Last night I didn't set the alarm, so this morning when I finally opened my eyes, it was ten in the morning. Lovely! Sleep is such a lovely thing. A wonderful restorative.
The tv table set-up is all fixed. I got everything off it, put the legs on it, and moved the cabinets under it. Then I put the tv and its accessories on it, and move the laptop computer over to it, and got all the cords figured out so they were no longer hazards to our health and welfare. My did that feel good. And I've gotten a good start on the paperwork (although of course there is still a lot more to get done today).
A good friend came over this morning for a couple of hours. We haven't seen each other too much in the past couple of months because both of us have been so busy, but she is one of those friends where any amount of time can go by and the minute we sit down to visit and catch up, we are right where we left off. That is a good sort of friend to have.
When I left the workforce, I had two good friends I thought would remain friends, but who have fallen by the wayside. That is a difficult thing. I am not socially adept, and I can never tell when I am pushing myself on people who would rather I just went away. One of the friends, we will call her FriendOne, was a woman who I got quite close to--we visited each other's homes, she knew and had friendships with my children, and she was one I called on when my family had a major catastrophe hit. But after I left the job, there was total silence on the front. What happened? I sent a couple of emails that were never answered. This was a friend who sometimes got her knickers in a twist: she would, for some reason, decide she had been slighted and then walk around visibly aggrieved. Did I do something? Did something happen in her life? I had gotten to a point where I tried as best I could to ignore the petulance and behave as if it weren't happening, but this time, I made the conscious decision that I wasn't going to pursue that friendship any further. I didn't want to deal with someone where I have to walk on eggshells periodically; it is too draining and I don't have the time or energy to deal with it. But it is sad, and it does hurt.
FriendTwo was a different friendship. We worked together for a few years, our kids were the same ages, and we got along very well. We visited outside work a little bit, went out to lunch, went shopping together, and during that same family catastrophe, she also came right to my side and to my family's aid. When she was having troubles with her husband and children, I was right there to be a support and a sounding board. When I left the workforce, FriendTwo and I emailed back and forth for a bit. I invited her out here and she appeared to be interested, but things came up and things came up, and there was never a return invitation the other way. Then the emails stopped. Again, I didn't know what to do. Was the friendship false? Had I done something? Was it her life? I just don't know.
Before I left the workforce, I would have said I had three good friends and meant those three women. Now it appears that I have one friend only, the one here in town who came to visit today. This is one of the many reasons I decided to return to a church of one sort or another. I also signed up for the local Democratic Club, but I haven't yet been able to go to a meeting. I hope those are ways to develop at least some acquaintances, if not friends.
I don't understand people on so many levels. About twelve or thirteen years ago, I carpooled for a few months with a young woman who was just starting out in her career. She and I were not close friends, just friendly co-workers with similar work schedules so that carpooling was a good fit for us. We stopped carpooling when I transferred offices, then I changed employers and the young woman moved up in the bureaucratic system, going to work for the state instead of our local county. She and I ended up taking the same bus home about five or six years after we had carpooled together. I got on the bus at the beginning of the route; she got on closer to the end. She would get on the bus and walk right past my seat with no indication whatsoever that she had any clue who I was, much less that we had spent a few months driving to and from work together. Why was that? I had no trouble recognizing her. Did she truly not recognize me? At what point does someone decide, "I no longer have to acknowledge any awareness of this person?" I do not understand! Why not exchange a simple hello? Do I have a better memory for faces than other people do?
Another rider on that same bus was a man whose son was very good friends with my KidTwo when they were small. We were in VERY difference economic circumstances, but the kids were good enough friends that they visited each other's homes and kept in touch when they no longer attended the same schools. This boy ended up having some very serious difficulties with drug abuse and some other issues, to the point where his parents sent him out of state to a facility designed to help him straighten out. During that time, KidTwo was one of those who kept in touch with him as best they were able (contact with him was limited). The boy's father and I had a couple of conversations about our children and their difficulties on their respective paths to adulthood, but then the man did the same as my former carpool partner, started behaving as though he had never seen me before. In that case, we rode the same bus in the morning, with me getting on three stops before he did. Every morning, he would get on the bus and walk past my seat as though he had never been in my home, I had never been in his, we had never shared concerns about our troubled children. His eyes never lowered so he would not have to make any sign of greeting. Again, I did not understand, I do not understand. What caused that? There was no years-long gap in acquaintanceship, he clearly knew who I was and how our families had been connected. Was he embarrassed about his son's troubles? Had I said or done something?
This is an issue my mother and I have talked about a couple of times. She has also had some friendships devolve, and formerly close friends change behavior with no apparent reason. It is a puzzlement. People are strange. Somehow, there is a rulebook I never got or a meeting I never got notice of or a class I never attended. Somehow other people know a set of rules that I never learned. I do not understand, but Oh My do I wish I did.
Maybe that's why I fixate so much on making my little bitty home here a comfortable refuge. The world out there is so confusing to me, filled at it is with people.
Now I will go back to work on my refuge, where things are mostly safe and predictable.