Firm friends…

Last night I had a much-needed catch up with Lola.

Lola is my long-suffering confident. My ‘lets get plastered’ friend. My go-to gal when at the end of a shitty week, you just want to sit and vent and drink and swear and blame everyone else for everything and we do it well, Lola and I, we’ve got the t-shirts.

Lola and I became firm friends when I moved in to the house opposite her 11 years ago. We have been through a lot together in that short time, not least of which was her very unpleasant divorce, we both lost our Father’s quite suddenly, we have been in and out of the dating game together and we have children the same age, Elsie and Leo went through primary school together and even though she no longer lives on my doorstep, since her divorce (which is not a bad thing for my liver), we regularly check in and out with each other.

She is going through a tough time at the moment, her Mum is poorly and some distance away, which is causing her some heartache. She, like me, is a single parent and working and running around like a headless duck most of the time, endlessly chasing her own tail, as most Mum’s do and still feeling like she isn’t doing enough, of course she is but everyone else knows that, except you.

We Mum’s have a tendency to give ourselves an exceptionally hard time sometimes, quite unnecessarily so. We should really try to give ourselves more credit for actually holding the whole families shit together, while still looking bloody gorgeous and never ever skipping a beat, even when we do feel like we can’t keep our balls in the air for more than five minutes, without someone trying to snatch one out from under us.

So, on a half term break from football (woo hoo) and with Tom and Elsie staying at Nana’s, this was the perfect opportunity for a night of drinking with my mate. Armed with Vodka, a take away curry and a throw (there was no way I would be driving home), for surfing the sofa, I was on a mission to get drunk and be merry.

It was just what the Doctor ordered.

The whole evening starts quite civilly, we chat and catch up with what is happening with family and talk about work and what we have been up to, if anything, then as we get further down the bottle we get silly, start singing to Chas and Dave and flicking through songs to wail to, then near the end of the bottle we get the online dating app out and then it all gets really messy. She is currently in a relationship but has no trouble at all in helping me select really unsuitable men (when I say men, I mean boys), to outrageously drunk text. Of course I am more than happy to go along with it and in fact even instigate a few myself not realising in my drunken state how horrified I will be in the morning… and I was.

On the plus side I awoke after listening to Lola’s two loudly ticking clocks for most of the night, half lolling me to sleep before jolting me back out of it again, continuously, feeling actually not too bad, considering. I love a ticking clock, it reminds of when I used to stay at my Nan’s when I was a kid, but Jesus those bastards were LOUD. The weird thing is I’ve never noticed it before and she’s had them for ages.

I think I heard the neighbours having sex at some ridulous hour. She has mentioned to me before that she’s a screamer, but bloody hell. Luckily, it didn’t last long.

I definitely should have felt worse than I did this morning.

If ever I got pulled over on my journey home from sofa surfing at Lola’s I would be mortified. This morning I looked like a tramp. I hadn’t brushed my hair, never mind my teeth and I was still in the clothes I had slept in, apart from my jeans, so I probably smelt like one too.

On the drive home I had to get picnic stuff as I had arranged to take Ivy and Hula (the beagle) out. Yes, I know what I said before but as I always say one thing and mean something entirely different, it’s fine. Really. However, a mad dash around the supermarket in my state was not something I was looking forward and if I am honest, I wasn’t sure about the actual date either.

My week was turned upside down again by Ivy, who for reasons unbeknown to me and probably him, I am still in contact with. I thought we were going down the friends road and still think that maybe we are, but I am not entirely sure.

We arranged to meet on Thursday at a pub he picked, at random, to talk, the pub was in the middle of bloody nowhere, it was pitch dark and there seemed to be some kind of ‘meet’ going on. I waited in the dark, in my car, for what felt like ages when it suddenly dawned on me that he wasn’t coming.

I messaged him after about twenty minutes to see what was happening and because there was a tiny part of me that knew something must be up, he wouldn’t stand me up, I know that because he is just way too nice, but the fact is he did. He stood me up. Intenionally or not.

With no reply from him, I drove home, bloody fuming. On the drive my phone was pinging all the way, I knew it was Ivy but I was too mad to care.

By the time I got home I had calmed down. I checked my phone and there were messages of apology from Ivy, lots of them. He was in effect still in London, then on the train and intent on keeping me up dated with every stop from London to home. I couldn’t bring myself to reply, I didn’t know what to say other than, ‘you are a shit’ and I knew that once I started, I probably wouldn’t stop.

I went upstairs and changed in to my leopard print pyjamas, took off my make up and was just about to tuck in to a pot noddle (instead of the previously planned meal, I had chosen from the online pub menu), when my phone pinged again, twice. The first message said ”I will be outside in 5 minutes” the next one said ”I am outside” ARRGHHHH…. of course he was outside now, now I have got my bloody pyjamas on and no bloody make-up, FFS! That is the second time he has done that to me!

He wasn’t budging though, until he had apologised in person. Thankfully, it is also very dark where I live.

I went out. We sat in the car, he apologised, gave me flowers, then proceeded in a roundabout way to tell me that we should stop seeing each other, but that he didn’t want us to stop seeing each other, but it is unfair on me because his balls are about to come crashing to the floor. The conversation went on for a while and suffice to say that neither one of us is any clearer about anything than we were before the conversation started.

Trying to explain all this to Lola on a tank full of vodka made my head spin. The more I try to explain things between Ivy and I, the more complicated I make it sound. It isn’t complicated in that we are still more friends with benefits than anything else, but the complication comes from how complicated his life is.

Whatever time we have is for us, however long or short it is. I just want him to see that he needs to have time for himself, time to relax a bit, to chill out.

Today I took him and the pooch on a picnic to the park, it was something I wanted to do, for me as much as for him. He picked me up on the way back from dropping his son off and I made the lunch, we took a blanket, got coffee and lay on the grass in the sunshine (we are having amazing weather, still..), it was soooo relaxing and we just chatted and laughed and I read hillariously mad stories out of a one of those crazy ‘real-life’ magazines, while he insisted it is all made up. Ironic, I thought from a guy whose bat shit crazy ex could fill the whole magazine, single-handed. I also found out he is a Gemini, but we won’t go in to that right now.

Tonight he text to say thank you.

…and so we drift on.

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