I want my best friend.
I know he's busy. The worst kind of busy in advertising -- backfilling to avoid write-offs. It's a critical time of year for account executives and I know he feels vulnerable. I also understand that he's juggling a ton of afterschool activities. His oldest daughter is a jock, the younger girl is an artist, and they often have competing events. I respect how hard he works to support them both and not show favorites.
Which is why I feel immature and bratty for being jealous that he doesn't have time for me right now. He has a way of making me feel like it's OK to put myself first. I know my oldest friend is suffering (see below) and I keep checking Expedia to see what it would cost to go out there for her birthday in December.* $1000 to $1200.
I just got my first raise in four years. I have been helping my mom (ongoing) and my friend in the Keys (short-term; he got another job already!). I was hoping to pay down some debt with the raise, not travel 2000 miles for a "vacation" that will be anything but. The thing of it is, though, my oldest friend made it clear on Monday that she doesn't have anyone else but me.
My best friend and I talked about this last month, before her life went so wildly off the tracks again, and his comment was, "For what it's worth, I don't see going to see her as a vacation. You need R&R, not some epic drama on crack."
I will be 54 in less than 30 days. I need to take saving for retirement seriously when I'm still earning. I don't have anyone who will take care of me in my dotage.
I had a scary summer and surgery. I'm still wearing elastic waistbands. I get tired so easily and am battling killer headaches. I DON'T WANT TO GO TO OUT THERE to sit around a darkened apartment with a trio of dysfunctional chainsmokers. (I'm not kidding -- when I was out there last year all we did was eat carry out, like Dominoes. I had to insist we at least go to In'n'Out Burger.)
But her problems are so huge and her pain is so great. Does that trump my best interests?
I don't think so. But I feel so guilty. That's why I need him. When my best friend tells me to put myself first, it's because I
am as important to HIM
is to ME
, and therefore it doesn't seem as selfish.
*Yes, she's supposed to come to Chicago next month for MY birthday, just as she was supposed to come in for my surgery, but we know that's not gonna happen because she can't leave those two kids in her home alone overnight. She won't come to that realization until the last minute, though. So we just have to let this tortured process take it's course.