May 21, 2018

Knows no boundaries

Ages ago I promised to explain why I allowed some distance to grow between this woman named Andrea and myself.  This is the woman who called me to let me know that my Dad’s car was in a ditch.  Remember?

So, since I know you have been sitting on the edge of your seat ever since, I will share.  

I met Andrea when we were both involved in organizing the marketing efforts for our local Catholic school.  It was a new committee.  I was excited to be connected with something that had nothing to do with diapers and laundry.  I think I was just happy to be working with a warm body.  (Ironic because fast forward to present day and my life is basically:  diapers and laundry.  Thank goodness I now have blogging).  This particular warm body laughed at my jokes and had kids the same ages as my kids.  To be fair, she was/is a very nice person.  I can’t deny that.  Heart is in the right place, etc.  Our meetings worked out great - the kids were thrilled to have playmates and we brainstormed about how to encourage other families to consider our ‘great’ Catholic school.  

The quotes around the world ‘great’ denote more irony.  In case you are new to these parts you might not realize -Coach and I ended up pulling our kids out of Catholic school.  Budget issues.  A bit sad when you consider how hard I had worked AS AN UNPAID VOLUNTEER FOR YEARS to promote the school and build enrollment.  When we needed financial assistance, they declined. Talk about a slap in the face.  

That was 6 years ago.  It was tough at first.  A big change.  Thanks to hindsight though, I can now appreciate that we are better off in the public school.      

OK, more about the marketing committee where I met Andrea and where I began to feel like I was utilizing my college degree . . . eventually I figured out a few things about Andrea.  She had a habit of arbitrarily shirking responsibilities and then acting like it wasn’t her commitment anyway.  That was irritating.  

On a few occasions she managed to use her ‘inside scoop’ as leverage.  Long story short, I suffered a miscarriage and Andrea offered to take my little guys for most of the day when I had to go to the hospital.  This was very generous of her.  

A few months later she failed to show up for her time slot at our sign-up-to-volunteer table during the school ice cream social.  Later, someone asked her what happened.  She claimed something came up.  While I don’t recall the specifics, she preceded to somehow infer to the group that she had covered for me when I had a medical emergency.  This totally irrelevant remark created a few sideways glances at me- followed by a few uninvited, 'Oh, what happened?' questions.  I wanted to scream.  

Andrea had a way of digging for information.  Another mom volunteer had one son.  Andrea managed to work an open ended question or comment into the conversation that left mom-to-an-only-child no choice but to explain whether or not having an only child was a choice or the result of infertility.  Awkward, and in such poor taste.  Andrea played the ‘hey, we’re all friends here, do tell' card.  It made me cringe.  

Gradually I learned that the longer Andrea knew you, the more overly comfortable she became with you.  Not always in a good way.  She didn’t recognize boundaries.

Towards the end of my involvement on the marketing team, our family was headed somewhere.  I don’t remember where.  I do remember that everyone was in the car waiting for me.  I raced upstairs to get ready.  The next thing I know Andrea saunters into my upstairs bedroom.  Unannounced.  

She threw a stack of dry cleaning bagged clothes on the bed with a huff after such exertion.  ‘These were my mom’s clothes.  She is tall like you.  She doesn’t want them anymore. I thought you might be interested.’  Her mom was alive and well.  She just didn’t want the clothes anymore.  

I froze.  First and foremost, what the Hell was she doing barging into my bedroom while I was dressing?  Secondly, what gave her the impression I would want her elderly mother’s castoffs?  

That was the last straw for me.  

She walked ahead of me as we exited the house thru the garage.  She was nonchalantly bounding out to her car completely unaware that the expression on my face behind her was one that screamed ‘there was just a looney in my room and she deposited her mom’s discarded wardrobe on my bed.’  
I only wish I had such good hair like I drew for myself here.  Is this not like a scene from a sitcom?  And the clothes were horrible.  They went straight to goodwill.  I guess a 'thanks for thinking of me' was in order, but SO WEIRD!!!  Couldn't make sense of it.  Other than being dealt a crappy head of hair, I try to keep up with fashion (other than the cold shoulder look).  Come on - your mother's old clothes?

Oh, believe me - I glared at Coach sitting behind the wheel of the great white when I emerged from the house to join the rest of the fam in the car.  He shrugged at me sheepishly.  ‘I don’t know what the Hell just happened?  She walked into the garage and saw us sitting in the car.  Then she asked where you were.  I told her you were getting ready to go, but I didn’t suggest that she go into the house and certainly not into our room.’

If that isn’t enough to end a blossoming friendship and suggest that I steer the Hell away from her, then give me an idea of what your friend would have to do to make you walk away.


Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

Yikes! She sounds a wee bit crazy! I would not even walk into my best friend's bedroom uninvited much less unannounced! And that' MY BEST FRIEND!!!!!!

Ernie said...

Exactly! I consider myself a pretty good judge of character, but I firmly believe that I initially was so excited to be doing marketing work for the school instead of diapers, dinners, and driving that I got a little blinded. After a while, I was like SPACE . . . I NEED SPACE!!!!