Sunday, October 13, 2013

It's always sad when you see someone's true colors...

For many years, I had what I thought was a "best friend".  We met when we were eight years old.  Our mothers got us together.  This friend was very good at school and always got better grades and standardized test scores than I did.  She never really let me forget it.  But still, we were very good friends for years.  She was maid of honor at my wedding.  When she got married five years later, she invited me to be in her wedding.  I wasn't able to attend because I was in Germany and had just arrived six weeks earlier.

Despite the many years we were "best friends", we were never really close friends.  Our relationship was never really on an even plane.  I would always call her, but she would rarely call me.  I spent many weekends at her house and she spent far fewer at mine.  I always got the sense that she surrounded herself with people she felt were somehow inferior to her.  When I started doing things that were kind of cool, I noticed she wasn't all that interested in hearing about it.  I'd listen to her news about her big academic accomplishments and invitations to magnet school.  She never cared much about my horse shows or musical pursuits.  When I got into the Peace Corps, she didn't seem to give a shit.  Nor did she care when I went to grad school.

Over the years, we grew apart and I would only hear from her when she wanted or needed information or felt like gossiping about people we both knew.  I don't even remember the last time I saw her in person.  She got me to join Facebook, but pretty soon we weren't really communicating much.  As time went on, I started noticing things about her that made me think she was a bit of a self-centered narcissist.

Sometime last week, I noticed that she had dropped off my friends list.  Somehow I didn't realize she had dropped off.  I have a Friends Tracker and can tell who and when people leave my Facebook.  It could be that she just set her Facebook so she's still a "friend", but I don't see her anymore.  The truth is, I had filtered her posts a long while ago myself.  I didn't block her from being able to read my stuff, but I made it so that her posts didn't show up in my feed and I would have to go to her page to read her updates, which I very rarely ever did. (Edited to add: what she had done was restrict me to seeing her public posts while she continued to have full access to my page.)

Oddly enough, I had mentioned to Bill that I noticed she had somehow blocked me on Facebook.  Someone had posted a photo that included her as a child and I noticed she wasn't tagged in it.  I figured something was up, but certainly didn't expect to get wind of what she was up to the way I ultimately did.

Today, out of the blue, I got an email from a woman who used to sit next to me in church.  Her husband was in the choir with my dad and they are both graduates of Virginia Military Institute.  Since my mom was playing the organ and my sisters were out of the house, I would have had to sit by myself.  So, when I was a kid, this lady would entertain me during church and would take me on outings for a day each summer.  She was always very nice to me.

Anyway, today she wrote to me and asked if I knew about my "old friend's" new baby daughter.  I didn't, of course, though I guess I'm not really surprised under the circumstances.  That explains why she blocked me from Facebook.  I'm wondering if maybe she feels like we were competing or something.

I won't lie.  Reading that very brief email made me feel kind of sick to my stomach, only because it proved to me that my instincts about her were dead on and she really wasn't my friend and probably hasn't been for many years.  But in fairness, I guess you could say the same thing about me.  I had stopped trying so hard to be friends with her a long time ago when I realized that I wasn't getting out of the friendship what I put into it.  The funny thing is, when we were growing up, my parents couldn't stand her.  I used to defend her to them.  As we got older, she got more charming and my mom liked her more.  I, on the other hand, had started recognizing some of her more toxic habits and had sort of distanced myself from her.

Her attitude toward me seemed to have changed most significantly when I told her I was engaged.  She made some rather mean spirited comments about Bill being "old" (he is eight years older than I am).  I got the sense that maybe she was jealous that I was getting married first.  The "friendship" kind of went downhill from there.

Well, it sucks... and it's too bad.  Fortunately, I have folks in my life who are better people and with whom I have more in common.  Hope she has a good life... and stays far away from me.  I think I'm done.  It's just odd that someone I spent so much time with for so long did something like this.  I'm a little puzzled as to why... but I'm not going to bother asking.  It seems like a very cowardly thing to do and ultimately, it's very hurtful.  And I wouldn't be surprised if I happened to run into her and she acted like everything is "cool".

But, as Gloria Steinem said, "The truth will set you free.   But first, it will piss you off."  Consider me a little pissed, but realizing it's for the best in the long run.  

Here's a song in honor of my long term fake friend...


  1. I always loved that song.

    You know you're better off without her, but a fracture of this nature will still be painful.

    I would say all sorts of things about her, such as that she sounds like a completely self-centered jerk, except that she was your friend. you can say anything you wish to say about her, but others of us who don't know her should leave that sort of commentary to you.

    She missed out on a really good friend, and I doubt she has anyone as classy as you in her life.

    1. Thanks Alexis. You're pretty classy yourself.

      I have a little more to write about this, so I will follow up with a post.


Comments on older posts will be moderated until further notice.