Considering all that is going on in the world right now, I truly appreciate the time everyone spent to help me with my teensy
-weensy little "problem."
There were so many different opinions, but all sincere and I guess it makes me realize there really is no one "right" way to do this, although some ways are more mature than others (like my not answering her calls).
I had a message waiting from her tonight. She said she was starting to get concerned that I had fallen off the face of the earth. I returned her call and left a lame-ass voicemail like a big girl.
Your advice did help me answer some bigger questions, though. Perhaps most important is, "Do I care to salvage this friendship?" And I've had a long time to mull it over (I think since Tuesday, right?) and I think we're just not a good fit.
Another example: She constantly puts down her step-daughter to me, and I almost fell out of my chair the last time we talked when she said, "Abby is just such a selfish child." And it was after that conversation I stopped returning her calls. I had heard iterations of this before but nothing quite so bold and my response in the past has always been, "She's 13. It's in her job description" or, "She's a child and you're expecting adult things from her that she can't developmentally perform. You're not calling your baby 'stupid' because he can't hold his head up yet, right?" (Well, okay, I didn't say that last part about the baby).
In the past 2 years, I've started to feel like a broken record, "She's the child; you're the adult. Joe's her father; they're not peers. This is such a tough age." And on and on and on. I think I realized in that conversation that she is who she is. And I don't think she'll change.
Momentary aside: I do not pretend for one
second that I actually know jack shit about parenting. I have other friends who are stepparents and all I can say is that it looks like about the hardest, most thankless (or second most thankless after "mom" but I guess that depends on who you're talking to) job in the world, right up there with garbage collector and meat-packing employee except there is no pay and the benefits are horrible. However, I cannot listen to someone talk trash about a child who is pretty much a hapless victim in a rotten situation and agree that yes, she's pretty dumb and of course, your husband/her father will NOT pay for her college because why bother? Oh, and aren't you a saint for throwing her a birthday party and yet you can't believe that you have to remind her EVERY
morning to make her bed. She's a complete nightmare. Can you imagine? A child who has to be nagged constantly to do the simplest of things? (Her kids - perfect, of course - are 3 years and 11 months.)
Wait, where was I? I guess that was bothering me more than I thought it was.
Anyway, I've not come to any firm conclusions except as someone smarter than me once said, "The easiest thing to do isn't always the right thing and the right thing isn't always the easiest." Or something.
Labels: Things I Don't Understand and Probably Never Will