monkeys and marbles

this post is brought to you by Secret Agent Mama!

Posted on: November 7, 2007

First off, let me say that I am honored to be guest blogging on Cate’s blog. Since going public in the blogosphere, I have enjoyed reading her blog. Her sense of humor is right alongside mine and I feel very much at home when I’m here. That being said, make sure you show Cate some mad love; she’s a top notch Mama and all around excellent human being!

I have this thing on my blog where I air grievances for the previous week. It’s called “Monday Festivus“. I got it from one of those meme sites and it was originally to be done on Sundays but I could never find the time. Then I started doing the “Sunday Scribbling” and “Soap Opera Sunday”. I had to switch it or else I might go into blogging overload. Like I don’t post enough as it is, eh?

So, this past Monday I listed two related grievances. One was about rude children and the other was about rude people, in general. Nothing gets me more worked up than those two things. Rude behavior is simply not tolerated in my eyes. You can be grumpy. You can be cross. But, please, don’t be rude.

Let me back track here: I am a great friend. I can say this because I know I am. I’m loyal, generous, kind-hearted, will give you the shirt of my back, I’m one awesome friend. If you have me in your corner, I’m there for the long haul. However, don’t break my trust or exhibit behaviors that are ill moral and/or rude. Either of these will land you on my shit list and it will take a lot to have your name erased from it. A. Lot.

When we first moved to Georgia, in 2004, my eldest son got involved in Cub Scouts. The only good thing that came of it was that we met this family that had children all the same ages as my children, plus one more. They were great friends. We’d often get together at their house for dinner, and when they came over to our house it was always a good time as I would plan out little activities for the kids, cook a special kid’s meal, and make something ultra special for me and the mom, named oddly enough, Michelle. She was always on the pessimistic side but most of the conversations we had were great, and our kids got along so well that we didn’t have to hover over them.

Then they moved into a McMansion.

Then we moved back to New York and had the baby.

Then we moved back to Georgia.

Of course, we thought that our friendship would pick up right where it left off; “thought” being the operative word. Little did we know that time and had changed them? The kids were different. The mom was different, yet still was very much a pessimist.

Last week when my truck lost its brakes Michelle helped me out. She came and got us from our stranding and even took me to the shop to pick it up the next day. I’m grateful for her help in the situation. However, her daughter’s rude behavior was a big turn off. Michelle and another friend, Maureen, showed up where I was stranded. Maureen (a/k/a Mo) came to keep me company because I didn’t know how long Michelle would take to get there. She figured I might need some cheering up in the stressful situation. It wasn’t long after one showed up that the other showed up, too. We sat and talked a bit, as I was still feeding the baby. Well Michelle was so rude to Mo. It really wounded me as Mo and I are tight.

She was really condescending and at one point said to her, “Well, I’m here now. You can just leave!”

But, I needed Mo to stay with the kids while I got stuff sorted out to get the truck towed to the shop and whatnot. Michelle took me in her van to handle it. Mo, being a cool chick, engaged Michelle’s child in some conversation.

“Where do you go to gymnastics,” she asked.

The girl huffed, “I thought my mom told you, it’s in City A.”

“Uh, no, she didn’t tell me. What’s it called?”

“Duh, I’m just a kid, I don’t know. Why don’t you ask my mom when she gets back with Mishelle.”

Then Benny started to lick his fingers, after drinking his milkshake down. Maureen asked him to go wash his hands in the bathroom.

The rude daughter turned to Olivia and said, “Geez, this lady’s REALLY weird!”

Livey sternly said, “Shut up!” (Later she told me that no one talks like that about her Miss Maureen!)

Mo also said that Mikey and Olivia were really embarrassed by rude girl’s manner, and that she could tell by the looks on their faces.

We got back and rude behavior continued. I was uneasy. Mo was uneasy. Michelle was fine, with burger juice running down her chin as she gobbled up her burger. I think she even belched out loud!

I had a while to take this all in. Then I started to think about things:

  • How the daughter told my daughter that she wasn’t her best friend and that there were four other better friends in front of her. This after Olivia told her that she was her #1 best friend even while we lived in NY. When Livey told me she said this, it was with a lump in her throat and tears in her eyes.
  • How the eldest son said that he’d rather live at their house because “they have better stuff” when we joked about trading siblings.
  • How when the youngest kids slept over my house they ran amuck, and really didn’t adhere to my rules, ignoring me most of the time.
  • How the mom talked to my parents before we moved from GA to NY. This was a big one. My parents are from another country, though they’ve been US Citizens since the early 70’s. She knew this yet she continued to dog immigrants. Don’t dog immigrants to my father, yo; not a good idea!
  • How she told me that all I do now is talk baby-talk and that I wouldn’t be able to do anything for, like, eight years until Davey was grown.

Oh and the icing on the cake is when they came over for dinner, before the truck broke down, Olivia and the rude daughter were playing outside with the neighbor girl. Olivia came inside to feed the dogs and rude girl told neighbor girl that Livey was fat (neighbor girl told the kids this, this week, while playing). Livey is nowhere near fat. She’s healthy and not scrawny. I wouldn’t even say Livey was chubby. So, if rude daughter’s calling my daughter “fat”, what’s she hearing at home, and what’s being said about the rest of us? Seriously, kids repeat what they hear.

All these things started making it clearer and clearer. I have decided that I don’t want to be exposed nor expose my kids to it any longer. Now I have a dilemma: Do I call her and tell her outright? Do I send her an email? What do I do to break this friendship off? I know it’s what I want to do; I just don’t know how to do it. Or would it be better to just drift apart?

Mikey says he knows why they are rude. He says it’s all the “stuff” they have now. I venture to say he’s right. I think what we’re dealing with here is a case of “Too Big for Their Britches”.

Thanks for letting me rant. Hopefully, one of Cate’s fabulous readers will have some good advice for me here. I’d greatly appreciate it.

On that note, I’d like to conclude by saying, “You can pick your friends. You can pick your nose. But, you can’t pick your friend’s nose!”

SECRET AGENT MAMA is known to most as Mishelle or Mishi. You can read more about her HERE!

9 Responses to "this post is brought to you by Secret Agent Mama!"

this is a really tough situation you’re in. i think those kids sound like they need some guidance from their parents! that’s crazy how rude they are!

i’m sad that your daughter ended up getting caught up in this with the whole “fat” thing. i’m dumbfounded!

i wish i knew what to say…but you definitely deserve better friends than that! i think the most non-confrontational way is to drift apart…that would be my choice…i really don’t like confrontation and conflict. plus she sounds like the confrontational type, so if you call her or email her, it will probably end up being really stressful for you.

i hope you are able to figure this out!

I’m a drift apparter too mostly because I don’t like conflict, but also because I think if this is a problem with the whole family they’re not going to listen to you and you could just be making a whole world of pain for yourself and ultimately it’s not worth it.

That said, if I were in you situation, not matter what I decided about the rest of the family Rude Girl wouldn’t be allowed anywhere here my daughter. Kids have enough self esteem issues without having some nasty piece of work talking about them and calling them fat.

This is “Chicken Little” we’re talking about here, right? I remember awhile back when you would tell me about her it was always depressing and negative.

I think you are doing the right thing by ending the friendship. I would probably choose to drift apart…but then again, maybe by saying something to her it may “open her eyes” a bit.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

i’d be in the drift apart camp with a secret desire to bitch out the mama big time.

and the “called her fat” thing? grrrrrr

Oh yeah, growing up chubby, I was teased a lot. My daughter’s not even chubby. She’s not a little skinny thing, but she’s not fat. That one wounded me the most and ultimately led to my decision.

I am leaning towards drifting. Good thing I have a cell phone and I know who’s calling me. 😉

Your best best is to drift apart. This woman does not sound like the type you can sit down and have an honest chat with. I would sit down with your family and explain that you don’t think that being around that family is a good influence on yours. (Unless they attend church/schoo/activites together, nothing worse than a my mom hates your mom talk) Best wishes to your daughter, hopefully she knows that the other person was just trying to hurt her and alienate her friends.

I would also do the drift away. It is not worth the stress to confront with no hope of change.

Dang that’s messed up!

I’m in camp drift apart, too. I have been since the one time I told someone that my life was “too full” and we just needed a little “break” for awhile, she ended up almost stalking me.

Don’t wanna piss the crazies off, that’s for sure!

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November 2007
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