I have a ‘friend’ who, despite being 30 years old, lives with her parents and continues to act, at all times, like a melodramatic child. I will call her Mary.
Mary and I met at university. She was a bit batty but she could be jolly good fun. However, as the years passed and her frustrations at her ailing career and love life grew, she became increasingly histrionic and volatile, lashing out easily over what she perceived as any slights against her, which in turn resulted in my cutting our contact down to a bare minimum.
We broke off our youthful friendship, rather dramatically, in our early 20s, after I found a very expensive make-up compact of mine sitting, totally unconcealed, on the sink in the bathroom of her parent’s home. Mary had been with me when I discovered it was lost, and she had seen me turn my place totally upside down looking for it. It was a gift from a dear friend who lived interstate and I was gutted to have lost it.
And yet there it was, several months later, obviously heavily used, in Mary’s bathroom. It was a collector’s item and I knew for a fact she did not have the same one. I confronted her about it, with the compact in hand, and can you imagine what she said?
Without a beat or an inch of shame: “Well I’m glad you took it back, I thought the colours looked cheap on me anyway.”
I was livid. And worst of all I was stuck overnight with this thieving loon as her parents lived a few hours away from my home. I left the next day, vowed not to see her again, and didn’t, for years.
Eventually we both got older and, putting down that incident to a wild time in both our pasts – we did tend to party a lot in those days – I started to chat to Mary again as we had mutual friends.
Boy, I did I regret it. I quickly learned she had zero manners – zero – where my newly-purchased apartment was concerned. At first it was small things, like dropping food over the couch and on the floor and leaving it there, staring at it, but not picking it up, and ashing her cigarettes all over my house. And then it got worse.
She’d pick up ornamental jars of vintage candy I had placed in my kitchen and, despite being told to put them down, shake them repeatedly like a kid at Christmas. I pleadingly explained that I had spent some time arranging the candy wrappers inside the jars just so, but she became obsessed with shaking them the second I turned away, and would just do it again and again. Once, she even quickly ate some of the candy, which was over sixty years old.
On one particularly irritating day, against my better judgement I had Mary over to dinner. She insisted on making dessert and so brought over some chocolate, custard and cake to make into a quick trifle. However she cut the chocolate and cake into pieces on my bench top, with no chopping board, leaving long, chocolate-y cuts all through the wood, and then she’d thrown the chocolate encrusted knife straight back in the drawer. She’d also made a wild mess by pulling a bag of crushed nuts upside down from pantry and just leaving the trail behind her. Naturally she served this dessert in my antique champagne glasses even though I’d left out dessert bowls.
After that experience I was rather lax in inviting Mary over again, but one day I sadly relented, having fallen for her wailed excuses of feeling down following a break up.
We got to talking, light heartedly, about our failings in relationships, and she listed some of mine. It was a harsh but true comment, so I laughed and agreed. I then told Mary that her main failing was a lack of self-awareness – she often didn’t notice she’d pushed people a little too far.
Suddenly, she turned ice cold, got up, spun on her heel, slammed the door, and left.
Obviously, I had offended her. As she’d said something just as candid to me, I let it go and decided my relationship with this woman was truly, truly was done.
The next day my buzzer rang and there was Mary at the door, calmly telling me she’d left her sunglasses behind the night before.
She hadn’t, but I let her in to look, and what followed I can only describe as lunacy.
Mary stalked around my house for a time, then settled at my sunroom window and lit a cigarette. She began talking, her voice etched with barely held-back rage, growing ever louder, about what a sick and cruel person I was. She raved that by pointing out her failings the night before, I had done what she compared to “poking a cancer patient over and over and screaming: ‘You’re sick! You’re sick! You’re dying!’”
Now she was screaming. I told her she was being melodramatic, but that was the last word I got in. For the next hour, I was treated to wailing, screaming and stamping as she recounted every last thing I ever said or did in our history that she considered cruelty I’d inflicted against her. That was the best of it – the rant soon descended into gibberish, and at one point she pulled her own hair and slapped her own face while screaming about various people that were apparently conspiring against her.
At this point my housemate arrive home and he could not believe what he was seeing – this blubbering, screaming lunatic taking over our home. He immediately suggested I call the police but I truly didn’t want to get my crazy old friend arrested. So, with a big hoist, he pushed my friend out the door and threw her bag after her.
She banged on the front door screaming obscenities along the lines of, “How could you do this to me?”, and actually asking, “Why have you thrown me out?” Then she suddenly stopped.
The next day, we realized she had stolen our doormat.
Needless to say, I never spoke to Mary again, though here is the kicker – she still texts me from time to time wanting to catch up, just like nothing happened. 1115-11
I am a very tenacious and loyal friend who will overlook immaturity, odd behavior and eccentricities in the hopes the person will eventually grow out of them. You seem to be the same in that you don’t give up on friends easily. Unfortunately we discover that some people aren’t worth the investment we make in them and that the time has come to starve the relationship into withering away.