Friday, July 1, 2011

Upon Hearing An Odd, Obvious Lie

I'm off to a 4th of July weekend getaway in Seattle with 3 local girlfriends, C, B, and M. This trip has been on the books for quite awhile - I made our hotel and dinner reservations back in mid-May, with the help of DH who, by the way, is awesome.

Then, yesterday, Other Peoples' Drama suddenly struck. (And I am NOT down with "O.P.D." However, "O.P.P." may be something I can get down with on rare occasions.)

If you've been reading me awhile, M is the wife in this shitty relationship.

I saw M on Monday night, and she said she was really looking forward to this weekend, and that she could leave early on Friday morning because her DH would be taking the day off to watch their 4 daughters. But yesterday, she suddenly informs us she can't leave until 2:30pm - DH screwed her over by not taking the day off after all.

Then B texts me to say she had just finally started looking for childcare on Thursday for all day Friday, and has (not-shockingly) been unsuccessful, and oh gosh oh gee, she didn't know her DH was working that afternoon, so now she couldn't leave until like 5:30pm. To be fair, she just moved into a new house 2 weeks ago, has 3 kids, 2 still in diapers, and is a generally disorganized person who waits until the last minute and hates calling people on the phone... whatever.

However. WTF?? We'd been planning this trip for HOW LONG?? Can't you find sitters in advance, and pin down your effin' husbands to handle their own friggin' children once in a blue moon?!

We make time for the things that are important to us. We may SAY something matters, but it's what we DO that tells you what we really prioritize. And clearly, this trip did not make the top of everyone's list.

But that's not what I'm bitching about.

Yesterday morning (the day before the trip) C calls me and says that B and M just told her they are going to take the Saturday morning train to Seattle instead of driving on Friday after their husbands get home, because M's DH thinks there are a lot of deer on the highways, and is worried about M driving the small car and hitting a deer, and they need the bigger car to remain at home to haul around their passel of children, but even though there are a ton of deer such that B and M can't drive M's car on Friday they nevertheless want to ride home in C's car on Sunday which is ridiculously inconsistent, blah, blah, bullshit, bullshit, etc.... C is concerned because M never mentioned what she planned to do about our shared hotel room on Friday, and C is on tight budget, whereas M is well-off. I told C I would ask them directly and clarify the sharing hotel expenses for Friday that we had agreed to via email weeks before.

M calls me back to let me know that M and B are coming to Seattle on Saturday, "my DH just didn't communicate with me" and after a minute more of explaining herself, she starts to let me go, "ok, bye." ... Then I say "Hold on, M. What about our hotel reservation for Friday night? There is no way I can cancel or change it on less than 24 hours notice. So what do you and B plan to do about that - it's approximately $75 per person for each of the 2 nights we're booked?"

"What hotel reservation?"

"At Hotel, where we are staying." (Silence.) "M, did you think we were all going to sleep out on the streets of Seattle tomorrow night? Where do you think we're all planning to stay?"

"You never told me anything about that."

"M, I sent everyone an email with the booking confirmation on 5/17. I'm re-sending that email to you now."

"I can't remember the name of the hotel... I never got any email. I don't know what you're talking about."

"M, you need to call B and figure this out right now. You and B are going to have to be responsible for your portion of the hotel bill for Friday night whether or not you show up until Saturday. Let me know when we can expect you." (End call).

A few minutes later, M replies to my re-sent email (the email chain soooo clearly showing M saying 'Yes, definitely book that hotel.') "hush, I did get that original email but I couldn't open the attachment to see the booking - I just opened it now on my phone. Looks like B and I are just going to take the train on Friday, so no worries! See you then -M."

I was livid. M lied so shamelessly and so effin' ODDLY. On something that an email record so OBVIOUSLY proves she's lying!


DH and C think M's odd lie to me over the phone was the startled reaction of a person in a bad relationship, who was surprised by the sudden (but foreseeable) realization that she'd be on the hook for the hotel bill for Friday, even though she couldn't enjoy it, and she was so upset with her DH that she let greed/selfishness/misplaced anger get the best of her, and in the moment delivered an unpremeditated lie, and one that was painfully obvious because she'd had no time to think it through, and she was reacting from a place of pain and you should really feel bad for her because deep down she knows what she did was wrong....

C and DH were kind enough to let me vent yesterday, so I'm largely over it and can enjoy the weekend no matter what weirdness M brings to the party. Whether or not M actually acknowledges her lie and how wrong that was to do to a friend, I've pretty much written her off and have silently demoted M from friend to acquaintance. Her loss, I think.

I just can't stomach lying liars who lie... and over stupid shizz.


Slim said...

Is it too late for you to come to DC instead? I know I'm not the friend you were hoping to hang out with, but I will not make excuses over goofy stuff and I will ply you with delightful refreshments.

And I am profoundly irritated on your behalf, but the "lying liars who lie" tag cracked me up.

hush said...

@Slim - Awww, thanks! I would love that. ;)

mom2boy said...

"We may SAY something matters, but it's what we DO that tells you what we really prioritize." So true!

I don't think I'd be able to keep her up at friend status either because I'd always be thinking about how idiotic it was to lie so boldly and badly. Probably does come from a place of extreme insecurity but until she gets that sorted out, she's not real friend material.

And "lying liars who lie" is too funny. :)

Claudia said...

Yea, at the end of the day, no matter what their dealio of the moment is, you still gotta be baseline normal and decent to people. I wouldn't have patience or much sympathy for that, either.

I suppose a trip to Denmark is a bit of a stretch, but we do have a guest suite, and I don't even charge for that!
(my word verification is myomb-- does it stand for Mind Your Own Motherfucking Business?)

NK: Style-ING w/ Children said...

oh gosh, reminds me of a trip to the mountains and the petty fighting over $$ for food of all things... ugg

I so feel for you. Hope you will be able to enjoy the weekend still. And good for you for taking time off for yourself.

Ignore M. The pain part of the rationale is probably true, no matter how ugly and juvenile it actually sounds.

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Jac. said...

Just wanted to throw another thought out there - given that we suspect that M is in a shitty/dysfunctional relationship, is it possible that M had a conversation with her DH that went something like this:

M: Don't forget, I'm taking off Friday with the girls and you have the kids.
I: That no longer works for, I need to be at work, the kids are your responsibility, you can't just go gallivanting off leaving me holding the bag, when do I get a vacation, etc. etc. whine, whine.
M: ?? We talked about this, you promised! Anyways, the hotel is already paid for.
I: By who?
M: Hush
I: Well, good, you haven't paid for it so it doesn't matter.
M: But I said I would.
I: Well, you shouldn't have said that. I'm the one who is working, it's my money, I forbid it.

I could see this kind of situation spiraling out of control, and M choosing to lie to you rather than admit that her husband is a loser douche-snozzle and she's too cowed to stand her ground.

Not saying you should forgive her, but maybe this weekend could be an opportunity to really find out the state of her relationship, and refer her to your counsellor if necessary.

Claudia said...

Jac makes a good point, and a damn fine put-down -- "loser douche-snozzle."

Cloud said...

Yeah, I don't have a lot of patience with being outright lied to, either.

What a mess.

I hope the weekend comes together and is fun, though!

caramama said...

Yeah, come to DC!!! I'm just hanging around lately with a bum knee, but I'm up and about! We (this group of bloggie friends) really should try to get together sometime!

I am always trying to give people the benefit of the doubt. I can be really flighty sometimes and think I didn't get something like an email, when I did but just forgot about it. Maybe she forgot in the moment of the plans changing because she was frustrated with the loser douche-snozzle? But then, where did she think you guys were sleeping? I don't know... I'm trying to be Mrs. Brightside on this, but it's a hard case to do it.

Incidentally, I was expressing frustration to a coworker about how the management never told me the dates of something due, so I was surprised that it was so soon. And he responded by forwarding me the email with all the information, including the dates due, and highlighting my name in the To: field, showing I did get it. My response? "Oh that? Did you really expect me to read the whole things? hehe. Whoops!" I honestly did not think I had received the information, when really it was just buried beneath information I already knew so did read further.

Different case, but it's why I try to give the benefit. Maybe some people are even more flighty than me and don't remember things they read and clear responses they made because it was in one ear out the other.

Hope you have fun anyway!

Maria said...

Yikes, wow. Reading this gave me a little bit of a panic attack and a dizzy spell. I hate being lied to too. That said, I have a similar sense as Jac., that douche-schnozzle may be creating problems for M that she can't or doesn't want to get into on the phone, especially if she's unprepared for confrontation. Is it possible he was even listening to her side of the convo?

Anyway, I hope your weekend ends up fun and refreshing after the rough start.

Meanwhile, Claudia, I would *love* to visit you in Denmark ;-)

Claudia said...

Party at Claudia's house! All are welcome!

I hope things are going well for you and the girl, Maria.

hush said...

I appreciate all of your thoughts. Update for you all - I learned that M and Douche-schnozzle have a dysfunctional relationship (duh, right), but M is still in a lot of denial about it. M only married Douche-schnozzle for the financial security which she lacked as a child watching her parents constantly fight about money. Which C pointed out is exactly why in the heat of the moment M lied to get out of paying her share of the hotel - because she is insecure due to childhood money issues. Not an excuse, just an explanation.

Long story short, M is not real friend material because, among other problematic traits, she can't keep a secret. At dinner, M randomly informed the rest of us that someone else we all know in Podunkville is having marital problems. This other person was not a part of any of the conversation - M just brought her up completely out of the blue and shared her secret with us because she wanted to share some juicy gossip. So the lying plus the gossiping = two friendship deal breakers for me. I'll never travel with M again nor spend time with her alone. I'm fine seeing her in larger groups.

C suggested I let M know how her actions impacted me. I suppose that would be a good idea if I still wanted to maintain a close friendship with her, and I also think it is important to give honest feedback so people can learn from mistakes... BUT. M just deals in far too much denial for me to want to take a chance on having that kind of conversation. And my opinion that M lies and gossips probably won't ever be changed.

In spite of the drama, I am happy that I now know all of this about M. But what is even better is that on this trip I became closer with C, and also with B, who truly are keepers, and who have the qualities I look for in people I trust. C asked me to go to a party with her tonight because there is a girlfriend she wants me to start getting to know. And B and her husband are having dinner out with DH and I this weekend. Good things.

BlueBirdMama said...

Delurking a day late and a dollar short here. Hush, you hit the nail on the head with the world "denial". When I first read your account of your conversation with M, the first thing I thought of was: "I wonder if either M or her husband is an alcoholic". Because lots of alcoholics and co-dependents are "lying liars who tell lies". I've discovered empty bottles in front of my mother, who is a closet alcoholic, and she acts like, "Oh, hmm, how did that get there?" The power of her denial can actually bend reality (and metal spoons)! Though, now that I think of it, she could do that before she started drinking, too. I had an awesome childhood, by the way. But I digress. Anyway, obviously M was lying to cover up some weird shiz going on between her and her husband (or between her and herself, like being too preoccupied with drinking to remember shit she said or e-mailed while drunk). You are SO RIGHT to distance yourself-- she and her husband both sound like the kind of people who can rationalize any sort of god awful ass-hattery. I feel sorry for their kids.

hush said...

@BlueBirdMama - Glad you delurked! You also hit the nail on the head with the thoughts about alcohol abuse issues potentially being a piece of all of this. Long story short, while the women were gone that weekend, my DH had all of the husbands and kids over to our house for a BBQ, and M's DH showed up late with his 4 girls and announced in front of everyone that he was drunk. So yeah, you're right: something messed up is definitely going on in that house.