After an acrimonious mail exchange with a friend, I was going to write about these friends that you keep in your life even though you know they are not good for you.
But I found this article in the Huffington Post about Toxic Friends-beautifully named- that do not add much to your life on the contrary they stress you out and you have to spend precious time calming down.
Out of the 23 signs this friend had 20! So why o I keep letting her in my life?
Our families have known each other for 60 years, so she does represent in some way my childhood, which was very happy.
We only reconnected when I moved in the area and soon after I went to another country and had a family, so encounters were rare.
When I was still working I had enough excuses to keep her at arms length.
Now I’m retired, she is still single and works, she thinks I have enough time to fill her empty life even though I have a husband and a household and hobbies.
What struck me in the article is the being self centred and cheap. THose two qualities are what irritates me the most.
It is always about her. When her mother died in a rather bad way of ALS, it was terrible for HER, and we all should feel sorry for HER. Same when her father at 89 had to go in a home. It was all about how much extra time she was putting in.
It never occurred to her that I was not very sympathetic, as my father was 10 years in a nursing home after a stroke at 45 years of age, from which he never recovered but staid a vegetable.
When I had small children en we had a small budget, she would swan in for a visit dressed impeccably, sneering at my mumsy outfit and demanding full attention.
One time she came after I just had my second child and suffered from a breast infection. She found it totally unacceptable I would not join her for a day shopping in a big city 1 hours train ride from where we lived.
As she will not travel or have an outing alone ever, she will find a “friend” who then has to contribute more on this trip than she would ever going on her own or with her family. She like everything to be of the best quality, Michelin star and all.
When some girls like me say we we are not willing nor able to fork out so much money, she will gossip behind your back about it.
I have a few times tried to break up this unhealthy friendship, but always find her a bit of a sad person and think: What harm would just one little outing be? I’ll will lay down the rules beforehand.
It will begin with a deluge of mails and Whatsapps about the outing first trying to extend it as long as possible. For instance a lunch will become arriving at 10, sitting talking, lunch sitting talking and preferably teatime sitting talking.
After all these years she still once has to offer to make any of it when she is visiting.
When you then have managed to beat her down to a more normal time on the outing she will mention, if she is driving, her petrol costs and parking costs so many times, that you pay it to hear the end of it.
She used to calculate what she ate and drank to the last cent. Recently since she has found, she is eating and drinking more than me now, we split the bill in the middle.
It all sounds petty, but adding this up, year in, year out I have come to the conclusion after reading the article mentioned above to make a final stand and break it off.
I did not even mention her moving in on your friendships with other women, so when you have a nice meeting with them, she will contact them and invite herself.
So got that out of my system. It has been building up for a long time. Wish me luck with the exorcism!
Am not reading very much at the moment as the writing is really taking off. Nearly halfway!
I read books like thrillers or other genre not to do with futuristic, fantasy or scifi subjects.
Through Twitter I found out about an experienced author with 20 plus books under his belt who had written a 4 part series about nearly the same future as I am writing in. I panicked.
Luckily my great guru and Twitter mate Gareth.L.Powell , put my mind at rest, talking about everyone’s own voice and that it is actually good if your work is similar to something that sold well.
He is such an inspiration to everyone.
His book on writing is not a you have to do this or that this way. NO, he actually encourages you to do the work, to keep at it, which is the most important factor if you want to be a writer.
On this Amazon page you can find his marvellous books.
My own stab at this writer thing goes through highs, when I just wrote a whole chapter in one go and upon reading it, liked it, to total despair, when the words sound stilted and in the back of my head a voice says: this has been done before and by better writers than you.
The curse of a long life of reading voraciously. I envy some of the young things who just get on with it and write something fresh and great to read.
Funny enough when I read their joy of just having a book deal, I feel happy by proxy.
The writing community #amwriting and #writingcommunity are on the whole very supportive for each other. The only thing that is sometimes a bit intrusive are all those rules they make up to write better.
I know there are techniques and such, have enough creative writing classes under my belt, but when I read what I wrote, not knowing anything I like it better than my sometimes constricted prose, after all this knowledge was imparted to me.
Right I better get on with it.
Mainly wrote this because the chapter I’m at has a lot of action and I am crap at that.