I could write about the fact that I am still sick, coughing up a veritable lung even today.
I could write about my reaction to and perception of the tragic and heroic events that unfolded throughout the week in Boston.
I could write about how I feel about raising two young sons in an increasingly scary world.
I could write about the follower of my blog who has so graciously offered to go to the home town of my birth mother to try to uncover a picture of her from a high school year book or photo captioned story in the local paper, to drive by her home, to visit the park and snap a picture of the park bench memorializing my maternal grandfather and how touched I am and how much it means to me that a virtual friend would extend such a kindness to help quiet the longing I feel to see someone I resemble, to know more about where I came from.
I could write about how when I change my Facebook profile picture my mom can see the picture on her wall and always has to comment, staking public claim to the false pretense that we’re having an on-going relationship. Most recently, “Looking good, daughter. Love, Mom.”
I could write about co-sleeping with Baby G.
But instead I want to write about the failure of yet another friendship, how it makes me feel, my hand in it and my fervent hope to cut ties and move on. I’m referring to my beleaguered relationship with K, the mom I became acquainted with when our children were in preschool together and who was, in large part, responsible for our selection of elementary school for our older son. I wrote about it most notably here. Things were never resolved and I categorized our relationship as friendly without being friends. However, it has been grating on me for months that I have continued to be a better friend to her than she has been to me (my mistake, I know, but it’s my nature), most recently agreeing to edit her new website, provide a testimonial, and introducing her to my realtor who would be a lucrative contact for her.
I did both things already feeling the inequity in our relationship. At some point, I decided to email her and ask her how she viewed our relationship in light of the fact that our children don’t play together and that we don’t hang out socially (and, by this, I meant that she doesn’t include me in social events that she arranges with other parents from the kindergarten class). I wasn’t accusatory and my tone, if it can be inferred in an email, was neutral.
She responded by saying she hadn’t really thought about it (clue #4,766 that things were awry), that she values my friendship a great deal and that she would like to hang out more often. Prior to this email exchange and knowing that it is hard for me to pick my son up from school with the baby, she offered to bring him home on Fridays when she picked up her own kids. But never once has that actually come to fruition. But, I digress. I had no response to her response so I let it go.
As of this week, I’ve been getting texts from her letting me know that my realtor had hired her for a job, to stage a house she was listing. She texted updates, how much she likes my friend, how much fun they are having, how she hopes she gets to do it again. Just tonight, she sent another message that because of the staging job the homeowner is hiring her to decorate her future home and again how great my friend is, what a blast they had. And, never, in any of these communications was there a thank you for the referral, the endorsement, the introduction. Even in light of my query as to how she views our relationship, it never occurred to her to thank me. And, that is because she is self-absorbed and entitled. And, I, my friends, am done. I am mad at myself for letting it go on as long as it has, for not confronting the inequities head on earlier to see how she’d respond, to hoping it would ever be any different than it was. I was foolish, something I don’t sweat easily. And it will be one more new adult relationship gone by the wayside.
Now, my being done is going to manifest itself in myriad ways. As it is, I rarely to never see her at school because I am there so infrequently and because she picks her kids up later than I do. But beyond that, my responses to her will be few and far between, if at all. But the biggest way that my being done is going to manifest itself is that we are going to change schools. Don’t think for a minute that we are changing schools because of her, because we’re not, not directly anyway.
In the two years that we’ve been there, I have never felt settled. Whether it is the near constant fundraising, the lengths I’ve had to go to to try to create relationships with some of the other parents in my son’s class so that he can have play dates at our house to almost no avail, the fact that it only goes through 6th grade, the condescension my very valid safety concerns were met with by the head of school and director of operations, or the fact that my son has to go to chapel twice a week and hates it, I’ve just been rubbed more the wrong way than right.
We made our decision to go to this school based largely on the recommendation of K. When my son was very young, I participated in Catholic Schools day and visited 3 parochial schools, two of which I attended as a child. They were all way too Catholic for us so when it really came time to decide on elementary school, given our move and the close proximity of this school to us as well as the tour and interview we had, we were basically sold without looking at any other options. And, I mistakenly thought that we’d have an already formed social support network given that we’d know 3 families in the pre-k and then kindergarten class. And, then there was K’s glowing endorsement.
But our knowing these families did nothing to ease the transition or make us feel welcome in any practical way. And, never once did K, who I felt ‘closest’ to do anything to facilitate other relationships or even include my son in play dates herself. So, that entre completely fizzled.
Since my c-section with Baby G coincided with when applications for private schools were due, I never considered changing schools. However, in the subsequent months, I’ve grown more uneasy with the school and have felt that there might be a better fit for us elsewhere. And, because our son would have to transfer schools in 7th grade anyway, we decided to limit our choices to those that went through 8th grade as we saw no sense in moving him twice.
We were disappointed in the first school we toured even though on paper I thought it would be a good fit at half the tuition that we’re currently paying. But, as with so many things in life, you get what you pay for. However, today, we toured a school that I am relieved and confident to say will be my son’s future educational home. They have 3 spots left in 1st grade, we are going to submit an application, he’ll do a couple hour visit in one of the kindergarten classrooms, and, hopefully, we’ll be accepted.
I am mad at myself for not doing this level of due diligence before and, perhaps, even if I had, I may have made the same choice for kindergarten (although, frankly, I highly doubt it as this other school is private, independent with no religious affiliation, is less expensive than his current school and does less than half as much fundraising so I am almost certain, had I known, we would have selected it).
Should we get in, I can make a much desired clean break and fresh start and both my husband and I feel it is much better suited for our son. There will be great satisfaction in leaving. However, I need to get to the bottom of why I’m having so much difficulty establishing real reciprocal relationships with new friends, specifically other mothers with children in my son’s class. If nothing else, I am the common denominator, so the crux of it must lie with me. And that is a post for another day.