All posts filed under: Friends & Family

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The Facebook Freeze Out

I had a cup of tea with a friend a while back and she told me she was feeling a bit low because another friend had stopped liking her updates and photos on Facebook, something to which she had taken great umbrage. She, rightly or wrongly, assumed this inaction was a sign of a bigger problem in the friendship – a conclusion she only reached when her real life friend of ten years seemingly lost interest in her online life. My friend responded by giving her friend the same virtual cold shoulder and they were now engaged in a Facebook standoff with neither one of them liking, commenting or acknowledging the other’s presence on their timeline. My friend, now believing a real problem exists in the friendship, has not contacted her friend by any other means since. She has not picked up the phone to say hello or sent so much as a text message or friendly email. Has regular Facebook interaction joined loyalty, kindness and trust as a desirable friendship trait? While Facebook is …

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The Dinner Party

There are many good reasons to entertain at home – not needing a babysitter being an obvious one – followed closely by not having to leave the house when it is frigging freezing outside and being in such close proximity to your bed after a couple of glasses of wine. With this in mind, we invited a few friends over for a dinner party last weekend. I received a new white tablecloth for Christmas (YES I AM THAT OLD) and I was desperate for an excuse to use it (YES I AM THAT BORING). I was also excited to get this particular group together, as although I have known them all individually for many years, we have only recently started to hang out together as an ensemble. So, call it an experiment. An experiment with food and wine. What could possibly go wrong? Well, lots if we had stuck to our original idea of cooking kleftiko (slow-roasted Greek lamb in the oven). However, a routine message to double check dietary requirements ended with a list …

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Say No and Let it Go

I have never been brilliant at saying no. ‘Can you work late tonight?’ No problem, I say, while secretly rearranging my plans for dinner. ‘Do you mind helping me with something?’ Of course, I respond, before finding out what they are asking for will take 3-days to complete. ‘Can you help organise the school summer fair/christmas fair/end-of-term cake sale?’ Sure, I reply and mentally set my alarm for 5.30am. ‘Can I borrow the Prada shoes you wore on your wedding day?’ Ok… *sobs* Why do I find it difficult to say no? For such a small word, it gets so easily lodged in my throat, cloaked in a heavy layer of guilt and making me feel I am about to let everyone down. I don’t want to appear rude, I hate uncomfortable confrontations and I try to avoid unnecessary criticism. I much prefer to maintain an upbeat attitude and leave a positive impression. I have no idea why. People say no to me all the time and I rarely feel resentful towards them. In fact, the Greek God(zilla) makes it seem like an art form. However, there are a …

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The One with all the Birthdays

The day after my son turned 6, I turned 42. We both celebrated in Crete again, an unplanned tradition that we all seem quite happy to keep. My 42nd birthday seemed to creep up on me rather quickly, whereas the big 6 seemed to take forever to come around. Not only is my son the last in his class to reach this milestone, he has to wait until the very last week of the summer holidays to do so. After a whole week of being 6, he returned to school and received his very first invitation to a 7th birthday party. And, so it all begins again. We took him to a traditional Greek dancing night on his actual birthday, where we all feasted on souvlaki and danced in a circle to Zorba’s. Not quite the Star Wars party he was hoping for, but he loved the craziness of it all. I woke up feeling a bit worse for wear in the morning, having emptied a carafe of red wine into my mouth in case I was pulled up for …

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The Ghosts of Friendships Past

I read in The New York Times that Charlize Theron ended her relationship with Sean Penn by ‘ghosting’ him. Ghosting is a term used to describe a way of ending a romantic relationship by cutting off all contact and ignoring the former partner’s attempts to reach out. While I have no idea if the article is true, the act of vanishing from someone’s life without explanation seems to me a little harsh. Or is it? While I do not recall ghosting any past boyfriends, I am sure I have ghosted one or two platonic friendships over the years, although I did not know there was an actual term for it at the time. In my twenties, I approached new friends like an excited puppy, bounding towards them, wagging my tail and licking their face.  Inevitably, a few weeks later when we had run out of things to talk about, or wine, I would realise that we actually had nothing in common at all… and so the slow fade would begin. While remaining nice and cheery in tone, I would suddenly be briefed on a big work project that meant …