I still have a friend here that I knew when I was 8 years old. We sat together in Junior school but had vastly different lives. Her father owned two shops in the town and she appeared to be well off. I was living with my grandmother and two maiden aunts, we ate food grown on the old allotment and I wore hand me downs and in the summer my grandmother did B&Bs. But I didn't know how different our lives were, I didn't notice.
We do meet for a chat and a coffee, but not as often as she'd like because she is for ever saying to me.. 'You're lucky, with your husband, and no mortgage. I don't believe in luck and do point out to her, that she had a lot more than me once.
At one time she was managing one of her father's shops and had a husband, who had his own company and they lived well. Often visiting big gambling clubs where they won and lost thousands of pounds. At that time I was teaching, earning money to pay my mortgage and working hard to keep paying the bills myself, with my four older children still living with me. I had left and divorced my then husband. At one time I did some private math lessons to earn extra money just to make ends meet.
When I realised I wasn't getting any younger at 58 and didn't like where I was working and still had a mortgage; I resigned my Deputy position, sold my big house and down sized to get rid of it. It was a release, but hard, the three bedroomed house I bought needed quite a few things doing. But it had a nice sized garden and an open hall way as you entered it, so it won me over within minutes of looking round. I had all that needed to be done, bit by bit as I earned the money, doing part time supply teaching. It took 4 years but I loved that house. When I had a tax rebate, I bought what I had always wanted, a raspberry pink carpet for the lounge, hall, stairs and landing, I loved it! And just doing supply teaching was good. I did a regular three days in a local school, and really loved it. And didn't retire till I was 64, but that school was lovely.
I met my lovely lovely husband when I was 62 and we married 2 years after.. and so I am well off, not money, but rich in blessings and we have a lovely home here in S Wales and are enjoying living here.
So when she says.. you're lucky,' I do point out to her, that she spent 4 1/2 years 'dallying' with a married man, re-mortgaged her house because she liked her detached house in that part of town, which is now too far out. She still works part time for Carlton cards in different supermarkets, restocking the shelves and will be 80 in a couple of months time. Like me she has arthritis and walks bent, but too proud to use a stick.
She is now talking about buying something smaller if she can afford it, in town, so she won't have to worry about driving. I do care about her, but sometimes you have to distance yourself from some people. I really don't agree with her about being lucky, I earned every penny I have and worked hard. I do talk things over with her, but it's her decision and to be honest I think she is still thinking she'll be lucky and it will all work out for the best and even thinks her married man friend might come back.. WHAT??? ..
It's true, some people never learn!