It has been a while, hasn’t it? I have been very busy. The weather is getting better day by day here, in Doha, after the summer heat; and everybody tends to spend more time outdoors, hungry for fresh (well, somewhat dusty, but still) air.
It is the second Eid here right now, which means a week off school and work, and we spent last three days at the beach with friends, good food and even a shisha. I have not got much to add, really about being at the beach every day (without making you all jealous and that is not, my friends, my intention!)
Except that I have developed a very strong dislike for the jetski owners here, in Qatar. Husband always hated people who ride on jetski simply because they belong, in his eyes, to a special category of twats, also known as ‘people with no soul’. I, however, felt quite indifferent towards them, having tried jetski a few times myself, and not seeing any problem with them, except for the annoying noise. But, here, in Qatar, the guys who go on jetski do it in the most not just annoying, but dangerous fashion- they insist on riding them very close to the shore, practically on top and in between the swimmers in the sea. I have watched them do it for three days, and wondered what makes them come so close to us. Is it the desire to show off their jetskiying skills? Because, there isn’t any skill in riding one. It is not that impressive, really. So, if not to impress, then what? To scare us? To demonstrate that they don’t care if they kill one of us? I am quite curious what they think we think as we all watch them behave like dickheads on the water. Whether they think we envy their sexiness and macho-ness, and admire their speed and coolness? Or do they realize that every single pair of eyes directed at them sees a very large, brainless asshole on a noisy metal piece of shit?
Anyway, now that I expressed my honest opinion of the jetski riders, I can comfortably move on to what I wanted to actually talk about today.
Ladies and Gentlemen! Let me introduce you to…
A long time ago, back in the UK, I had a very unpleasant experience. I introduced a very nice friend of mine to another, new friend, who I quite liked. They hit it off, and for a while, we all hung out together, in a peaceful friendly harmony. But, after a few months, I found out the new friend started to exclude me. She bought some tickets to a cool event and invited my friend, not telling me. But as we all know, things like that get around very quickly. She then invited my friend and her husband for a dinner at her place. Without me. And slowly, but surely, my friend started spending more and more time with her. Without me.
Husband hates it when I get jealous of my friends, or upset about getting excluded. He thinks I sound like a little girl in the playground. Maybe. But, even with years of practice at being excluded, of teaching myself not to care, of telling myself endlessly that people have every right to like someone else more than me, and/or do things with other people…Situations like this particular one, when a friend comes in and muscles in, attempting to steal my friend, however I look at them….SUCK.
Since I have arrived in Doha though, I have actually not felt this way at all. Most of my friends here tend to share their friends happily. I assumed it was an expat thing. In the UK, I often noticed that many people never mixed their friends. They would meet friends from school on one day, friends from work on another and so on. I myself never paid any attention to separating my friends. If I had a party, I would happily mix them all- the more the merrier. If I hosted a dinner, I would enjoy bringing friends of mine together and introducing them to each other.
Here, in Qatar, we mix pretty well. Not just because we are all in the same boat- new place, no established friendships going years back, no families nearby. But also because we all need more contacts, and the only way we make them is through each other, through sharing our new friends with other new friends. As it goes in Russian…’peace, friendship, festival’.
But now, back to why I feel like crap today. Today I have found out that not just me (which, as I noticed, I don’t actually get that affected by anymore), but my daughter got deliberately excluded by someone I considered a friend. Now, this is a different game altogether! You can exclude me as much as you wish, my dear. But to exclude my little girl, hurting her feelings…that is unforgivable in my Book of Friendship. I sat down and told myself the usual things. She did not have to invite my girl. So what those kids are all friends- they can’t and should not do everything together, all the time. It is nice to do things separately! I told myself that I was being unreasonable. That I should rise above it….blah blah.
But you know what? I still have this nasty feeling…And in the end, this is what it comes down to, with me anyway. Forget the logic, forget the reason. I trust my feelings getting hurt. And if that happens, it usually means one thing. The end of friendship.