So, my mum has been friends for years with This Guy In A Band. I won't say his name in a public post, but if you know anything about the start of punk in the UK in 1976, you've heard of the band. For ages, I thought she was exaggerating about the level of the relationship, like if I said I was "friends" with Freezepop because I've exchanged a few emails with the band members. But then, I saw the handwritten letters, birthday cards and get well soon cards. She has his phone number, and in fact he used to ring her up a couple of times a month - maybe less often while the band was on tour, but then more often when he was back at home. I've heard the answerphone messages. She used to go round to his house and hang out with him on a Sunday afternoon in the same way that my friends come round here and hang out with me. You know, for all accounts and purposes, a perfectly normal - close, even, friendship.
So now he has this girlfriend. Who is half his age. And she's insanely jealous of any friendship he has with other women - the way I used to be. Except I was like that when I was 20, and she's 30 - the age I am now, pretty much. He really likes her, and thinks she is The One.
OK, so what's she done? Demanded he drops all of his other female friends. And what's he done? Agreed to it.
Weird though it might be, I can sort of vaguely understand her wanting him to drop ex-girlfriends that he's still in touch with. Other young(ish) attractive girls that he might be tempted by. But asking him to drop a woman of almost his own age - who has been a platonic friend for many years and who is married? And him agreeing to it?
My mum received a letter in the post a couple of days ago. Handwritten. Thank God. He would be entirely without redemption had it been an email - I'd be (at least metaphorically) round there hammering on the door and telling him to sort his fucking priorities out. It basically "explains" that he has to drop all his friends because this girl is so, so special, and she shouldn't attempt to contact him, even by email. With the implication that my mum is now persona non grata at the band's gigs, and that she maybe shouldn't even bother to say hello should they both be attending another band's gig.
It's insulting when you've been on the guest list for years and suddenly you're asked to buy tickets like anyone else, but to imply that you shouldn't even attend the gig, when you've been a fucking fan for fucking years?
But it gets worse. Never mind the level of friendship, what about all the things she's done for him? Typed up his autobiography. Typed up the liner notes on his solo album. Helped him with his artwork. Bought clothes for him (apparently, he hates shopping so much that she bought all the clothes for his last two tours. I assume he paid her). Helped organise a surprise party. Organised the merchandise on tour. Listened to problems and given advice.
And all that gets rewarded with "Thanks. Bye."
I know "Rock Stars" are notoriously capricious. I know that this particular girlfriend is a raving groupie who treats him like he's amazingly gorgeous and sexy just because of who he is, even though he's 60 years old and looks like shit. I know people do really stupid things when they fall in love. But to randomly, arbitarily, dump someone as a friend just because of their gender? Some people have some growing up to do.