November 20, 2015
Friendship between women is an amazing thing. We women care for each other so well, don't we? We listen to each other when our husbands haven't got a clue what to say, or just try to tell us how to fix things. We lean on each other. We care for one another's children. We commiserate about our weight, our hair and much deeper issues, like fidelity (or the opposite). So, I wonder, is there some switch that changes this deep communion between women to bitchy rivlaries? What causes us as women to suddenly act like "mean girls" (like the ones from the movie)? I asked my sister yesterday and she answered simply, "it's science." I actually spent some time reading a few articles that give her answer some credibility. I'll post one at the end.
This week something untasteful happened. Its something that I learned on Tuesday and really struggled over for a few days and still, I think, will have repercussions for many months, or maybe even years to come. Remember the picture of friends I posted a few years back, from my friend's son's first communion party? Well that group of friends is growing a bit . . . and shrinking too it seems.
I don't want to go into all the details of the situation, just that some things have come to light that remove the shine. I liked to think of us as a group of women that would have each other's backs in any situations. I thought we were above the gossip and bitchy interactions, at least between us. Yesterday I spent a few hours over coffee with two of the other affected people. As we were expressing our disappointment and hurt over what had happened, we noticed something. In that picture (that I mentioned before), one person was missing. She is a newcomer to our group, maybe we've known her for a couple of years but not more. I won't blame everything on her, but she seems to be sort of a switch in our group. There is a bit more competition when she's around. Her son is always #1 in the group. (Nobody else cares.) She makes comments about other's looks in backhanded derogatory ways. She compares herself to some of us physically. Now, I've been in other groups of women where that was the way women dealt with each other on a regular basis, but I've never dedicated any more time to them than necessary. I used to sit with a group of women while waiting for my sons to finish soccer practice but I would always avoid invitations to meet outside soccer. Why? I could tell that these women were competing and I don't have time for bitchy competitions. Its hard enough being all the things I'm required to be, let alone try to be things I'm not to impress people I don't care about or don't care about me.
In light of all the things happening in the world, I know this is so not important. But it really bothers me. What is important to me are the friendships I have worked so hard to build over so many years. I hate to see things fall apart. I don't want it to come down to one group against the other. I feel like I got sent back to middle school this week and it's been worse than when I was 12. If I've learned one thing over the years, especially living away from my family and culture, its that I need to have good friends in this life. I can't do this alone. I need to vent and complain to someone who gets what I'm going through, Don't we all need that?
Posted by Karen at 8:53 AM