Shazia Mirza: Diary of a disappointing daughter

It’s amazing the time I spend with people I don’t like. We can’t choose our family, so we are forced to like them, tolerate them or pretend we’re not really related. But we can choose our friends, so I wonder why I have so many “friends” I don’t like.

I woke up this morning and thought, “Who are all these people? Why are they here? And how do I get rid of them?” I have been told by friends I do like that I should just stop calling these people and they’ll go away. But some people don’t get the message. They interpret my ignoring them as a sign of affection.

Some I’ve known a very long time, so I feel I have to carry on a friendship with them. Some have just invited themselves into my life, and others have stalked me and now call themselves my friend.

I felt really guilty about this recently, as I realised I spend more time with these people than I do with my family, whom I do actually like. But I didn’t realise how much I liked my family, until I spent time with people I disliked.

I went home at the weekend and stayed with my parents. Of course they got on my nerves after about two hours. But I quite enjoyed their moaning about how the area behind the sink is now rotting because of the water from the leaking taps, and how they think they’ve heard mice but it could also be the floorboards.

This conversation may sound mundane, but at least I know it’s genuine, and it’s better than pretending to like people I can’t really stand.