Thursday, September 4, 2008

How far can you bend before you break?

If you've ever been in a relationship, you know that it is a give and take thing. In a marriage, it seems like opposites attract whereas in friendships, you look for someone with all of the same interests.

Frank and I have always joked about how it is that we could possibly even BE together because we are so different. Honestly, I don't know how it's possible because there are times that we make each other crazy. For example, he is a smoker, I am not (and kind of allergic to cigarette smoke!). Frank is a night-owl, 11:30 is my limit. Frank can sleep with the lights and TV on, I need complete blackness and only the white-noise of my fan to get a somewhat decent sleep. I like spicy foods, he likes mild. I mean, the list just goes on and on. But at what point on the list do you hit the "THAT'S IT!" mode? How many couples out there just have had enough of their differences? I can't imagine hitting that point but there are times...

We hang out with different types of people. It makes it very hard to hang out as a couple because of this fact. To be with my friends means that he has to "straighten up" - i.e. no cursing, no yelling, being polite. To be with his friends I have to 'relax' - i.e. listen to a lot more 'off-color' stories, jokes, curse more, cough more from all of the smoke. Neither one of us is comfortable when with the others friends so we keep things like that to a minimum. The problem? I am a very social person. I enjoy being around people. It kind of sucks when you have to limit your social life because it is not your spouse's 'thing'. But I deal.

This is why I take a girls-only trip every 2-3 years. This is why I try to do a girls-night out once a month. This is why I BLOG!!! Frank goes out one night a week with his friends and he tries to jam with his band at least twice a month. Sure, in the immediate sense, he gets more time out doing the things he likes with the people he likes but I get to go on a really awesome trip every couple of years ALONE.

All in all, not a bad trade-off.

Now, what about friends? Again, even in a friendship it should be a give and take thing. No one friend should be the giver and no one friend should be the taker. I have a friend who is planning a rather large event. She started planning this event over two years ago. At some point she asked my opinion about food and the next thing I knew, I was supposed to coordinate it all! She never asked, she told me. The problem with that? Besides the obvious? Is that she did not seem to want me to coordinate it, she wanted to do all that and then just pay me to work the kitchen the night of the event. Well let me tell you, that is SO not my thing. I mean, I like to cook, I've worked in deli's, I don't do food for 100+ people without any help or having a say in what we will serve. I mean, please, let's be reasonable.

We've been dancing around this event for a while and she seemed to have it all under control. It is now a month away from the big day and we were supposed to get together and shop and plan so that she knew what kind of supplies would be needed to get all of this food heated and ready to serve. Okay, I set aside a morning -at a VERY early hour and I am NOT a morning person - and she did not show! Then she told me she'd come to where I work to talk with me and guess what? She didn't show!

How much of this am I supposed to take? When can I say THAT'S IT? How do I back out now because this is just not working for ME? How do you tell someone that you aren't going to help them because they have been that inconsiderate? Is there a gracious way out? Is there some sort of Miss Manners protocol? If so, I'd love to hear it.

I've hit my breaking point with the friend.

I'm still in love with my husband.


Nani said...

maybe you could know what i have been thinking that perhaps i am not the best person for this very special event you have planned...i would not want anything to go wrong and this really is not my area of expertise..yes i enjoy cooking, but i really dont feel comfortable cooking for so many peopel. i am feeling really pressured that it might not be all you want it to be if i mess up. just my 2 cents

Dina Rimi said...

Tell her that this may be putting a sore spot in your friendship. It is not that you don't want to help her plan it but you could not possible work the kitchen it is just not your thing. You will be happy to recommend some responsible high school students that would be happy to get the money and she can tell them what she needs them to do.