Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Twice in one day...whew!

I've been so into NaBloPoMo and the weekly challenge grid at Yeah Write (awesome community you should definitely check out) that I've been neglecting the rest of my reading list. So this evening I decided to check out Al Penwasser's latest post at Penwasser Place and stumbled across a very cool linky, which I immediately decided to join. Because I'm not already reading a LOT of blogs every day...seriously, there is some good shit out there!

So the linky is being run as a Resurrection Blogfest by Mina Lobo at Some Dark Romantic to celebrate her first blogoversary. Congrats Mina! It's pretty simple - all you have to do is link up a blog post from your first year of blogging before 11:59PM EST today. I love this idea since I changed my blog name and url in September and most people reading this won't have seen any of my earlier posts.

So here it is, unedited or retouched: The moment I knew, originally published June 13, 2011.

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. 

Scene from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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.

Scene from Mean Girls

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."

11 comments:

  1. Wow, Dude. Just...wow. What a couple of...well, it rhymes with "witches." Maybe once I know your blog better, I'll know if I could've said what I really meant. ;) Thanks for participating in my blogfest!

    Mina
    Some Dark Romantic

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    1. LOL you totally can. Let's just say I can't usually link up to the "family-friendly" hops. Love your blogfest and congrats again on your blogoversary!

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    2. I knew there was another reason why I liked you! :-) And thanks!

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  2. I think it's sad that you've had such a negative experience of female friendship. Or rather, "friendship". I have some of the best women in the world as friends and honestly there is nothing better than a girlfriend you can really rely on.

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    1. Since the time I wrote this, I've really re-connected with the childhood friends I mentioned. You're right - there's nothing better than having girlfriends you can truly trust and I'm glad I have them. I wish it wasn't so difficult to make new friends as an adult, but it is what it is.

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  3. You know, as a guy, I have to tell you, it's not just women. The methods and circumstances might be different but self-centered narcissistic rudeness transcends gender and is all-too common these days.

    But those women were even doing it all wrong -- don't they know the proper etiquette is to show up (albeit late), act snooty, sneer at your meager and pathetic offerings of hospitality, and then belittle you behind your back after they leave? ;^)

    But like I said at the beginning -- don't single out over half the human race for the actions of a few. Just keep looking and you may find some genuine, real, and compassionate women who know how to be true friends. They're out there. They might not be dressed in the finest clothes, or driving the fanciest cars, or living in the richest neighborhoods, but overt materialism breeds shallowness and is usually a symptom of the problem anyway.

    Hang in there!

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    1. How interesting. Growing up I always got along better with guys. I think because I'm pretty blunt and just didn't get "girl code" a lot of the time. I had kind of mythologized male friendship in my head as always smooth and easy, at least after junior high school. I know there are great and not-so-great friends among women too; I just seem to have a talent for picking the not-so-great ones.

      I really treasure the few close girlfriends I have, because I know how rare it is to find that kind of friendship now.

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  4. I had the mean girls experience growing up, only it was the one where my current BFFs suddenly turned on me without warning. It's no surprise that most of my closest friends were guys. I am far too blunt for most females to want to be around me.

    The one thing it taught me is to filter and weed out the pseudo-I-don't-give-frak-about-you "friends" pretty quickly.

    I find the internet is excellent for connecting with like-minded individuals and some of my closest ones I met online, then in person (and wish they lived next door).

    I have found a few who are amazing and feel just as I do and refuse to play the game.

    As a SAHM, I will say, going to the gym was vital to my (and my children's) survival (the only way I could get a hot shower before my husband got home) but I don't seem to recall engaging in the other stuff you mentioned.

    Today, I still have more male friends than female, but the female ones are incredible. And a lot like me.

    Because I just don't have the time or patience for the shitty ones. I have the mean girls to thank for that.

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    1. Yes! I have that bluntness issue too. And I love blogging for the same reason you said - because I can really connect with people who are comfortable being honest and real.

      I'm on mat leave again and it's so hard. I'm not good at being a SAHM and you're right: the gym is vital to everyone's survival :) It was a little weird with the friend who said that stuff. Most SAHMs I know are at home because they really enjoy domestic stuff and want to personally teach their kids and be with them. But this friend would leave her kids with her mom at every possible opportunity - I think she just didn't want to work outside the home rather than having a desire to be home with her kids. If that makes sense.

      I have a lot to thank the mean girls for. Most of all, for making me a fighter.

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  5. Alas, I used to have the same problem in my younger years. Not to mention that I didn't always have the time (or ability) to be SUPER GREAT FRIEND all the time. Now I have a good mix of boy and girl friends. My husband also has an excellent radar for shit friends and has called it on many occasions. I've learned to trust his instincts and back off on his no-nos.

    Bad girl friends make shitty friends, but there are good friends out there I promise.
    Visiting from ICLW.

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    1. I should ask my husband's advice about this more often. Because after things go up in flames, he sometimes says he's not surprised. He must see something I don't.

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Lend me some sugar!