WoMEHn and MEHn

3 12 2009

Back in high school I was the girl who hung out the guys. I had two close female friends and nearly all the rest of my companions were male. My first best friend as a young child was a boy.  Men are just easier to deal with; less drama. Plus I tend to have the same stupid sense of humor as most 17 year old boys. No one ever seemed to care, or even notice. Then I got married.

The first three years of my marriage were filled with moves and chronic health concerns. I found myself in a new state where the only people I knew were my husband and newborn. I was soon diagnosed with depression. Treatment with medication failed. Shortly after I began experiencing severe constant dizziness, fatigue and nausea to the point of barely being able to function. I then developed motion sickness to the extreme. I was unable to drive or ride in a car. The 3 minute drive to the grocery store was nearly unbearable and was the only trip I made for many months. Other than that I was imprisoned in my 2 bedroom box of an apartment with a newborn, 2 cats and a husband who was working many hours and overnights at a new job. Along with causing crushing isolation and depression, this did not make for an opportunity to pursue any kind of social life.

Eventually I went to my doctor, who referred me to a cardiologist. I underwent a Tilt Table Test and was diagnosed with Dysautonomia. The next year was filled with medication trial and error, side effects, research and experiements in symptom management.

Finally, a long three years after the move and the beginning of my illness, I found myself in a position of feeling mostly normal. I was able to drive again, and began to have more and more days where my symptoms were manageable.

My newborn was now a three-year-old. My 2 bedroom apartment had been replaced by a house. Able to exercise again, I lost the 40 lbs I had put on and gained most of my confidence back.

I also started making friends, mostly through Twitter. One of these new friends would end up becoming a very significant part of my life, providing the yin that my yang had been missing since before I left my home state. It just so happens that this newest best friend came in a somewhat unexpected form: a single 18 year-old guy. This caused no pause for me. After all, I’ve always been a bit unconventional, and, as mentioned before, have generally always “gotten on” better with people of the opposing gender. And it had never been an issue before.

I had not yet been informed of the fact that when you become a wife and mother, your choices are no longer your own. Your intentions are tossed on the table for all to evaluate. Judgments are cast and assumptions are made.

It turns out that when a 25 year-old married woman walks side by side with a 19 year-old single man, people talk. People who are are strangers and people who are close enough to know better. They wonder. They presume. They eventually arrive at the same conclusion: What could these two people, in such different places in life, have to bring them together? The obvious, of course. The great bringer together: SEX. It also turns out that husbands are threatened by their wives suddenly becoming very close with single men.


Where does this leave me?

Do I follow my instincts, flip society the bird, piss off my husband (and face the related consequences) and hold on tight to this friendship that I value so highly? After all, I know I haven’t’ done anything wrong. Do I deserve to feel guilty because of the insecurities of others?

Do I cave in to the pressure and lose someone irreplaceable to me? That seems unfathomable to me right now.

What happened to the days when I was the little girl running around playing Ghostbusters with my best friend, Lucas, and people thought it was cute?

Mother pus bucket!



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