content of our conversation. See, she regularly talks to 17-year-old Daisy about INTERESTING things, like boys, school, music, boys, shopping, entertainment, boys, and our favorite bad behaviors. When she heard us discussing couponing for two hours (and don’t get her started on my use of the word “coupon” as a verb!), our favorite recipes, and baby poop, she put her head in her hands and wept.
  • 17-year-old Violet was a girl who embraced literature. She loved Austen, Shakespeare, Orwell, and Eliot. I had to plead with her not to tear up my English degree when she noticed me reading a trashy Chick Lit book.
  • Young Violet actually skipped school on a regular basis to go to the gym. (And not just because the sexy actor “The Rock” worked out at the same gym between noon and two p.m., either.) While never “skinny,” she was svelte, sexy, and in great shape. She saw the tags in my jeans, noted the double-digit size, and cried. I tried to explain to her that my body changed with pregnancy; that exercise requires time I just don’t have. She wouldn’t hear of it.

It’s hard living with the ghost of your teenage self. The bitch leaves dishes everywhere, makeup on the counters, and stays up until dawn listening to music and talking on the phone. I can’t even get her to chip in for utilities! I’m going to have to kick her out soon, and I’m not looking forward to it. If she can’t deal with the fact that my life revolves around my kid; that I get a little high off of great savings through coupons; that my dream car has a third row, and that my favorite radio station is now NPR….
Well, she’ll just have to fuck off.

© Daisy and Violet 2012. All Rights Reserved.

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