Monday, June 13, 2011

The moment I knew

Other women don't like me much.  From kindergarten through high school and beyond, my life has been one mean girl moment after another.  And yet I kept trying.  I wanted a best friend so badly - that mirror me that everyone else seemed to have.  But like a good man, all the nice girls were already taken.  It didn't help that I'm drawn to the troublemaker in the group - from Rizzo to Angelina Jolie, no one interests me more than a woman with a healthy streak of snark.  I remember whispering to my mom that I wasn't sure I was a good Christian, because I secretly preferred the villain in any story. 


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."

33 comments:

  1. Even when I became a mother, I never felt I fit in with the other mommies. I went from group to group, leaving when I experienced enough mean girl moments.
    It's nice to see I'm not alone.

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  2. I hate when people act like that. It's ridiculos.

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  3. I got an email today saying I've been kicked out of a group called "Alternative Mamas of Las Vegas". Yeah, even "alternative" mamas don't like me. Eh. But it said the reason was that I didn't participate in enough of the outings.

    Welcome to the challenge!

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  4. You go girl! We women carry too much drama with us..and jealousy...that's all there is to it. You are liked, beautiful and all those things they don't have...(including class) Although I've been so lucky to have good friends, they are all from my past or childhood ...don't really try hard making new ones because you just never know!

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  5. Total bitches. Glad you don't talk to them anymore!

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  6. you are so brave. I dont think I would have confronted them. But I hate conflicts and avoid them at all cost. Which is why I dont have close girl friends. Dont get me wrong I have girl friends but no one im extremely close to, even people ive known for awhile are still extra dramatic and bitchy.

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  7. I've never really done well with girlfriends either. Don't really get why? It's always ended badly. I maintained three friendships before I left for Dubai in OCtober, but every time I visit UK they are 'Busy' as they 'Have lives too'. I don't even bother letting them know I/m visiting now. I just can't care for peeps who don't care for me. Not anymore. Shah .X

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  8. Whoa. What hateful mean asshats! The image of your snacks sitting there getting cold, the knowledge of what that feels like because you're still certain someone's going to show up to eat them and be disappointed you couldn't keep them warm - yeah, I hate those chicks and want to throw things at them.

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  9. What jerks!! Girls can be so ridiculous. I prefer working with guys, especially... you can just say what you mean and there's so much less drama!

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  10. Yup, they sure sound like a bunch of smug arrogant women who probably are pretending to have it all when really they are hiding their misery from you because they are jealous.

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  11. Having friends sometimes takes so much effort. I'm with you sister!

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  12. Whoa don't throw all of us women in the group with those self-centered egomaniacs. Some of us are appreciative of friendships.

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  13. It sucks that girls and women never change. I don't have kids yet, but I've definitely been in your position - the standups, the late-showings. I know how you feel, and I'm sorry you fell in with a crummy group. But one thing my mother taught me and it has stuck with me for 24 years: friends come and go, but your family is always there for you. My siblings and I are each others' best friends - so when someone is mean to us outside of the home, we know we can count on each other. When you do have children, teach them this, and they will always be happy. Best of luck!

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  14. Your writing style is very smooth. Some blogs I find myself skimming through but for some reason here, I hang on every word!

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  15. Now I'm feeling guilty for not making any direct comment toward what you wrote about your frienemies. I think I'm just afraid you'll come find me and stick me with that big shiny knife you got there, so I'm just gonna keep nice and quiet!! LOL!

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  16. girls suck. take it from someone who just "broke up" with a bad friend! better to focus on yourself instead of wasting energy dealing with selfish people like you described above.

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  17. Like the post and I soooo could relate to it!
    Thanks!!

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  18. It appears you need to find friends who are NOT in the category of "I may not be much, but I'm all I think about".

    Don't be the butterfly, be the flower and let the attraction happen organically. Oh my God, I sound like some ridiculous mountain top dwelling hermit.

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  19. UGH! Those freaking bitches! I don't know where you live, but I remember when I first moved to Southern California, I could not BELIEVE how "flexible" people were with their time obligations. Try getting an entitled little teenaged twirp of a girl who was raised by women like that to show up to work on time. And then when you fire them after repeated warnings, they act like you are INSANE! "You can't fire ME! Do you even know who my dad is????"

    I have NEVER just not shown up when I said I would and I have FOUR freaking children.

    Those women need to be slapped. I'm sorry they treated you like that.

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  20. GREAT POST! I've found finding quality friends is one of the more challenging things in life. You grow apart from high school friends. You develop "surface" friendships with people with similar lives and outlooks. In the end where does that leave you? Entertaining fake new friendships and grasping at straws for common ground with old ones. I'm lucky to have one solid best friend--the rest of them can just kiss off. Like my fancy wording? hahaha!

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  21. BTW - I gave you something in my last post!

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  22. I was talking to my friend at work about this EXACT thing today. Well, not exactly exact, but close enough. I've never had female friends either, and for most of my life, I've done back flips trying to please some of my so-called friends, but I've never been the first choice, never been their best friend...they've only been mine. If that makes sense. Anyway, I relate to you, and I find both Friend A and Friend B extremely bitchy and not worthy of an awesome person like you.

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  23. I'm not doing the Indie Ink Challenge but I popped over, and started reading your post, and was riveted until the end. I get you. I like my own company. I do have a couple of good friends, but I'll never be that lady who lunches. And yeah, those gym ladies...total snots! So better off without them!

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  24. Well, with "friends" like that, who needs enemies right?? Finding good female friendships especially as you get older is really a tough thing. I have a few that I am still close with from elementary school or earlier so I consider myself lucky. But most of the "friends" I have found as an adult are hit or miss at best. Great job on the challenge!

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  25. Ugh - it's so annoying that women never really grow out of that snotty-ness towards one another. I always have found it interesting how people totally change when they have children, I get that it's a big adjustment and obviously life changing event...but to ditch your friends or blow off living life just because you had kids? Where's the balance? You're not a perfect mother just because you refuse to have a social life!

    I loved reading your other posts that you linked, thanks for referring back to them! :)

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  26. Oh Ixy, that story made my skin crawl. I'm so glad you got out of that situation. I have a hard time connecting to girls too; I always have. I start out great and then after a while things just get weird. There are a few friends I have but it is tough to sort through :)

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  27. great response to my prompt! i'm actually thrilled you wrote that; my life could be described similarly. never had a ton of girlfriends, and the ones i did usually have were my (male) friends' girlfriends who (not so) secretly hated me for no reason. women are just generally awful. (except you and all commenters here. obviously.) welcome to the challenge! stick around, i'll be your friend. :P

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  28. I've had this problem my whole life as well. I just gravitate to guys more and we seem to get along better and have more in common. I haven't quite given up on girls though...i have to have some female representatives standing up there with me if i ever get married!!

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  29. Oh, sweetie. I really really understand this post, and I feel the same way. I have trouble with female friendships and I wish I didn't - I would so LOVE to really belong in a group, but I continuously feel like the outsider. Sigh. Thanks for posting, I feel much better knowing I am not alone!

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    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts - I feel like a freak a lot of the time, because it seems most woman have all these great girlfriends and I don't. I guess it's quality over quantity in my case.

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Lend me some sugar!