Random Blog A Musing Farf

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

SOMETIMES, LONG LOST FRIENDS SHOULD REMAIN THAT WAY

I had an interesting conversation with Suzanne this morning. She asked me if her friend could use my apartment this weekend while Husband and I were away (of course, the answer was yes) and began talking about how the friend and she had known each other since they were nine years old and, except for a brief time in high school, had been friend since.

That made me think of FL. I met FL when we were in third grade. We met on the school bus and were instant best friends – a friendship that lasted even when we went to separate high school and colleges that were 300 miles apart. When FL got married, I was her maid-of-honor and when she divorced, I was the shoulder upon which she could lean. My role was to support her and never judge her actions too harshly.

Over the past several years, however, my friendship with FL has been on a steady decline. No big fight or anything. We just grew apart. Her views are so different that I can not even image that we grew up in the same place. For example, when I told FL I was engaged, she exhaled an audible sigh of relief into the phone and exclaimed, “Thank G-d. I thought you would be one of those New York women who wake up one day at 40 and realize they have nothing.” I was outraged and explained to her that even if I never married, I had great friends, a very fulfilling career and a close and loving family. She countered that all of that was meaningless and if you were not married, you were destined to die alone in your Manhattan apartment and rot there until the smell got so bad that the super came to investigate. Geez. I didn’t realize that being single also meant friendless and without family.

Then FL became pregnant and I called to offer my congratulations. I told her how excited I was for her and mentioned that I hoped Husband and I would one day also have children, although we wanted to wait a few years. FL’s advice to me: “Children are the Lord blessing your marriage. Without children, you are living a lie and your marriage vows are meaningless.” Hmmm, at least that explains how she justifies the affair on her first husband with the man who later became Second Husband (although it does not explain how her Second Husband would justify it since he himself was married with children at the time of their affair). But there I go judging…

Most recently, FL became pregnant again and called me with the news (we only speak about twice a year at this point). Since she had so much trouble getting pregnant the first time, I asked her if the second time had been difficult. “No,” she told me, “it was easy because I have discovered the best way to solve fertility problems without medical intervention.” I asked her to share the information and told her I wanted to pass it on to my friends who were having trouble conceiving. I quote the conversation because it was too good to leave anything out.

FL: It’s so easy. Think about it. What race has the most trouble getting pregnant?
Me: Race? Huh?
FL (slightly exasperated at my lack of understanding): Yes, race. White People!
(For the record, both FL and I are Caucasian)
Me: Ummm, ok.
FL: Black people and Latinos have no trouble getting pregnant. That is why there are so many more unwanted pregnancies for people of those races.
ME: I am not sure that is entirely accurate and even if it were I think it has something to do with access to resources more than –
FL (cutting me off and getting more excited): It’s all about tampons. White people use tampons and it stops them up but black people and Latinos don’t use ‘em so they get pregnant.”
Me: That makes no sense and is not even true across the board. I know plenty of African-Americans and Latinos that use tampons.
FL: (totally dismissive) No, they don’t. Anyway, I know it’s true because I stopped using them and then got pregnant a few months later.

Wow. I did not know what to say to that. But, there was more! FL then went on to tell me how she and the family were moving to a new home because the one they had been living in was blown down by a hurricane. She was not fond of her current neighbors anyway and I inquired as to why. She explained that the couple was interracial (He was black and she was white) and they had lots of “mixed-race kids” that were always hanging around wanting to play in the yard. Sensing that the yard was not the issue, I reminded her that her children were also a mix of two different races. FL is white and her husband is Latino. But, FL explained to me that it was different with whites and Latinos because, “Latinos are like white people who are tan from living so far south.” Speechless, I hung up the phone and wondered how we had ever been friends to begin with.

2 comments:

mara said...

Oh, Sara. I am sorry that you lost a friend to the dark side. Some day I will tell you the story of how I broke up with my anti-Semitic (Jews will burn in hell), homophobic (gay couples should not hold hands in public but rather hide their shame before they get aids, die, and also burn eternally), bigoted (white and lighter skinned people are superior to those with darker skin, despite being of color herself) and just plain stupid (George Bush and the US were "morally obligated" to go to Iraq) friend.

Stupid people.

I also wanted to say that your friend's belief that we are nothing without marriage perpetuates even to women I know and respect under every other circumstance. Especially among friends and acquaintances who are not married and want to be. In my current situation, where I am married to a wonderful man, but, due to an international move now have no real job, friends, or social life, you'd be amazed at how many women say, "But you have J (husband)!" Even more maddening is now that I am pregnant, those same women say, "See? Now you don't need a job!" Or, I guess, friends, or anything to be passionate about or involved in other than my husband and my soon-to-be baby. What is wrong with people? (And are these the same people who complain that married friends with kids only talk about their babies and spouses?)

Fortunately, there are still people like you and Suzanne who talk sense.

Suzanne said...

Damn, this story still leaves me with my mouth hanging open.