What Village Means to Me
- July 10, 2017
We recently had a date night, Mr Sunshine and me. Date nights force us to talk. It’s not that we don’t usually talk, it’s that we have to get a bit more deep and meaningful than “what do you want for dinner?” or “where’re me effin’ car keys?”. Yet for somebody who I often refer to as my 5th child, Mr Sunshine never surprises me with his wisdom. Quite often I have to say “use your words, Dave” (I know! Bless him) as our conversations revolve around “the thing, Jane. You know… the thingy… that thingy I was on about”, so when we have a good old chat, where I have a good rant and moan, he finds his words; he’s the one who keeps me grounded and gives me the perspective I so desperately need.
Take the other night, for instance. We’d had a lovely meal out with 2 of our best friends. Eddie and Mr Sunshine chatted shit about sport, and Rachel and I put the world to rights pretending that we knew EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING and EVERYONE. Unfortunately Rachel can’t seem to do food and drink in one sitting anymore, and the fact that she’d had a long day at work meant that she was ready for her Horlicks by 10pm. When we dropped them off at their house Mr Sunshine suggested we go for a drink on our way home.
We went to a pub in a neighbouring village and as we sat (me with my diet coke, him with his beer) we chatted about our evening. This led to talking about some of our other friends, and how we don’t seem to see much of some of them anymore. We discussed how we need to make more of an effort; after all, it always needs somebody to make a date, so it might as well be us.
But should it be us? With the exception of a few of our friends it ALWAYS seems to be us! This fact set me off on a tirade of monumental proportion, going off on several tangents, where I experienced every negative emotion fathomable – I reminded Mr Sunshine of the nights out he organises with his mates – HE organises – never seemingly to have his invitations reciprocated. How we’ve all got that one friend that never invites us round, never mind how many times they’ve been invited round to us. How those friendships are so one sided, and in reality bring no enrichment to our lives whatsoever. I ranted about how we sometimes seem to be overlooked in village get togethers, and how people in general can often be non inclusive. How some (women in particular) who claim to be part of a community really don’t understand the true meaning of village; how it shouldn’t just be the place in which we reside but should be about being a collective; an all-inclusive, all-supportive and all-encompassing fellowship. And this observation, my friends, is not aimed at the people in the village where I live as I’m not into witch hunts; it’s an observation born from conversations with lots of other like minded people. It happens in every town and every village the length and breadth of the country; cliques form and become impenetrable by ‘outsiders’, often leaving those ‘outsiders’ feeling lonely, rejected and unworthy.
I was soothed by Mr Sunshine. He can be quite philosophical at times reminding me that my attitude can sometimes be less than, um, Christian now and again, and that “Yes Jane, it should be us!” He quite rightly pointed out that regardless of whether we arrange dates or not, whether we are invited out or not, we have each other. We have our own little community right there within our own little family. We are village.
And so, in the spirit of village, my door is open, my kettle is on. You’re more than welcome. Particularly if you bring cake!
My name is Jane. Happy resident of Sunshineville.