I think my tongue may have tooth marks in it.
But what else can you do when a friend, or should that be ‘friend’, riles you so much, but you know that to retaliate would be to play into their hands?
This evening I sent a text saying that I hadn’t seen her around at all, so I still had the invitation to Noodles’ party on me, but to confirm its date and time.
I got this back:
Oh GSM, I’ve asked kinda consistently about catching up! You’ve made me so sad of late 😥 I totally get your busy, etc but I thought we were friends. You missed my birthday last month too 😦 I still love noodles’ presents though xx
Errr, what happened to ‘Thanks for letting me know. See you there.’ ??!
So, here’s the text I’d have liked to have sent back.
I’m sorry I’ve been such a shit friend of late. I know last year we were best buds. I came to your rescue when Verruca was in quarantine in hospital. I stood by you when you kicked your husband out (even though I didn’t necessarily agree with every action you’ve taken since). You didn’t get too upset when I drunkenly broke one of your best glasses.
But we have grown apart, but I would claim
It was YOU who got too busy first, giving your time to the school and meaning that we could only meet up when you had (Wreck It) Ralph with you – even though he was at nursery most of every day and despite the fact he would bully Noodles and trash his toys. Even though you must have known that you’d spend most of the time bellowing at him rather than being able to concentrate. Although I guess the shouting broke up the monologue about what a shit your husband is/what an absolute genius Verruca is/how hard it is to constantly fight various systems as they neither realise nor react to the fact that your kids are the absolute epicentre of the world and how they should receive unlimited provision (including fully-subsidised private education)/how others bleed said systems dry, what with anyone daring to want support for behavioural/educational/cultural needs.
That my schedule when I went back to work didn’t fit with yours is a shame. (And a teensy bit of a relief.) But I’ve also looked back through my texts and either the ‘consistent’ requests to meet up haven’t been getting through the ether as I don’t seem to have had a single one since August (when I sent a text to say exactly when I was free…which you then just ignored) or you’ve only been consistent in NOT asking.
But then, you’ve also had your new best buddy to hang around with too. The one you WOULD have time for a child-free morning coffee with, even when you’d told me you’d not got time for me. Even though you’d consistently – and yes, it should actually be CONSTANTLY (different word; different meaning!) – bitch about her. Just as I suspect you’ve bitched to her about ME since you’ve buddied up.
I’m sorry I missed your birthday. I thought you were a grown-up though and could handle not getting a vacuous message from me on Facebook. Obviously I made an error of judgement there. If it’s any consolation I don’t add vacuous birthday comments on anyone’s Facebook page. Funnily enough, everyone else seems to get over it. Older AND wiser for most people, it seems.
I’d like to still have you as a friend – to chat to you when I do see you, rather than have you walk past as though I’m not there. But friendship comes with the acceptance off ebb and flow.
It does not come with the expectation that someone is only a friend if they revolve around your life in some sort of lunar orbit. Otherwise that’s not being a friend – that’s just being egocentric and needy! And for someone who claims to be strong and independent, my God are you needy!
So, when I texted to let you know the details of the party – just to clarify because I didn’t want a repeat of Boo’s last birthday when you claimed I hadn’t been specific enough and thus failed to show for either of her parties (the 11th-hour excuse for missing the first being that you’d made a gravy?!…unless you meant a completely different word then too) – all I expected from a friend was an acceptance of said text, NOT to turn it into a you’re-a-shit-friend reply, that was clearly meant to induce guilt, but instead sent me into an apoplectic rage.
The entire purpose of my text was to provide you with information. I wished Verruca a happy birthday for Saturday (even though we were clearly not invited to her party…but then she and Boo don’t really seem to get on and I’m happy to avoid a situation where they have an argument/she makes Boo cry, so I’m fine with that.) At most all I really needed was an acceptance of said information and whether you and the kids will be coming to the party or not. And you didn’t even answer me that!
I hope that you are able to make it. (And not just because it still costs me money when you don’t turn up. I’d also like back the stuff I left at Ralph’s party back in August please.)
Although if, after this slice of the truth, you never wish to speak to me again, I understand.
(What’s the emoticon for a passive-aggressive LOL or insincere kisses? Cos they’re what I feel would be most appropriate here.)
And now you can see why I didn’t send it! (I am a truly shit friend and a horrible person, I know!)
But I also know that by not responding to it she’ll be assessing that as an admission of guilt. And with no oh-we’ve-both-been-equally-shit realisation, but that the whole things entirely my fault.
So – and here’s where you come in – what DO I text back that isn’t sarky and snarky and the rusty nail in the coffin of a friendship-turned-sour? Or might it actually be for the best to let rip and accept that I’ll be avoiding her in the school playground for the next four years (unless her kids do finally get that cost-free private education that she feels they’re so entitled to)?