I remember when friendship was something I took for granted. When the one thing apart from family which you could depend on for sharing, thoughtfulness etc was friendship. Inclusive. When it was a two way street.
That was in the days when I was a part of a couple. Let me tell you now that things change radically when you are not. And worse still, as friends start retiring, it gets way, way worse. There is no room for singles in a world populated by couples. Singles do other things. Apparently.
If you had asked me about this 5 years ago, I would never for a second have believed it. I have a friend who lost her husband long before Geoff died, and she told me way back then, that friends changed when you were single. And I, innocent that I was back then, could not for a second imagine that happening to me.
And do you know what?
I was wrong.
Right now, I am in a rage, and I know I should be bigger than this and laugh and put it aside, but I AM IN A RAGE. Just in case you didn't hear the first time.
If I see a bargain, I tell my friends. If I hear of an event, I share the details with those I think would enjoy it. If I have the opportunity to do something which my friends may enjoy too, I tell them about it. If I make plans, I share the details. If I am going shopping, I let my friends know so they can come along if they choose to. I always have done. And yet, I am noticing that while I am still doing so, not everyone does the same any more. And being in a rage is far more satisfying than dissolving into tears.
I need to get a grip.
But I remember how things used to be, you see, and that saddens me immeasurably. The way I feel right now is enough to make me want to sell the house and move to somewhere far away. Tomorrow. And not look back.
You may have gathered that right now, memories of how friendships once worked, compared to today this second, are not absolutely euphoric.
So forget friends for now.
When Granny, Mum and I were in London on that epic trip in 1976, we went to Trooping the Colour. We made suggestions to Granny that, at 85, with a long walk to Buckingham Palace and the Mall and back, she may rather want to stay in the hotel and watch it all on TV.
Well, Granny was having none of that. In cream coat and hat and in heels and clutching that bag, she insisted on coming too. Mum and I strategically positioned ourselves next to a First Aid post, in case Granny had an attack of the vapours or collapsed in the heat. The coat was warm and the day was hot. And she did not flinch, people. She walked all the way there and all the way back at speed, after standing for hours to see the procession and the Queen who was still riding sidesaddle on her horse back then. Granny's staying power was formidable.
Did I tell you that she was still skip of her bowls club at 89? She died when she was 93, and by then, she had senile dementia. In those days, we didn't label people with illnesses. Granny just got old all of a sudden, and confused, and so the family hired nurse aides who were there 24 hours a day to help care for her at home. That was the way things were done. And that was where she died peacefully.
Ah well. Some memories are happy. Some amusing. Some sad, and some make me think. That is not always a helpful thing. Thinking. Far better to be an ostrich. Hopefully my mood will be back to normal by morning. My family is rather hoping it will be better right now.