The kids have been swimming for a couple years now. We used to go three days a week, then it was two days a week and now it's just on Saturdays. There are a number of reasons for the decline in participation but mostly it's due to other activities getting in the way and not because they like swimming any less.
Every once in a while I would see a neighbor of EBF's. We would just pass each other and make eye contact, not saying hello but seeing the recognition in each other's eyes as to who we were.
(As an aside, those who already know can skip this, EBF stands for Ex-Best Friend. After eighteen years of friendship we had a nasty falling out. On her end, she feels the matter has resolved itself and is ready for us to resume our friendship. On my end, so not. For years she shared personal and private details of my life to people who had no business knowing any of it. When I called her out, she downplayed it and swore up and down that it was about defending me and not about sharing stuff. I disagree and have done my best to cut off contact with her, despite her efforts to the contrary.)
I know more about this woman's life than she realizes. All due to EBF and her gift of gab. I know her husband tells her that he's working all these crazy hours but really he's out drinking with his guy friends. I know her daughter is in therapy and has not-so-subtle mental health issues. I know all about her girls friendship with EBF's girls and other neighborhood girls. I also know how annoyed EBF used to get that this woman would pop in to visit and then stay for hours.
If I had to guess ... and it isn't a stretch really ... this woman (I'll call her Jill), knows exactly what's gone down with EBF and I. She knows EBF's side that is. I'm sure EBF has leaned on her when she was in the well of sadness at the beginning of our falling out. I'm not clairvoyant but I can feel it in my bones that Jill knows the story.
SO, today I signed the kids up for the next session of swimming, I saw Jill's girls in the pool before I saw Jill. I looked over at the bleachers where the parents sit, and there was Jill. Allot of things went through my head as I made the quick walk over to the seating area, clutching the baby. The only open spot ... was next to her.
As I got close (within 5ft) I made eye contact with her. She said "hi". I said "how's it going". Then we sat in silence. Me painfully aware that anything I say or do, will essentially go back to EBF. It might not be today, it might take a week ... but I know, just as the sun will shine tomorrow, she will hear about it.
Sucks. I'd much rather she know nothing. But short of moving out of Town that is unrealistic (but I'd like it that way anyhow, is that wrong?)
So as I sat there, I made a decision. I could treat her as the enemy or I could move on. I think for the most part I have moved on and while I will, probably always, be faced with this small obstacles I need to overcome them.
I turned to her and asked what her girl's names were again. Explaining that I remembered the other neighbor's girls (not EBF's girls, I didn't mention them) names and said them but I couldn't remember hers. She told me and then comment on how tall my oldest girl is and how well she swims. She then spoke about her years swimming and how she hopes her girls will do the same.
See? Not so bad.
I got through it. I had hoped the baby would spend her time wanting to walk the area of the pool but today she clung to me. It was a welcomed distraction and at the end of class she simply said "see you next week" and went off with her girls.
If she only knew the dread I feel about that.