Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Changing Behavior

Our week off started with the girls going to my parents as we thought the floors would be tiled that weekend. Just after they left, I found out tiling wouldn’t occur until Monday. I immediately called my mother and offered to pick the girls up and bring them back home. Nope, the girls wanted to stay and my parents wanted to keep them. I just couldn’t bring myself to argue with any of them.

It was a Friday night and I knew that I should just go to bed early, I was still so tired. I started texting with Snorting Girl who was out with her husband. Before I knew it, I was headed out the door to meet my friends. It needs to be said that Snorting Girl and Facebook Poker are on the VERY SHORT list of “People I love the most in this world.” Being with them is easy. And fun. And we laugh every time until our stomachs hurt. That’s not to say we’re superficial and just sit around cracking jokes and drinking beer all night. We talk politics and business and books and adopting soldiers… and then we go back to laughing and ordering more beer. I am light when I am with them, I smile constantly. I love them and I am comfortable with them. I feel like I get to be one of the cool kids. They treat me like I am smart and funny and pretty and just fucking amazing. There is a level of comfort in hanging with them that is hard to find.

Fast forward 24 hours and EN and I are out with another couple for dinner. They invited us to tag along to their favorite restaurant. They got there first and said they’d be at the bar. I assumed they put us in for a table, we were meeting for dinner after all. We arrived and found that there was one empty seat on either side of our friends. It quickly became apparent that we would eat our meal at the bar too. That meant that I sat next to the wife and EN sat next to the husband and this deaf girl couldn’t hear jack shit but the wife bitching in my ear. For approximately three hours she bitched. She again reminded me of the money they don’t have (yet they were able to lay out considerable coin for their share of dinner and drinks). She again complained about being underweight and gaining ten pounds. She complained about her health, her son, her husband, her dog, her house and her job. I ate my dinner, nodded and smiled, and didn’t overindulge in drinks for fear that I might have too much and tell her to stop being such a bitch.

Suddenly, old friends of EN’s that we haven’t seen in five years are standing in front of me. We do the hug hug, kiss kiss thing… And the wife repeatedly says, “Chris said it was you but I couldn’t believe it. We had to look your pictures up on Facebook.”

What is it exactly that you are trying to say Princess? Are you commenting on my weight gain, or are you commenting on my hair being more heavily frosted to hide the gray? And why do we have to continue beating the same dead horse? Ok, I get it, you are gloating that I’m fat and you aren’t. If I wanted to be a bitch back, I could have said, “I’d be skinny too if I put liposuction and a tummy tuck on a credit card like you did!”

Then the conversation takes a turn and we are talking about our new house. Princess is talking about all the pictures she’s looked at on Facebook, and then the scrawny little wife next to me pipes in and starts giving her two cents about my house, all the things she hates about it, the unsafe conditions (she feels that our front porch should have a railing so she doesn’t get drunk and fall off) and the way it was torn apart. I let them natter on for a while when Princess turns to me and says, “How are you paying for all this remodeling?” Come again? I haven’t seen you in five years and you feel like it’s ok to cattily comment about my weight, then ask about my finances? What the fuck? I’m sure I will say it again in this post, but where do people get off thinking they can just spout off with rude shit like that?

Fast forward a week and Scrawny is at my house so I can help her husband with his resume (QUESTION: she claims to be perfect, why can’t she do his resume?) and she starts bitching. She doesn’t like my dog licking her. She doesn’t like my kids talking. Her eyes wander to take in the mess and she talks about her OCD and loving to clean.

Then Sugar pulls a tantrum about some brownies that I just took out of the oven. I told her they weren’t ready to be cut yet and she kept pestering. Finally I scooped a steaming hot brownie out of the pan and shoved it at her in a paper towel and yelled at her to eat it. I immediately felt badly for yelling at her in front of company. I knew I embarrassed her in front of the grown up she currently has a mad crush on. All the Mother of the Year points I earned for baking brownies were taken away. I have no excuse for my shitty behavior other than being totally stressed by the perfect specimen (Scrawny) sitting in front of me.

As it turns out, while I was yelling at Sugar, Scrawny piped up with, “Just smack her.” Thankfully, I didn’t hear this comment when she said it. EN told me about it afterwards. Now I’m back to my comment from above: where the fuck do people get off talking to others like that?

Within a week, I had two different people comment on the state of my house, the behavior of my pets and children, my weight, my finances. Perhaps I am being oversensitive. Perhaps I’m reading too much into their commentary. I’m sure it’s me… In fact, I KNOW it’s me… because I’m constantly reminded that I read too much into the actual fucking words that spew forth from the mouths of people around me.

I feel like I should take stock of my life and of the people in it. I can choose to keep everyone “IN” and have to deal with the behaviors that I don’t care for. This is how I’ve lived my life for the last 15 or so years. I became conscious of how cynical and contrary I was, so I went to the extreme opposite behavior and became a doormat. I allow people to say whatever they want to me and I don’t stand up for myself. I have allowed people to come into my home and comment on the dust or the dishes in the sink or whatever.  I allow them to talk shit about my kids, pets and spouse.

The other choice I have is to 86 the people that hurt me with their commentary. There’s a level of rudenss that I really feel I shouldn’t have to put up with, no matter who is piping up.

I need to work on finding the balance between being a doormat and being a bitch. I’ve got some good friends on my list and I’d say that my Friend Card is damn near full. I have people I can laugh with and talk to and play with. I don’t need to put up with the bullshit that annoys me.

It’s easy for me to write on a blog how much some behavior annoys and hurts me, but in real life I lack the ability to handle it like a grown up. It’s just not ok at the age of 40 to throw sand at the girl sitting next to you when she calls you a fat slob. 

Ice Princess


  1. I hear you. I recently did inventory on my friends list. I took inventory of the ones that I laugh until my stomach hurts with, I wrote off the ones that cause too much drama or feel that their life is so much better (or more important) than mine and let me know it everytime I see them, and I filed the ones that I haven't spoke to for a while but want to keep around because they have been important in my life. Let me tell you, 6 months later, I haven't been happier. You shouldn't have to work to be friends with someone.

    1. I really think I need to do the same inventory... As women, I think we suck at remembering that we count too... We shouldn't always be the ones bending over to be accommodating!

      Thanks for commenting, Kathy!