six

February 28, 2007

friendship, life lessons

Four is harder to write than one, two, and three because I realize, now that I’m up to number four, that there are more than four ex-friends.  There are two more than four, which, last I checked, makes six.  I’m sure if I think harder, there are more.  This post was intended to be about my number four, but first I’ll say something horrible.

The blind leading the blind.  It’s the best way I know how to describe her. Number Six, the last of my ex-friends chronologically, is the least important “friend” in this “more than four” scenario. I feel kind of terrible admitting this, just kind of, using words like “least important.”  I don’t want to be mean.  I want to be honest, and I’m finding I cannot do one without the other, which is my fault.  If I had more love and light in my life, if I were a different person, a “sweet” person, I couldn’t say these things.  But I cannot half help myself.  I will go on and on here, without editing this too long post, because maybe I’ll find something more in it one day.  I believe, in the bulk of our lives, when we find someone or something we cannot stand, when we’re rubbed the wrong way, it’s usually to do with something we don’t like in ourselves.  And I’m trying so hard to see it, to admit something to myself, but this is just a case of “I don’t like you anymore, if I ever did.”  I guess it goes to show how I made polite room in my life for people who didn’t belong.  And that’s what’s wrong with me.  I’ll tell you what’s also wrong: I just can’t help myself, even now, when we no longer speak.

She is an accident you cannot turn away from (I think the term “trainwreck” is stupid).  I liked to watch, and continue to do so via her blog.  Horrible, indecent of me, I know.  I just can’t help myself.  Some of us with sitemeters check our stats and know when an ex is checking in us, certain they must miss us or be curious.  Sometimes though, in my case, it’s the story of the girl who couldn’t look away.  I know plenty of people who feel this way about me, too.  I say go for it.  Read me.  Hate me.  Who the hell cares?  I’m actually comfortable enough in my own skin, with who I am, that I don’t care what you think.  I’d never get offended or feel “unsafe” if people who were no longer in my life read my blog. It’s why it’s public in the first place.

I met her at a writing class in New York.  We didn’t become friends until well after the class had ended and we bumped into each other in a cafe.  During class, I remember always being annoyed when we had to read her material, the same words, circling.  She became overly offended when she received mild criticisms of her work.  I remember one specific time her snapping at another woman, barking really, saying she didn’t like being spoken to in a certain tone.  No one was yelling at her, but she took the critique personally, as an attack.  I imagine she went home and cried.  She was too damn sensitive.  And I guess that’s the thing, that in the end, broke me of her.  She was too damn sensitive to the world, whipping up dramas when they didn’t exist.  She stirred things into messes when they were perfectly orderly.  I remember thinking at the time, “what a fucking head case,” glad I wasn’t the one to set her off.

But then, after meeting her at the cafe, I realized she just plain amused me.  Not in that “I’m laughing with you” way but in the “I’m laughing near you and at you, really I am.  How can you not tell the difference?” way.  We went to Barnes and Noble, and I listened to her insist to me that she was going to find a lover.  She’d shop for new bras and attract one.  If the love of her life came along, great, but really she was looking for a lover, no strings, “you know, the way the Europeans do it.”  Everything to her is classier everywhere but here.  Everything is always better than where she is.  She’s unhappy in her own shoes, despite how many she buys.  She favors formality and prefers to be called by her titled Ms. with her surname than the comfort found in our first, given, names. She finds friends in hotel staff, in anyone who’ll pay attention to her. Please, talk to me; I’m bored.  People who are bored, I believe, are just flat out boring themselves.

She never found a lover, though she entertained the thought, when she insisted a young married man was flirting with her in the SAKS elevator.  She wanted to pursue things.  I wanted to throw up.  “What are you doing with your life?”  I know, I know, but I so want a fling.  Grow the fuck up.  And yes, I’m judging you.

She invented a life to live, in words, not actions, and eventually all that came out was talk. And I’ll admit it; I humored her.  She was my entertainment.  When I saw it was her on the caller-ID, I rolled my eyes, turned to Phil and said her name in a groan, but I picked up anyway.  I returned her calls.  I’m as much to blame because I invited her in.  She always had a sob-story, always felt life was hard on her, a world collapsing, was always verbally confessing she hadn’t found her place in the world, yet felt extraordinarily comfortable with herself.  “I embrace alone,” was her bullshit mantra.  She fucking hated alone, worse than rude New Yorkers, the subway, or God forbid, men from Queens.   She said “alone” as if it was the high road, but it wasn’t one she walked by choice.  She lived in measurements of default.  A victim who proclaimed and protested, “I’m no victim.”

Yet, I was always inclusive with her, inviting her out with my friends, to my house when I threw parties, making plans with her often… because I felt sorry for her.  She didn’t really retain friends, or make them, for very long, and she complained about it.  I tried to help her out, knowing just how hard it can be making new friends in a city, or anywhere, really.

The woman swam in deep, showered in it, stirred it into her coffee with her powdered sweetener.  She shopped for “deep” in the shoe salon at SAKS.  She wanted to be deep, in every single conversation, because she wanted friends.  I saw this clearly, her need to connect to people, thinking the best way to do so was to divulge the deep in her life, right from the start.  (And people think I’m TMI girl.  Ha).  The more we confide in people, the more they want to confide in us, but this was her schtick.  She ate grief for breakfast and wanted you to taste it again over a shared lunch at Artisinal.  It wasn’t honest or heartfelt; it was rote.  Regurgitated words, over and over.  The same story, the same things.  And my heart just didn’t go out to her.  When she spoke, I felt as if she’d said these words before, as if she were bored with her life and used her own words to entertain herself.  She had to be terribly bored; it’s why she called so often with nothing to say.  And she could talk about that nothing f   o   r   e   v   e   r. And not in a fun mindless way, where friends go on forever, but in a drone.  She spoke of dates who didn’t want to see her again.  She complained when one didn’t pay for her coffee and looked annoyed to be there in the first place, complained when one asked to take a piece of her muffin, insisting she was absolutely disgusted at the idea of sharing food.  How could I be friends with someone who couldn’t share food?  She wouldn’t share lipgloss.  Yuck.  I hate people who won’t share their fucking lipgloss.  Germ freaks are different than the garden variety who clean their lives with q-tips.  I understand people like that, and dare I say, love them more for it.

When she wasn’t complaining about how her date (gasp) wanted to shake her hand even though he had a cold, or complaining that someone asked to eat part of her blueberry muffin, she was calling to entertain an idea aloud.  “What about if I got a dog?  Except, I wouldn’t want it to lick, and I cannot imagine it in my bed.  I’d need to wipe off its paws each and every time it came in from off the streets.  I could use disinfectant wipes on each of its paws, each time, right?  And it couldn’t shed.  I don’t want any hair on my clothes.”  Unless you have a farm or sheep that need herding, what is the point of having a dog, other than loving it to death, on the lap of your life?

She wanted to make a difference in the world, to help others, but mostly, she was a complete mess.  And anyone who’d listen to her, well, it’d be a case of the blind leading the blind.  The woman is a mess.  Everything was always happening to her.  She confessed to me one day that all she wanted in life was to get a two-book deal from a major publisher.  Ahem.  “That’s all I want,” she said.  “And I won’t be happy until it happens.”  I pointed out that recognition isn’t always the best reason to do things, reminded her that I hadn’t gone out looking for a publishing deal.  “Well that’s all I want.  I’ve decided.”  You know, telling your story is one admirable thing, but not being happy unless it’s published and recognized is what they make therapists for.  “No,” she insisted, “I want this book to be important, to be read.”  Really she wanted validation that she was a good writer with things to teach people.  How to be a mess, 101.  Okay, now that is mean.  I take it back.

I ended our friendship over email, I’m pretty sure.  Which kind of sucked of me.  It was cowardly because it’s easier to be brave and composed between paragraphs.  I’d written about her before, and when she phoned me, asking if it was about her, I denied it.  I couldn’t bring myself to admit it was her.  And that’s what’s wrong with me.  How can I be such a coward?  Why didn’t I just admit it?  Because I didn’t want to hurt her.  “I’d hope you could tell me things like that, if it were about me,” she said.  But I couldn’t be honest with her, because maybe that meant being honest with myself.  It would mean asking myself, why am I giving space in my life to this person I don’t even like?

Worse still, I’d invited her to our wedding.  It was one of those, I HAVE to invite her, how could I not?  Beforehand I’d sent her the menu, insisting she eat something beforehand, or order the vegetarian option (not that she was even a vegetarian) because I knew what a picky eater she was.  “Dietary restrictions” she says, insisting to waiters she’s allergic.  “Because if I say I’m allergic, they really won’t put it.”  She’s allergic to life, to really living, to garlic and butter (except when she’s in Paris and it’s on bread) and a host of other things, except sweets.  My wedding was too loud, too cold, and too fattening for her.  She sent her food back.  Who the fuck sends food BACK at a wedding???  You suck it up.  You either push things around on your plate and eat afterwards, or you eat it with a smile.  You don’t go making someone else’s day about YOU.  You eat the bread.  You don’t hold a secret meeting with a waiter insisting you want things different from everyone else.  DRAMA.  Always.  And every single person within earshot of her complained about her. That was the straw.  She claimed she was in pain and had to leave the wedding, and maybe she was, but the fact that I expected her to act this very way, was the icing.  That was it.   It wasn’t the isolated event; it was the culmination of them.  All her small catastrophes and even smaller triumphs, all in her mind and making. She apologized, but it was too late.  I owed myself the apology.  I should have apologized for making room and finding energy for people like that, not bad people, not mean people, just people who didn’t enrich my life.  And it’s my own fault now, finding entertainment in her demise, even when she celebrates, I roll my eyes.  Big fucking deal.  She celebrated each time she finished a chapter, each time she completed something.  Get over yourself.  You think I throw a party each time I finish a sentence?  Okay, being mean again.  Clearly, I feel quite strongly, and a nerve has been hit.  Why do I dislike her so?  I am nothing like her… what’s wrong with me?  Maybe all the things I’ve already said, maybe more, but maybe, just maybe there’s no reason to analyze the crap out of it.  Maybe, and this is sometimes hard for me to say, maybe I simply just don’t like her.

Get On It (Keep On It)

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50 Responses to “six”

  1. Julie Says:

    Im pretty sure I know which one you're talking about from your book. Regardless, this woman sounds shallow, narcissistic, and well, delusional. Who does she think she's going to help by acting like this? She sure as shit isnt setting an example.
    She sounds like a huge complainer and I dont see how you tolerated it for as long as you did. While you might not have wanted to hurt her feelings and told her the truth, the truth might have caused her to take a good, long look at herself.

    But I cant blame you. I have a few people in my life who are like this. I tolerate them because they've been in my life so long…but maybe that should wake me up right there. Why the fuck am I allowing these people in my life for as long as I have?

    Maybe I'll draft some emails of my own today. :)
    Good one. And long. I love your long ones.

    Reply

  2. Heather B. Says:

    Who doesn't (or didn't) have a friend(s) like this?? They're everywhere being nuisances when they think they're being helpful and friendly. When really they're just sucking the life out of others and making us feel bad for them. While it can be difficult getting rid of these types of friends is always for the better. So, good for you.

    Reply

  3. brookem Says:

    I can think of a friend or two that I have like this in my life too. And I don't know why it's so hard to just kind of end things.

    I really enjoyed this post because I feel like everyone can relate to this in some way.

    PS- I analyze the crap out of things too.

    How come this says April 30, 2007?

    Reply

  4. Suzy Says:

    Hi Stephanie,
    I have an off-topic question. I remember one post a while back where you wrote about a game you and Phil play where you complete each other's sentences to write a story. I was thinking that might be fun to play with kids. How do you play it? And if you know of any books with creative games to play with kids, I'd love to hear about them.
    Great post!
    Suzy

    Reply

  5. Sallie Says:

    Wow. This feels mean. Just really, really mean.

    Reply

  6. JoeyB Says:

    I'm really curious about why you chose her and why you stuck with her for so long. I've got friends that have some annoying habits as well as some extremely entertaining quirks, and overall, for different reasons, I enjoy their company quite a bit. But it doesn't seem like there is one thing that you like about this particular ex-friend, nor does it seem like you ever liked anything about her. Have you ever wondered why you became friends in the first place?

    Reply

  7. JoeyB Says:

    "Who doesn't (or didn't) have a friend(s) like this??"

    Have you thought about the fact that there is someone out there thinking the same thing about you? And about me? And about Steph?

    Reply

  8. Dave Says:

    Actually it sounds a lot like you.

    Reply

  9. Ashley Says:

    I love this, laying out the honesty even if it may be read as "mean". Sometimes people have that negative energy about them and that's the result that comes out. I've had a couple friends like that too that I've disconnected contact with. Every once in a while I think of calling the last one up because I feel bad that we don't talk anymore, but then I remember. And I know it doesn't add anything good to my life.

    Reply

  10. Jane Says:

    I ended a friend relationship not long ago, and I wasn't sure I'd done the right thing until I read this (twice) and felt like you were describing her. Thank you.

    Reply

  11. Buffy Says:

    God. I think we have the same friend.

    Reply

  12. miffycps Says:

    Friendships end all the time. There isn't always some significance behind it.

    Reply

  13. K Says:

    To a lovely and faraway redhead:

    Now it’s my time to gush. Because I understand, I so understand. There are people that we let stomp into our lives because we’re afraid of missed opportunities or hurt feelings (Damn right I’m swigging a free cocktail at the magazine party—who knows when I’ll have cash for one again? I’m grabbing the swag I don’t want, I’m giving out my card to the guy friend of the girl friend of the dude who may know someone, I’m having that conversation cause I want to say yes to life instead of no, because I want to move forward, and I’ll over-indulge and over-extend to do so). I became friends with a girl because she seemed so intent on becoming friends with me, and I stood by her side through too much, supporting her when everyone else hated her (and no, it wasn’t because they were jealous as she always exclaimed).

    I listened to her rub in my face how an adorable guy was so in love with her only to witness him the next evening regaling everyone with tales of his “fugly hookup” and I publically chastised him for doing so, even though everyone rolled their eyes when they heard who it was (Ew, God, her? Why do you even care?) and I said, “She’s my friend, and you don’t get to talk about her that way.” I held her hand while she cried on vacation one hour before she demanded that I change because I looked cuter than her, then in the same breath shouted, “It’s okay though, I’m prettier than you’ll ever be.” When we were both at an industry event she looked at my outfit and rolled her eyes, her words dripping on the floor, “How did you even get invited to this” (let me tell you, it wasn’t that hard, and no the party wasn’t that cool). I’ve let her lies slide, that she had a relationship with people she didn’t, jobs she didn’t, friends she hasn’t. She refers to herself as a sexy girl to explain why girls don’t like her, why she doesn’t have boyfriends, why people don’t want to be around her and no one will tell her she isn’t, because it’s mean, it’s too mean, but still she goes on about her fabulous life, her fake persona, it’s all about her, her.

    She’s semi-famous now, having built a life on social climbing and fibs. She’s invented her life and is riding it out, has a million people on her cell phone and no one who truly knows her. The only compliments she’s given are the grossly exaggerated ones she gives herself and I feel horrible for thinking so, even though I am only thinking the absolute truth. She has some talents that are completely overshadowed by the fact that she just downright sucks, and no one will tell her because no one can stand to.

    And the saddest part is this. Around her I wore my cutest jeans, tried to show her my new purse, because she was a fashionista-in-training, complimented her on what I admired even though it was never returned, asked her if she could give me some motivational tips which she guffawed at since she steamrolled through life, and I found myself with a stiff upper lip, listening as she went on about how great she was, and in each breath, how much better she was than me and I found myself cringing. Not because it was even ridiculous for her to say, but because I heard myself thinking just that. I was better than her, prettier, cooler, more interesting, how dare she act like it was the other way around and she pitied me!! And there I caught myself. Oh no, no no no!! I had become her around her! I was comparing us, weighing mentally our tallies, who was this, who was that. I had become shallow, materialistic, a total selfish bitch just like her momentarily, projecting my insecurities on people I envied, this was who I was around her, this transformative, infecting power scared me even though it was limited to our interactions.

    She cut me out of her life before I could and even though I read her boldfaced name or from time to time hear the trickle down of yet another overblown assertion of her prowess in life, I am thankful.

    We often do not get it right the first time with boyfriends or husbands. Why should we keep around our accidental friends? The ones who leave us with the marks of their bads instead of promoting our own good—they must be cut, they’ve gotten this far in the rounds but not everyone can make it to the end.

    I commend you for letting this one go, and here’s to cutting many more people who do not reciprocate, who are not symbiotic, who better themselves at the expense of worsening you…

    Xo
    -K

    Reply

  14. SAW Says:

    I really wonder if you are projecting yourself onto this person. That her quirks that most irritate you, may be your own..

    Reply

  15. 3rdtimesacharm( 3T ) Says:

    WOW. This post drew me in. And really made me think about friendships and their place and roles in our lives.

    Possibly because I'm so anal about schedules, and have had an aversion to the telephone for quite a few years, I can't think of a friend that I feel is an intrusion or negative force within my life. And having three kids pretty much ran off anyone looking to be high maintenance, or for too much sympathy or advice.

    I do admire your ability to put it out there, even in email form. My way of fading out friends I just don't have the time or energy for, is too subtley ease them out. With "I'm sorry, I already have plans." Or whatever. Eventually the lack of contact gets my point across. Now that, Stephanie, is cowardly.

    The friends in my life, know full well I don't like chit-chatting on the phone. That evenings, unless planned far in advance are for my husband and kids. Friendship has evolved into icing on the cake of life. If they have a problem and/or feel the need to talk, they call during the day, when my kids are in school and my husband is at work. In the evening, I don't answer the phone, period. This probably makes me a rather shallow friend, although I don't have a problem rustling up girlfriends for lunches or shopping trips. I constantly strive for order and routine. Which doesn't leave room for friendships that say, run what we considered "deep" in our younger years.

    On people or friends who rub us the wrong way, I have always believed it was because I saw something in them, that is in me, that I don't like. I'm glad you brought that point up.
    Anyway, I've rambled far too long in your comments; when all I wanted to say, was this really made me think. (Which is always a good thing. In my book anyway)

    3T

    Reply

  16. Easyfriend-zy Says:

    Now doesn't that feel better getting it out of your system? Good bye and good riddance.

    Reply

  17. sarah Says:

    Wow. You really should ask yourself why you felt the need to say such cruel things in such a public way. She definitely sounds like a rude, ill-bred shrew with serious issues but as you said – it was you who invited her in.

    Did she publicly insult you in some way? Because if not I think it's a bit disingenuous for you to complain about your detractors when you seem to have no qualms about treating others with such cruelty and disrespect.

    It's interesting that you don't seem to see how so many of the things you don't like about her are the same things that many people who have read your work say about you: shallow, needy, narcissistic, entitled. Not all of it but the similarities are there.

    Reply

  18. Julia Says:

    Dave is right – it sounds just like you. The you that people get to know from reading your posts and getting to know you that way (since we do not know you in real life.) It is SO you, that it makes me wonder how you say you are trying to find the things in her that are like you and can't. It's like looking in a mirror.

    Reply

  19. ? Says:

    i wonder…is K number six??

    Reply

  20. simone Says:

    Some people just don`t "fit" each other; it wouldn`t be natural to be everyone`s good friend. And I`d rather spent saturday evening alone on my couch than be in society of people I don`t really like. Life`s too short to waste your time with jerks. Sounds too harsh? Sorry, that`s my opinion. And yes, I know that someone out there is thinking the same thing about me. Same right for all.

    Reply

  21. helen Says:

    Sarah, you seem like an intelligent woman so I'll only make a few points. 1- Stephanie writes a journal here. There is a big difference between calling someone out and writing a 4 part series in your blog/journal. 2- Do you have any idea who Stephanie is speaking about? Do any of us? How could you state that Stephanie is publicly doing anything to a person which you nor any of the other 400,000 readers know? 3- Comparing someone Stephanie spent time with, spoke with, interacted with to what people assume to know of Stephanie from reading her blog or book? Can you honestly say you know anyone from reading about them?

    Reply

  22. Julie Says:

    It's so interesting how some of the comments are in complete full support (and agreement regarding this type of friend) and others are completely against it and seem offended.
    This is why I love you, Stephanie. You pull it out of people, even if they dont like it.

    Reply

  23. Kerry Says:

    I worked at a restaurant part-time and there was this girl there that always wanted to borrow my lip gloss. She was a nice girl but NASTY and slept with everyone. The thought of her nasty lips that touched so many nasty boys touching my lip gloss grossed me out. I still let her use it, but I would throw it away secretly. So I am a non-sharer of lip gloss unless I know where those lips have been!!

    Reply

  24. Suzanne Says:

    Did/does she have ANY redeeming qualities? If not–apart from amusing you–I have to ask the same question as JoeyB: Why?

    Reply

  25. rb Says:

    It's painful ending a friendship, and I can see you're working through some of it by posting – "she behaved badly at my wedding, so it was OK to cut her, right?"

    I ended a friendship that I stumbled into (she chose me for a friend, and I felt sorry for her) and it was a year or so of constant drama and high maintenance that I did not have time for before I could admit to myself that I could not be the friend she needed. Between work, marriage, motherhood and other true friendships, (all of which she was jealous of) there wasn't enough of me to go around. And anyway, this particular friendship really didn't have anything to do with me. She needed someone to listen to her complain, basically.

    I never did have the "breakup" talk with her. I couldn't imagine sitting down with her, or phoning her or writing to her and saying, here are the reasons I don't want to be friends with you. I just stopped returning phone calls, or if I ran into her, I was busy and vague about making plans.

    Even though I know it was the right thing to do, extracting myself from her web, I do still feel guilty about it. We work in the same field and I dread running into her at industry events. The whole thing is so similar to bad vibes with an ex boyfriend, it makes me feel like a lesbian!

    Reply

  26. yesjustmeboredokok Says:

    OMG..Do you know how exhausting/exasperating you are? The cost is too high to be a friend of yours. Your expectations from friends is unrealistic or you're that type of person who always points out, "Well I did this for you, now what are you going to do for me". Your friendships I imagine (only cuz I'm guessing from what you're writing and ok it's boring at work today)are NOT without strings. Some of the things you EXPECT in return from friends is too high.
    Were you the type in the playground that used to be picked on by everybody, got too sensitive and then ran over to the teacher because "Susie" wasn't playing nice with you? NOBODY likes a tattle!
    And your arrogance in one of your other posts about ONLY picking pretty friends (or bragging about something to that effect)is completely you – shallow!!!
    What you refer to as a friend is most often what other people consider acquaintances or just "people you know". NO ONE AND I MEAN NO ONE can have so many "good" friends. And these people you are dumping probably were NEVER more than people you "happened" to know at a time in your life when you were living that different life of the "single gal". Now they don't fit.
    If this is ALL even totally wrong, I will say it again, you're just too exhausting to have as a friend. Why? Price is just too high cuz of unrealistic expectations.
    Phew…I'm exhausted just writing this but relieved I got it off my chest.
    You're a train wreck Steph. But like all disasters, you gotta slow down and take a look…human nature!!!

    Reply

  27. Annie Hall Says:

    I felt the same way about this lady…this ruby slippers creature. I felt sorry for her and almost got together with her until she posted her outrageous comments about breastfeeding and I just couldn't go there. Frankly I thought volunteering or doing something for others would be something that could enrich her life…I'm not holding my breath. Always wondered why she was at your wedding.

    Reply

  28. libelule Says:

    Why is it that we can feel selfish for abandoning friends who make us feel uncomfortable, is it because we are brought up to be nice to all, because it seems selfish to only choose the friends that enrich our lives? Throughout school I was nice to all and ended up stuck with some unwanted friends but couldn't bring myself to be mean. Then in college I learnt to dump toxic friends like toxic boyfriends – my 'true' friends make fun of me sometimes, but they respect me for it and are honored to 'meet my standards'. They know how precious they are to me and they know I mean it. But why is it so difficult for us to hold others to the standards we hold ourselves to?

    Sometimes being honest is more respectful than being nice, even though it feels harsh.

    Reply

  29. bestmansgrl Says:

    This also came across to me as a bit mean and really unecessary. You made your point with this person in private; no need to air dirty laundry in such detail, especially if you know they are reading your blog, AND other people who know her through you are reading. Not cool.

    She may be a vampire as a friend, but it's not good karma to rub someone's face in it. No one deserves that.

    Reply

  30. itsme Says:

    I've read your book and thoroughly enjoyed it. Through the book, I feel I have come to know a part of you…no, not all of you as you are in real life, but bits and pieces of who you are. I enjoy stopping by here and reading about your life and your precious new beans.

    Now, the not so favorable part of my comment: the person you described seems to be a version of yourself. So it is amazing you could be so harsh about the traits you hold so dear, whether you realize it or not.

    Sometimes people just don't get along because they are TOO much alike.

    Perhaps you shouldn't have been so callous, especially since you know she visits your blog. Kind of cold if you ask me….which I know you didn't….but I suppose that is one final way to get a dig in as you end your friendship. Sad. S.A.D.

    Reply

  31. sarah Says:

    In response to helen:

    1. My point was that Stephanie chose to voice her complaints about this woman on her blog rather than face-to-face. That's cowardly and turns a private matter into a discussion amongst strangers. Tacky.

    2. Do I know who Stephanie is talking about? Nope, but I'm sure anyone who actually knows the woman in question has a pretty good idea.

    3. Please re-read my post. I was talking about the perceptions people have of Stephanie based on her writing. I think it's a fair comparison when you consider the fact that so many people respond to Stephanie's public persona in just the same way she responded to her former friend.

    In the end this is none of our business. What I was reacting to was that Stephanie chose to make it our business by putting it out there. I think that's a lousy thing to do.

    And please. There is no need for any of you to trot out that moth-eaten bromide "this is a blog" or my personal favorite "this is STEPHANIE'S blog". I get it.

    Reply

  32. bb Says:

    Its pretty much the way I feel about you! I don't really like, respect or admire you in any way. Yet I read you. Use you really – as you used your "friend" – to bounce myself off and feel that I am superior and my daughters and granddaughters are superior to you and your weak-mouthed mate who sounds, like you, like a damn mean bugger rather often. God I would be upset if me and mine were as cruel, as hypocritical, as non maternal and selfish as you are. Everything that goes around Stephanie and I am sending this round to you. I feel sorry for your babies – they don't have a mother they can be proud of. It will be interesting to see if you publish this – I rather doubt it – I imagine you are honest when it suits you only.

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  33. uberswell Says:

    i think many of us, many people, have had those toxic freindships that we get into for a variety of reasons (rarely any of them good) , have little or no fun, and then have to figure a way out of. instead of helping us to be our best selves (and helping our freind to do the same), these freindships bring out the worst in us. the fact that one would be freinds with someone you don't like reveals underlying insecurity, dishonesty, even meanness. now i'm not saying that everyone who gets involved in these relationships is insecure, dishonest, or mean, even good people can be mean, and this is one of those situations where you may see that, find yourself looking back at the expereince and saying, that was me? how?

    personally, i think a lot of women are raised to think that hurting someones feelings is worse than betraying your own integrity, and that being unliked (even by someone you don't like and whose opinion you don't value) means you're unlikeable. an emphasis on mildness and nurturing over honesty and integrity is i think something that can happen in some homes, and it's an important thing to fight in ourselves and to question in the women around us. the world does not need more mild women who do not stand up for what they believe, and where else should be stand up for our beliefs and our values but in our important relationships?

    but, i do think, if sk is even moderately sure that her former freind is going to read this, that it was unkind to post. it may not have been a real freindship to her, but it's very possible that her freind thought it was real. sk may have had higher expectations, which were not met, but to her this may have been real freindship, and to mock that by revealing this dirty laundry, well, it's not kind, and once again, if one values kindness and cares about people, then where better to show that then to the people in your circle. it's easy to be kind to cute, smart, fun people that you like, but annoying, boring people also have value as human beings and don't deserve to have bad personal expereinces rubbend in thier noses, especially in public, in a public that incouses other people they know. the hurtful and honest thing has already been done, the severing of the freindship, so this seems kinda gratutious. 2 cents.

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  34. Pat Says:

    Sarah,

    How do you know Stephanie didn't confront this person face to face? What you call cowardly and lousy is based on assumptions you make which most likely are false yet you still feel the need to make judgements on them. Also, Stephanie is a writer and this topic makes for a good dialog. The way she articulated her feelings as well were quite compelling. Sometimes a screw is just a screw.

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  35. christina Says:

    Why do you lose so many friends?

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  36. Curious Says:

    Mmmh, so much in here. I am a new reader, and it was a lille bizarre a first post to read! But there's a lot of food for thought. I think I, too, have at times been viewed by ex-friends to be a mess, as much as I have viewed them same. Friends come and go. Family is what counts, to me.

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  37. sarah Says:

    Stephanie, I appreciate all of your posts reguarding the friends you have let go. I have begun to realize that I am involved in a toxic friendship myself. A certain girl has been my 'friend' for over 10 years and I am finally realizing that she is absolutly no good for me. You have given me the courage to let go.

    As a long time reader, I have always appreciated your honestly despite any negitive reactions from others you may provoke. Thank you.

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  38. Cali Says:

    Bravo! You speak the truth and I love you for it. So funny when the trolls come out, huh? Makes you feel sorry for them, actually. I kinda think of your writing as a psychology experiment. it is so easy to make the sludge come out of people. On another note, I applaud you cause you are real and let it all hang out. I am positive every celebrity/personality/writer/athlete out there has these thoughts and experiences. You have the guts to show them instead of a crafted persona with PR and that rocks!

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  39. DeannaBanana Says:

    I'd love to see her retort in her blog, if she knows you read and reads yours. Because I am sure it would be amusing, in a fly on the wall sort of way. And having said that, why is it okay for any of your readers to question your methods or motives? You wrote this, it's out there, it's none of anybodies business why. It definitely makes for an interesting read though, combined with peoples opinions.

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  40. ? Says:

    Yeah… is K #6???

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  41. Julie Says:

    Yes, Stephanie. You are a TERRIBLE mother b/c you speak the truth in your blog. Your babies are DOOMED, DOOMED, DOOMED!
    BB, I do hope you realize how hypocritical your comment was.
    I cant stand women who try to take potshots at someone's ability to be a good mother. You dont even know her and admitted so in your comment, yet you pass judgment.
    There's a four letter word for people like you.
    It's a nasty word reserved just for women like you, BB.
    WEAK.

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  42. a Says:

    You seem to actively lose a lot of friends. Strange, really. It's natural for some friends to fall by the wayside as we age and move through different chapters of our life, but to so actively "dump" friends…does that still happen once you graduate high school?

    It's funny. The people who LOVE LOVE LOVE Stephanie always say, "Thank you for being so honest! I was moved to tears! You always put so much of yourself out there!"

    But if someone dares point out even a minor criticism, those same people scream, "It's only a blog! She doesn't tell us everything! How can you judge her based on what she writes?"

    Pat, the reason we know Stephanie didn't end the friendship face to face is because in the post above she says she ended it over email. And now she's twisting the knife in a blog post. Classy.

    Here's a fun experiment: go back and read the post and substitute the word "I" every time you read the word "she." I read this post actually thinking Stephanie was describing herself and doing some sort of exercise in third person narrative.

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  43. deena Says:

    She's a chronic complainer! Yeah she may get that two-book deal from a major publisher but then once she gets that, then what? There will be something else that she'll want. She'll never be happy in life… EVER.

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  44. sarah Says:

    Aw, Pat – you're adorable. Sweeping in to defend Stephanie. Cute.

    Go back and read Stephanie's post again. She's the one who said she ended their friendship over email and she called HERSELF a coward.

    The only judgement I'm making is about what I see on this webpage – a nasty diatribe about a former friend. I think that sucks and guess what? I'm allowed to say so.

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  45. bb Says:

    We all know it doesn't take a lot of guts to type and send on our computers. To bad you didn't have the guts to say something like this to your "friend": "I'm sorry, we have nothing in common – you only take – I like an equal friendship – I feel you need a shrink, I hope you find a good one but I'm not a capable of dealing with your problems and don't even want to try. Good luck and don't take this personally please!"
    By the way – written words reveal a person far more than anything else. I suggest SK will never be a real writer – I have met a lot of famous people and most have been very generous of heart. One more think and then I am out of here – Somerset Maughan [spelling?] said "listen to the ignorant – they too have their story" and Robbie Burns said "If only the gift the gods would gie us to see ourselves as others see us". It really is a shame to see a young woman with so much be so mean and nasty.

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  46. bbelle Says:

    ?- I was thinking the exact SAME thing!!! I bet K is number six with that long ass projecting comment.

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  47. bb Says:

    Oops! Wonder what she gave you for a wedding present?

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  48. K Says:

    I hope I'm not number six (kidding, I'm definitely not)! To clarify, what I said to Stephanie in the earlier comment section was in agreement (we are talking about different girls and not each other!). For me Stephanie has only done such things as linked my meager blog, paid for my scallop burgers, entrusted me with a secret, invited words of comfort when her own life was far busier than my own and been all around fabulous. Nothing but love for this girl!

    Reply

  49. bb Says:

    Julie – what did I say that was hypopcritical?
    Its okay to take potshots at your ex "friends" but not okay to take potshots at someone's ability to "mother". Why?
    I don't know her and I don't want to know her but she obviously wants everyone in the world to know her [which is okay by me, its her business, she is trying to make a name I imagine]. If she didn't want everyone to know her she would only make her blog available to her "friends".
    I guess you do know her? Does that mean you are her friend? Today? Are you sure?

    Reply

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