Anonymous, 40, Mommy of 2
A friend of mine came up to me, and whispered, “SHE said she is not a fan of yours … and she knows you don’t like her much either.”
Duh, I thought to myself. That’s not a newsflash. Yet somehow, Jenny’s report of what Libby said about me still stung.
As if I was trying to defend myself, I blurted back, “Well, helllllo… I wouldn’t dislike her so much if she were a nicer person!”
“Well why don’t you just say hello first?” Jenny (and Inquiring Minds) wanted to know.
I snapped back with: “Don’t you remember how many times I tried with her?!”
And so it goes.
The truth is, there was no real reason why Libby and I couldn’t at least be friendly to each other. I’m not talking about intimate chit-chats at Starbucks or a Girls Night Out, for Christ’s sake. Just a simple. “Hello.”
While we have plenty of mutual friends/acquaintances and our kids have gone to school with each other for years, we never got to know each other because the Cold War was inexplicably initiated early on.
There was no moment or particular issue that started the animosity. Just a mutual “I-don’t -like-you-and-you-don’t-like- me-*insert expletive*-” inner mantra.
‘Hello’ was so not on the table. And it refuses to even get on the table. She refuses. I refuse. There is NO table.
Maybe if she were nicer.
Maybe if she cared about people outside of her carefully cultivated and curated crew.
Maybe if she wasn’t so “hungry”…
Those are the main “maybes.” The other ones are, perhaps, even more stupid. And yes, I DO know how trite all of this is in the scheme of life, but it really affects my mornings when I drop off my kid at school, and I am forced to “face” that woman.
In other words: This “dissing” thing gets to me.
I have reviewed the possibilities about why even, “Hi, how are you?” never took flight for us. My friends have given me their hypotheses:
“She’s just jealous of you.”
“She’s just like that.”
“She’s an unhappy person.”
“She’s just hungry” (hungry? Yes. I’ll get to this … )
As much as I have wasted time pondering this after regular, sometimes daily sightings of her, I have concluded that I may never know why we were destined to be BFFS (Bitches for Fuck’s Sake).
Back in my working days there was a woman I would walk past in the hall every day, starting from my first week on the job. With each encounter, I would smile and try to say hello. She was full-on tunnel vision: No eye contact, no smile, no hello. I was wondering how she could treat me like that without even taking a moment to greet the new girl in the hall.
A couple of months later, I happened to pop into a friendlier co-worker’s office, where she was on the tail end of a conversation with Ms. Tunnel Vision. While I nonchalantly lingered at the door, Ms. Tunnel Vision was telling Ms. Friendly Co-worker about how she enjoyed a particular social activity despite her extreme social anxiety. She was proud of herself and Ms. Friendly Co-worker applauded her progress. I felt awful. Wow. That never dawned on me. Social anxiety? Wait, she’s not a bitch? That was a growing pain I will never forget.
Never forget that is, but only sometimes apply.
I know my insecurities influence how I read Libby’s insecurities. I can’t always see what I should see. Guilty here.
Will it ever be resolved?
It amazes me how we are all in the same imperfect, bumpy boat of maintenance … kids, homes, relationships, finances, friends, bodies, sanity, self. Why then, can’t we see each other for that?
I live your life. You live mine. Like you, I, too, have bad hair days, and the same fat jeans in my closet. I have real pain. And while we’re at it, I get hungry, too. I’m hungry to connect, support and be supported. Why would we be haters of our own then?
Why can’t APPRECIATION be the new black?
LB: Any advice for this Mom? How can she connect with a woman who seems to have no interest in connecting with her? This is tough stuff that happens to all of us. I say, break the ice, and say HI first — keep trying — even if she doesn’t “deserve” it. In the end, YOU are doing it for YOU. Thoughts, readers?< back