I used to think people like Mrs Bucket were an absolutely ridiculous figment of someone’s imagination, after all, keeping up appearances is just a saying. Or is it? I’m not the most diplomatic or strategic person in the world, so if I don’t like you or something or someone else, I make damn well sure you will know about it. I don’t always know when it is better to keep my mouth firmly shut – I’ve never been a fan of gold – and more often then not speak before I think. That this has landed me in the deep end more than once or twice goes without saying.
I have two divorces under my belt and three kids by two dads. I like to go out with my friends. I love to throw a party. I used to love a drink (not anymore). But I’m also reliable and steady, a – hopefully! – great mum and a friend who is loyal to the death. I try to do my best every day. Some days that might not be as good as on others, but I always try. Unless I don’t like you. Then I probably just pretend I do.
So why is it, that some people feel this constant need for playing moral police and one upmanship, despite the fact they are supposedly your friends? Yes, I admit, some days it makes me feel better that there are bigger losers in the world than myself but that’s normally temporarily and applies to strangers on Jeremy Kyle, when it comes to those close to me I genuinely have their best interests at heart. I chose my friends for their character and personality, not the size of their house, their car or where they can afford to go on holiday. And I’m sure overall that is working a lot better than trying to keep up with the fake friends who are nowhere to be seen when things don’t go that great anymore. Who are nice as pie to your face and then bitch about you in the school playground.
Since I split up with my second husband, my social circle has changed a lot. There are hardly, if any, couples left in it. People I thought the world of, have entirely faded away, some quietly, others leaving a bit of a bitter aftertaste. Invites to happenings have stopped and you have turned into passing ships in the night whenever your paths cross. Thankfully, there are still those who turn out to be invaluable with their support and encouragement, listening, giving advice – sometimes critical, often sympathetic, but always honest (and that is how it should be) – helping out and simply being there. Those are the ones whose opinions now matter to me. Who make me rethink about the consequences of my actions and maybe pause a moment before I open my mouth. Who taught me to choose my battles a little more wisely and let a lot of the waves simply wash over me, because when you thing about what you can change and what is not up to you, it becomes quite clear what is worth fighting for and what not.