I cannot believe, at the age of 34, that I am dealing with cliques and mean kids. Really? And even worse, why am I letting myself get affected by it?
Over the past couple of months, it has become clear that we are on the outside of a neighborhood group. The family next door to us is best friends with the family who lived on the other side of us (and who recently moved about 30 minutes away). The guy next door, who we call The Mayor because he is a know-it-all busybody, has decided he doesn't like us. He and his wife have one child, a son, who is about 4 months younger than my boys. I invited him over one night, and he said the invitation was too "last minute" (it was a week in advance) and he wasn't going to come. Instead, he had plans with his new best friends, who also dislike us. Both families have had parties where they have invited every other family on the block, but not us.
The Mayor made up a special "come out to play" whistle that he uses on all of his neighbor-friends. He'll go out in the alley that run behinds our houses and tweet at his friends. To me this is strange. Maybe if we were one of the cool kids who he whistled at, I wouldn't find it strange, but as it is... it's strange.
And it's strange to be discriminated against for something that I have no idea about- I guess that is why it all feels so high school. In high school I wasn't a cool kid; there were people who weren't my friend or who would never have dated me simply because I wasn't in their social strata. I'm not sure what defines us or separates us now; whether it is money, religion, or just who we are.
In addition to this situation, which I can somewhat dismiss because these neighbors aren't people who I would choose to be friends with if I met them somewhere other than my back yard, I have been kind of pushed out of a threesome with two of my other mommy friends (who are also neighbors). These are two women whose company I truly enjoy, and who have been immensely helpful to me and my family over the past two years. The two of them have gotten extremely close- they are together every single day; their girls are in school together, they exercise together, they are in a Moms' Club together, they babysit each other's children, and they go on vacation together.
When I was younger, my mom told me that threesomes are hard; there is always someone who isn't as close as the other two. Over the course of the past year, I feel I've been pushed further and further away. Neither one has invited me or my family over to their home for any kind of play date or meal, nor have they initiated a play date outside the home. It upsets me, because I like these women, and value their friendship. They are like-minded in the way they raise their children and share similar interests with me. I've spent a fair amount of time thinking about how to handle things- do I keep reaching out to them in the hopes that we can grow closer again? Or do I just let it go and put my effort into my other friendships?
In a way I've done both things recently; I've reached out to them to initiate plans and they've responded, and I've also put the majority of my social efforts into other relationships. Spending time with them is difficult, because they are up-to-date on every detail of each other's lives, and I am completely out of the loop. The feelings of exclusion are so reminiscent of middle school, of wondering what they say about me behind my back, why, despite my best efforts to be friendly, they don't think of me when making plans.
This post has been hard for me to write, because every time I start it or work on it, it brings me down. But this has been going on for a few months now, and it does have an effect on me. It's on my mind, not all the time, but periodically, and I wanted to just get it out.