NOTHING'S PERFECT Listen: I never thought I’d be writing you, especially not now. Two years ago I married a perfect man. Three months ago, we had our first child, a beautiful baby boy. I couldn’t imagine a better life for myself; all my dreams seem to be coming true. There’s one teeny problem. I find myself wondering where all my girl friends went. My best friend is still single and hasn’t even come to see the baby. Some of my other friends came in the first month, but haven’t since. I wonder if I’ve done something to alienate them or if this is just one of those things that happens? Signed, Happy Mother, Unhappy Friend Okay: Did you ever have a pet when you were growing up, like a dog or a cat? You get them and they’re so cute, especially if you get them when they’re puppies or kittens. All the neighborhood kids want to see them and pet them so you show them off proudly. Then one day, they become just ... the dog or ... the cat. They’re still cute, but the newness has worn off and they’re so much work; they don’t listen, you have to train them and walk them and water them. Even if you didn’t have that experience, maybe you see where I’m going with this. I’m sure your son is wonderful, probably the best-looking baby there ever was. But what does your son do? You’re going to have to ask your friends themselves if you alienated them; maybe you have. But probably not. This is, as you say, just one of those things. They’ve come to see the baby; they’ve done their duty. I mean, babies are cute; they smell good; they’re fun to hold. But changing diapers? Cleaning up throw up? Not fun. You derive hours of entertainment (hmm, maybe that’s not the right word: enjoyment, satisfaction, pleasure) from your baby simply because he’s your baby. You’re proud. And you should be, every time he burps or laughs or goes to sleep. But you can’t expect your friends to feel the same way. They probably want to have a conversation about something other than what’s on sale at Baby Gap. If you want to see them, invite them out to lunch; don’t bring baby or baby talk. As for your best friend, I’m not sure why she wouldn’t have come to see the baby. Maybe you have alienated her. Or maybe she’s busy with work or whatever it is that single gals get busy with. You know what I mean. My thoughts would be, if you want to see her, send her an engraved invitation. Okay, you don’t have to go that far, but make sure she knows you want to see her. She might feel she’s been supplanted -- however weird this may sound -- by your perfect husband, perfect son, and perfect life. Then invite her over, but make sure your husband is on hand to take your son and vamoose so the two of you can chat.


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