Saturday, April 28, 2007

Long ago, when I had just begun to date The Mighty Hunter, we went out with another couple. The guy was a friend of The Mighty Hunter's from high school. The gal and I became close friends. When The Mighty Hunter and I married, they were both in our wedding. A couple of years later, they married and we reciprocated the ugly wedding clothes favor. (At least I did, The Mighty Hunter was working in NY and unable to make it back home for their wedding. We were broke as sticks and couldn't afford for him to fly home for anything.)

Married life is what it is. For The Mighty Hunter and I, it hasn't always been all sunshine and unicorns and white cotton candy clouds. But it has been pretty good. More good than bad, that's for sure. But for our friends, whose names are generic enough that I might use them here, Chris and Mary, it wasn't so great. It actually wasn't so great before they married. The Mighty Hunter and I actually discussed how we would handle our friendships with them when, not if, they broke up.

Mary and I were close back then. During their marriage, she fought Hodgkins lymphoma successfully. Chris was a devoted care-giver, as he should have been.

Their jobs moved them around for a few years, but they were finally able to get jobs back home (same town as The Mighty Hunter and me.) Not long after moving back home, which they both wanted, their marriage began to fail.

Mary and I talked about it. They separated. I was honest with her when she asked my advice. I told her to fight for her marriage and make it work. I called her to make plans to get together and her phone number was changed and no longer listed.

This hurt. She never called me to give me her new number. I've always felt like this was because she didn't want to admit to me that she was being unfaithful to Chris. Especially after blabbing my big ol' opinion at her.

They divorced. She married the man she had been seeing. Chris met someone and they married. Chris now has a daughter that is a good friend of Stinkerbell's. His current wife and I are good friends. I forgive her daily for being younger, thinner, prettier and more talented than I am. She needs me to fix her phone and computer. It works.

This happened about 8 years ago. So, the wounds are not fresh. I'm not angry at her for what happened between us. She had a hornet's nest of problems to deal with and didn't feel like she could come to me anymore. She chose a different path. One I didn't approve of and she knew it. So, our friendship was gone. Que sera sera.

Now you've gotta know that I live in Small Town, Alabama. And if you ever need to reconnect with an old acquaintance or family, then Wal-Mart is The Place To Be. A few months after Stinkerbell's birth, I happened upon Mary in the WM parking lot. She was going to have a baby the next January. It was almost like nothing had ever happened to pull us apart.

Fastforward to today.

Opening Ceremonies for Teeball*. Chris's daughter and Stinkerbell are on the same team. Mary is coach of a different team (her son's.) It's crowded and prevents an encounter. I know there won't be any excitement or Jerry Springer Behavior, but I sense the anxiety of Chris's current wife.

I ask The Mighty Hunter if he's aware that Mary is "over there."


"should we say 'hi."

He's not going to. His friendship ties were with Chris. "you don't need to go look for her and give her a hug."

Now, not having ever been in this particular situation before, I wasn't sure how to handle it. I trust The Mighty Hunter's understanding of Chris's opinion and probable reaction to my speaking to his ex-wife. I also don't think that it would hurt his current wife, but I will protect that relationship over an estranged friendship with Mary.

The thing is, our kids' teams will play each other. Mary will be on the field with her team while The Mighty Hunter and Chris are helping to coach our girls' team. She will see me and Lucky and Stinkerbell. I will not ignore her.

Do I make an effort to talk to her away from Chris and his wife?

Do I just wave at her and smile while sitting right next to Chris's wife in our Mommy Chairs?

Do I talk to Chris's wife and offer to introduce them?

The inevitability of their meeting and having to deal with each other is high. Mary teaches math and coaches at the middle school our children will attend.

Please share with me your wisdom and opinions. I would also love to read your stories, good, bad and especially FUNNY, about these types of encounters.

So, now's your chance to enlighten and educate me about this etiquette. Oh, and hurry up. Our very next game is Tuesday, May 1 and it's against Mary's team. ::smirk::

*Opening Ceremonies? yes. Opening ceremonies. Not much of anything, really. Just an opportunity for the mayor to appear and welcome everyone to our town's recreational fields. There is a very special theme this year, though, for the teams. About a month ago, a young girl who has played in the Rec Dept leagues suffered an aneurism and died. She was 9. In her memory, all the girls playing today wore pink socks with their uniforms. Also, a white balloon was released for each death at Va Tech and a pink balloon for this special girl. Her picture is posted at the center of the fields on the bulletin board. It was very touching. She was a very special kid and her death was sudden and tragic. Our coach - a big, tall, probation officer - wore pink socks too.


Wendy said...

So sad about the 9 year old! The ceremony was a nice way to remember her! Especially the coach with the pink socks!

As for your friend situation! If I was in that situation, I would most likey gove her a quick wave to keep it friendly and that is it! This will keep it civil since you all live in such a small town! I am sure that she is not expecting much since she was the one to cut off all ties. I hope this helps! I am no expert as I have never been in this situation before!

Jennifer said...

Yikes. What a situation.

Seems to me, that you shouldn't be put in the middle. You should be able to say hello to whomever you'd like to say hello to. Mary and Chris should understand.

But it is a small town, so....

Slackermommy said...

I don't know if you watch Desperate Housewives but lasts nights storyline was similar to this situation. I think you should talk to her or at least smile and be cordial. It takes too much energy to avoid someone or hold old grudges. It seems for me that situations like that are so much more comfortable when the uncomfortableness gets pushed aside.