Monday, April 26, 2010
Friends who make you feel insecure.
Some women seem designed to make you question how entertaining you are. Are you fun, are you stylish, is your house a thing from the pages of Elle Magazine? Are your children from the pages of a Boden catalogue? Or are you more likely to be from the pages of Mumsy Magazine Quarterly (in this months issue - how to blend in with your oatmeal coloured sofa. Simply wear your usual dull clothes and ensure you don't apply lipstick. That should do it!)
There is a saying that you should live in the worst house in the best area. I am not sure if this holds water. We do, and it sucks. Just a bit. Our house is not tiny, but it is bijou. It is charming. It has mismatched rental furniture which is always just a bit sticky despite cleaning. It could fit into the extension of the house around the corner from us. All around us though it is like Wisteria Lane. Yummy Mummy's, gorgeous flaxen haired children romping about in clap-board New Englandly mansions. We look a bit like trailer trash compared to them. Having the worst house in the best area is a recipe for discontent. (I fully, fully acknowledge that compared to real suffering this is extremely minor league. Having sticky furniture is not a national emergency.)
And it is not to say that the mum's aren't lovely folk. They are. Very warm and welcoming. But you have to sing for your supper with quite a few of them. It is like trying to keep up with the popular cheerleaders in school, when you know that really your should be with the band geeks. These mums have really opened their hearts (concealed in perfectly gym-toned bodies) and doors (architect designed) to me, but there is a part of me that feels insecure that there doesn't seem to be conditional friendship there. I'm absolutely sure that I am reading too much into it, but I sense I have accidently started moving in circles of the super-wealthy 'royalty' in this area.
On the other hand, I have made some 'warm bath water' friends. They kind of friends who look a little frayed around the edges, don't have personal trainers and admit to their imperfections. When you are at coffee with them it is like immersing yourself in a warm bath and going 'ahhhhhh' with pleasure that you can be yourself.
Why do I run myself down? My children are both flaxen-haired, we are not slack-jawed fools (infact, I would probably be classified as 'a bit posh and brainy' back in England), and although I talk way to much, I am generally considered entertaining. Why am I put off these women by the fact that their kitchens and abdominal muscles look like perfection?
Perhaps it is that they are not a perfect fit for me, nor I for them. So the kitchens and abdominals are a good scapegoat.
It takes a while when you move to a new place to find out which friends are glitter, and which friends are gold.