9:04 p.m. - 2012-04-02
I think in two pregnancies, he came to one of my prenatal oppointments. ONE! I loved him so I tried to be understanding; he was under so much pressure at work.
But now -- NOW, there's Facebook. Now he's figured out that he can use the Mr. Daddy image to help him at work and politically and socially. And NOW, he has time to do the family thing ... camera in hand.
I miss my friend Susan. I haven't talked to her in ages. Or gotten any letter-y e-mails. She has been covering a really big, ongoing story (she's a news reporter), and I know, because I was a news reporter for 10 years, how that sort of story can take over your life, nights and weekends included. I also know, because Susan and I used to compete head-to-head for two different newspapers, that she is the kind of reporter who will LET a story take over he life, nights and weekends included.
So I haven't been insulted when she e-mails me that she'll call me when she gets her story filed, and doesn't, or that she'll call me back when she gets off deadline and gets the sheep fed, and doesn't.
When you are a psycho-get-the-best-story-every-time kind of reporter (this is a compliment to her), you think you're done and then you get a whole bunch of calls back and end up rewriting your story; you get off work took late and too tired to think, much less talk ... you think you're going to return that e-mail or call tomorrow, but then tomorrow all hell breaks loose all over again.
I've been reading her stories online, and I know that I would be virtually unreachable if I was covering that story.
But I miss her, and I am also sort of vaguely worried. S has this boyfriend, Ken, who she's been with for at least six or so years ... he is perpetually unemployed and lives in a tent in her back yard (a really well-equipped tent, even has a microwave, bookshelves, a desk and a solar shower) because he's allergic to animals. S has lots of animals and there is no way she'd kick them out of the house for Ken...
Ken is a nice enough guy; he's very smart and when he does work, he's a political aide or teaches at this college in California ...
She was in love for a very long time with a married man; she gave up on him and then Ken came along. He claims to have had a crush on her since high school. She didn't remember him.
Ken has never worked regularly and we've had a lot of converations over the years about Ken's hopeful job prospects. I think he made her happy in the beginning but since I came out of my self-imposed hermithood she is usually irritated and "driven up the wall" by him, sometimes furious, and sometimes not speaking with him. A few months ago she was planning to break up with him, but that hasn't happened ... her main sources of irritation are that he doesn't have a job, isn't looking for one, doesn't contribute in any way to the household, and doesn't make a priority of things she wants to do, like attending a friend's wedding together.
I feel badly for her, and I feel bad for him, too. And it makes me worry about her -- patently obvious to me, and probably any other sane person on the planet, that Ken has no problem with Ken not working. He's not GOING to get a job, at least not one that will last longer than a few weeks or a campaign or a semester. It's not in his personality, his psyche... as my mother would say, AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN.
I am worried about her because I'm afraid that when she confronts that fact it's going to be pretty hard on her. She doesn't want to be alone any more than I do.
I know she feels trapped and stuck in the job, with Ken, with money and lack thereof -- and disappointed in her life in a couple of major ways, ie not being with the man she really loved, not having kids ...
S is a very upbeat and positive person; she has a great voice and sort of laughing, flirting, joyous way of talking that is sort of her trademark as a reporter and a person. Even her answering machine and voicemail messages are downright sultry. She tends to always see the best in people, and the big picture, and to be patient and understanding and give people the benefit of the doubt. She has always had a job; she takes care of herself and everyone else -- melting down sister, unemployed boyfriends, unemployed relatives ... she doesn't like confrontation, will go a long way to avoid a fight.
She is sort of a role model to me in being positiive and tough and bouncing back, because she is also, like me, passionnate, smart, thoughtful, emotional, depressive, capable of being very, very sad.
I got a glimpse of that sadness when she was talking about breaking up with Ken before Christmas. But we haven't really talked about that, in any depth, since.
I am afraid that sometimes my kids make her sad, even though she adores them and it makes you (her) happy to be around them. She never had kids because when she was married, first she didn't want to have kids NOW, and then as married life went along she didn't want to have kids with HIM, and then she was waiting for Mr. Right, I guess, or for Mr. Right to get divorced ...
When I asked her once if she wished she had had kids, she said, "YES, Megan. YES! YES! YES!" in a voice that I can still hear -- hear often actually, when I see her with them or write or talk to her about them. Before I had kids, when I really wanted them and I didn't think I'd ever have them, other people's children made me very sad. I used to watch the daddy in the house next door come home from work, watch his little girl scamper to the door through the house's lighted windows, screaming "daddy, daddy" and throw himself into his arms, and it made me want to cry. Every single night it made me want to cry.
I'm a stay-at-home mom; what the hell else am I supposed to talk about besides my kids? My kid stories crack S up, but I also feel guilty and unfairly lucky when we talk about them.
Not that we don't talk about other stuff too ... but not recently.
I miss her.
We'll catch up eventually.