Monday, February 19, 2007

Having reached the point where beating a dead animal does, in deed, make me feel better

A little while ago, I wrote a post about someone making the grave error of displaying thoughtless, unfounded cruelty to my family. To re-cap: Someone said mean, untrue things to me about Scott. I calmly left the scene, went home, waited a couple of days, and wrote them a point-by-point lesson of how they made a mistake, and exactly what to put where if they thought they had a leg to stand on at that point. Profound apologies, or apologies of any kind were not forthcoming, but I decided to be the Bigger Person and make the first move towards a relationship that is over a decade old.

My mistake. Remember second grade when people either were your friend (picked you for games, didn't laugh at your funny clothes) or weren't (closed the huddle when you walked by, laughed at you, asked pointed questions about what clothes you were wearing and sneered at your reply)? I'm starting to think those really were the good old days, despite the funny smell of construction paper and paste and the conspicuous lack of martinis - actually, imagine a bunch of buzzed second grade--- see, that is why we don't have children. Point being, things were simple - second graders don't have to think back over a decade of a relationship to see if they are worth salvaging over a few broken crayons, nor do they need to project much farther into the future than recess.

There I go again, imagining second-graders careening around on Yoohootinis, losing my train of thought. Friends, friendships - and the prickly fact that some relationships have lifespans. I'd prefer to not only keep the (few) great friends that I'm already lucky enough to have, and hopefully develop meaningful new relationships in future.

Sadly, this last week or so has really impressed on me the fact that this person simply doesn't care or doesn't value our history enough to change their behavior towards me. How so? Invariably the following happens if we're out together:

-Complaining about Scott - well, attempting to complain about Scott.
-Multiple snide comments about the fact that I have cats, how they cause them to 'die' every time they walk into our house, have I 'gotten rid of' them yet, etc. Yes, allergies are real and serious...guess what? Scott vacuums our hardwood floors religiously, sometimes twice a day, and we run an air filter. Guess what else? It really, really irks me when people make remarks about animals, any animal, but especially a pet, as though they are disposable objects.* I've expressed all of this clearly, and none of it seems to have made an impression. In the last twenty-seven years, there have been only two months where I have been without at least one pet, be it cat(s), dog(s), mice, fish, rabbits, ducks, chickens, turtles or frogs. In short, love me, love my menagerie.
*Actual remark made to young, impressionable person: "Oh, don't get me all excited...they didn't get rid of their cats", followed by a heavy sigh that implies that would be an ideal scenario for them.
-Never, ever, ever picking up a tab, shorting us time and again.
-Expecting us to go over and above for them and their family, yet being unwilling to even meet us in the middle.
-Crying poor to me or our friends after we've gone out somewhere (because we can't go to my house, it being contaminated with The Cat) the week after we accompanied them to spend hours selecting and purchasing non-essential, high-priced home decor items/clothes/etc.
-Fostering the Me First and the Gimme-Gimmes in your kids and trying to pass it off as their 'natural style' - I'd like to think I have some clue of my own natural style, but I have to live within our means. This doesn't mean I don't have good taste and lots of ideas for our entire household. However, these things are not essential. Wants verses needs. I want to completely revamp my yard, I need to wait and save money, despite how much I hate the view when I look out my window.

In short, I've tired of always being The Givers. I've no more time, patience, money or energy to waste on the whole situation, to say nothing of Scott, who is thoroughly fed up. The last straws weren't big things, just a(nother) weekend where we politely carted them over hill and dale, tried to ignore the little things in hopes that someday they'd change. Followed by this past weekend where I: Waited hours while they deliberated on overpriced stuff, bit my tongue in the face of unbelieveable selfishness and in the hopes of avoiding some truly unpleasant scenes, aaaaaannnd I've just put myself into a coma with The Boring.

I came home with that nice, acidy burning feeling of 'why did I put myself out there again? I'm so dissapointed that no one listens to a word I say, ever!', and declared to no one in particular
"That is IT. I am officially OVER _______ (name withheld for no particular reason, they aren't especially internet-savvy) and their lame behavior - we are NOT hanging out with them one-on-one ever again", walked outside and started looking for my dead horse. Now comes the hard part: I have to avoid them, without seeming like I'm avoiding them, a task that will be almost as awkward as this entire post.


chiefbiscuit said...

It sounds like a break is way overdue! Way, way overdue. Sometimes friendships change - people who were your friends in your 20s are not your friends in your 30s. I've noticed this in my life and put it down to the friends making different choices and having different values that in the end left us with nothing in common. I am a loyal person and it seemed like a betrayal of sorts to pull away from ten-year friendships - but feeling drained and /or frustrated left me thinking, what's the point? (I think in your scenario, it's the selfishness and insensitivity that is the worst aspect.) Good luck!

Maya said...

Yeah, friendships do change - this person, however is a) older than me and should be a grown up already b) has been the Taker from day One. I was a teenager and they were in their 20's at first - now its like, ummm did I get to be less self-centered than you?

Chiada said...

Awww, dang, what a situation! So so sorry you have to deal with that. Completely sucks. As far as avoiding without avoiding, just don't go out of your way to phone the person up. Don't make plans with that person. If there's a group thing and that person is there, well, I don't know. Politely leave midway or just busy yourself with things to do with the others in the group. Really lame, though. I told Hub-E of our earlier conversation about the whole "undermining" thing, and he replied with a big fat "PFFFFFFT!!! Look who tried to undermine ME!"

Eau De Incognito said...

The part that gets me is the taking in the relationship. Even if they lived in a van down by the river (or ocean as the case may be) they should offer to pay. Or offer to do things where, if they really can't pay, no one pays, like park walks or days at the beach. Sometimes friendships just work through their course and it is time to move on. I agree with Chiada, don't make plans with them. Don't call them. Don't answer when they call. Sometimes it is tempting to call them but there is no point. If you have to be in a group setting with them avoid them, be busy, leave early. It will flicker out slowly. Until then realize that people change and we can't hold on to them forever in some cases. You guys will make new friends to replace them with time.

Now, if only I could have taken my own advice when I needed it. I learned the hard way.

janet said...

I think you have made a clear case here of enough is enough. you are doing the right thing and who cares what anyone else thinks!