Familiarity Breeds Contempt

Sherry's friends were so annoying.

I know, I know, "How annoying were they?"

Ok, one friend was kind enough to bring her boyfriend. First of all, they were all lovey-dovey, kissy-kissy. ("No, I love you more," "No, I love you more...")

Second of all, every single thing that he said, the entire four hours we were together, was an idiom. And then he guffawed as if he had said the funniest thing ever, every time.

I'll give you an example. Let's say one of the girls said, "Hey Sherry, where do you keep your trash can?"

The friend's boyfriend said, "One man's trash is another man's treasure! HAR! HAR! HAR!"

"Oh Sherry, this is a cute picture of your baby..."

"A picture is worth a thousand words! HARTY-HAR-HAR!"

"Oh God! Sherry! Your baby just put in a penny in her mouth!"

"A penny saved is a penny earned. HO HO HO!"

"Seriously! The baby is choking! Should we do the Heimlich or something?"

"Laughter is the best medicine! HI-YO!"

This was all before (third of all) he almost touched my breast under some completely stupid, completely false pretense. Good thing I have reflexes like a ninja, or I would've had second base with that fool.

So, um, yeah... I keep telling myself that I'm not the annoying friend that Sherry didn't want to hang with by herself.

5 comments:

  1. Reminds me of that episode of "Gilmore Girls" where the roommate's boyfriend lost a bet and was only allowed to talk in cliches. "SO FUN!" said the roommate. (Don't worry, this wasn't the plot, just a throwaway side joke.)

    Hmm... I'm trying to think of a tactful way to say if her other friends are around, you don't want to be. Maybe you could plan things with her that are in your neck of the woods or in between, on the theory that she's less likely to bring another friend if they have to travel?

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  2. Hello,

    I've found the best way to deal with such a situation is right up-front: "Hey, I'd like to see you some time when it would be just the two of us. In other words, I won't bring anyone and I'd appreciate it if you didn't either. What's a good time/place for you?"

    That way, there are no misunderstandings, and any issues the friend may have with such a request can be dealt with on the spot.

    Cheers,

    Jeff Deutsch

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  3. Wow, way to come right out and say it, Jeff Deutsch... maybe that's why you'll never be a woman.

    And what would you do when she says, "What, you don't like my friends and their boyfriends?" Just say, "No?" Wow, how refreshingly honest... I'll have to take that under serious consideration.

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  4. Uh ... I'm a woman and I'd totally have handled it Jeff's way.

    And, while I probably would be a bit more diplomatic and say something like "I see you so rarely, I just really want to catch up and have one-on-one time with you and baby," I'm not going to set myself up to drive a couple hours to have a bad time.

    If pressed about "what about so-and-so ... she wants to come too?", I'd say "I'm sure so-and-so is a great friend to you, but she and her boob-grabbing boyfriend just aren't my cup of tea. Sorry."

    Why set up a situation that's just going to eventually make you feel uncomfortable and resentful, if it doesn't already? How is that maintaining your friendship?

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  5. Hello Blonde Justice,

    At November 14, 2007 8:02 PM, you said...

    Wow, way to come right out and say it, Jeff Deutsch... maybe that's why you'll never be a woman.

    Oh no...my life's dream - smashed!

    Seriously, I never said I was being like a woman when I posted, just like you never said you wanted only women's input.

    In any case, this kind of situation strikes me as just the kind where you really should come right out and say what you need. Given what you posted it's far from clear that Sherry would have understood it otherwise.

    Pelican said it best: to do otherwise would just set up a situation where you feel progressively uncomfortable and resentful. That would in all probability erode your friendship - if you didn't explode at Sherry first over some (surface) trivial matter and totally surprise her.

    And what would you do when she says, "What, you don't like my friends and their boyfriends?" Just say, "No?"

    Given what you said in "On Being the Other Friend," the issue seemed to me to be your perceived importance to Sherry, not the desirability of her friends as individuals.

    Also, from how you've described Sherry she seems intelligent enough to understand the difference between wanting some one-to-one time with her and personal problems with her friends.

    That having been said, apparently Sherry's friend's boyfriend is a sexual predator. You should tell Sherry and if possible the friend herself about what he tried, pronto. You certainly would be absolutely within your rights to demand that this man-impersonator never be allowed into your presence again.

    Wow, how refreshingly honest... I'll have to take that under serious consideration.

    Thank you. I'm glad to help. In many if not most instances, honesty is vitally important to good friendships. In my experience, mutual misunderstandings and perceived slights are the worst things to happen to friendships.

    Also, it's especially important not to let misplaced "tact" get in the way of reasonable efforts to protect yourself from two-legged vermin.

    Cheers,

    Jeff Deutsch

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