The Problem With Friends, (who are girls)

You know how some people are so desperate to make you their friend, they greet you with the obnoxious energy of an overgrown puppy - so eager to get your attention, that they practically knock you over? Yeah, that's not me.

At the moment, I'm basically friendless.  Peopleless. Except for my husband and kids. And in most ways, and on most days, I'm pretty happy with that. Well, the stubborn part of me is. The socially-anxious side. The snobbish side. The side that knows how much work it is to maintain a meaningful friendship, because I've been that friend before - and who won't settle on having a friend just to say I have one. I'm really not interested in friends just for the numbers,like the tally of "friends" some people are so proud to display on their facebook walls.  I really don't care to know, much less be friends with, that many people.

People exhaust me. Well, not necessarily people, but girls do. Sometimes, it's just easier to be friends with guys, because they (generally speaking, now) are-who-they-are. There's no secret code you have to know. Feelings don't get so easily hurt. Manners don't need to be as closely monitored. It's just simple - you sit back, have a beer, watch the game, and laugh at perverted jokes. The end. Fun times. No strings. I say this, knowing that I'm a walking contradiction. I actually do miss my girl friends. I miss girl-talk sometimes. But, my personality usually meshes better with guys. I just don't handle the girly-girl drama, backstabbing, judgments, hissy-fit-throwing, female emotions very well (and, yes, some guys act like that as well). I also don't speak their unwritten "code" you're supposed to know.

So, here are a few examples of my problems with friends, who are girls:

First up, is the "I'll fix you" girl - the girl who decides to make you her latest project. The girl, with her little-girl voice, so confident that she will be your bestest friend, she practically forces herself on you - except, in girl-rules, you're not aloud to say no. That would hurt somebody's feelings, and be so un-girl-like of you, which is the biggest sin to girls like that.  So she traps you, right as you're obviously trying to flee an overwhelming social situation. She traps you and holds you down, right there in front of everybody, so she has the protection of witnesses. She is so certain that she will be the one to break through your "troubled" exterior. But since her innocent little eyes are too pure to behold such ugly things, she pretends it's not there - which forces you to pretend it's not there - which just makes you angry. So you're forced to stand there, angry and uncomfortable, with uncomfortable conversation.Conversation that is predictably boring and dull, since she hasn't the slightest idea how to talk to you -  the troubled one. And then, sure enough, comes the invitation. The invitation that you already know that you'll be forced to say yes to immediately - because, remember, those are the girl-rules - but an invitation that you know you'll, unfortunately, be sick for. This is the girl who believes that her mere presence is enough to magically cure your affliction. That if she can just make you her friend, she will get the applause and adulation of the others, when you are healed - because she is the healer. Or, even if your friendship "doesn't work out" (obviously because of something on your end), she will still get the applause and adulation, because - hey - at least she tried to help you.

Then comes the clingy, needy, desperate girl. The girl who doesn't seem to have any friends at all, except the unfortunate new person who has just moved in. She pounces on them first, calls shotgun, and claims ownership. If she has you in her sight's, be prepared for a doozy of a friendship ending (frending). Her constant, daily phone calls -  instantly revealing her deepest, darkest secrets - which are pathetically not all that deep or dark. Her never-ending invitations to her house so she can talk about herself and her problems. And since that doesn't fill up the endless hours you're expected to stay there - she fills in the holes of conversation with everyone else and their problems too - secretly hoping that you will add your own juicy tidbits to her vast collection of gossipy "facts". So, you eventually stop answering the constant phone calls and texting. But then, she manipulatively uses your children against you - asking them, right in front of you, if they want to come over - looking right at you, with that sure look of desperate victory. She is the one who just doesn't get it without a clean break. And then, after you've finally pulled yourself free from her claws - her next unsuspecting victim moves in - and you have just added to her plethora of problems and gossip she'll so eagerly share with them.

Then there's the girl who, being friends with her, could feel like being friends with Jesus himself. The girl so puritanically good and righteous, so saintlike in her goodness - whose only flaw is being unbearably boring and dull.  The girl who would literally cry if you didn't keep pretending that you were her friend. The girl who thinks that common euphemisms are swear words. The girl who you must monitor any sort of aggression, especially the use of the word "hate" - since saying you hate an inanimate object could possibly hurt its feelings. The girl you have to exhaustively monitor each word and action for, so as not to offend her perfect sense of the world. She has absolutely nothing in common with you, but she desperately attempts to come up with some kind of commonality - no matter how remote. And in her mind, which is only filled with goodness, you reside with happy thoughts, in her happy world, where all is good.

Then comes the worst-of-the-worst - the creepy, passive-aggressive girl. The girl who, to your face - and especially in front of an audience - will go out-of-her-way to shower you with insincere compliments and camaraderie. The girl who loves to hear herself speak with her infinite wisdom. The girl whose family worships her as their poster-child of almost-success (which is close enough for them). The girl who turns her facebook wall into her very own personal modeling portfolio - putting up a new profile picture every 15 minutes, along with her Oprah-esque quotes of girl-power and thoughts of having a soul, just so she can feel like she has one. The beautiful girl who married the ugly man, just to magnify her own beauty in comparison. The girl so intent on spreading her popularity, she has no problem with prostituting it - selling it to the next highest bidder - paid only with the compliments and praise of her perfectness. The girl who will drop you the second a guy looks in her direction. Or, if he was actually looking in your direction, will claim that you stole him away from her. The girl so secretly desperate to be you, she'll sleep with your brother-in-law, just to pretend that she's you for a day. She's the mind-playing, manipulative, ultimate girls-girl friend. The girl who wears her makeup to get the attention from the trashy men, and then acts disgusted when she gets it. The girl who has to warn her other friends - her "real friends" - about you, because you are oh-so-dangerous. The girl so preoccupied with trying to define exactly what a good friend is, she forgets to actually be one to begin with.

And then, in the background, hidden from my view, is the shy girl who actually knows what true friendship means. The girl who, at another time in my life, when I had something to give, would have been the real best friend. The girl who looks at me, and sees me for the hypocritical, needy, disturbed person that I am. The girl who knows her limits, and knows I would be too much for her to handle. The girl who sees a little piece of me in each one of the previous descriptions. I am those girls to her. And she is wise enough to keep her distance, yet content enough with her other friends and family, not to be too bothered. If we were to be friends now, she would be the one who would listen intently to me complaining about my simple problems, while I conveniently ignored hers. She would be the one who would be there for each of my never-ending family crises, never failing to show empathy for poor, unfortunate me. And I would be there for her lone set of troubles, which she would be too afraid to trouble me with - too afraid to upset my newfound balance, which her friendship has given me.




© 2013 Lipstick and Lithium

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