I woke up yesterday morning in a much better mood. I never had to attend another baby shower ever again. The air was sweeter, water tasted better, blah, blah, blah. When I opened my e-mail at work, there is was. CH's Baby Shower invitation. (cue ominous music.)
I have known CH since we were in 6th grade. Our brothers played little league together, and we attended Jr. High, High School and college together. She was my Maid of Honor, and I was hers. CH married a man thirteen years older and they decided that children were not for them. DH, her husband, did not want children, and after working for Children and Family Services for three years, she agreed.
It's normal to drift apart from your friends. We were not as close as we once were, but there was always an interest in how the other was doing. She started teaching 2nd grade and we would talk about our teaching experiences. We would meet for lunch when I came into town to visit my parents. It was a comfortable and adult sort of friendship that can only develop after you've known someone for a long time.
When M and I started our little romp through attempted pregnancy, I would often take comfort in the fact that no matter how many pregnant people surrounded me, there would always be CH. Looking back on that now, it seems selfish for me to expect her to always be "that friend". Then, one day, after innocently e-mailing her to see how life was going, she answered with this: Oops, I'm pregnant.
I will admit that I was devastated. There was jealously, but it was more than that. I think deep down there was a little anger that she went against the life that she planned for herself. In the process, I was forced to wonder if perhaps the life I planned for myself would end up dramatically different, as well. What if I became the "childless friend"?
Shortly after her announcement I saw her at Christmas Eve services. She turned into my biggest fear: the smug pregnant woman (again with the music). She threw every cliche in the book at me: relax, don't worry - it'll happen. She all but patted me on the head when I told her I was having a hard time emotionally. The last thing she said was my favorite. She told me that the reason it happened as an accident for her was because "God knew that if we had to actually try, we would have just given up." Well, that cleared it up! It was God that was torturing me and it was God that gave babies to all of the lazy people of the world. I have seen the light!
Although we have exchanged e-mails I have not seen her since. I don't know if I could see her right now. We grew up together and in my foolish little Jr. High mind I always imagined we would be pregnant together, as well. Standing on the other side of the fence wasn't what I had in mind. She is not a bad person. She is a kind and caring person who is understandably happy about her good news. I am the crank who has to make myself feel better by using my hurt as a defense.
The invitation in my e-mail was for a shower in the middle of the week at 3:15pm. Since I live 2 1/2 hours away I didn't even bother to reply that I wouldn't be able to make it. She knew I wouldn't. Maybe that was her gift to me. After all, she knows me very well. I am going to go online and pour all of my conflicted feelings into picking out a gift from her registry and all my shame for those feelings into a nice, cheery statement for the gift card.
It's the least I can do, right?
8 years ago