I remember when I had Reuben, holding him so close in my arms, this feeling of contentment. I had someone, things who loved me so much that I was always the first on their mind. I wasn’t going to feel that sting of loneliness for a time. It might not be coherent company, it might not be the most satisfying conversation but I wasn’t an after thought.
I know it might sound a touch… needy, but I have always been the after thought friend.
What the hell is an after thought friend? Well, you would know if you were one.
The after thought friend is the one you invite to the restaurant to make up numbers. The one you forget to invite and have to text last minute. The one you forget completely and then wonder why they are a little bit sullen that they see you all over Facebook having a blast as a group, wondering what they did wrong when it wasn’t anything at all, they just don’t *quite* make the cut.
The after thought. The one you can take or leave.
The after thought friend is my slot.
An acquaintance is someone you would know to say hi to, but not really much more. This isn’t that. I often think that a lot of us become after thought friends after we’ve had children; or left that job or moved into a different phase in our lives, yet I’ve always been that gal. I think my biggest issue is that I’m fairly self sufficient. Friendship is a two way street, it’s a something that both parties have to work at and when life gets in the way of the “hey how ya doing?” It becomes harder and harder to be on someone’s radar. I’ve always felt slightly on the outside, slightly to the right of the centre and never quite important enough. It’s most likely partially through my own making and partially the way that life unfolds. I’d be a liar if I didn’t say I longed for that friendship that would last and last, the kind of girlfriends where I had been friends with them since childhood and continued to be friends with them for no matter how old, wrinkly and daft we became. The one that ALWAYS thinks of you first, just like you think of them. The one you speak to every day and are hardly ever separated from. The one you share your latest Gossip with, share your break downs and highest moments with first. The one you almost text to say “I’m pregnant” before you text your mum or your husband/partner knows… and by almost I mean do and then instantly think SHIT and text her back to say I haven’t told anyone… please pretend I haven’t said!
That isn’t me though. It never will be.
I see bestie memes and wonder if everyone else has that because, honestly, I don’t and I don’t think I ever truly have. Drifting has been commonplace for me. I can see friends from years ago and it’s like we’ve never been apart; the connection is there, but so is the drift. I can see my current friends who know everything about me, but would I be the first one they called if they found out they were pregnant (excluding the familia and baby daddy, obvs)… no. Would anyone be for me?
I think the after thought friend is both a product of their own engineering and of the way that people are. It’s a common place for new mums and mums who have friend’s without children, to inhabit. Your children take over everything, take over your whole being… so eventually your other relationship fade – not into obscurity, I have some really good friends, but just into… less. Some days it doesn’t bother me, other days, when everyone else is enjoying time together and I’ve been overlooked, it drives me up the wall and I spend ages wondering what I did to be overlooked AGAIN.
I don’t think I did anything though… I think I’m just an after thought friend and that’s that.