is no better way to feel like an outcast than to bring up the war
in Iraq at a baby shower.
wanted a big group of friends. We'd meet up for brunch and discuss
every detail of each other's lives. When something happened to
me, everyone would care. As it is now, if something happened,
who would I tell? Liza.
Let's say I found out I had lupus. We'd
go out, have coffee, discuss my treatment, and then what? Having
a disease is bad enough, but having nobody to repeat the story
to? That's worse.
The friends that I do have don't know each
other. I meet them one to one, and whenever I've tried to make
it a group, no one gets along. Or, even worse, they get along
and end up becoming better friends with each other.
A while ago I introduced Amy to Karen, and
it had horrible consequences.
They hit if off and exchanged e-mails. Now
they're the best of friends and hang out all the time, except
they don't invite me. So instead of creating a group, I created
a void. When I asked Amy what she was doing for Thanksgiving,
she hesitated. "I'm going to Karen's country house."
How did that happen? I've known Karen for 10 years and I've never
once been invited to her country house. Of course, I wouldn't
go because she gets on my nerves. But still.
Last month I was invited to a baby shower.
But to be a part of this group you need to have a husband and
a baby, or at least the ability to pretend you're interested in
them. There is no better way to feel like an outcast than to bring
up the war in Iraq at a baby shower.
"You need to hang out with my gay friends,"
Liza said. "All you need to be a part of their group is some
glitter." I gave it a shot. At Jason's birthday party there
were so many gay men that I could have shown up naked and nobody
would have noticed. But by 10.30, just as things were getting
started, I got a piece of glitter in my eye. Rather than stick
it out and go blind, I went home.
I tried to think of what the requirements
would be to be included in my group. I'm not sure what they would
be - I only know what they wouldn't be.
No husband, no children, no pets. No drink
or dancing or partying. Or knitting. You shouldn't want to go
anywhere or do anything, and there'd be no pressure to show up.
All you'd need to be a part of my group is a desire to be alone.
There's a group of ladies who live in my
building and get together every Thursday night to play bridge.
The average age is 72. I wouldn't mind that.
Think of the diseases we could discuss.
I'd have evenings of arthritis and melanomas and sciatica and
dementia. I'd fit right in. But then they'd probably want to stay
up late to finish the game. And I'd upset the balance by leaving.
I'd tell them I had an early doctor's appointment, but they'd
roll their eyes and tell me they'd heard that one before.