Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Been Stewing

Here I am, days later, and still stewing about M's lying crap. You're probably sick of hearing about it. DH officially got sick of it at about 4 o'clock yesterday. But it's still on my mind, and here I type.

Part of my residual stewiness is because I found out later that M actually pulled C and B aside in Seattle late Friday night to ask them if I was mad at her. (Yes, welcome back to 8th grade, folks. I brought my Aqua Net.)

Which made shy, retiring B wonder if I was also mad at her, too. Thankfully, C told M that if M perceived that I was mad at her then she should talk about it with me directly, and reassured B that I probably wasn't mad at her, but again the person to talk to about it would be me. Instead of talking about it with me, M apologized to me first thing on Saturday am - if her "chaotic life and sudden change of plans had in any way bothered me." I note that M also chose to apologize to me in front of C, instead of alone. I accepted her apology but chose not to drill down on exactly what M thought she was apologizing for. It was awkward having C right there, and B in the bathroom - like M planned it that way so I would go easy on her. And at that point I hadn't decided if I wanted to confront M about the lying.

The whole "is hush mad at me?" gossip to C and in front of B but then not actually talking about it with me, just apologizing in a general, public way - that is yet another something about M's character that I can't abide. Makes me think M is just basically unable to even admit to herself that she lied - over $75.

I know I just need to accept M for wherever she is on her journey, and Have Better Boundaries. It sucks that she is in her mid-40s and hasn't figured this shit out yet. As in, um, friends don't like to be lied to? Um, nobody likes a well-off cheapskate? Um, when you gossip about someone else in front of 3 other women it makes people think you can't be trusted?

Deep down I'm just pissed at myself for ever having stupidly believed M was an honest, loyal friend instead of first looking for like Actual Evidence of those traits in her. The perceived limited number of available friends in Podunkville makes me spend more time on people who initially seem like good possibilities. Then I tend to over-embellish people's good traits - I reeeeally want them to be friend material. Been there, done that with my now-ex-Podunkville-friend J, too.

When will I ever learn?

I'm still tossing around C's idea of confronting M in private and letting her know how her behavior affected me. Easy advice to give, effing hard advice to actually take. I feel like that's the so-called "right" thing to do. But even C admitted there were times in her life and friendships when she should have taken her own advice but did not - there are just some people you can't reach; they're in too much denial.

I dunno... I'm just really hung up on having good, local friends. Perhaps I need to just stop trying so hard. Let other people make the plans. Accept people for who they really are, not who I wish they'd be.


Got It, Ma! said...

No advice, just commiseration. I've been doing a bit of stewing myself over a similarly difficult situation. I need to deal with it but just don't feel I have enough distance yet to do it without doing it badly. Ack. Best of luck. I hear you on the importance of local friends. They're not exactly thick on the ground around here, either.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, this is why I don't have too many close friends and have lots of acquaintances. Much more comfortable never getting past the polite stage with most peeps.

I keep reminding myself that I can't change other people (except by being an awesome professor who keeps her emotional distance, or being a close relative). I keep my distance and try not to get into the habit of rescuing people because that always turns out badly. And I never pay for people in advance unless I don't mind losing the money (about $5 is my limit there).

Anonymous said...

and yes, this: "Accept people for who they really are, not who I wish they'd be."

Who cares what her issues are or why? Or if she apologized in the right place in front of the right people or not? You don't have to be besties. You're not her parent, so you're not responsible for teaching her life lessons. You're just responsible for protecting yourself.

mom2boy said...

"The perceived limited number of available friends in Podunkville makes me spend more time on people who initially seem like good possibilities. Then I tend to over-embellish people's good traits - I reeeeally want them to be friend material."

Ugh - imagine if that were your dating pool reality and welcome to my world. Thankfully, I have good friends close by IRL, so I don't have to tackle both problems. I have just now decided to never relocate for a job as a single person parent.

And, yeah, accepting people for who they are not who you want them to be is key to all relationships I think.

hush said...

@Got It, Ma! - Thanks for the commiseration, and I hope you find a resolution to your own tough situation.

@nicoleandmaggie - "I keep reminding myself that I can't change other people" Amen! - reminds me of a funny quote I read recently: "Want to make an enemy? Try to change someone."

Yes, you're correct - my only real responsibility is to protect myself. That doesn't mean becoming a hermit, though that's my knee-jerk reaction to being hurt! ;) In a small town like Podunkville, one really can't live a happy life and/or have any success in business unless one has at least one or two good local friends, and loads of good acquaintances, too. It's hard to explain.

@mom2boy - Scarcity sucks, be it in friendship or dating pools. "I have just now decided to never relocate for a job as a single person parent." Couldn't agree with you more on that one, sister!

BlueBirdMama said...

@hush, my take is just to take it easier on yourself. I think it's a wonderful quality to give people the benefit of the doubt and assume their cool and normal until proven otherwise. You can't be responsible for not realizing someone is a douche until after they've done something totally douchey. What's the alternative-- to go around assuming the worst about everyone?

I think you sound incredibly self-aware and well adjusted. Cut yourself some slack when it comes to dealing with asshats. Asshats are infuriating and it's normal that you would be infuriated by them.

You know, I grew up with a nutty, raging, narcissistic mother who made me apologize for every conflict while she's never genuinely apologized for or even acknowledged her unacceptable behavior. That had me thinking for a long time that I was responsible for managing every interaction with everyone all the time and if things went to shit it must be my fault. It was very liberating to realize that sometimes people are just jerks and you didn't do anything to make them that way or attract them or whatever.

Cloud said...

Um, what everyone else said.

Seriously, I have nothing new to add. But I'm sorry this happened.

And if you can't wallow and stew on your blog, where can you do it?

Claudia said...

All good points have been made, so I'll regale you with my recent-ish story.

I have mentioned in your comments (cuz I like to think of this as my blog, you know :P) that I have a friend who bugs me to the point of me not wanting to be friends. I reached critical mass on our last get-together. It was their whole family (hub, her, two boys) and us. She started a conversation about why vegetarians were such demanding assholes, which didn't sit well with me. I was a vegetarian, and was never that way. Instead of politely putting the kabosh on the convo, I decided to engage and see where it went. It basically came down to them not understanding someone who decides as a personal choice to be veggie, and apparently they've never encountered a polite veggie. Whatever. There were many more instances of discomfort. The woman would point out to the man that his comment made everyone uncomfortable (please don't speak for me, eh?) and then would keep going on about the comment and people's perceived reactions, that we were all genuinely much more uncomfortable about her commentary.
Anyway, their dynamics, their world-view, and her tangle of insecurity and social awkwardness all mean that I am done calling her.

I'm done -- you can all wake up now.

hush said...

@BlueBirdMama & Cloud - Thank you for the acceptance and reassurance!!

@Claudia - Your story helps me feel validated about my instincts to just remove people from my life who have effed up relationship dynamics and/or world views that make me feel uncomfortable - thank you for that.

caramama said...

I really do view friendships in a similar light to romantic relationships. I mean, you (this is all the general "you") meet someone, maybe hit it off a bit, find a few things in common. You start to get excited that this person could be a special person in your life. You start thinking about doing things with this person, planning lunch dates, play dates, dinner dates... in other words, you start dating this person! Maybe you plan a big trip together (possibly with other friends) when the relationship starts to become serious. You are seriously good friends now!

And that's why it can be so hard to find out that special someone is really a douchbag. That is why it hurts when the reality does not match up with expectations. That is why distancing yourself or breaking off the friendship really does feel like you are breaking up with someone or taking a break or need some space... you pick the euphemism.

It's hard, and disappointing. And you can stew about it all you want! Breaking up is hard to do.