wrecking balls + other psychos

In ALL, BREAKUPS & BREAKTHROUGHS, FRIENDSHIP by Stephanie Klein

Once upon an engaged life ago, I worked in an office with a beautiful, funny woman, who was, without question, a fucking psycho. But, man was she entertaining. And I liked how neurotic she was. In Moose I changed her name to "Waif Worker." She’s the one who asked me to go to the grocery store for her–to buy her food for her cabinets to make her look normal, like she didn’t have a raging eating disorder–because she was inviting over a boy. She entertained me, knew the best salons closest to work, always had the inside info on secret designer sample sales. It was a shallow love affair. But I was always a bit of a work nerd, happy to be anti-social, at my desk, with my headphones. So when she came along with her psycho talk, obsessions, and beautifully manicured nails, I figured maybe I should take a chance, put myself out there, socialize. 

She became my lunch plans, my closest friend at work, so I figured, fuck it, why not? Then I asked her if she’d be a bridesmaid in my wedding to Dr. Cock + Balls. She cried. Wet tears. "Absolutely," she said, hugging me.

Fast forward to the day I went to register and have brunch with my bridesmaids, and she didn’t show up. When asked, she said, she simply couldn’t do it because it was too painful for her to see me getting married, instead of her. It’s what she wanted for herself, and she admitted she felt like she was getting her nose rubbed in it. Okay, psycho. You suck shit up for friends. You’re happy for them, even if you, yourself aren’t where you want to be. That was all the waving red flag I needed to see. Told her it wasn’t a big deal, moved on. Except she didn’t.

She went on to make my life at work a living hell. She’d press me for creative (I designed web sites at the time; she was an account exec), saying she needed it urgently, then she’d let it sit on her desk for over a week, complaining that I never gave it to her. She was sabotaging me. Talking about me to colleagues. I couldn’t sleep, eat, function. Still, I was taking the high road. It would blow over when she latched onto her next victim. In the meanwhile, I’d keep to my work, and if people heard things, they could always ask me. But with time, she didn’t let up. Instead, she’d make snide comments about me in group meetings. I had enough.

I privately requested that I be put on a different account. I couldn’t work with her anymore. But my superiors were one step ahead of me. Apparently she’d said something to them first. Want to know what she said? Miss Waif Worker sat down and told the head of marketing (a 58-year-old man) that I had propositioned her, asking her to have a ménage à trois with my fiancee. Holy swinging wrecking balls.

I didn’t want to be the Lady who’d protested too much, but come on. What do you do? You want to make a public announcement, calm, succinct. But the more you deny it, the more people start to wonder. Say nothing, and they assume it’s true. So what did I do? After lifting my jaw off my stiletto, I said just that. "I want you to know this isn’t true, but I don’t want to protest too much, or you’ll think I’m lying. I really don’t know what I can say to convince you otherwise, except to say, I have a hard enough time sharing my nachos. I’m not about to share my man."

Thankfully, I had an excellent track record at work, never had problems with anyone. Whereas she had a Santa Wishlist of complaints against her. Security arrived that week to escort her out of the building. She was fired for poor work performance, having nothing to do with me. Before I’d even piped up to my superiors, the plan had been set in motion. As they escorted her out, she screamed, "You’re gonna pay. I’m calling my lawyer now!" She then sued the company for sexual harassment. (At one point she was dating a VP, the boss of her boss). Long story long, she went away because she made her own bed.

Obviously your situation is different. I agree with many of the comments posted here. The high road is noble–it is. But it does little to rid yourself of the anxiety ball in your belly. If I were you, I’d contact the person throwing the shower, if you are close with that person. Or I’d contact whomever you’re closest with, whom you actually care about, and reach out to them. Not to talk about Tory, at all. Not to get into any of that backstory. This isn’t about that anyway. You need to ask yourself which of these people do you consider a real friend. Or even a potential true friend. Then "make your own bed." Show them who you are. And you do that by having class.

If you are close with the guest of honor at the shower, you contact her, and let her know how much you want to be there for her, to help celebrate. You certainly don’t want to put anyone in the middle, but you do want them to know how important their friendship is to you, if in fact it is. But I do have to ask, why have none of these friends come to you asking if you’re okay? Asking you for plans, explaining the shower situation, etc.? Personally, if I had a friend who didn’t invite another of my friends, I would reach out to the friend who wasn’t invited. I just would. If they haven’t done that, they’re not worth a second thought. Or even another sentence on this blog. Let us know what you decide in the end, and know that if I were in your town, I’d swing by and get you porch drunk.