You’ll notice that while I felt like my annoyance at my relative yesterday wasn’t fair, I didn’t say anything about the old friend. Now I feel doubly justified. While a subsequent conversation with the relative was very warm and nice, and affirmed my feelings, the conversation with the friend was really bad, but also affirmed my feelings.
[The following was preceded by conversation-opening small chat]
Me: So, I don’t want to preempt your news, but I guessed it during a conversation with my sister. I was going to try to pretend to be surprised, but I’m bad at that – so instead of being awkward I’ll just say right off congratulations and I’m really genuinely happy for you.
Her: Oh well that annoys me! I was so excited to tell you myself.
Me: Well, sorry about that, she really didn’t mean to give it away. She just said I should call you back right away and I guessed why. Why didn’t you tell me you were pregnant when I told you I was, and that I was scheduled for my cerclage and all?
Her [immediately gets angry/short with me-what’s that about?]: D and I talked about it and we decided we weren’t telling anyone until after our 3 month appointment. It’s our choice. I asked him if I could tell you while we were on the phone and he said no.
Me [quickly deciding I wasn’t going to confess my feelings to someone who immediately snaps at me]: Oh, well, how’d the appointment go? I’m sure it was exciting to see the baby on the ultrasound machine.
Her: Yes, it took them a few seconds to see the heartbeat and we were so scared. You know, that’s why we wanted to keep it a secret, because we know so many people who’ve lost babies lately. And that’s how E found out she’d miscarried hers.
Me: Um, that’s how I found out we’d miscarried our first baby.
Her: Oh, yeah, I forgot. Our babies are going to be so close together! (giddily)
Me: Yeah, well, um, I want to tell you that while I am genuinely very happy for you, it is difficult for me to think about other women’s pregnancies.
Her: Oh, well, you would feel that way, of course, and [gets off into detailing her lack of morning sickness, etc.]
I think you all get the drift of the conversation. Mind you this person is not only my oldest friend, but her mom and my mom are close friends. Our parents have been back-yard neighbors since we moved into the house when I was two years old. This is a 28-year relationship. She said not a word about my cerclage, asked not a single question about how I was feeling. And I get the distinct feeling that my pain is an unwelcome blot on her happiness.
I need to remember she’s only one of many people in my life, and really the only person I have to deal with who is insensitive. But why, among all the people in the world, does she have to be such a toad?
I am so glad my sister ruined her happy announcement, because I don’t know how I could have handled that conversation without preparation. It was so superficial, but at least I had my hysterics over it among people who care.