I got stood up at lunch today.
I waited for over 15 minutes before finally going to hunt for my lunch date. She was rather confused and then apologetic. It hadn’t been deliberate or personal of course. The appointment just wasn’t appearing in her Outlook diary for some reason. I’d blame Microsofŧ. We made another date, I reassured her these things happen, no worries and then left to go pick up a subway and a trashy magazine, not a care in the world.
Or at least I hope that’s how it looked.
In reality I’d raced to the lift to ensure I was out of the building in time before my face cracked into a flood of tears. This from the same girl who’d spent the morning in a client meeting being strong and assertive, one stupid lunch mix-up and here I am like a fragile flower completely crumbling.
Of course my unsuspecting lunch date wasn’t to know this was actually the first time I’d arranged to meet a friend for lunch for nearly nine months. This was just a casual lunch between a couple of girls who’ve chatted at the gym and happen to work in the same place. No big deal or so you’d think.
I used to have a great social life back in Edinburgh, lots of beautiful friends from all walks of life and backgrounds. People I’d been roommates with, folk I’d met at the pub, university buddies, former colleagues, book club folk and random pick-ups I can barely remember how our paths first crossed. When I moved to Australia I expected over time for the same to happen. It didn’t.
In Perth I made a few friends from work, but all of them “schedule” friends. People with whom a social plan would involve detailed synchronising of diaries in the hope to make a formal plan to meet for dinner or a movie in approximately four and a half weeks’ time. Not really the kind of casual friend you’d just ring up for a chat or go for coffee. I really only had one friend I’d meet for coffee and she was lovely. Lovely but just the one person.
In Edinburgh all aspects of my personality were being enriched and enlivened. I had folks I’d re-live my arts degree by engaging in deep philosophical debates with, at other times and places the height of conversation would be shopping, TV and celebrities, on some occasions I might be the listener and shoulder and on others I would be the one needing a sympathetic ear. I’d go clubbing with my gay friends, have Sunday brunch at the pub to watch the rugby with my uni friends, get dragged to off-the-wall concerts and art exhibitions by my artsy social working friends and most of all drink lots and lots of coffee and wine, with each and all of my friends.
Since moving to Melbourne last May I've had no one, my poor husband's had to fill all those rolls. The poor fella does his best but he's bottom of the class in the nuances of celebrity relationships and don't even bother trying to get his opinion on which pair of shoes to buy, he still can't figure out why a girl needs more than one pair for all occasions. My social skills are on the wane. I don’t know if it’s my age or just my screwed up mind but I just can’t seem to make friends any more. I think I’ve forgotten how.
It’s all just a little pathetic.*
In good news though, there was a bright side. While I was eating my subway and crying into my OK magazine, I only briefly considered overeating. It was just that, nothing more, a fleeting thought not an overwhelming binge urge and it passed as quickly as it came. That's got to be good right.
*I'm also just a tad embarrassed to be telling you all this. But I figured that the reason I'm in this blubber-ridden mess in the first place is that I eat my emotions, I numb them rather than process them. So however embarrassing it might be, I need to let this out and go forward. You watch, in six months time I'm sure I'll have moved on and will be laughing about all this with my fabulous new friends.