Over Coffee

Photo Credit: marfis75 via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: marfis75 via Compfight cc

This week I’m going to start a new featured blog post called “Over Coffee.” I came across this format on a couple other bloggers’ sites. And as hard as this may be to believe, I didn’t add their pages to my Safari reading list or bookmarks. If you read my post last week you understand the significance of that little oversight…maybe there’s hope for me yet. Unfortunately that means I can’t give those bloggers their due credit. Just know I’m not claiming any originality for this one.

I plan to share this kind of post periodically, mostly on those weeks when I’m:

  1. Not jazzed about writing anything in particular
  2. Struggling for just the right thing to write about
  3. Procrastinating writing the post I really want to write but am too chicken

This week’s “Over Coffee” is brought to you by number three. More on that below.

Think of these posts as a casual conversation, one you and I would have over coffee. You know, just shooting the shit about our lives and what’s been going on.

I’m personally drawn to this type of post because it feels incredibly intimate to me. I’d never visited the other bloggers’ sites before, but after reading just one post I felt like I knew them. Hopefully, you’ll get the same sense from me.

So, I’m being stood up.

I’m done bullshitting myself. There’s just no other way to say it.

I have a new friend. I’ll call her Jane. She’s the mother of one of my daughter’s friends, and we’ve known each other for only two years. This friendship means a lot to me for a bunch of reasons.

First of all, I’m forty-five and it’s harder to make friends the older you get. I haven’t made a new friend for about seven years. People get so entrenched in their lives and the people who run in their circles that it’s difficult to step outside of that orb and reach out to new peeps.

Second, the way we became friends was one of the warmest fuzziest moments of my life. My daughter started a new school two years ago and became friends with Jane’s daughter, who had been kind of an outcast, or at least not one of the cool kids, before my daughter arrived. My daughter, recognizing and embracing her own weirdness, along with being one of the most empathetic creatures I’ve ever known, took this girl under her wing.

When Jane and I met at the girls’ archery meet, she told me that my daughter had saved her daughter’s life. She told me that she could tell my daughter was the kind of person who appreciated people for who they were and that my daughter genuinely liked hers. I told her how grateful I also was for our girls’ friendship because my daughter was the new kid and that was always hard.

Beyond flattering my offspring, Jane was a down-to-earth, kind woman. We went for coffee a few times and had fabulous talks. It felt a lot like those first dates with the guy (or girl). We could have sat for hours and chatted. Nothing was off the table and it was one of those friendships that felt years beyond its actual age.

And then she started standing me up.

There have been close to a dozen times when we’ve had coffee or lunch scheduled, and then she bailed at the last minute. The first few times I was the one who rescheduled. After so many failed attempts, I left it in her hands, telling her to let me know when she had time to get together.

We’ve gone a few months now not talking or getting together, other than a text here or there. But recently we tried to give our coffee dates another go.

And she bailed, again, at the last minute.

I’m bummed.

I don’t think it’s me. I know she has a lot of craziness going on in her life now. Actually, I think it’s kind of crazy most of the time. She’s always very apologetic about canceling our plans and says how much she misses me. And I miss her.

But I learned a long time ago that people make time for things that are important to them. I guess I just don’t rank high enough.

My daughter turned thirteen this week.

I have a teenager. Not a tween, which I’m glad about because that moniker irked the shit out of me. It’s like taking famous couples and smashing their names together, like Kimye and Brangelina. Ugh. So annoying.

I was expecting this big shift from the sweet, thoughtful girl she’s been to a raging hormonal nightmare. She seems aware of what she should be like (“rude”) but doesn’t have the time or inclination to act other than like who she is at her sweet candy center.

She’s been that way since the day she was born, except for maybe two temper tantrums when she was a toddler. Oh, and the time when she was seven or eight and told us she was going to run away and live with another family because we were horrible parents.

I told her I would be sad to see her go, but I understood. I told her she needed to understand that when she left, she’d only be able to take what she could carry because we weren’t going to help her move out. I said she should choose carefully because we were going to give the rest of her stuff away so we could buy all new stuff for the replacement daughter we would adopt after she was gone—we wouldn’t want our new sweet girl to have her old mean stuff.

About an hour later she came running downstairs from her room and threw herself into my arms sobbing, saying how sorry she was and that she didn’t want another family after all. 🙂

So besides that, my husband and I have felt like she or the Universe have habituated us to this well-behaved, lovely girl, and that we’re being set up. When the day comes when she turns into a real teenager—you know, the surly, bitchy, smart-mouthed kind—we’ll be so shocked we’ll probably ask her if she’d like some pot or Vicodin or heroin with her Grey Goose, and would she like to bring even more boys home to do all sorts of kinky stuff to her in her room while her dad and I sit in the living room watching Criminal Minds?

We’re just taking it one day at a time.

I’m plucking around the keyboard, working on what I think will be my next post.

Sometime in the future.

Maybe.

It started as one particular idea a couple of months ago and morphed into something else based on some recent events in the news. I ran the idea by my husband and he doesn’t think it’s controversial, but I’m afraid it’s going to piss some people off. But maybe that’s OK(?).

I’m worried it could be like using barbed wire to suture a stab wound . But I’m trying to keep Rachel Thompson’s words in mind: Write what scares you.

The good news is I don’t think a lot of people read my blog, at least not now, and that’s probably not likely to change the week I run this “maybe, if I can ball up” post.

If a controversial blogging tree falls in the internet forest and no one’s around to hear it, then it doesn’t make a sound, right?

But you’ll always be my friend, no matter what. Even if I piss you off.

Right?

question_mark_flat
So what about you?
How’s your week been?
What would you tell me over coffee?

23 thoughts on “Over Coffee

  1. Thanks for the laugh.
    I have had a few friendships like Jane. It is always disheartening. It sounds like you did more reaching out to repair things than I did. I’m one of those people who thinks ” If they don’t want to be around me, I’m not forcing myself on them.” Yeah, what does that say about me? Not pretty.
    Maybe your daughter will never become the snarky teenager. I’ve heard some friends say it happens. I had two boys. My oldest went through his teen rebellion between 9 and 11 ( I know, right? I was so not ready for it. I blame the older boys he was hanging with at church). My youngest *sighs* has been snarky for the past 6 years. Not bad enough that I want to slap his mouth (of course, he does live at college for 9 months of the year) on most days. Recently, he seems to be getting the hang of social acceptability for his sarcastic wit. Since I’m called the Queen of Sarcasm by many of my friends, who can I really blame for his perpetual teenage-hood?
    Thanks for chatting over coffee. I miss having a girlfriend to chat up about these things.
    Oh – if you go controversial – I promise to still respect you in the morning
    Sharon recently posted…Don’t ask for a critique unless you want your writing shreddedMy Profile

    1. I know, Sharon. I’m trying to balance really, really wanting to spend time with a woman I like and not being a pushover. I’m getting better.

      If my daughter turns, I’ll mourn the girl she was. However, I also have a friend who said that after a few years of nastiness her daughter reverted to her prior personality. I read somewhere when our daughter was young that their personalities are formed by the time they’re five. I’m hoping that’s true and that the eight years after that reinforced it enough to bring her back around if she goes off the rails.

      And yes, “I learned it by watching you!” applies in our snarky house too. I had quite the mouth on me when I was my daughter’s age…my poor parents.

      So glad to hear you’ll still be around…respect in the morning is important. No one likes the walk of shame.

      Thanks as always for reading and sharing your thoughts!

  2. I’m looking forward to a second cup of coffee! And the controversial post. I’m curious now!
    By the way, we’ve been lucky enough to make it through the teenage years (for the most part, anyway) without a “real teenager” showing up in our house. Sounds like there’s a good chance you will be, as well!
    Susan – ofeverymoment recently posted…Swim Suits and Swim MeetsMy Profile

  3. I loved the honesty in your post, Kelly. I had fund having coffee with you today! Like you, I find making friends VERY difficult because I’m a shy, introvert and would really just prefer to stay home, stay inside and be by my lonesome, writing, doing my chores, etc. I don’t know why your friend bailed on you and would not even speculate. In the end, I think ultimately you’ll know if it’s worth salvaging, right? I wish you the best on that front, given that I do know how HARD it is to make friends.

    I’ve also been feeling ‘dried up’ when it comes to publishing anything. There’s so much spinning around in my head but again, like you, don’t feel gutsy enough to write and publish. We shall see.

    All I know is that I’m sick of seeing way too much bucket challenges (but do respect the purpose behind it), way too many ‘list’ posts on what I could possible love or hate or suck at being a parent, and posts on depression and Robin Williams. I loved reading all of that and find them enlightening and even necessary in order to raise awareness. But somehow, maybe, I read too much and now feel beyond saturated. I think I need a break.

    Anyway, again, it was good to have coffee with you and I hope you have a nice weekend!
    Joy recently posted…I Hate…My Profile

    1. Thanks Joy—I really appreciate you reading and sharing your thoughts. So glad you enjoyed coffee. 🙂

      I know what you mean about feeling saturated…I just wrote about that last week. In all seriousness it causes me a lot of anxiety feeling like I’m missing out on something important. Because after you wade through all the crap online, there are some real nuggets and I hate the thought of missing them.

      I’ll be brave and write my scary post if you do the same—consider yourself challenged!

      You have a great weekend too.

  4. Through the years I’ve had several friends I felt would be close for ever and ever and when they weren’t, all I could think of is “what did I do or say to make them not to be around”. After so many of these let downs I finally decided that no matter what, if anything, I had done it was they’re loss of my friendship, not mine and I’m totally okay with it. Who wants to share the most intimate or personal information with someone who isn’t going to be your friend forever. You did not have a bad mouth at Amelia’s age. Whether you believe it or not, you never gave us one reason to wish you would revert back to your pre-teen years. You might have been in turmoil several times during your teen years, but your turmoil never made us not love you any less than we ever did. You were really an exceptionally great teenager and I would never take one of those years away from us as a family. I, actually, loved both your and K.C.’s teenage years. It’s such a joy to see your young person turn in to what they perceive is okay, and your perceptions were “right on”. Your, our, Amelia is going to be a great young teen also and you will enjoy all of it too. Take my word for it, you are just that kind of a mother. Love

  5. I totally have a friend just like that. She overcommits herself and is late for everything. I’ve learned to tell her that the start time is an hour before it actually is – that way she generally will only be a half hour late.

    First time at your blog – it’s a great concept! Adding you to my Bloglovin list so I can keep following!!
    Liv recently posted…I Would Have Loved Paris in the Springtime…but…My Profile

  6. I’ve had a Jane before and I always take care not to be one myself. Whatever gets in the way, I don’t want my friendships to suffer… Thankfully, I don’t have a teenager – if I do ever have one, I hope she’s like yours! I’ll try not to let my coffee go cold while I chatter – this has happened a lot this month as I’m in the UK frantically running around visiting people while I’m back for a month and my tongue has run on fiddlesticks. People keep asking me questions that require long, involved answers and then when I try and turn the conversation to them, their answers are short and end in another question. That’s one thing about coming back and being a celebrity, having not been home in a couple of years :p I’ve been crazy ill from my crazy transit, having fagged myself to death with work before I left and then taken 7 flights or so and pausing for curry in New Delhi. I’ve so far been in London, Liverpool, Italy, Coventry, the highlands of Scotland and am back in Coventry before tripping over to Wales and thence to Cambridge for a wedding at my old uni, which is the main reason I’m back.

    And breathe. I’ve been working on the road as I’ve gone along as well as fighting all of the gremlins pushing back my publication date lol, so I’m pretty tired.. I enjoyed your coffee post and am intrigued by your next – I’ll have to write something down myself soon, but I need to stay still more than five minutes!
    saralitchfield recently posted…Five Things You Learn When You Could Have DiedMy Profile

    1. Holy cow, Sara! I’m exhausted just reading about your travels. I seriously think that would kill me, but I bet I’d die happy.

      My daughter just made a friend online playing Minecraft (have you heard of it?) and she lives in Wales. So if you see Charlotte tell her Amelia says hi! 🙂

      Here’s hoping the remainder of your travels are safe and entertaining. Thanks for taking a break from the craziness to stop by and have coffee with me…I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  7. Kelly- I truly believe what you said, and that is, “people make time for things that are important to them.” You are important to me, and I’m glad we both made time to have coffee with each other today!! We’ll definitely get together again soon!!

  8. I don’t care for coffee, but I’ll gladly order a cup of tea and do the rest. 🙂

    I didn’t have a Jane for a friend once… But I had a friend once who had a number of issues going on and, well, refused any help she was offered. It hadn’t always been like that. She was a sweet, funny girl who knew exactly how to cheer other people up. But she suffered from chronic depression, which led to some of the other problems she ended up having. At one point, she was having financial issues, and she’d mention how she want to get a new TV or adopt a new cat (when she already had two cats)… and despite being frustrated over how easily she caved to her impulses, I’d do my best to be tactful yet caring and help her think things through more logically. It never worked; she’d get angry with me. *eeek* It got to the point where I eventually let it go. We haven’t talked in almost 2 years now. It made me sad, because I really wished I could have done more to help her… but at the same time, there was no point in hanging onto a toxic friendship where the other person’s constantly asking you to give and then never gives back in return.

    LOL! Your daughter could pleasantly surprise you during her teenage years. Somehow I missed that rebellion stage… Probably because I was the quiet, dorky girl with the braces, glasses, and conservative clothes my mother bought for me. It all depends on the girl’s personality, in the end.

    You’ve got me curious about the controversial posting now… I say go for it. And I promise to read and respond thoughtfully. 😉

    This “coffee break” is a neat idea, btw!
    Sara L. recently posted…Site Updates, Plus Two New Article Series Coming Soon!My Profile

    1. Sounds like everyone’s had a difficult friend in their lives, doesn’t it? Kind of makes me wonder if someone out there thinks of me like that. I hope not.

      Our daughter has such a strong sense of who she is and who she doesn’t want to be, I dare say we may make it to the other side of her teenage years in better shape than I imagine. Every time I hear someone’s “I wasn’t an awful teen” story, like yours, my spirits lighten. Thanks for that!

      Really appreciate you reading and commenting, Sara. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  9. I really like this kind of post but still can’t wait to read the one that will piss people off. You know I really don’t think you have to worry to much about your daughter turning into the spawn of satan. My daughter never did. Oh there were a few times she drove me batty but nothing serious. She did great in school, worked part time didn’t do drugs(at least if she did she didn’t share) kidding. She’s almost 23 now an although she had a really hard time when she graduated (she went through some major shit and it changed her for a little bit) she’s still that same kid and we generally like each other. She loves to go around telling people that her mommy is her bff, she’s also a nut like me. So relax and enjoy, chances are her head won’t start spinning and her eyes won’t glow…if they do then grab the pot and the Vicodin! Sorry I’m a little late for the coffee just getting caught up from being out of town. But hey it’s better than canceling at the last minute!!!!
    Rena McDaniel recently posted…ALZHEIMER’S IN PASSINGMy Profile

    1. Oh Rena, you have no idea what a weight you’ve lifted off my shoulders! I’m feeling better about the chances of our making it through these teenage years unscathed, or at least only slightly bruised and scratched, the more I hear from people like you who had good experiences. It makes sense though—the good kids don’t get the air/internet time. Doesn’t make for very interesting stories. I’ll take boring, under-the-radar any day!

      Thanks again for reading and sharing your thoughts!

      1. That’s so true! Mine would rather have a great book and be left alone most of the time. I guess because it was just her most of the time (I have an older son) she was basically treated like an adult as long as she acted like one. I wasn’t her friend but we we were still very close NOW that she’s an adult and makes her own decisions we are best friends. Good kids do exist and it looks like you got very lucky! A few scratches and bites through the years ain’t to bad when you look around!
        Rena McDaniel-The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver recently posted…PLANNING A CROSS-COUNTRY ADVENTURE…ALL ABOARD!!!!My Profile

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