I have this "friend." She is European. That probably has nothing to do with anything, but people have tried to assure me that she's not really rude, she's just "European" and somehow therefore has different standards for what makes one an asshole.
I've written about my friend, the Pushy-European (P-Eu) before. We have an almost three year history of her putting me in uncomfortable situations that violate my boundaries. I even succeeded in passive-aggressively breaking up with her shortly after Henny was born.
But, we live in a small town. And Peanut likes P-Eu Jr. And I had a shitty, shitty, really rough patch in my life last year which resulted in huge amounts of anxiety, introspection, and some major life changes. It's an ongoing process, that will hopefully result in me being better as a person and us being better as a family.
Somehow, somewhere in the midst of the super vulnerable time that was last year, P-Eu reappeared. And I let her. Because I was not in a place to turn down anyone's gesture of friendship. And because Peanut likes her son.
They've played a few times. Not as often as P-Eu would like, but at a level of frequency with which I feel comfortable. Having not seen each other for a few months, a playdate was planned for today. Peanut was invited to P-Eu's house after school. I agreed. Peanut was excited.
As we pulled up in the driveway, Mr. P-Eu emerged from the front door to greet his children. Who were at that very moment arriving home from school. With their teen male babysitter whom I have never met or heard of before. As Peanut scurried into the house to play with his friend, I asked Mr. P-Eu if I should call P-Eu in 30 minutes or so to see how the playdate was going. Mr. P-Eu told me not to bother, as P-Eu wouldn't be home and he, himself, would be in the attic working. But not to worry, because the babysitter was there. The teen male babysitter whom I had never met or heard of before, and whom nobody had informed me in advance would be watching my child. Have I mentioned that I absolutely do not allow male babysitters because someone I care for had a horrible childhood experience with a teen male babysitter?
I sat in my car for a few minutes, trying to figure out a polite way to say "Oh, Hell no, Mr. P-Eu!" I tried calling D. to see if I was overreacting. I started to drive away, trying to convince myself that it was fine, not wanting to disappoint my son who was already in the midst of playing with his friend. About 30 seconds away from P-Eu's house, feeling pissed off and vomity, my mom called.
I told her the situation. She said, "Oh Hell no. You go back and get him right now." And I did.
When I got there, Peanut and P-Eu Jr. were on the second floor, hanging out P-Eu Jr.'s open, screenless bedroom window. I'm glad I went back. I have to break up with P-Eu once and for all. And I need to learn to trust my instincts at all times. And to make my boundaries clear and insist that everyone in my life honors them.
For (once again) reminding me of those things, I am grateful to P-Eu.
I'm still totally breaking up with her.