NOTHING'S PERFECT Listen: I never thought Id be writing you, especially not now. Two years ago I married a perfect man. Three months ago, we had our first child, a beautiful baby boy. I couldnt imagine a better life for myself; all my dreams seem to be coming true. Theres one teeny problem. I find myself wondering where all my girl friends went. My best friend is still single and hasnt even come to see the baby. Some of my other friends came in the first month, but havent since. I wonder if Ive done something to alienate them or if this is just one of those things that happens? Signed, Happy Mother, Unhappy Friend Okay: Did you ever have a pet when you were growing up, like a dog or a cat? You get them and theyre so cute, especially if you get them when theyre puppies or kittens. All the neighborhood kids want to see them and pet them so you show them off proudly. Then one day, they become just ... the dog or ... the cat. Theyre still cute, but the newness has worn off and theyre so much work; they dont listen, you have to train them and walk them and water them. Even if you didnt have that experience, maybe you see where Im going with this. Im sure your son is wonderful, probably the best-looking baby there ever was. But what does your son do? Youre going to have to ask your friends themselves if you alienated them; maybe you have. But probably not. This is, as you say, just one of those things. Theyve come to see the baby; theyve done their duty. I mean, babies are cute; they smell good; theyre fun to hold. But changing diapers? Cleaning up throw up? Not fun. You derive hours of entertainment (hmm, maybe thats not the right word: enjoyment, satisfaction, pleasure) from your baby simply because hes your baby. Youre proud. And you should be, every time he burps or laughs or goes to sleep. But you cant expect your friends to feel the same way. They probably want to have a conversation about something other than whats on sale at Baby Gap. If you want to see them, invite them out to lunch; dont bring baby or baby talk. As for your best friend, Im not sure why she wouldnt have come to see the baby. Maybe you have alienated her. Or maybe shes busy with work or whatever it is that single gals get busy with. You know what I mean. My thoughts would be, if you want to see her, send her an engraved invitation. Okay, you dont have to go that far, but make sure she knows you want to see her. She might feel shes been supplanted -- however weird this may sound -- by your perfect husband, perfect son, and perfect life. Then invite her over, but make sure your husband is on hand to take your son and vamoose so the two of you can chat.