Friday, February 29, 2008

Sharing Friends

So, my dear friend Lauren linked our breakfast bar posts to her food choices discussion board over at Babycenter, and let's just say the fireworks flew. If you want to see how it went down, click here.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the ladies of Babycenter for joining our discussion, and especially for taking me to task for pumping my kids full of unsavory additives, such as shellac. I'd just like to know how else I'm supposed to keep them so nice and shiny?

What I actually found most interesting about the whole Babycenter episode is the twinge I felt when I read Lauren's intro, in which she mentioned how she and I were friends, and then Keri moved in, and although Lauren had been concerned that my sister would turn out to be some kook she couldn't stand, "fortunately, her sister was a totally bearable nutjob, and now I hardly care which sister answers the phone when I call."

Really, Lauren? You really don't care AT ALL?

Not that I'm not happy that Keri and Lauren have become friends. And it's totally natural that Keri's first friends were people she met through me - because, realistically, how else was she supposed to meet people? Now that she's been here almost two years, she has made other friends through work and through preschool. But I would say much of her socializing is still done with friends that were my friends first.

This happened to me once before, when I introduced Katrina, a friend from childbirth class, to Jodi, my tennis partner at the time. The three of us all had one kid back then, and we took Gymboree together and music classes, and hung out at each other's houses several times a week. Katrina, sadly, moved to Columbus, but before she did, she and Jodi became close also. And I was always a little jealous when the two of them did things without me. That feeling was complicated by the pangs I felt watching Andrew and Carlin (their oldest kids) playing and developing together, while Jonah's delays marked him as more and more different.

I used to joke to Katrina that I have an abandonment complex, and maybe that's true. But really, I don't think it's that unusual to want to be included in everything interesting that's going on, is it? Who doesn't enjoy that feeling of being the center of the universe, that comfort in knowing that everyone in the room is closest to you than they are to anyone else there?

What counteracts my deep-seated fear that my friends will like Keri more is my certainty that Keri will always like ME more. That's what it comes down to, really, and why this is different than the dynamic between me, Katrina and Jodi: Keri and I are best friends (spouses excluded). And there's no friend I could ever lose who's more important to me than she is. So I do want her to make a lot of friends, because that means she'll be happy, and that makes it more likely she will stay.

Besides, something I realized yesterday, when Keri had a bunch of people over for a tuna tasting she was doing for the Philadelphia Inquirer, is that Keri is making a few cool friends herself. And there's nothing stopping me from honing in on them!

1 comment:

Lauren said...

Ok, you got me. Deep down, when I dial your phone number, a little part of me hopes that the sister who answers the phone is...wait, is that the doorbell?