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A bl**dy teapot for one?!

(26 Posts)
NomNomNom Tue 07-May-13 22:51:00

At the weekend I went out with some friends for my birthday. One was my oldest friend, the others were slightly newer friends, one of whom I've only known a few months through work. I don't have many friends, so it took a little bit of courage to suggest going out, and I was pleased that they said yes.

Little bit of background: oldest friend and I have been a bit more distant recently, but she knows that I've been separated from exH for a while and that it's been hugely difficult (understatement).

Her birthday present to me was a teapot for one. It was a very pretty teapot, and I really appreciate that she went to the trouble of choosing a gift for me, but I nearly cried when I opened it. To me, it says 'you are so bloody sad, you will be alone forever, and I don't care. Look at you, haha'. (Although one year she gave me a hot water bottle, so it could be worse.)

When we were talking about her other friend's (I've met her, not present this evening though) success with men, she said 'have you thought about online dating?'. Obviously there's nothing wrong with online dating, I just felt a bit like this was further confirmation that she sees me as a total saddo who doesn't have any chance of meeting a bloke, especially compared to this other friend. Her partner has a friend who is from the same city as me, and my friend was joking about how they had 'his and hers' friends from there. I'm surprised she has never thought of introducing us (don't thing her partner's friend is in a relationship).

Newest friend from work seems very nice, talkative, energetic etc. At the beginning of the evening she had been talking about another bar and how we should go there together sometime as she'd already been with some other people from work. I thought this would be great as we're the same age and she seems to like the same music etc. as me, so I responded enthusiastically. At the end of the evening I brought this up again and said perhaps we could go out together with some other people from work sometime. She replied 'yes, sure, maybe we can meet in a cafe and talk about [work related] things' (redacted for anonymity). She's been out with other work people, so there is no way she thought I meant a work meeting or anything like that.

So now I feel like the small number of friends I have think I am boring and that I have no life. I am the only one with a child, and my life has been slightly difficult in the last couple of years. Am I being unreasonable to be disappointed in oldest friend?

Newest friend's perception of me seems to be almost the polar opposite of how I see myself, so how do I get out of the 'boring!' pigeonhole and present myself as the person I actually am/used to be before life sucked the joy out of me?

adagio Wed 08-May-13 04:28:29

Hi Nom, firstly I am so sorry to hear you are having a crap time, I haven't been in your situation but I didn't want to read and run!

I think you know yourself that your old friend didn't mean anything by the gift, although I can see where you are coming from. We once linked up a good girl friend with a good friend of DH. They dated for a while, and it was extremely awkward when they broke up - it might be this which is why your friend hasn't suggested anything.

I suspect your old friend is just worried you are lonely hence the comments about online dating, and may have been (clumsily) using her other friend as an example to work it into the conversation not to put you down.

In my experience, work friends are seldom on a par with out of work friends so try not to worry too much about that. In 17 years of full time work I have only hung onto maybe two people, out of literally dozens who I felt really close to over the years.

Are you happy with yourself? Do you feel happy and confident? Would a wardrobe overhaul/hairdo/new shoes give you a boost? Or maybe a new hobby or get more involved with an old one (you said you like music, is that something that could be manipulated into a hobby?)

take care and flowers

NomNomNom Wed 08-May-13 11:39:07

Thank you. No, not happy with myself, but working on confidence.
I know my friend didn't mean anything by it, but it still seems like quite a thoughtless present.

The nature of my work means that some people become quite good friends, but the people I made friends with have now left, and the others are already friends.

Not sure how new clothes/a haircut would help with this, but that's always fun anyway so I might do that.

ZaraW Wed 08-May-13 11:56:20

Sorry to hear you are going through such a hard time. Have you thought about joining a group or club to meet new people. I joined a running club and hiking group when I found myself single again and I've met new friends that way. Thinking about joining a cycling group for the summer. I always feel so much better about myself when I do regular exercise.

I wouldn't be upset about the single tea pot I have one as a gift and I use it at work and I love it.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 08-May-13 12:05:42

I am the only one with a child

I think that's the issue right there, nothing to do with you lacking anything. The ones without DCs won't have any experience of how they dominate your life nor how you can actually make arrangements to free up time, it may not be spontaneous because you need to plan in advance, but it's possible.

If you have come out of a long relationship, you probably prioritised home life above outside friendships, extras like hobbies and pastimes, you're just out of practice.

Firstly (sounds calculating) assess your existing friends. Can you drum up another night out, see what gigs are on, can you fix a weekend away even in the UK just to have a girls' break?

Do you have a reliable babysitter, can you take up exercise or sport or go to an evening class?

I don't know whether you are on good terms with your child's father or whether you have grandparent support, but perhaps you can figure out how to regularly do voluntary work or join a group activity.

PS I recall a MNer who in very trying circumstances regarding her faithless exH was equally upset at receiving a similar one teapot/cup set from her MIL, must be catching wink.

TippiShagpile Wed 08-May-13 12:12:51

In the nicest, gentlest way I think you are overthinking all of this.

You sound terribly low and I suspect that is making you see criticism where none is intended.

Personally, I think the teapot was a lovely idea and in no way a suggestion that you're going to be on your own for ever. I don't think any of the other comments or suggestions were meant unkindly.

Try to focus on yourself and what you can do to feel less isolated and un happy. I'm sorry you are having a hard time. flowers

TheNorthWitch Wed 08-May-13 12:56:55

I bought a one teapot/cup set for a married friend as she likes to have a quick cuppa when she has a break from housework - no meaning attached at all. Do you think you are some sort of sad loser because you are on your own? Surely it's better than being with your horrible exH?

TrickyTreeLou Wed 08-May-13 15:56:55

"PS I recall a MNer who in very trying circumstances regarding her faithless exH was equally upset at receiving a similar one teapot/cup set from her MIL, must be catching"

Yes, that was me! grin

NomNomNom Wed 08-May-13 16:29:23

Tricky That's impressive. How did you respond?

I think I'll suggest going to a gig when I find something good, good idea. I'm pretty sure the others aren't going to invite me out. Oldest friend used to say 'oh I've heard about x event, we should go', and then I'd see photos on Facebook of her at this event with her other friend.

DD's dad is usually happy to 'babysit' so I can go out, and I'm careful not to talk about DD too much with these friends because some have never met her, and I don't want to be 'that' person.

sarahseashell Wed 08-May-13 16:29:38

I dunno - some people hate the thought of others being single and do make stupid comments and act weird after a separation or divorce. I'd be hmm about the teapot too. Useful for smashing against a wall if you have a bad day though

Maybe the newer friends comments wouldn't have bothered you as much if you weren't feeling so sensitive after the first friend's comments/behaviour? If the newer friend is not being ultra friendly then sod her you are very nice I'm sure, just move on and don't let it put you off making friends. These things can be hard when you're newly on your own tbh.

NomNomNom Wed 08-May-13 16:32:23

Ah, not so newly on my own - it's been a couple of years. Teapot friend was initially very supportive, but then started changing the subject abruptly whenever I brought up exH. (I do always make sure that we talk about her life a lot, ask questions, follow up on stuff etc as don't want to be self-obsessed or to be seen as the person who is always whinging.)

sarahseashell Wed 08-May-13 16:35:49

nomnom I'm sure you're not! don't blame yourself so readily I reckon - nowt wrong with having a moan about exh and definitely a bonus to have dd smile there's a whole world of people out there who like gigs, have dcs and have exh's to moan about smile

wordyBird Wed 08-May-13 18:12:56

Hmmm.... well, first I would quietly take the teapot set to a charity shop. Let someone else love it, while you free yourself of its connotations.

Otherwise, every time you catch sight of it you will feel bad.

Two: perhaps have a birthday treat day just for you. Buy yourself the gift you wish your friend had bought. Maybe try the new clothes/haircut idea. Do something that pleases you and makes you feel good.

I don't much care for your friend saying 'we should go to X event' and then going with someone else, and posting photos about it. This makes me think it's time to find new friends (which I can see you're trying your utmost to do). You don't really know what your friends are thinking but you know how you feel after being with them! So if there's anything that would make you feel fun and interesting - something you love to do, that makes your heart lighten - now's the time to pursue it.

NomNomNom Wed 08-May-13 18:43:41

Thank you, you are all being very kind! Feeling a bit better already. I was expecting to her things along the lines of 'you should be grateful', 'your friends are not responsible for your social life or relationships' or 'you probably came cross as desperate'.

TrickyTreeLou Wed 08-May-13 19:05:09

Binned the teapot. Never wrote them a thank you card.

Not even fit for a charity shop.

I was really insulted when I received it. Their son had upped sticks, moved in with his pregnant OW, I was pregnant, and all I got for Christmas was a teapot for one.

clam Wed 08-May-13 19:17:33

Whilst I would have been equally insulted to be given one as a present, I ought to confess that I bought myself one once, as it was a lovely design and matched my kitchen. Have never used it - but it looks great on the window sill.

mummytime Wed 08-May-13 19:43:45

I have a teapot for one, it is useful at times when I am by myself and want tea. I also bought one for DH, and it wasn't a hint. He took it into work.

A friend asked for proposed to his girlfriend on Christmas Eve, when staying with her parents. On Christmas day he opened his present to find "Cooking for One".

But if you do feel your friends see you as hopeless and sad; you could try talking to them. But if they really do feel that way, then bin them and find some new ones. You've got rid of one drain you don't need any others. If you have children, you don't have time for people who don't add anything to your life.

MadBusLady Wed 08-May-13 19:43:46

I thought of Lou's ex-MIL's teapot too. grin I think in that case they are genuinely a bit strange and tin-eared for emotions!

Your old friend presumably isn't like that, although she does seem to have form for slightly shit presents? The changing the subject business could be read two ways, I think. She might be being unsupportive, but she also might be (misguidedly) feeling it's her job at this stage to jolly you out of it. Only you know, from context and her character, which is more likely.

New friend: I agree with Wordy, you really don't know that that's about you. She might just be one of those slightly brittle people who leads people on and then blows them off without knowing she's doing it. One to monitor.

Having said all that, there's nothing wrong with a bit of a wake-up call, if you feel you could do with getting back in touch with some "real you" activities.

NomNomNom Wed 08-May-13 19:47:06

Tricky That's really insensitive, I hope you're in a better place now!

Reassuring to hear others would feel slightly insulted too. As far as teapots go, it's a very pretty one, but usually when I see them in shops I wonder what the point of them is, and I'd never give a single friend one of these!

MadBusLady Wed 08-May-13 19:50:31

I find they don't pour well, probably because they're gift/novelty things rather than serious items of kitchen equipment. A teapot that's designed to pour well rather than look pretty is a rare thing. Anyway, who wants just ONE cup of tea?

NomNomNom Wed 08-May-13 19:55:47

Teapot friend really doesn't try to jolly me out of anything, it seems more as though she's decided some topics are out of bounds.
I'm not sure I can talk to her about how she sees me because she'd probably be annoyed that I'm getting personal, and her reaction would therefore probably be quite harsh. When she was talking about her other friend, I asked half-jokingly how she manages to have so much success with men (workplace romances/old school friends, apparently) - that's when the online dating suggestion came.

One problem is that I'm not really sure what is 'me' these days. I threw myself wholeheartedly into motherhood and marriage, and the breakdown of my marriage destroyed my confidence, and several friends disappeared after sticking around long enough to get the gossip. I'm pretty sure that I'd much rather go to bars than meet in a cafe to talk about work things though.

sarahseashell Wed 08-May-13 20:42:47

very understandable I think OP - it does seem to be the case that some friends don't hang around after a separation/divorce sad but then again just keep searching and branch out more. How about some kind of 'hobby'/interest so that you can meet like minded people and find yourself a bit more too.

Also there's meetup website and gingerbread. Try not to worry too much about the cafe woman - I think when your confidence improves you'd have just gone hmm and not taken it so much to heart. Sounds like boosting your confidence is the main thing you need just now?

anyway why wouldn't someone just make less tea in a normal sized pot if they wanted confused and also you might have friends round confused

NomNomNom Thu 09-May-13 19:15:14

Yes, exactly - what's wrong with a normal teapot? Or if that's too expensive as a gift, a single teacup would seem less insulting too.

I've been wondering about the meetup website... I've found 2 groups locally that sound interesting - what kind of person goes to this kind of thing? Because of the type of groups they are, I'm slightly wondering if one of them might be lots of 40+ blokes homing in on younger female students.

Definitely need to get out more though. Perhaps time to go back to the gym class I used to do.

NomNomNom Thu 09-May-13 19:16:05

(Incidentally, I used to go to this class with teapot friend until she decided she'd rather do exercise videos at home.)

MadBusLady Thu 09-May-13 19:29:54

I'm only saying this to contextualise Teapot Friend's suggestion, I realise it isn't necessarily for you - but if I was looking to date again I would do online dating as a preference to face-to-face meetups where you can't "block" or otherwise dismiss unsuitable people! It's what comes naturally to me. If I said to someone "have you tried online dating?" I would be meaning "have you tried the thing I would try?" and it definitely wouldn't be a second-best kind of suggestion.

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