Not at all; to them, it's just "friends" doing what "friends" do--take all, be all, know all, to the "friend's" detriment. I had often said NO to dinner invitations, saying "I have other plans," to which she replied: "WHAT OTHER plans?" I want to stay home tonight, I would lament. "But you have to EAT, don't you?" I did not have to babysit and eat; I could have eaten just yoghurt, if only I could be alone. How I longed to just be alone. No, I had to go, and eat. And babysit, while she talked long about her life, and plans, and irks, and ideas. My own views were not entertained. I just sat and listened. That was my role. I finally said, as she and her fished for, and caught, unaware husband prepared to move: I think we are spending too much time together. She literally GROWLED on the phone, but the elixir worked. No more phone calls, till thirty years later. My husband took the call, and I mouthed NO when he said she wanted to speak to me. I mean, who can't find new "friends" in thirty years? I had moved on, with a great deal of struggle, and I was not moving back

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