By REBECCA SPARROW
At some point when I wasn’t looking, I became a shit friend.
The type of friend people start whinging about a lot when they’re at dinner and they’ve stopped discussing whether Ali could totally go all Fatal Attraction on Tim’s arse on The Bachelor.
The type of shit friend who never returns phone calls. Or emails. Or er, text messages. The type of friend who LIKES your FB update as soon as you post it but who then 20 seconds later doesn’t answer your personal message. The type of friend who is notoriously unreliable.
You know the type of friend I’m talking about. She’s always the one saying, “Sure I’ll bring the three bean salad to the BBQ on Saturday.” And then she arrives late AGAIN with a bottle of Pepsi Max (AGAIN) from the servo down the road. And then she leaves early because blah blah blah <insert excuse about CHILDREN>. Or worse, she just does a no-show instead.
You’ve had that friend. I’ve had that friend. And now, suddenly, dammit I AM that friend.
And I’m not entirely sure how I got here.
Because once upon at time I was a great friend. I remembered all the important stuff. Your birthday. Your kids’ birthdays. The anniversary of your dad’s passing. The name of the boss you loved two years ago who got transferred to Perth. I dropped everything to be with you the Saturday afternoon your dog died. I fixed up your resume for you when you went for that job. I moved heaven and earth to get us front row seats (okay, third row seats) to Prince. I was connected and reliable. I sent birthday cards IN THE MAIL FOR GOD’S SAKE.
But that was then.
Now I am deep deep in the trenches with three kids. And my ability to maintain friendships appears to have evaporated along with my ability to get to the hairdresser. Or talk on the phone to anyone ever about anything for longer than 2m 47 seconds. Or watch any TV show past 8.30pm without falling asleep ten minutes in.
As I struggle to stay on top of the grocery shopping and the cooking and the laundry and the laundry and the laundry and picking up 3 million pieces of %$*&^%# Lego off the carpet and sitting through my four year old’s magic shows that NEVER SEEM TO END and breastfeeding my eight-week-old while I spoon feed my 18-month-old porridge which he seems to prefer to mash into his hair and try to recite the full lyrics to Sophia The First for my four year old who is DESPERATE to know them … the emails and the text messages and the phone messages from friends and colleagues and some woman in New York who’s an artist whose put me on her exhibition mailing list KEEP COMING.