Frenemy Switcheroo

by admin on March 1, 2011

I have a terrible friend who I’ll call “Emma” (always hated that name!). Me and Emma both applied to the same college and were accepted, and we were both ecstatic, being best friends at the time. However, Emma was diagnosed with a rare cancer right before we entered, and instead decided to wait a year to enter. Well, during that year I made a wonderful group of friends and had so much fun with them. But when Emma came back that second year, things took a turn for the worst.

Emma didn’t know anyone except for me when she entered, and I very generously allowed her to sit with my friends on the first day. They got along well, and Emma had quite a few classes with them. The second day, Emma and I didn’t have lunch together because of my dentist’s appointment. But when I came back to campus, I found out that SHE had lunch with MY friends WITHOUT me!!!

In the first few weeks of school, she had made friends with a handful of MY friends and was now sitting at lunch with us every day! Well, of course I was annoyed! Didn’t she know how to make her own friends? But I almost exploded one October morning!My friends and I were planning a halloween party, and of course they HAD to invite Emma! But what really got me angry was when I had to leave early for another party, and Emma asked if everyone wanted to come back to her dorm! Seriously, she was acting as if they were HER friends when I met them first!

Emma even invited me to lunch on day with a couple of friends. That’s right- she had the nerve to invite ME, even though they were MY friends! She made plans with them behind my back!

So I just decided to erase Emma from my life. I would ignore her and wouldn’t allow her to sit at the table with us! Of course, she had no other friends because she was mooching off of mine, so she sat alone. But when my mom called and asked how Emma was, she found out about my behavior and forced me to apologize to her. After that, I just decided to be the better person and not have anything to do with her!

To this day I ignore that stupid, tacky woman! 0225-11

So, readers, what was your reaction to this story?  Was it initially like mine where you come to the conclusion that the story writer is actually the obvious choice for deportation into Etiquette Hell instead of the intended target named Emma?  Were you gearing up to write a scathing commentary on how petty the OP was?  I was…that is until I noticed the name of the person sending in the story in the email header data.   It’s a very cleverly written story Emma.

{ 88 comments… read them below or add one }

LilyG March 1, 2011 at 1:03 pm

How do you keep “friends” to yourself?

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Fox March 1, 2011 at 1:11 pm

O, jeez.

S: For all the legitimate reasons to doubt this story, you choose the *CANCER*? How long, exactly, do you think someone who has been diagnosed with cancer (and presumably immediately started treatment) wait until they can go to college? Nowhere does it say that the cancer “completely cleared up” (though I suspect that with aggressive treatment – possible surgery, immediate chemo followed up by radiation, for example – then it would be possible to get a tentative “all clear” within a year, though of course anyone who has gone through this disease knows you’re never really “free” of it, and many don’t start celebrating until the 5 or 10 year mark). You are making rather shocking presumptions and frankly, quite a nasty accusation. It’s one thing to accuse the OP of being immature, rude, what-have-you, but to accuse her of faking cancer? Eugh. Skepticism is healthy and good, but in some situations – such as total strangers mentioning a horrific disease they had – should be reserved.

As for Emma: It’s quite clear that we’re missing bits of this story. Obviously this is how things appeared to Emma, which is a shame, but I suspect there may have been more to it on the friend’s side. Perhaps they had fallen out of touch in that year, or she had (like many teenagers) changed quite a bit her freshman year and no longer felt she had much in common with Emma. While the actions are quite cruel, bear in mind that the only reasoning we get here is Emma’s own speculation. The other girl may have actually been this petty and immature, or there may be another story lurking. Either way, I would have been more willing to give Emma the benefit of the doubt had she simply given us her side rather than caricaturing her friend. She’s given us such a “fish in the barrel” summary that it almost feels unfair to shred Little Miss Selfish.

On topic, I think we’ve all been in a similar situation. I had a friend in high school who flipped out about how close me and another friend were, and actually *said* something to the effect of “It’s so unfair! I knew both of you first! [Before we'd met each other.] You should be closer to ME!” I’ve also had a friendship ruined in large part because of how jealous one friend was of my other friends (who I’d known much longer), which caused her to be nasty towards them. Very sad stuff. People who get possessive of others are rarely doing so because they just care about you too much to share, and usually more because of their own insecurities and need to be the most important person in everyone else’s lives. Not-Really-the-OP’s situation would have been slightly more understandable (though it wouldn’t excuse her actions) if she had some reason to dislike Emma and was thus hurt that her friends were inviting someone they knew she disliked to events.. but given that she introduced Emma to the group, and she and Emma used to be best friends, what did she expect her friends to do? Push Emma away and say “We put up with your friend for you, but don’t worry, we like you better!”?

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Jolie_kitten March 1, 2011 at 1:27 pm

In good “Ehell folklore” tradition fun- I think Emma’s frenemy is Jennifer the Titanic Bride! :D

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Jessyy March 1, 2011 at 3:04 pm

I help teach Reception (age 4-5) and Year 2 (age 6-7) children and I can honestly say most of them aren’t even this petty.

Hell, most of the pre-teens in my school aren’t this petty, and the school I go to is known to have immature and petty people.

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Milosparront March 1, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Really??? Are you kidding me?? This HAS to be a joke!!

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Stepmomster March 1, 2011 at 4:02 pm

You know, Emma reminds me of a super drama freind. You know, the person who is always so injured but yet doesn’t remember WHY people get angry at her? she also strikes me as posting this because her freind probably reads this website, and will get completely inflammed about the post.

I have a sister who has burned herself out of every single freind group we have ever been involved in. We are identical twins, and it is one of the greater sorrows of my life to hear her tell me stories and outright lies about the deep meaningful freindships in her life, only to meet those freinds and then be embarrassed when I relate a story about them, and get told “um, yeah your sister lied, we really only stomach her presence because she is dating/married to so-and-so.”

I became freinds with her freind group some years ago, and did not know that she and they were connected, because I met her freinds without her, through someone who had liked my beadwork. I ended doing “Anns” wedding jewelry and being absorbed into her freind group. When I told my sister about my new freinds, she was extremely upset, and accused me of purposefuly be-freinding a group of people that had told her to hit the road a year before.

Keep in mind, that my sister and I are in our 30s and do not hang out together, because of her freindship habits, and she doesn’t call me but a few times a year because I have kids, which make her uncomfortable, so I would have no way of knowing who she hangs out with.

I spent the next 2 1/2 years trying to fold her back into the group, and finally everyone forgave her. She promptly broke many expensive commitments, slept with a freinds husband and broke up her marriage and his, borrowed money and didn’t pay it back, ext. It took me another 2 1/2 years to regain everyones trust, and I have just started seeing those people again. Needless to say, nobody even says her name, and neither do I, but EVERY SINGLE person that meets me for the first time has to be told I am not my sister, but her twin before I stop getting glared at.

So.. maybe emma met a freind group that barely tolerated her freind, but she was so popular they were afraid of her, or maybe Emma tried to be everything to everybody and was spreading stories, and by mutual agreement they all cut her out of the picture when the game was figured out?

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Enna March 1, 2011 at 4:02 pm

I’m not too sure about this story being real: accusing your firend who has cancer for poaching your firends? This Emma has cancer, she may not have much time left plus her condition could have effected her confidence. Plus if you are such good firends what does it matter anyway? You could have similar tastes in firneds. Give her a chance to settle and maybe she will find her own firends and make additions to the group.

Now if she was cutting you out, doing her best to leave out on purpose then it would be different. Now you were at the dentist is there anything wrong with your firends including Emma from meeting up? To me there is nothing unreasonable with that. If I had a firend who had cancer and she was joning in my group of firends it wouldn’t bother me in the slightest. I could appricate if you feel hurt but firendships do change over time. People you meet in your first year aren’t always going to be firends for life. Sometimes firends you introduce to each other will become closer.

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Jillybean March 1, 2011 at 4:08 pm

For those of you saying that people in college aren’t this petty, I know adults who feel this way about their friends mixing. I have a friend, who I love dearly, who hates when her friends become friends independant of her. She loves when her friends get along and can socialize together, but it actually hurts her and makes her feel excluded if they get along to the point of doing things that she is not included in or not the initiator of. She’s in her 30’s. It’s how she feels. I don’t quite understand it, but I try not to condemn her for it. I like most of her friends, but I actually wouldn’t hang out with any of them exclusively, not simply because I know it would bother her, but I just haven’t developed that kind of rapport with any of them. Not sure how I would handle it if I did.

That said, I have many friends who have blended together and have become very good friends. In fact, an old work friend who I’m still very close with became best friends with a college friend of mine . The college friend and I drifted apart after a while but she and my old work friend are still extremely close to this day. Doesn’t bother me in the least. I see her on occasion at events for the friend I am still close to, and despite us not being close anymore, I enjoy catching up with her and couldn’t care less that my friend “stole her” (I don’t really think that, but I know some people do). In fact, I’m happy to have introduced two people who have shared a wonderful friendship for 15 years or so.

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Wink-n-Smile March 1, 2011 at 4:13 pm

My reaction to the story – before I even read the admin’s response.

People are not objects, and you don’t own them. They are free to choose anyone they want as their friends. Guess what! Your friends like Emma, too, and chose to be friends with her. The feeling was mutual. You introduced her, and the rest was up to them and Emma.

Repeat – I am not a SLAVE-OWNER. My friends are not my SLAVES. Emma’s friendship with them does not cancel out my friendship with them. My friends can be friends with anyone they like. Emma is my friend, and just like my other friends, she can be friends with anyone she likes.

And on a purely practical note – it’s much easier to manage your social life if your group of friends, at large, get along well with your best friend, and vice versa.

As for you “being the bigger person and ignoring Emma,” ummm, no. You’re not being the bigger person. You’re being a small, immature person who thinks of people as objects to own, and friendship as a zero-sum equation.

Love is not a pie, which can be divided into finite parts. It is infinite. If you give 1/4 of the pie to Emma, you still have an entire pie to give to your other friends. And if you find a soul-mate, that soul-mate gets the whole pie, too! It’s magic!

Now I’ll read the admin’s thoughts.

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Wink-n-Smile March 1, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Ah! The submitter wrote this on behalf of her former friend, who disowned her for having the gall to be a living human being, rather than a thing.

Well done.

You didn’t lose much in your former “friend.” Hopefully, she’ll learn better, and you can reconnect in a few years when she’s gained some maturity. In the meantime, enjoy college and your social life, with whomever you choose.

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Giles March 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm

I have an eight-year-old daughter. Minus the cancer, this is pretty much my reality right now.

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bookworm March 1, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Thank you for everyone who managed to explain this mess of a story. It sounds like Emma is better off focusing on her studies than getting caught up in drama like this. It’s obvious that she needs it.

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ScifiLeslie March 1, 2011 at 5:02 pm

I stopped reading after “I very generously allowed her to sit with my friends on the first day. “

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Dear! March 1, 2011 at 5:12 pm

@Abbie- I found your story more interesting than the pseudo OP’s. It is hard when you are trying to achieve something to better yourself, and people you were once best pals with have suddenly(or not so suddenly) become hurdles to overcome. Etiquette suggestions are nice with random people, because let’s face it, “That’s just not possible” only goes so far with friends and family. It’s hard.

I had a group of friends, all female, that I hung out with during my time in another country. They were from the same country as me, and we by a chance of “luck” ended up in the same circle so many miles away from home. These girls had nice qualities, but as time passed I realized they were jealous, gossips, who would backstab and makeup in a moments notice. And there was some questionable sexual behaviour that I tried to ignore, but when it invades my personal space it’s hard to avoid the pink naked elephant. They were not encouraging, and I’m a person who likes to try new things and better myself. They either knock it, or try to invade my chosen interest. Everything that I once enjoyed, once they became a part of it, it just turned sour. Eventually, I had to limit contact to one of the girls, who I considered genuine. When I eventually left and comtemplated the past, 20/20 after the fact, I realized the truth that my “genuine” friend was a snake in the grass, just like the rest, if not worse and she kept the gossip flowing. I now keep my distance, and like a miracle, the hardtimes I experienced because of that group are distant memories. I now keep on contact via the occasional FB wall post or IM.

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Elizabeth March 1, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Please please PLEASE tell me that E-Hell got trolled and this is NOT a true story.

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Anonymous March 1, 2011 at 5:32 pm

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in February of 2009. It was detected early, she had the tumour removed early, and she started radiation as soon as she was well enough. Throughout all of this, she ate right, and exercised as much as she could. By late February of 2010, she had a clean bill of health again. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, it IS possible for cancer to “clear up” within a year–it’s not as if she’s completely free of it, she still has check-ups fairly regularly, but my point is, I believe that the OP was telling the truth about recovering from cancer (or at least being in remission and well enough to start university) within a year.

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Merry Mrs March 1, 2011 at 5:34 pm

The form does make it impossible to even guess how many events were Emma’s perceptions and which if any of the “OP” thoughts and motives were actually her’s. I would guess some things were actually said and some were just assumed by Emma. The fact the all of Emma new friends were content to shun her and let her eat lunch alone, leads me to consider that maybe it wasn’t just “OP” being a brat but perhaps Emma offened them in some way also. The conclusion appears to be that “OP” apologized and gave Emma the cut but isn’t clear as to whether Emma was then able to rekindle her friendship with the rest of the group.

It could have happened this way.

My best friend from HS was accepted to the same college , unfortunately she became seriously ill and had to start a year late. My friend Emma was always shy so I made sure to introduce to the new friends I had made and invited her to lunch with us. The second day of classes I was out , my friends were a little surprised when Emma joined them. They didn’t think she was interested in being friends as she didn’t say a word to them the first day , I told them Emma is just a bit shy and she wasn’t ignoring them. I requested my friends invite her to an upcoming Halloween party………..

I other words it’s impossible to glean what actually happened, besides the fact the Emma was hurt.

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sally March 1, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Some people act very differently around different people and it is just the way they are. Maybe they are insecure, or maybe it is just easier for them to be a chameleon rather than develop a strong personality of their own. These are the people who do not want their friends to mix—maybe because they find it impossible to meld their own different “personalities” in a group where everyone knows each other. I have friends who have been this way for 30 years–and the friendship usually works well as a one on one, and not a group dynamic.
In grade school we used to call this trait “2 faced” but as an adult I just think it is sad and a little odd and so I try to have compassion.

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Tori March 1, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Ok…this seems petty. I mean sure they may have been your friends first but as you and Emma were friends and liked each other, maybe you and her were a lot alike or at least somewhat similar. So maybe your group of friends liked her too. Banning her from hanging out with your friends was mean. If she was trying to steal your friends or something like that than I would understand but in this case you are being petty for not wanting to share your friends.

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Skoffin March 1, 2011 at 8:11 pm

I don’t believe the cancer is an ‘obvious example’ of the story being fake. That assumes that everyone has the exact same experience with cancer. Back in high school there was a student that was diagnosed with cancer early in the year and left school, they returned the next year to repeat the class year that they missed. They were not ‘cured’ and still needed to do regular checkups but they decided they were able enough to attend school instead of waiting further. None of us doubted his cancer simply because he came back the next year.

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Andromeda March 1, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Sadly, I know a few people like the story submitter.

I think Emma is being unfairly portrayed, and I can’t see how she went behind the OP’s back – if she had been trying to take all the friends away from the OP, then it would be legitimate anger.

I think there is some jealousy going on here, because the OP feels like she’s being deliberately left behind, when it doesn’t sound like this is the case.

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DocCAC March 1, 2011 at 9:37 pm

If “Emma” really had a rare cancer, she’d be lucky if there WAS a treatment for it, much less was well enough to go to college in a year. I’m not saying it can’t happen, it is just that orphan diseases (less than 20,000 a year get them), including some cancers are most likely not to have effective treatments since there often isn’t enough research money going to them. Sad, sorry, but a fact of life. Still you can get lucky.

No one belongs to another person in this country. We fought a very bloody, horrible war over this not all that long ago in the history of mankind.

I couldn’t stand the poster from the “generously allowed her to sit” crack, but I read the whole thing. Now could the REAL non-Emma give us her side (unless it is as boring, stupid, immature and generally ugh as Emma’s is)?

My best friend for years and roommate for 4 years of med school was my maid of honor several years after med school. We had kept in touch and given all we had gone through together, I thought it was appropriate. Was I upset when she did not reciprocate several years later at her own wedding? nope. I wsn’t even part of the bridal party and that was appropriate enough as we had drifted apart somewhat and she had new friends. Was I upset when another friend had mutual friends in her wedding (that yes, I had introduced her to) and left me out? Nope. I lived 400 miles away and it would’ve been a big hassle for her. Grow up people. Just get a grip and grow up. I never acted like this poster did at ANY time in my life.

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S. March 1, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Well Fox, no one (at least not me) is accusing the OP of faking cancer, I’m accusing the OP of faking the whole story, including the friend with cancer (because, as the story reads, the OP isn’t the one who is supposed to have had cancer, it’s her friend “Emma”) The only shocking accusations that are being made here are your own. I’ve seen too many examples on the internet and elsewhere of people using cancer to embellish a story or as a interesting plot point in a tall tale. It’s absolutely sickening.

If this story is fake, the person you should be railing against is the OP, not me. This story tells us of a selfish, childish person who picked a fight and tried to alienate someone who not only did nothing to them, but supposedly just got through with dealing with a horrendous disease.

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Sarah Jane March 1, 2011 at 9:56 pm

I don’t get the joke.

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gramma dishes March 1, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Abbie ~~ I totally agree with *Dear!*

Your story is fascinating and one which rings totally true. It’s a tale that many of us have experienced at least to some degree or another with a “friend” from the past.

Unlike Emma in the story, you did everything in your power to allow your friend to grow and change and instead of picking up your cues and growing into a new role, she totally blew it and delivered some hard knocks to your well deserved newer friendships while she was at it.

You have my sympathy. You are a good person and it’s so frustrating when you try to do a good thing and end up more or less getting kicked in the teeth for your efforts.

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Lady_Lazarus March 1, 2011 at 10:50 pm

I thought the OP’s take on her special snowflake friend was very clever. It put us into the mind-set / thought process of the Ehell offender. I think Emma’s post was funny.

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Emmy March 2, 2011 at 4:30 am

If indeed this story is true (seeing someone hating on their own name is a rare sight) then lets look at it from “Emma’s” Point of view. Here is how i imagine her explaining the story.

I had just gotten into college, and was super excited. My best friend “polly” had also gotten accpeted to the same school, and we were looking forward to the new year. Unfortunately I got sideswiped with a rare cancer, and thought it was best to take a year of before starting college to focus on my health. I was sad that i didn’t get much contact from Polly during the year, but the next year when I started school I was glad to have her there. Having had cancer, and starting college not knowing anyone, it was great to have a friend there. Polly introduced me to the friends she’d made over the year, and we hit it off great. I really felt like I belonged. The next day Polly didn’t show up, but instead of sitting by myself I sat with my new friends. We had a great time. We started hanging out more and more, and I was glad to see Polly. One Day Polly totally blew up in my face, asking me why I didn’t find my own friends and basically telling me to go away.

What do you think? should I have found other friends, or was I right in sticking with my new friends?

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karmabottle March 2, 2011 at 6:56 am

So…this farcical letter is supposed to…..what? Teach a life lesson? No matter what angle you read it from (the fake writer or Emma’s) they both appear to be young ladies who in the fake writer’s case guard themselves to the point of madness or in Emma’s case, assume martyrish thoughts about other people’s actions without actually communicating with them.
Bummed. Nothing to better me from either of those two young ladies.

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Enna March 2, 2011 at 2:48 pm

It is natural to feel a bit neglected/left out if a firend is more firendly with your firends but this takes the biscuit. I don’t believe this story at all.

I had a firend who resented (as in she felt neglected/left out) two firends she had introduced when they became closer. I think what upset her a bit was they would often meet up without her after telling her that they were busy doing other things. If they had told her they were meeting up and offered the invite to her, even if she couldn’t go she would have appricated the invite or the choice to go out of manners/courtesey. Had they done this to begin with I don’t think she would have felt so left out. However she’s only mentioned ages ago so I think she and the firends have either moved on or its blown over.

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K. March 2, 2011 at 3:21 pm

This story has very much the same feel as the “Titanic Wedding Disaster” that is still being enjoyed on the forums. :D

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Yvaine March 2, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Jolie_kitten, you beat me to it–I was going to ask if Emma had recently gotten married with a Titanic undertheme.

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Lisbeth March 3, 2011 at 10:45 am

Emma has the right to make friends with the writer’s friends independently.

I have to wonder about the writer’s maturity.

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Enna March 5, 2011 at 8:33 am

It’s strange. Doesn’t really add up. If this Emma was causing trouble then the OP’s aggression/jealously/upset would ve different.

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Cat March 6, 2011 at 7:57 pm

I question whether anyone who attended college would write ” Me and Emma”.

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Jack March 7, 2011 at 4:47 am

What I don’t understand is that Emma and her “friend” were originally going to be attending college at the same time anyway! They were best friends and super excited about going together, so surely they would have hung out with the same people anyway? What difference does it make? Emma never went behind her back. Sure there was the day she went to lunch with them, but it was on a day the OP wasn’t even available! Friends are not objects. You don’t own them.

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Enna March 8, 2011 at 7:30 am

People make typos in postings – I’ve done that myself reccently on this site much to my embrassement. The OP is hostile to Emma and as for using the same name that is odd. I do have my doubts over the validity of this story if it has happened at all.

As for a rare cancer – just because it is rare does not mean there are any treatments for it: it depends on the type of cancer as some are easier to treat then others. Also it depends when it was caught – as with so many cancers the earlier it is caught the easier it is to treat because the tumour is smaller and the reduced risks of further heath complications. A rare cancer may not have an effective treatment not due to lack of funding but due to its rareity there has not been the research opportunities.

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happenedtome July 31, 2011 at 6:20 pm

With (thankfully) the exception of being a cancer patient, I ended up in a situation like Emma’s. Yes, these things do happen to “mature” college students! I spent my first year out of high school at an all-women’s college. Loved it; had to transfer due to financial aid being cut. Luckily, I was offered a scholarship and the chance to play on a sports team at a college attended by my best friend (we had known each other since second grade). My best friend was also a transfer; she had a really rough time adjusting to college, but her experience at this school had gone well. We chose not to be roommates but to live on the same floor. My roommate, a freshman, dropped out after a week. That basically left my best friend as my sole point of contact on campus besides my teammates.
I liked the small group (4 girls) of friends she had made – with the exception of her roommate, who we attended high school with but I wasn’t particularly close to. More to the point, this girl and I were BEST FRIENDS. We didn’t do everything together, but I expected to remain friends with her after transferring…so obviously, I spent time with her. And when I spent time with her, I spent time with these girls as well. Plus, I missed the close-knit group of friends I had left behind at my previous school (somehow I think you don’t bond the same after freshman year!).
So we did become friends; I was happy that we were compatible and felt like we integrated well. I joined a campus worship group they all belonged to, and met yet more mutual acquaintances. They invited me to events, parties, etc. At the same time, I had a completely different class schedule and was eating dinner out with my teammates after practice. So I felt we had enough “distance” that I wasn’t following her around or being “clingy.”
Long story short: my bff couldn’t handle my closeness with her semester-old group. Eventually, she stopped inviting/informing me and I would find out from the other girls (they invited me, not her)And no, I didn’t see them behind her back, as did “Emma.” At dinner one night, about 6 weeks into the semester, I mentioned the previous school she had attended (they were winning at football). Apparently, she had told no one (unbeknownst to me) that she had transferred! BFF had just said she started late. That night, one of our “mutual” friends came to my room to inform me that no matter what happened, they all liked me and wanted to remain friends, but BFF was “a little emotional” and “kind of jealous” of my relationship with them.
BFF’s roommate ended up escorting her to my room twice that night, so she could rage and cry (I had witnessed this but not been on the receiving end). Clearly my faux pas admission to two people unaware she transferred was not the catalyst; my closeness to the group and her fragile social status was. I apologized, capitulated, etc. I thought we could overcome the issue and everything would be fine. Wrong. The group invited me along and we continued to eat lunch together, but BFF stopped speaking to me. At all. And threw a few more tantrums that week. Which roommate abetted (poor girl, she was stuck with her). I tried to reconcile again and completely separated from the group (I was willing to be friends just with her) – she wouldn’t have it. The rest of the group was embarrassed, apologized to me on her behalf, tried to bridge the gap between us and then started seeing me in private when they could.
But it was too strained. We remained friendly but they were always with ex-BFF, and they had known her longer and better than they knew me…furthermore, her roommate was accepting of the turn of events. So I ended up at a new school having missed “freshman bonding,” enduring a huge fallout with my BFF, and being exiled from the group I made friends with. The struggle to adjust was really difficult; BFF and I had been friends so long we practically lived at each other’s homes, knew each other’s extended family, etc. I felt I had been divorced; friends from high school started picking sides over break.
Eventually, I joined a sorority and met a lot of new people. I lived in an apartment on campus for the next two years with three roommates I met later that year. I eventually made a lot of new friends (I was surprised by how much more social I was in college than I had been in high school with BFF). I was elected to two terms on the governing board for Greek life, elected to serve on the campus government, and when I was a senior, I was elected Vice-President of the Student Government by the student body. I studied a lot and was accepted to law school on scholarship.
BFF? She changed her major multiple times and never ventured outside her 4-person friend group, all of whom were extremely nice in the aftermath (we still spoke and occasionally hung out, behind BFF’s back). I think those four people were the only ones she actually socialized with. She participated in one extracurricular activity – the campus youth group they belonged to. She did graduate, without honors and with a bad academic record (I had to copy her transcript in the student office to mail as part of an application – I did TRY not to look!)
At that time, I heard from a former friend of hers (who I had remained friends with) about the traumatic break-up of their relationship. A trend? I had tried to reconcile with her yet again, at the urging of mutual friends, two years after the incident, thinking we would never be “close” again but at least I could still claim her, after a previous 12-year friendship, as a friend. She responded to the go-between friend’s overtures that she “forgave me” for everything but that she was still “so hurt” by my slip-up and my being friends with her friends.
Her loss.

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