Monday, February 25, 2008

The conversation.

This morning I had go down south for a meeting with folk. Meetings first thing on a Monday morning are definitely a bit smeggy. At any rate this one was unavoidable so I went. I went, I did the whole head bobbing 'really uh-huh really' thing. I might even have squeezed in an 'indeed' once or twice. I took notes in my illegible hand writing and then I hopped back into my car and set her warp speed for Dublin ( not really, I don't, it has to be said, drive fast at all).
All fine and dandy except I had to put petrol in the car, a tedious job, but quite quick and at least it's not loud like hoovering.
Anyhoo. I was at a garage not a million miles from the Cullenmore hotel. I was standing at the rear of my car, pumping gas, thinking about how much I disliked meetings but how much I enjoyed when they are over and would a breakfast roll really be that disgusting when another car pulled into the forecourt. One of those people carrier thingies. You know, they're like a minibus, but it's a car.
Hey ho I thought, that driver, she looks weirdly familiar. I peered.
Ah balls.
For it was she, ex-friend, traitorous gorgon, vile fie, fink, Benedict Arnold!
What's she doing here breathing the same air I breath, inhabiting the very space I inhabited FIRST. Oh stupid Wicklow, first with the mountains and now this.
Short of ducking down-which I was NOT going to do, I had little option but to stand there, being blown about in a squall and watch as she exited her car and rounded it to the pump. She opened her tank, inserted the nozzle and as she filled her car she did what all of us do. Gawked around her.
Her eyes slid right across to me.
It was interesting reading her face. First nothing, then puzzlement, followed by recognition, then some other kind of weird emotion I couldn't work out but I hope was agonising guilt. Or maybe it was trapped wind, who can say.
What to do? We would clearly be in the shop paying for our petrol at the same time, ignore now and then do faux 'why hello theres' in the shop? Or get it over with here and now, then avoid each other in the shop.
Balls, I thought, it's Monday morning. Who needs to make decisions at this hour of the week?
In the end she moved her pawn first.

'Is that you? ' She said
'Hello there. I thought that was you.' I said, lest she think she noticed me first, you didn't, traitor.
'My god! I almost didn't recognise you! Your hair has gone so long.'
Hair grows. I thought, over time, rather like animosity.
'How are you keeping?"
'Oh busy.' What's it to you? I'm fabulous actually. Can't you tell? I'm wearing a suit and a full face of makeup a Las Vegas show girl might baulk at. Don't I fucking ooze 'keeping'?
'Ah sure you know yourself.'
No I don't actually. That' s why I asked. Actually I only asked to be polite and I AM polite. Polite and loyal. You might need to look some of that sentence up.
We pump more gas. I scrabble for neutral ground.
'Country Gay tells me you've moved up to XXXXXXXX?' I say. 'It's lovely up around there.'
'Yeah, it's really beautiful. We needed more room.'
For all the spawn you keep spwaning no doubt.
'You moved yourself I hear.'
I decide I will throttle CG and his friendly bantering ways. What business is it of hers where I move to? For that matter she should just shut up. I don't want to do small talk with this women. It pains me to do it. It makes me very angry indeed. I'm getting a pain in my face from keeping my expression non-murderous.
'And you've had another girl?'
'Yes.' She smiles, and nods her head to the car. I finish pumping my gas, shut off the pump and close up the cap. I come around the car and look through the window at some sleeping sweet faced cherub. She always had nice children.
'Wow, she's very pretty. What age is she?'
'Four months now.'
'You must have your hands full.'
'I know.' She laughs and points to her ensemble, which looks like it's comfortable and like it could do with a wash. 'Look at the cut of me, I never seem to get two seconds to myself these days.'
'Oh well.'
'You're looking great. How's the running going?'
And suddenly I am FILLED with the over whelming desire to yell, 'What the fuck do you care? I run, end of. Why should I explain anything about my life to you? What does it matter how I'm 'getting on?"
'It's going fine.' I look at my watch, worried my mask is slipping. 'Oh God, I"d better get on. It was good to see you.'
'Yes, you too.'
And then she gives me this big limpid look and I can tell she's going to say something else, something idiotic like I should come down to her new home, or give her a call or she'll call me or SOMETHING that will involve me having to slap her. Don't do it. I warn her mentally. You didn't just burn your bridges with me, you used the A-Team to explode them with TNT. Don't say another word. Fatcats are polite, but don't do it anyway.
'Bye.' I say very firmly and click clack my way across the fore court and into the shop before she makes that error.
I pay for my petrol and don't even get a newspaper, never mind a breakfast roll. I just to be away, away from there, away from her and her beautiful sleeping child and her hesitant smile and her willingness to try.
I do a reasonable attempt at a smile as I climb into my car and put on my belt. She waves. I return it briefly.
In the rear view mirror I can see her cross the forecourt and make her way into the shop.
'You broke my fucking heart you stupid bitch, I'll never forgive you.' I say softly as I pull out into the traffic, bound for Dubin, homeward bound.



Anonymous Shebah said...

FMC - don't keep us in suspense - what did she do to you?

12:03 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I cannot say, but I will say this. I am a VERY loyal friend, and that loyalty never wavers, not during good times and certainly not during bad times.
Let's just say not everyone can make that claim.

12:05 p.m.  
Anonymous nonny said...

Ahhhh the meanie old bitch broke your heart, it must have been bad, I wouldn't imagine you the type of person to take ending friendships lightly. Whist it would have been much funnier for the likes of me, the common reader to read a vicious recounter of how you called her a geebag and punched her in the face, you did a most admirable thing. What the hell is CG doing though? Where is the solidarity?

12:06 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Actually CG is quite right. Plus it's not not my place to demand he treat someone- who never did him wrong- shabbily.
I don't have it in me to rude to her, but I swear, I don't have it in me to pretend like she didn't hurt me terribly either. I can't do fake friendliness, politeness sure, friendliness, nope.
I'm sure all of us has had some drama with friends over the years, but breaking with old friends is always traumatic.

12:12 p.m.  
Anonymous nonny said...

I guess CG is right, it is hard for independents to take sides. I wouldn't really fall out with friends, except one, we work together, sometimes there is blood, real blood.

Do you not think if you had it out and seen what the crack with her was it might help the situation or at least make you feel better?

12:25 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...


12:27 p.m.  
Anonymous nonny said...

Heh, Little Miss Stubborny pants eh? I bet its niggling though. Just say no, no niggly, bad dog, get down offa that. Nice people feel guilt. Just ignore it.

12:40 p.m.  
Blogger gimme a minute said...

Another classic post.

Stupid small world. If I wasn't stranded I'd move to Jupiter.

1:11 p.m.  
Blogger aquaasho said...

Do you feel differently after the encounter? I feel like that about someone and after a few little encounters I waver a bit but will never forget. I suppose I let it go a little each time though.

2:18 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

You should've cut her heart out with a spoon FMC.

2:49 p.m.  
Anonymous Sam, Problemchildbride said...

Bad luck, that's no way to have to start the week.

2:56 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I feel cross Aisling, cross and cheated.
I grieved over that friendship, really genuinely grieved over it. There was nothing I wouldn't have done for her and I asked nothing of her except she have my back during a particularly tough time many years ago. But she fucked our entire friendship up through lack of a spine. Yes I no doubt played a hefty part in it, there are always two sides to everything, but lack of a spine has never been something I've suffered from, nor disloyalty.
And so when I run into her and we do the small talk bollocks I cannot seem to get past the memory of being so let down. So ergo I feel cheated, and quite cross.
Although I need to get fucking over myself too. Shit happens.

3:21 p.m.  
Blogger Andraste said...

EGAD! For a year and a half now I've been worrying about having just such an encounter with an ex-friend. Brrrr...shudder...spit.

Though, secretly, I'm curious to see what might happen if we DID meet randomly someplace. I have my fantasies of being cool and polite, but I also know the capability is there to rip her a new one if she...just gives me...the slightest...cause...

3:32 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

You'll most likely go with cool and polite. And seethe inside.

3:34 p.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

"but breaking with old friends is always traumatic."

Yes, it is traumatic, but sometimes the most courageous thing to do is walk away. Like you, I expect loyalty from friends and if support is not there when you need it most, they are not true friends - and you need to fold your tent and move on to more like minded people. It's a bitter day when you find friendship a bit one-sided and a person you considered a bomb proof friend has feet of clay. Sounds like you handled the situation beautifully, all glacial calm and polite detachment - well done!

3:48 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you've just described what's bound to happen if I ever cross paths again with a certain someone. God bless America and its broad expanse; all the less likely to put me and her within a 500-mile radius of each other.
(crossing fingers)

3:58 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

I thought I might run into a certain person recently. I was ready for her this time, if I had. I wasn't going to do the "Oh hello, how are you?" shite. No siree. I was going to walk right up to her face and let her know the outcome of her meddling in other people's lives.

As you say, shit happens. And some of it is down to our own human failings. But if this particular cunt ever crosses my path she will never forget the encounter.

4:15 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Yeah, I handled it terrifically, yet I've been seething and mulling over her and old hurts all day-in between bouts of scowling.
I guess I'm not nearly as 'over it' as I thought I was.
Going for a run, Hope I don't get blown half way to Ranelagh. Velly vindy here today.

Conan, who ever she is she's most likely not worth it.

4:46 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Oh, and I've been listening to Radiohead all day. Moody cliché, moi? Nevah!

4:47 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

You did the right thing, FMC. Revenge is best served cold and all that. Why give her any power by letting her know that she broke your heart?
I bet your heart was racing though.

4:56 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Yeah, but... yeah but..yeahbut yeahbut yeahbut yeahbut yeahbut yeahbut yeahbut... the last time I ran into her I would have avoided her except she hadf to come over all nicey nicey like, to say hello... as if she didn't know... grrr grrrrr

5:31 p.m.  
Anonymous SeaDreams said...

Let's see if I can avoid the use of "um" here. This loyalty of which you speak is an alien concept to many, it's entirely possible that your friend saw you as being exclusively for HER use. Maybe she was envious of some trait of yours, or disliked you, or, and this is my favorite, maybe she was competing with you, without your knowledge, under the assumption that you had identical goals. So when you had need of her, she couldn't get out of the building fast enough, she was NEVER going to have your back, regardless, and possibly enjoyed your misfortune. While there is undeniable satisfaction in reaming a twit like this, said twit will then use it to illustrate what a meanie you are. Better to suck it up and maintain the dignity and take comfort in the thought that she is probably still envious but no longer a danger to your heart.

5:58 p.m.  
Blogger The Hangar Queen said...

The best revenge is living well.

It sounds like getting up in her grill wouldn't do a bit of good for either of you.

You'd feel even more wretched for the passing of your friendship and she'd be even more clueless and dig herself deeper into her oblivion.

Fuck it.Drive on missus.I'm purging some toxic people from my life right now and there are similarities.

Live well.

6:59 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Medbh, I wouldn't give her the satisfaction of behaving badly. (although my heart was up in my ears for about some miles, at least until well up the M50)

Conan, If I were you and I had your rhubarb, I still wouldn't give your hussy the satisfaction. Sometimes politeness works in our favour where as yelling or calling someone a whole host of names only serves to satisfy for the moment, but later it's usually 'doh.'
Of course sometimes telling a body exactly what you think of them is DEEPLY cathartic. Have at it, whatever you chose.

Seadreams that made me smile and nod and approve of the fact that there was not a single 'um' to be found. I thought about it a lot after we fell out first, why she didn't back me even a tiny bit and I came to the conclusion months after that she was only a fly by night sort of friend. Happy to be around as long as she didn't have to push the boat out.

Miss Queen, I know you are, and you will and you'll be the better of it. I was better off in the long run, I'm just amazed one small meeting could drag up such a wealth of feelings.

ON an entirely unrelated note, While out running earlier I got walloped by such a gust of wind on Butterfield Avenue I ended up running on the spot for a while. So, running in high winds, I believe I"m against it.

7:32 p.m.  
Anonymous Sheesh said...

Poor you! That's just not a good thing to happen on a windy Monday morning. Me, I've cut 3 friends out of my life over the years. No major blow-ups or anything; just when it is constantly hammered home how they are great pals when you are at their service ... but if the situation is reversed, not so much. I just left things drift and drift - and strangely, no effort to change that on their parts. Maybe that's a very chicken way to do it, but I just had enough - and how do you get into a conflict with a friend over them just being too selfish? And I'm the happier bean for just not spending my time or energy on people like that anymore. Like any relationship, friendship has to work both ways - and when you make almost all of the effort and compromise, just not worth it! - and I feel not a smidge of guilt over that. Hard me!

10:35 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Double 'ard in fact. I like it.

10:49 p.m.  
Anonymous Sheesh said...

Used to be much more chicken, and would've put up with way more - and seethed inwardly. But just decided life is too short to be putting up with stuff and seething. No siree - enough time spent working, and seething over lilac types that I can't change - no reason to do that with friends, where I have a choice! Harsh, me knows. But, unless there is a identifiable blow-up, how do you tell a friend that you've simply fallen out of friendship with them? Eee.

11:55 p.m.  
Anonymous Babs said...

Oh wow you amaze me, not a chance would I be able for being nice to a friend who broke my heart. I was friends with someone for 13 years, BFF's or whatever they say. I "dumped" her 8 years ago because she broke my heart and walked on me and thought that everything would be ok. I still can't even look at her. The last time I saw her was around Christmas in my local, I saw her, she looked at me across the bar, smiled and waved, I ran outside and vomited because I didn't know what else to do. I can't do the pretend polite thing, no matter what the situation. I have tried and failed in the past so now I just don't try.
I have had my heart broken by boys and men but this one cut the worst, the first cut is the do do.

1:22 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I had a much longer reply, but my computer crashed, so I am going to paraphrase it rather than attempt to recreate it
People are wankers, time helps.

10:39 a.m.  
Anonymous Mins said...

I'm gonna throw a controversial opinion in here, but I feel compeled to give it anyway! Ignore it if ya like I promise I wont mind! My best friend of many years broke my heart also and it took me a long time to get over it. Infact our relationship was never quite the same again. However she died 2 years ago and I cant help grieving the times I lost with her out of holding onto pain and anger. We all make mistakes and when its someone close to you and their mistake (or serious lack of good judgement!) affects you its very hard to forgive or forget. We often think our best friends are perfect and infallible but lets face it they are not. Nobody is. So look all I'm saying is if this (ex)friend of yours did try to apolgies maybe try and be open to it. I know you may not want to strike up friendship with her again but at least let her apologise. I have no idea what wrong she may have done to you but maybe be open to hearing an apology. Sorry if this is all a bit heavy but I just felt sad when I heard the story as I know how if feels but also know the feeling of regret at having not been able to put these feelings aside and enjoy my friends company again as I had for many years b4. Anyway I might be way off the mark but just wanted to leave the coment anyway..

1:28 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I've already grieved over this one Mins, I won't be doing it twice.
Either way, sorry for your loss. And please, feel free to chime in with any opinion you wish.

3:43 p.m.  
Anonymous Babs said...

I think it was that I hadn't seen her in such a long time. I had forgotten about the hurt momentarily but then when I saw her and she waved like nothing had ever gone on that it brought it all back like it was brand new and that's what made me vom. I vomit when I get a fright. I did it on Sunday too when I found out something I shouldn't know, but that's another story.

12:47 a.m.  
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10:30 a.m.  

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