Wednesday, 22 April 2009

The trip

I took a trip down South to see some old friends this weekend. I know (let's change her name) Rita from uni, we lived in halls of residence together in my first year and her final year and became firm friends. We got on so well and were so similar that we called the other our twin and I was gutted that she wasn't going to be around the rest of the time I was at uni because she was moving down South to live with her boyfriend.

I try and visit as often as possible which is not as much as I would like because it's so far away and I have to get the train which costs about £70-80 even with a railcard and it involves a whole day of travel because it takes about 7.5 hours to get there.

So we've remained friends for some time really, I was maid of honour at her wedding and she recently had a baby and I would be meeting him for the first time this weekend.

Our lives have undoubtedly started to diverge. She's settled down with a house and a family and I'm still bobbing along, going out and getting drunk and not really having any plans to settle down in the immediate future. I have to say though it's never really bothered me. I get on great with her husband (let's call him Bob), I've known him as long as I've known her.


This weekend made the void between us totally apparent and for the first time I wondered if this was it for our friendship. I have to stress that this is not because she is married and has a baby, one of my friends here in Hull also has a baby and most of them own houses with their partners and are engaged. The problem is one that I seem to come up against more and more often and that is the balance between a boyfriend/husband and the rest of their life.

I love my boyfriend very much and I'm incredibly happy with him and I fully intend to be with him for the foreseeable future. However. He's not the be all and end all for me. I have my own functioning social life outside of him that he has nothing really to do with and that's absolutely fine by me. I like that. I make a conscious effort for it to be like that. He's more than welcome to come and meet my friends and will come out on the odd night out and vice versa with his friends but it certainly doesn't happen often. If he was off out I wouldn't presume he was coming along and I wouldn't presume he was coming out with me.

With Rita and Bob it's completely different though. She has the worst situation I could ever imagine myself being in. Namely, that the majority of her friends are the partners of Bob's friends. I know a couple of people in this position and it is one that fills me with dread. Mainly beceause I'm a bit of a negative nelly and all I can think of is "What will you do if you split up?" I'm not saying it will happen and it probably won't but no-one can predict what will happen in the future and if you think that you'll keep those friends when you're no longer together then you're crazy. It's just too difficult. Everyone will make an effort and try to keep everything flowing along but sooner or later all will fizzle out because it's just too hard.

I just don't think it's healthy. It's good to have some different interests and go out and do separate things and then you can come back together and talk about what you've been up to. Rita and Bob are together all the time. In a way I admire it; they'll be together forever because they've been together 12 years already and can stand to be around each other 24/7!

It just would have been nice for Rita and I to spend some time on our own together. Like I said, I've no problem with Bob at all, he's great. But Rita is my friend and she's the one I come to see and we didn't spend any time just us together. We went shopping. Bob came too. We went out for a meal. Bob didn't come but some of Rita's friends came out (and guess what, they all go out with Bob's friends). Bob went to play golf. Rita and I ended up all day round at friends' house before going out for lunch with all the boys. Came home. Bob there too.

And I'm not suggesting anything sinister like oooooooh Bob won't leave Rita alone in case she spills the secret about the body under the patio. I just wanted to see her on our own. It'd have been nice. I did not spend £80 and 7.5 hours to sit in the house with Bob and Rita.

It was sad more than anything. I came back home and cried. And I wasn't really sure why I was crying. I think I was crying for what was lost and what might never be regained and for all the things that I would like to say to her but can't for fear of losing our friendship forever. What use would it be for me to say that I think she spends too much time with her husband? In fact what business of mine is it anyway?! I just feel like she loses more and more of herself every time I go down there.

I won't be seeing for a while anyway. The next time will be at the end of June when we go to Manchester to see Take That. And guess what? Bob's coming too.

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