“You’re doing what?” Possible-Mate-from-Chicago asks. “Planning Meera’s New York baby shower,” I reply and review the list I was working on before he called. Invites. Food. Cake. Party Favors. Non-Alcoholic drinks for Meera. Alcoholic for me. Speaking of alcohol – I am thinking mimosas – but I have never actually made one for myself, I am generally ordering them with brunch. I should email Haynes Thomas Taylor (Post 309) – she knows things like the proper ratio of champagne to orange juice. I actually think mimosas are stupid. Who needs OJ? It just dilutes the champagne. And bubbles are delicious!
“New York shower? Will there be showers in all 50 states?” Possible-Mate-from-Chicago asks, clearly amused. “Noooooo! But Meera’s mom is throwing one, too,” I reply. “Let me guess you have been invited that too?” he asks. “Well, yeah – why?”
“Why?” I ask again. “Well – you sure do seem to do a lot of stuff for people,” Possible-Mate-from Chicago says. Hhhmm, I cannot tell if he is annoyed, passing judgment or expecting me to explain my actions. “Well – Meera isn’t people, she’s family. We have been friends forever. You have friends who are family, don’t you? What about those friends who are getting married in Cabo?” I ask. “I understand – and look – maybe Meera was a bad example. I take it back. It seems in the vast majority of our calls, I ask you what is new and you share a story of someone’s problem that you are expected to fix. As an outsider, you seem to have a lot of high maintenance friends, who seem unappreciative of your efforts.”
“Meera is family. Her parents come to town, they ask to see me. Same as Rohit’s family. Same as my parents wanting to see Meera and Rohit,,” I argue. He chuckles and sighs. “And you don’t listen when you don’t want to.” “Whaaaat?” I ask. “I said, fine not to Meera. I get that relationship – plan her shower until the cows come home…” “It will be the bluest shower known to man. They are having a boy,” I reply. “How do you know?” he asks. “They got the results,” I reply. “Good, I hope he is really healthy. But this volunteering you do and the two-hour phone calls you have with clearly unstable women who double as your friends who need you to talk them off the ledge is exhausting to listen to. So I cannot imagine how you do it.”
Now it is my turn to be silent.
“I don’t mean to upset you. It just doesn’t seem that there is any time for you in your own life. You seem to ‘complain’ – though this is not the word I mean to use – that you don’t have time to work out – yet you have four hours each week to take care of other people. I think you should take that time you spend on others and re-focus back on yourself.”
Hhhmm. If I actually take care of myself, I may have to admit what isn’t working in my life. Which these days – is a pretty long list.