Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Be Careful What You Wish For

It is great to have friends when one is young, but indeed it is still more
so when you are getting old. When we are young, friends are, like
everything else, a matter of course. In the old days we know
what it means to have them.

Edvard Grieg

I've not had a best friend since just before I entered high school.  Her name was Kathy Anderson, and she'd been my friend since I was five.  (Maybe I keep mentioning her name in the hopes that she may one day read my blog). But, she and her family moved away, and although we did try to keep in touch for awhile, we eventually both moved onto our own separate paths.  Since that time, I've had acquaintances, but no 'best friend'. Then since I read 'Soul Sisters' by Pythia Peay and I've been wanting a friend ever since--someone to fill that purpose, someone I  can sit have coffee with, laugh with, cry with, share secrets, and basically just pal around with. Actually, she doesn't even have to be a 'best friend'.  I just want a friend. I've spent too many years of working with no time for socialization.  Today I want more.

Then, when I retired I began attending the Senior Center I began meeting so many wonderful people, but I didn't find any that I felt I could build that special relationship with. At work, I was always the elder of the group, the Crone, so to speak, who had nothing in common with her co-workers because they were, at a  minimum, were 20 years younger than me, a generation, and we really had nothing in common. Now   the tides have turned. In fact, today I have become the baby of the group. Most of the people at the Center are at least 20 years older than me. Again, another generation stands between us. So, while we may have a great time together at the Center, after it is over, we each go our separate ways.

So, when the new woman was seated at our table during lunch, I thought I may finally have found that friend I had been searching for.  Maybe not a best friend, but someone I could pal around with, someone I could do things with. On the first day it went well.  We just chatted about our lives and learned that we had much in common.  We were close in age (she is 64), have the same degree in Criminal Justice, and  had similar careers before we retired. Afterwards, she walked me to the bus stop and invited me to visit her when I had time.  I went home beaming, happy to have finally found a friend.  But, sadly, all that was to be short-lived.

Turns out that we both have similar ailments as well and that it was our health issues that drove us to retire.  And we both live our lives in severe pain...and that is where the difference between us lies.  I never mention mine, not even to you, but that is all she talks about. She talks about it before Bingo, during Bingo, and after Bingo.  She talks about between every mouthful at lunch.  She follows me to whatever groups I attend and monopolizes the whole group talking about her issues.  Why, she even followed me shopping last week.

If not talking about health, she is rambling on and on about what a great worker she was, how important she was on her job, her husband's health, etc.  She doesn't want to hear what you have to say.  No, it is  all about her.  It has gotten to the point where  I breath a sigh of relief when she doesn't come to the Center.  Yesterday, I played a game on my phone before Bingo and totally ignored her at lunch.  She didn't even seem to notice because she was so busy 'yapping' to the next person about all her woes.  I couldn't help but chuckle when I heard the other woman rather impatiently say "At our age, we all have pain.  We just have to learn to deal with it." And still she went on. She just didn't get it. And, of course, her pain is worse than anyone else.

I find that now I must admit that I have drawn another energy vampire into my life.  She takes way more than she gives. (Sigh) These vampires seem to find me wherever I go.  Why me?  Why do I draw them to me?  Is it my aura? Do they sense that I am an empath? I have to stop letting my shield down, but I thought I was safe. After all, I'd left all the negativity at the office, hadn't I?  I guess I was wrong. Now it is time to back off without without hurting feelings if possible, but I cannot let her take away the joy that I find when I go to the Center. I guess you can say I took the first step by ignoring her and playing my game.  Perhaps she took the hint.  Perhaps not.  Tune in for further results.

Surround yourself with positive people, there are too many energy vampires out there, all to happy to steal your shine.

  she talked about her aches and pains before bingo during bingo and after bingo shygirl talked about it during lunch.
  I understand that at 63 hard for her to deal with this. gosh knows I've been through it myself.


  1. I can relate to this, Mary. It happens to me too. Good to nip it in the bud as soon as possible.

  2. Oh, those damn energy vampires. They're everywhere! I hope she gloms onto someone else soon.

  3. What Debra said. And that's too bad Mary. I used to draw people like that into my life too, but my husband helped me to snap out of it. Take better care of myself. I hope she'll soon leave you alone! Though i feel a little bad for the next person she attaches herself too. Such life and joy suckers people like her are...

  4. Oh they are everywhere. You left an opening for them in your desire for friendship. Just a suggestion: Do a little work/ceremony to bring in real friendship, even if it takes a while to materialize. In the meantime, continue to be social, put yourself out there. It will happen.