The thing is, a bad girl is a bad friend. She doesn't mean to be, but when her cheating ex waves at her from across the bar, she figures you'll find your own way home once you realize she's not coming back from the bathroom. In university, I tried to expand my friendship repetoire to girls with pink comforters and kittens on their walls, but they turned out to be mean girls in honeyed disguise.
A few years ago, I started hanging out with a group of aerobics instructors/stay at home moms I met at the gym. J. and I were pre-kids and saving up for a house while we renovated our townhouse condo for sale. My new friends were a little older and while I didn't relate to their child-worshipping, we had a great time shopping, cardio kickboxing and poring over home decor magazines in their already-beautiful living rooms.
When J. and I finally finished our condo renovations, I was so excited for my friends to see the results, particularly since they'd mocked the townhouse as "boring and grey" ("how can you even live here? I would die!") the first time they saw it. I planned a fun Saturday afternoon starting at 2:00 with yummy oven-warm snacks and arranged for J. to entertain himself elsewhere. Did I mention how excited I was?
2:00 came and went. And 2:15. And 2:30. And 3:00. The hor d'oeuvres were stone cold as 3:30 plodded by. At 4:00, I called friend A and was shocked to hear a cheery hello on the other end. "Umm...where are you?" I asked in bewilderment. "Well, my dad dropped by unexpectedly with a present for my son. I know my husband's home, but I wanted to watch my son open his gift, so Friend B and I are here hanging out. She was out shopping until 2:30 anyway, so she just got here at 3:00."
Remarkably, I kept my composure and informed Friend A that I was hurt and angry that she and Friend B had stood me up. She apologized but didn't seem too concerned, so I got off the phone before I said something that our friendship wouldn't recover from. Later I sent them both an e-mail explaining how it appeared they "just weren't into me" and I was really offended by their regular lateness and stand-ups (this wasn't the first time). The responses I received were enlightening.
Friend B informed me that when I had kids I would understand that: 1) a person can't just not go on a shopping trip for new clothes right before they were supposed to be at a friend's house, 2) a stay at home mom's life is super busy with all the lunching and shopping and dropping off the kids for the day at grandma's house so mom can go to the spa and the gym, and I should have some compassion for her, and 3) I was being a ridiculous cold-hearted bitch for expecting a person to arrive anywhere on time or really at all, because moms "can't be tied to rules for casual social obligations."
Friend A informed me that her husband being at home was irrelevant. If her son was getting another toy to add to his dragon-sized treasure trove, she was going to stay and watch him open it for two hours. How could she leave his blessed presence for even a minute to call me and tell me she'd be late? The last sentence was the kicker: "Yes, my son is more important than you!"
With a quiet little snap, something in me broke for good. I knew I was done with female friendship permanently. I got together with my frenemies one more time, but I just didn't care anymore and I never talked to them again. Occasionally I get together with a few childhood friends to chat or go for a walk, but my BFF days are over. And I've never been happier.
I did this post as part of the Indie Ink writing challenge. This is my first challenge and I'm looking forward to reading the other entries. I was challenged by Alyssa, whose prompt was "The moment I knew" and I challenged Transplanted Thoughts with "Sit or stand."