I’ve been thinking about two childhood friends quite a lot lately. I lost touch with these girls a long time ago. We all went our separate ways, mostly, I believe, because we were so much alike. Our complicated selves got in the way of our simple selves and we hurt each other and split apart.
Every year, around their birthdays, I pick up the phone and think about calling. But what would I say? So much life has happened in the meantime, how would we ever catch up, and would we ever want to? The things that we didn’t share together - weddings, childbirth, miscarriages, a history, really- are far too many. So I put the phone back down, wondering if, perhaps, they reminisce about those years as well.
This past Christmas I found myself in a stationary store looking for pretty cards and jewel-toned ribbons to attach to gifts, when I came across two Christmas cards that I couldn’t part with. I thought, what if this is a way to get back in touch? Just a little thing to let them know that I am thinking of them. I bought the cards, agonized about what to write -not too much, not too little- and dropped them in the mail. For the first two or three weeks I checked the mail daily, expecting something in return.
Nothing came. And I said to myself, well, so be it. I’ve extended the olive branch. I can put these friendships behind me. We’ve outgrown each other, apparently. But then a few days ago, a letter. Four pages of it, written front and back in small, barely distinguished handwriting. I read it and re-read it, shed some tears, laughed out loud, and realized that no matter what, there are friends out there who can pick up the friendship right where it left off. And what a blessing that is.
I have been silent all week long, not of my own choosing, but because life and work got in the way of blogging. Crazy days, sleepless nights… You all understand how it can happen and so often does. Nonetheless, the week has been a wonderfully blessed one, even though I had to remind myself of those blessings when my little one clogged the toilet a few too many times.
Last week (I’m always late, aren’t I? So sorry!) I received a spectacular award from a beautiful and glamorous blogger, and I’d like to share it with you all. Here it is:
Isn’t it the coolest? So is the giver! Her blog is filled with art, fashion, biographies, and glamour. Pop on by and say hello to beautiful Dash.
I guess I must tell you a bit about myself though. When I was young I used to be quite mean. I like to blame it on the wacky church we attended, but I know I can’t blame everything on it. But I did things, one of which was making my friends kiss my feet if they wanted something I had, and then after all that still not giving it to them. I have since apologized and been forgiven, yet it hasn’t been forgotten, as someone just reminded me of this recently.
Somehow I grew up feeling entitled. My parents, my Tante Marie and Grandmother certainly fed this to me. When we came to the U.S. I was the adult, I felt, translating for every appointment, consulting with the doctors and teachers on the behalf of everyone else. And I was praised quite a lot. By everyone. It was easy to see myself as privileged in every situation from home to school.
Perhaps that is why I am currently so against the “princess syndrome.” Fairy tales are fun to read, but in real life the beast remains a beast, while you may find that Prince Charming had been wearing a mask all along. As a mother to a little girl I see how diva behavior and an attitude of entitlement may damage her as she becomes an adult. It will make her believe that no one and nothing is good enough for her. I do not want to raise the worst sort of a snob: a girl enslaved to an unrealistic image of herself and of womanhood; not in the least aware that she may be slightly delusional. She’ll be unsatisfied as a young woman, as a wife, and as a mother. Always expecting something more, and baffled and depressed when what she expects does not materialize.
Anyway, there you have it. Now, all of you my beautiful readers grab the award, and have a gorgeous weekend!
Weather-wise today was odd. Wind, rain, cold, interspersed with a bright sunny sky and a gentle breeze. Inside it was cozy and warm, all the lamps lit, everyone going about their business in the nicest way possible. I had a ton of paperwork, but two books arrived in the mail and deciding which to read first was of major importance.
The weekend wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated. Saturday morning was spent at our favorite bakery, chatting with neighborhood friends, drinking mugs of coffee and eating a few croissants each, after which we went to the book store where my sweet husband took the kids to the kid section and babysat them while I went in search for books. Somehow, I got lost in the maze of book shelves and emerged an hour later with my arms full. Then it was pizza for lunch and home,
where we all piled up in our king sized bed, each with our newly bought book treasures. But somehow we fell asleep. Each single one of us. Maybe the starches we consumed all day long were to blame, because we slept until the sky darkened. I was the first to wake up, disoriented and felling guilty for sleeping when I had so much work I needed to get done.
After a delicious omelet that hubby prepared, we went out for ice cream and dessert, then home for family game night. And so the day ended sometime around 1 am when I couldn’t keep my eyes open a moment longer, and my daughter fell asleep on the living room floor.
Then Sunday came with its breakfast out, visit to friends, grocery shopping, and another long nap. And now it’s Monday night. Although I did work today, it wasn’t rushed. I feel rested and ready
for this week. I believe it will be a good one. A blessed one. Wishing you a blessed one as well.
Congratulations to Beth for winning this last giveaway. Stop on by and say hello.
Also, I have been tagged to post my 10th photo by two lovely friends, and I’m sorry to say that I can’t since I’m having issues with my laptop and am working from my iPhone and iPad until this coming weekend.
Please visit Sharon and Ange, and wish them a beautiful week.
Congratulations and Happy Anniversary to Jane of #mce_temp_url#on one year of bringing happiness in the form of Corner Views from around the world. I am new at this so I have no favorite to post, but looking through Jane’s I was inspired to post a photo of a beach and tell a story of one of my favorite times there.
Years ago, a friend and I took a few sunny summer days to explore the Pacific Northwest coast. Our main goal was to stay off the beaten path and experience life at a slower pace. Antique shops, flea markets, and art galleries were our destination, as were berry farms, deserted beaches, dusty book shops and coffee houses. We had reserved a couple of nights at bed and breakfast places along the way, provisioned ourselves with a picnic basket overflowing with Belgian chocolates, crusty bread, and the best cheeses we could afford, and set out.
She was to be married that summer, and soon after to move away. I suppose, in a way, we were gifting each other a last memory of our girlhood. Ours was a friendship that had carried us from childhood, through the turbulent, self-conscious adolescence, and into our twenties.
The views were stunning. Rolling pastoral beauty giving way to dense emerald forests. We followed a river that shined like mica and came into a village right out of a nautical painting. The sun was setting, all rose and apricot colored over the bay. We parked our car and strolled the heart of the main street in search of a coffee house. With steaming drinks and chunks of cheese filled bread, we made our way to the beach, content to sit on the sand and soak up the beauty before us.
As darkness was approaching, we didn’t linger too long. Somewhere along those dusty roads, the hostess of a white Victorian house was awaiting our arrival, probably eager to lock up and go to bed. Our bedroom, at the top of three flights of stairs, was under the eaves and decorated with a large-scale lilac print wallpaper right out of a Victoria magazine. The brass, queen-sized bed was piled up with fluffy pillows, and in the bathroom a claw-foot tub occupied most of the space. We loved it.
A misty morning arrived too soon. We took our time over breakfast in the ornate dining room, both decided that the food could be better, yet stuffed ourselves nonetheless, and set off for a day of treasure hunting. It seemed that time stood still. The clouds and morning drizzle cleared away, and our minds emptied of everything but the joy of each other’s company.
That night’s bed and breakfast was a far cry from the first. We took one look at it and turned our car around. It was spooky! Our overactive imaginations had us roaming the dark roads in search of acceptable lodging. Finally, after it seemed as though we drove for hours, we found a newly built hotel, devoid of character, as expected, but with views of the silver ocean lapping at the rocks below.
Before we headed home the following afternoon, we stopped into a local bookshop and sealed our three days together by each purchasing a copy of Jane Eyre. It was a favorite book to both of us, and a talisman to remember our friendship and our last adventure before matrimony.
In case anyone is wondering, each comment will be entered in the book giveaway. Now go on and visit more Corner Views!
Ever notice how catty females get when they’re out together and another of their sex walks by? In the split of a second that poor woman has been evaluated and judged, and without any reason. There’s no denying the bonding that takes place between us women through our mutual consent to trash another. And in my weaker moments I’ve succumbed to the bitch within very easily. I end up feeling so guilty and so disgusted with myself afterwards, that I vow never to do it again. Because I know better. I have been a victim of this sort of cruelty as a teenager. There’s no excuse for it.
I’m thinking about this as I’m sitting in a cafe, listening to a group of college girls dissecting another sitting at a different table with her boyfriend. I’m supposed to be working, but I find myself both fascinated and repulsed by their behavior.
When I was in ninth grade I had a mean girl experience. It was not at school, although if it would have happened at school, I would have understood why. I was, after all, in ESL, had a terrible accent, was taller than most of the boys in my grade, and dressed with clothes my mom bought at Macy’s - The Gap was the clothier of choice. But for some reason - and I cannot understand it to this day - people at school were pretty cool.
My enemy turned out to be my church best friend. She harassed me through phone calls late at night, made by her brothers, saying sexual things, terrifying me. I had no idea who was out to get me and why. My mom figured out it was her and called her mom. One of her brothers admitted he made phone calls on her behalf. My friend and her mom came over. My friend apologized and cried. She gave some stupid speech her mom made her say, I’m sure, but I can’t remember much about other than she loved me as a sister, blah, blah, blah. The moms made us hug it out.
But that was just the beginning. Because soon after, she wrote and mailed a letter -only one that I know of - to my crush, in which she posed as me. I have no idea what that letter said, but it must have been something really nasty, because he never spoke to me again. And I only found out about the letter years later, from my crush’s sister. Then, this friend proceeded to turn all of my church friends against me. No one would even say hello. Thank God I had supportive parents who understood my reality and did not ridicule it, nor expected me to deal with it. We switched churches promptly.
I’m angry with myself as I sit here, because I want to call these girls out on their awful behavior, but I don’t know how. I’m worried about making a scene in a place I frequent often. And is it even my responsibility? All I know for certain, is that if at least one of those childhood friends would have stood up for me, it would have made a world of difference.