Finding Ann Perkins

I almost didn’t get out of bed today.  The entire time my oldest child had cancer, I never did not get out of bed.  Not getting out of bed is a big deal for me.  I’ve been awake since 4 am but I stayed in bed, reading, groveling until 10 am.

It’s been a hard week.  First, the whole coming to terms with the idea that I may have two sons on the spectrum (which is only worrisome because the youngest seems to have some issues that make him… well… less than thrilled with me and I was kinda hoping that it was “just a phase” as so many of the “experts” have insisted).  Next came accepting that I would no longer have two days a week to focus on schooling the older two kids.  That break was always so appreciated.  And finally, right in time for my friendly monthly visitor, drama.  Drama drama drama.

I go to send a note to a person who I thought was a friend or at least a friendly acquaintance.  I’m going to invite her children over for our Halloween school day next week and since she works nights and is pregnant and her children seemed to enjoy doing school here about a month ago… well, it seemed natural to invite them again.  However, I discovered that she’d unfriended me on Facebook.  Giving her the benefit of the doubt and thinking that maybe she had done it by mistake, I checked instagram.  Sure enough, not only had she unfollowed me but she’d unfollowed my children as well.

Usually when this kind of thing happens to me (and it happens a lot more often that you’d think), I have some inkling of what has occurred to cause this person to cut me out of their life.  Maybe we had exchanged some words that seemed less than jovial.  Perhaps there had been tension the last few times we’d talked.  Or maybe they’d even sent me a note and said that they needed a break from me for a while (and then after that break, I guess they just didn’t want to be back in touch).  SOMETHING that might help me at least understand when the inevitable occurs.  That inevitable unfriending and dumping.  It’s one thing to clean out your friends list and unfriend people to whom you never talk.  But a person who you were just texting a few months earlier to tell they were the reason you were braving homeschool?  A person who had been reaching out and trying to be a good friend?  Well, it’s just not fair to do that sort of thing without an explanation.

So I asked for one.

I sent a note on FB and a text.  Did I do something?  I’m so sorry if I upset you somehow?  Can we talk about it?  My kid will be devastated because he loves your kid.

The only response I’ve gotten is that I can assure my son that he and her daughter are still friends, nothing between them has changed, and if they want to hang out to just send her a text.



So I deserve no explanation?  I receive no words to soothe over my wounded pride.  Nothing to solve this inexplicable mystery.  And now that we aren’t friends, who is supposed to host these get togethers with our children?  How awkward is that going to be?

This morning I was just done.  My husband returned from work to find me piled up in the bed on a church day, tears running down my face.

“I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t, Michael.  I may as well quit trying.”

His words of assurance didn’t do much for me.  I had to get through the grief.  I had to get mad.

That’s when I knew I had to become my own big sister.  You see, I do this sometimes.  I have no actual big sister.  I have no one in my life who is ready to come kick my @ss when I’m being ridiculous.

So I imagine her.  A lot like Ann Perkins to my Leslie Knope.  Or maybe more like Jenna

Maroney to my Liz Lemon.  She blasts through the doorway.  She throws herself down on the edge of my bed.  She uses the F word a few times and calls the offender a few nasty names of which my Leslie Knope would never approve.  But I secretly love it because it means she’s on my side.  Then she tells me to get up.

“Hey.  You are better than this.  Don’t let this bleep bleep bleep steal your joy.  There are three kids and a husband in there who need you.  Your daughter just made Pop Tarts and sausage for everyone’s breakfast.  Pop Tarts two days in a row!  That is unacceptable.  Get up.  Get moving.  And don’t for one minute believe this idiot deserves your energy.”

And I know she’s right.  So I get up.  I sweep the kitchen.  I give my man a foot rub.  I break up a squabble and put all three kids to work cleaning the house.  And I make a kickin’ awesome juice to tend to my own personal health needs.

Then, I arrive at this conclusion.

I have too many real friends who would never in a million years treat me this way.  Who love me.  Who value me.  Who see me and still want to know me.  Who are almost the Ann Perkins to my Leslie Knope and, if I stick it out with them long enough, might just become the best friends/big sisters I’ve always dreamed of having.  This person doesn’t deserve my friendship.  And frankly, now that I see how she’s capable of treating someone, I don’t think I even care.

Thank you, Ann, you beautiful rule-breaking moth.


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