I’m pretty…hardworking

I could write a hundred different posts about our time on the farm. It was some of the best years of my life. But there were trials for me also. Finding and holding onto friendships in my 30’s was challenging and I lost a few friends along the way.

I read once that we tend to build friendships around our kids when we are new parents, and I can see that was true with me. But one of my friendships started the other way around. Shelly and I became friends first, which lead to our children becoming friends.

As with many families, we women lead the way in organizing family get-togethers and we all had a great time at barbecues, dinners and picnics. This went on for years, until one day it all stopped.

One Sunday morning after a dinner party the night before at Shelly’s house, she came over unannounced to have a talk with me. We sat together on my porch swing as she told me she could no longer be my friend. I just sat there dumbfounded for several minutes.

What she told me changed things for me for a lot of years, and I just realized that today.

She said we couldn’t be friends because she was concerned her husband and I were interested in each other. I laughed and tried to convince her there was nothing to worry about, but my words fell on deaf ears. She left my porch and drove away.

And that was the end of a five-year friendship.

I was sick to my stomach for the rest of that Sunday, and cried most of the following week. I kept thinking, “What did I do? Was I too friendly to her husband? How do I fix this?” But no answers came to me. I just felt bad about myself.

Not too long after that another strange thing happened at a friend’s wedding. I was having a great time, partly because I love weddings, and partly because there was dancing. I’ve always loved to dance, and didn’t leave the dance floor unless it was to get a drink of water.

As I was heading over to grab a drink, an acquaintance of mine said, “Thanks for getting my husband ready.” I had no idea what she was talking about. When I laughed and said, “Ready? For what?” her comment back stung pretty hard.

She told me I shouldn’t be on the dance floor “strutting my stuff” in front of everyone else’s husbands. I was immediately mortified and felt that I had done something wrong.

It took me a long time to get over those incidences, and today I started to wonder if I ever really have. Growing up no one ever gave a crap about “pretty”, so it wasn’t a part of our thinking. Our value was determined by how hard we worked, not what we looked like.

But when I was in my 20’s I started to feel like I was pretty. I liked my hair and my green eyes and recognized that I had a nice smile. I wore makeup and liked dresses and looking good. Even after my sons were born, I would always get up and get dressed and put makeup on. I polished my nails every Sunday until we moved to the farm.

While I was working on our place, I didn’t get dressed up, but I always looked good. That is until I started to think that maybe I’d better “tone it down”, especially around other women. So I started to wear baggy clothes, and not much makeup.

Even later when my good friend coaxed me back to wearing clothes that fit.. and lipstick, I still had a nagging fear of being called out by other women for looking a certain way.

And I’ve carried that with me all this time. I don’t want to do that any longer. I’m learning as I get older to pick and keep friends that like me for who I am, and even encourage me to look my best.

I’m proud that I’m hardworking…and I can also take pride in the way I look.

Do you have a best friend that is there for you?
Best Friends

Reader Comments

  1. littlemissw

    I’m in my early 30s now and agree, it is difficult to make friends, especially as I’m a stay at home mum and so don’t have that ready-made group people to spend time with.

    Your experience with your friend is unbelievably hurtful. The problem is that when people say things like that it’s more to do with them than you, but at the time it’s impossible to see that.

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      I was a stay at home mom then too. It’s interesting to hear that you have experienced the same.

      And, I agree about the hurtful things people/women say…it took me a long time to recognize it was not me, but her. Thank you for reading and sharing as well.

  2. Lisa Tjaarda

    Loretta, it is amazing the things women do to each other…especially in our younger years…as if we were in competition. Are we? I have never thought so or liked to be around those that seemed to be.
    Now, I love reading your posts and look forward to them every time I get online!

    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Thank you for that Lisa. I think in a way we are in competition…at least when we are younger. As we grow older two things happen, A. we don’t really need men (to have children) and B. we are wiser.

      Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts!!

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