No Problem!

by admin on April 9, 2012

An old friend died last winter, and I phoned a mutual acquaintance — I’ll call her Sally — to tell her. Sally and I had been very close friends, but we had kind of lost touch when I moved out of state for six years. But now I’m back, and an old friends had passed away, as old friends will.

Sally and I chatted and reminisced about the recently departed. I was enjoying talking with her, so I invited her up to my place in the country for a weekend, and over the next few days we agreed on a date in February. I had no inkling of what a nightmare this would turn out to be.

Things off to a bit of a bad start. Sally got lost on the main road about two miles from my house. Now, I live in a very rural area, but it’s not terribly remote. No one — and I mean, literally, no one, in many, many years of weekends and guests from all over creation — no one has ever gotten lost on the way to my house. Sally had been there at least twice before, but it was several years ago, so I made sure to give her good directions. She phoned me from the road, upset and confused, couldn’t find the turnoff into the village. I tried to talk her through it, but she became increasingly perturbed and distressed. “No problem,” I finally said. I directed her to the parking lot by the local grocery store and told her to wait there for me, I would drive down and she could follow me home.

When I got to the parking lot, she wasn’t there. I couldn’t understand it. It’s the only grocery store for several miles in either direction. I finally found her at a gas station at least two miles up the road from the grocery store, arguing with the guys in the office. Sally is a very pretty woman, and I got the impression that the fellas — and Sally herself — were rather enjoying the whole business.

Anyway, we hugged, as old friends will. But Sally immediately pushed me away, and cringed back against her the wall, with an expression of disgust. “Oh, ugh, ick, you’re wearing scent!” she cried. I was a little taken aback. I’ve known Sally for probably 20 years. I usually wear perfume or cologne, and she had never mentioned being bothered by it. But I guess you can develop allergies, so I shrugged and told her, “No problem,” that I would shower when we got to my place.

Then she started berating me for my driving directions, laughing, not at her own confusion, but at my inability to communicate. I didn’t really want to get into it — disagreeing with her would have meant getting into an argument, and we were still in the service-station office. So I told her I was sorry she’d had trouble, and we set off for home.

In preparation for Sally’s visit, I had given the house a good cleaning, changed all the bed linens and towels, spruced up the bathrooms, etc. I have two dogs and two cats, and the wall-to-wall carpet can get a little funky, so I had sprinkled some dry carpet freshener around the spare bedroom before I vacuumed. Sally said she couldn’t possibly sleep in that room, she was allergic to scent of any kind.

I have to say, I saw no signs of an allergic reaction in Sally — no sneezing or coughing or watery eyes, no rash or frantic scratching. But, “No problem,” I said, “You sleep in my room, and I’ll sleep in here.” No, no, no, she said, she couldn’t possibly take my bed away from me, she would sleep on the couch in the living room. I didn’t want her sleeping on the couch, and after a protracted discussion I was finally able to convince her that I was fine with sleeping in the spare bedroom for a night.

My sense that this was turning out not to be a good weekend was bolstered when Sally asked me if the sheets on my bed were clean. I told her I had changed all the linens that morning, but she asked me to change them again. “No problem,” I said, and did it. After I had changed all the sheets, she asked what kind of detergent I used. Apparently satisfied with my answer, that I used fragrance-free liquid, she asked if I had a fan or something for the room. A fan? It’s February! “I need to have some kind of white noise,” she explained. “You must have a fan?” Of course, I have several fans, but they’re stowed away in the garage (which is really more of a barn, about 40 feet away from the house), waiting for the warm weather. I told her I would fetch one for her before we went to bed.

During all of this Sally had left on her hat, coat, scarf, and sunglasses. We retired to the living room for afternoon tea, but she still didn’t remove her outer garments. I offered to take her coat and hat, but she said she was chilled from the long drive and would leave them on. “No problem,” I said, wondering if her car didn’t have a heater. I turned up the thermostat a bit.

Sally didn’t remove her outerwear or sunglasses all afternoon. I found it surprisingly uncomfortable, visiting and chatting with someone whose eyes I couldn’t see and who was dressed as if she expected to leave any minute. We spent the afternoon discussing the various deficiencies Sally has discovered in her friends and family over the years, how badly she’s treated at work, how inadequate her salary is, etc. Unasked, she told me how much she makes, and it’s about half again as much as I earn.

We went out for dinner to a restaurant in the little town near where I live. Sally took off her hat but retained her coat and scarf, and made a great deal of trouble over ordering from the menu, requesting substitutions and sauces on the side and that the green vegetables not be allowed to touch the potatoes and could they please leave out the carrots? “No problem,” said the waitress. Sally sent back the water because there was too much ice in it. I was kind of embarrassed. I asked her if the salt was okay. “Not too salty?” I picked up the bill after our meal and we went home.

It was a chilly, rainy evening, and I had to take the dogs for a last walk. When I got back, all of us soaked through, Sally had finally taken off her coat. She asked if I had gotten the fan for her as I had promised. I had, of course, forgotten. This time I didn’t say, “No problem,” but I headed back out into the dark and the mud and the wet to get the *&!%($@#* fan from the garage. When I brought it into the house Sally was laughing at me. Laughing hard. “Oh, god, you should have seen the look on your face when I asked you about the fan!” she shrieked, as if this was the funniest thing since the Clinton administration. I made a discovery right then and there: I really don’t like being laughed at. Really, really don’t like it. I don’t think I’ve ever been laughed at that way, with that unpleasant undertone of sly triumph. What was going on, here, anyway? Did she derive a kind of perverse pleasure from uncover my failures as a thoughtful hostess? I handed over the fan and went to bed.

Sally wasn’t quite done with me for the evening, though, and tapped on my door asking for help. She couldn’t find an electric outlet and and couldn’t figure out how to operate the fan. This is a very basic fan with four settings: low, medium, high, and off. I didn’t say, “No problem,” but I set up the fan for her.

The next afternoon we went to a concert at a nearby college. Another old friend of mine, a guy I’ve known for many years, plays in the orchestra there, and we went backstage after the concert. I introduced Sally to him, and he invited us out for a drink. Sally said she couldn’t possibly, she was simply exhausted. On the way back to my house, she asked me how long I had known him. “He’s very good looking, that’s the only reason you’re still friends with him,” Sally said. If he was ugly, she went on, I wouldn’t still be friends with him after all these years. “Excuse me?” I said. “How shallow do you think I am?”

Sally was supposed to stay for another night, and I had prepared, a the day before, a big pot of chicken stew for our supper. She decided she needed to leave right away. “No problem,” I said, and had a nice quiet dinner of chicken and dumplings.

Sally never called or sent me a note or email thanking me for the weekend. And I didn’t call her. About a month and a half later she left a message on my voice mail, upbraiding me for not calling her, telling me not to phone her if anyone else of our acquaintance passed away. “I don’t need friends like you who never call!” she said.

So I guess I’ve lost a friend. “No problem,” I thought to myself.   0408-12

{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

josie April 9, 2012 at 5:35 am

She has issues and your life is better off without her.

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lkb April 9, 2012 at 5:47 am

To the OP, sorry you had to go through all that, but very well written– brava!

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SarahLovesFabric April 9, 2012 at 6:02 am

In my experience, some extremely picky people seem to think that their behavior confers upon them some status, that their taste and attention to detail singles them out as being particularly refined, like the princess and the pea. “This amount of ice in the water may be all right for SOME people,” they are saying, “but to someone of MY sensibilities it would be TORTURE to drink.” Of course, I don’t know anyone (myself included!) whose reaction to one of these displays is admiration, rather than cringing.

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HollandaUK April 9, 2012 at 6:09 am

The first clue to how things would turn out was when Sally got “lost” on the way to the house. From reading the LW’s description, it sounds as though this was deliberate, using the situation to attract male attention. Most people, barring learning disabilities, can follow simple driving instructions. Some women like the “helpless female” facade, and some men like it too as it helps them feel “needed”.

The allergies? Fabrication. Feeling “cold”, not removing her clothes and keeping her sunglasses on? Attention seeking and manipulative behaviour. Asking for a fan and “white noise”? Crazy behaviour. Finally laughing at the OP? Rude, rude, rude.

I would like to say I would be as patient as the OP in that situation, but really? I don’t think I would be. This woman has issues. :( And it WOULD be a problem to me!

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Ceallach April 9, 2012 at 6:52 am

Usually I find the OPs in these bad houseguest stories very over-dramatic doormats, but I loved this story. The way politeness was maintained but moved from friendly hospitality to firm courtesy. I could see myself handling this the very same way!

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amyasleigh April 9, 2012 at 7:22 am

!!!! — I have to feel, “who behaves like this?”; clearly, some people do. Apparent total obliviousness to the seemingly straightforward principle, “how would I like others to act toward me?”

I’d imagine Sally as engineering a way to make sure that you would totally ditch her as a friend, whereby no contact between the two of you ever again; but if that were what she wanted, whyever should she let there be initially cordial contact-afresh between you, over the phone? Why not just snub and reject you over the phone?

Strong temptation toward seeing truth in the old thing, “We’re all mad, and some of us have certificates to prove it”.

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bloo April 9, 2012 at 7:24 am

People can seem so normal until you invite them to stay in your home. Sorry about your weekend with “Sally” but imho it worked out okay in the end! :)

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Harley Granny April 9, 2012 at 7:30 am

I don’t think you lost a friend….you lost a very annoying person. Bonus!

I just sorry you had to put up with as much as you did for as long as you did. You were much more patient than I would have been.

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vanessaga April 9, 2012 at 7:43 am

Some of that could be miscommunication or misunderstanding I suppose but altogether it would be a nightmare. It does sound like Sally was uncomfortable too considering that she left early but at that point I think I would have been happy for the reprieve.

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Lizzy April 9, 2012 at 7:48 am

I think my favorite part of this story is the ending : )

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Sarah Peart April 9, 2012 at 8:29 am

Exactly! I also do not see that I should contact people who cannot be bothered to acknowledge by the slightest thing – email, SMS, letter, telephone call or whatever – spending time with me (and at my expense!) I would think yourself lucky that you are not called upon in the future to listen to a litany of complaints about her life, friends and acquaintances! I have a feeling this only gets worse with age in the case of some people.

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coralreef April 9, 2012 at 9:43 am

At least that problem “friend” went away.

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Cat April 9, 2012 at 9:53 am

I think we all have had a friend act oddly at one time or another. I took a fellow teacher to visit an old friend of mine for the second time.
On the first visit, Jill was perfectly nice. On the second visit, everything changed. We were all hungry and the local church was having a fund-raising barbeque. Jill wouldn’t eat there. Just didn’t feel like barbeque. We had to take her to a restaurant and wait while she ate, dawdling over her food, knowing that we were hungry. After an hour, I suggested that we leave her to finish her lunch while we went and had barbeque. Oh,no, she didn’t want to sit by herself. We had to wait until she had dessert.
The whole weekend was like that-whatever we wanted to do, she had to do something else and we had to go with her to do it.
She was never asked to accompany me anywhere again. Be glad Sally is out of your life. Make sure she stays out.

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Cat Whisperer April 9, 2012 at 9:55 am

Sad. Obviously Sally had changed since OP last was around her much. Things happen, people change, and sometimes you just have to move on. It sounds like a very unpleasant weekend.

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Shoegal April 9, 2012 at 9:56 am

Overall Sally sounded like nothing but a problem and I could certainly understand why the OP would not want to continue a friendship with her. It sounded as if there was absolutely no pleasure derived from her visit. However, Sally sounded more of an oddball than anything and perhaps was dealing with a host of issues, physically and mentally that get in the way of normal living. Perhaps she has a difficult personality and although she really means well – it comes across as mean spirited and rude. I’ve learned that everyone out there is dealing with something and there nearly always is something behind a person’s behavior. If Sally is tortured by her aversion to scent – she’ll have trouble everywhere she goes – and can’t really enjoy herself because the smell of so many things repulses her. I don’t know why it was necessary to tell everyone that Sally makes half of what you do – that wasn’t relevant to your narrative and certainly isn’t a explanation for her behavior.

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kristen April 9, 2012 at 10:00 am

As someone with a fragrance allergy, I know that symptoms don’t always set in right away, nor are they always visible–just because you don’t see a rash or hives doesn’t mean my skin doesn’t itch and my lips aren’t burning. However, I would never wait until I was already at my host’s home to talk with them about my allergy and what I can and can’t handle, and whether it would be too burdensome for my host to try to accommodate and I should find alternate lodging. And there are lots of small fans she could bring, and even websites and apps, that make white noise. OP, she sounds like a crazy person who delights in making other people jump through hoops for her. While you were quite the gracious host, she did not play her part as a gracious guest and you will do much better without her.

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Shalamar April 9, 2012 at 10:05 am

WOW. What a piece of work that Sally is! You’re much better off without her.

I loved this part: “Then she started berating me for my driving directions, laughing, not at her own confusion, but at my inability to communicate. ” That happened to me once – a co-worker drove me home from work. She’d never been to my house before, so I directed her. Trouble is, when I said “This is my street, take a right”, she didn’t hear me and kept driving. I said “Um … you missed the turn. It’s back there.” Still didn’t hear me, and I was speaking LOUDLY. There was nothing wrong with her hearing – I think she just wasn’t paying attention. As I sat there wondering what to do, she suddenly asked “Where’s your street? Shouldn’t we have seen it by now?” I said “Yes – it’s back there.” Instead of saying “Whoops, guess I missed it” or even “Why didn’t you tell me?”, for some reason she chose to believe that I – get this – didn’t know where I lived. She started laughing hysterically, saying “OMG! I can’t believe you don’t know where you live! You must get lost every day! That’s hilarious!” I tried to say that I’d told her where to turn, but – once again – she wasn’t hearing me.

That wouldn’t have been so bad, but she told EVERYONE at work the next day that I didn’t know where I lived. Argh!

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Hemi April 9, 2012 at 10:10 am

OP- I am so sorry to hear that your former “friend” was such an uptight, selfish, demanding, rude, ungrateful witch to you. You have tremendous patience and grace to put up with such a person for 2 whole days. I think after publicly dressing me down over directions and making such a fuss over sleeping arrangements, my paitence would have to began wavering.
With her personality and glaringly obvious bad manners, I would be surprised if she has any friends left.
The last two lines of your submission- “So I guess I’ve lost a friend. ‘No problem,’ I thought to myself”. – had me laughing out loud.

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Stacey Frith-Smith April 9, 2012 at 10:24 am

Dear OP:
I offer my sympathies to you- it seems your former friend might have dropped some of her more charming behaviors somewhere along the way and substituted the ones you described. One wonders if some medication or undiagnosed condition might be in play based on the accumulated oddities you described. I hope the remainder of your friends and acquaintances will offer more pleasant memories going forward.

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AuntieMame April 9, 2012 at 10:35 am

“as if this was the funniest thing since the Clinton administration”

That statement doesn’t make any sense. Unless you are insulting Democrats.

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Jo April 9, 2012 at 10:47 am

The comment about the male friend makes me think that her behavior was on purpose. It seems to me that, in her mind, she has blamed you for losing contact with her over the years and has decided that it was due to your perceiving some deficiency in her.This would, I think, explain why she shared things like how much she makes and how she feels you’re only friends with attractive people. These are probably her own insecurities, the reasons she feels you are no longer friends. True or not, people can carry this type of bitterness around for many, many years and after letting it poison her so, she probably saw the visit as her opportunity to get her revenge.

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Beth Erickson April 9, 2012 at 10:55 am

you go girl-I would only have lasted until the fan came out of the garage!!

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Lulu April 9, 2012 at 10:59 am

Wow.
It sounds as if the only true problem you had in this story was in fact, the visit from Sally.

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Lerah99 April 9, 2012 at 11:00 am

It sounds like your friend Sally lacks maturity. She never grew past the adolescent, self-centered, and cruel disposition of a teenager. She expects people to be nice to her, to cater to her, to worry about her, but it never even occurs to her to do the same for others.

Making you go out in the rain to get her fan, making you set up the fan for her, throwing a fit about any scents or perfume…these are all ways to make you prove how much she is worth to you. The only way she feels secured or loved is when someone else is doing for her and catering to her. That is the symptom of a deeply unhappy and insecure person. She is making you prove your friendship so she can feel valued and superior.

Her phone call to you was designed to make you call her back, beg her forgivness, etc… To once again prove that you value her and her friendship.

Your friend should be pitied. I’m certain you are not the first friend she has alienated with her atrocious behavior. She is going to end up bitter and lonely. And she won’t even realize she is the cause of her own unhappiness.

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Angela April 9, 2012 at 11:03 am

I was thinking maybe early dementia when you mentioned the problem with directions. The rest of the visit sounds more like late-onset pain-in-the-butt, though.

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Library Diva April 9, 2012 at 11:24 am

What a strange person. I enjoyed the way this story was told very much, though! But sounds like you’re better off without Sally in your life. I haven’t experienced this phenomenon in person yet, but it reminds me a bit of the few virtual Facebook reunions I’ve had with people from my past who I used to like and respect once upon a time, but have proven themselves to be rude, arrogant, drama queens, or have other major flaws like that. Sorry you found out that Sally is no longer friend material.

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Calli Arcale April 9, 2012 at 11:36 am

Sounds like a very difficult weekend, but that’s a beautiful write-up of it! I like how “no problem” isn’t just the title, but a running theme, and how you flip it around at the end so it becomes a punchline. That is very well written. You’re absolutely right — this is one “friend” whose departure really will be no problem. ;-)

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Kitty Lizard April 9, 2012 at 12:02 pm

I wouldn’t call her a friend. I’d call her a loon. A mean one at that. Good riddance.

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Gloria Shiner April 9, 2012 at 12:14 pm

I’d kind of like to hear Sally’s version of this story.

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Brenda April 9, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Congratulations to the OP for keeping her temper and being a gracious hostess, and recognizing that sometimes losing a friend is the best thing that can happen.

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David April 9, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Certain things should be disclosed to the hostess ahead of time; need for white noise, sensitivities to scent, any food allergies. Sally definitely has no clue how to be a thoughtful guest.

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ONlyme April 9, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Ok so this made me laugh and be thankful it wasn’t me. I was glad to see that you didn’t call her or contact her back.

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AS April 9, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Is Sally suffering from some kind of illness (physical or mental) lately? I am no doctor, but if she wasn’t like this in the 20 years that you had known her, maybe something is wrong with her lately.

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The Elf April 9, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Wow, talk about demanding! I understand that scents can be bothersome – I have scent allergies myself – but that means that I’m more likely to travel with my own skin care products and linens. (For extended visits and vacations, I bring my own fragrance-free laundry supplies.) Carpet deoderizer doesn’t bother me, but it can be easily removed via vacuuming if it did. In other words, when you have special requirements, you come prepared to handle your own special requirements!

There are some things – like getting lost easily – that go from being quirks that can be dealt with to insurmountable rudeness when it is combined with other behaviors. Sally wore out her welcome with all her quirks. I have a friend or two like that. I love hanging out with them but I cannot stand to have them as an extended house guest.

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BagLady April 9, 2012 at 2:25 pm

“as if this was the funniest thing since the Clinton administration”

That statement doesn’t make any sense. Unless you are insulting Democrats.[/quote]

I think OP meant “as if this was the funniest thing she’d heard in many years” — Clinton was president more than 10 years ago.

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Lucy April 9, 2012 at 2:44 pm

I’ve known people who have allergies and need to sleep with white noise, but they tell us ahead of time so we’re not scrambling at the last minute.

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Calliope April 9, 2012 at 2:50 pm

AuntieMame, I didn’t take the comment about the Clinton administration as a political jab, but as a way of saying Sally laughed as if the OP’s reaction to her request for the fan was the funniest thing she’d seen in twenty years.

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Anonymous April 9, 2012 at 2:50 pm

@Shoegal- the OP said Sally makes “half again” what OP makes, which is 150%. Meaning Sally was complaining she was underpaid despite making much more than the friend she was complaining to.

Sally sounds unbelievably immature OR mentally ill. Or both.

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Jess April 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm

You might want to consider the possibility that your former friend is beginning to suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s. Especially if she gave no indication of this type of behavior previously. A year or two before my father finally insisted that my formerly kind, sweet, and friendly Grandmother go in to be tested she began to exhibit aggressive, rude and cruel tendencies. When she was finally tested the Doctor told us she was in an advanced stage of Alzheimer’s and the behavior was both a direct result of the disease and her way of hiding her condition from the family.

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Zhoen April 9, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Your old friend has gone around the twist. But why after you “had kind of lost touch when I moved out of state for six years” did you invite her to your home for a weekend? Why not feel her out for a while, first? I do suspect she has lost touch with reality, but I also wonder if you have, by letting her walk all over you for two days? At “Oh, ugh, ick, you’re wearing scent!” I would have suggested that maybe she would not be comfortable in my home, and did she want to cancel? Likewise at two more objectionable objections, then *I* would insist on canceling. When the date ain’t working, it ain’t working, and calling it quits is the only sensible recourse.

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judy April 9, 2012 at 3:49 pm

@Shoegal
‘I don’t know why it was necessary to tell everyone that Sally makes half of what you do’

She makes one and a half times what the OP does and was complaining about her low wages
That is irritating.

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nk April 9, 2012 at 3:52 pm

@ Shoegal – OP didn’t say Sally makes half of what she makes; she said she makes “half again” what she makes, which I took to mean 150% of what OP makes. In my opinion, this is relevant because it means OP paid for Sally’s meal even though she makes less than Sally, so it’s just one more effort on OP’s behalf that Sally failed to appreciate. Sally seems like a very self-centered woman who never learned the importance of gratitude, and I’d say OP is lucky to be rid of her.

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Jay April 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm

@Shoegal: “I don’t know why it was necessary to tell everyone that Sally makes half of what you do – that wasn’t relevant to your narrative and certainly isn’t a explanation for her behavior.”

She makes “half again” what the OP does, i.e. 50% MORE money. It’s relevent because she was whining about not making enough.

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PLG April 9, 2012 at 4:58 pm

WOW she sounds like she’s turned into a rather uncaring and awful demanding person in the time you’ve been apart. I’ve had friends with allergies they have made me aware of but generally they take care of themselves and I just remain aware of stuff to put away/not use when they are around.

I have had my moments of going completely ‘off-line’ as in don’t sign in to Skype or MSN (don’t have facebook) simply because I’ve been tired and stressed out from work and need some quiet time and not be disturbed. My friends know this and will occasionally just drop and email or SMS to poke me and see what’s up and I always replied.

One such friend didn’t quite understand that. After going ‘off-line’ for a month due to extreme work and general life stress I dropped him a SMS wondering if he’d like to catch up on the coming weekend to see a movie and explaining why I’d been AWOL for a bit. Got a reply along the lines of “oh, thought we weren’t friends anymore cause you haven’t been online and haven’t email/SMS’d me in a month.” OK no problem things were explained and it was all worked out. Jump forward 7 or so months, have a similar time where everything seemed to be going wrong all at once so I drop a general email to all my friends explaining things and again disappeared from my online life for a bit to sort it all out. This time once everything was working out again I dropped him an email CC’d to some other friends asking if they wanted to go out for a movie or just general dinner night. Got the same “oh, thought we aren’t friends anymore…” deal from him again. And ONLY him.

I gave up on him right then and haven’t heard from him since. I’d say don’t bother with this so called ‘friend’ if this is that is the type of attitude you are copping, especially after they essentially abused your hospitality.

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SarahLovesFabric April 9, 2012 at 6:09 pm

@Shoegal, I’m afraid you misunderstood the OP. She wrote:
“Unasked, she told me how much she makes, and it’s about half again as much as I earn.”
Sally makes 150% of the OP’s salary, not 50%. Not that that fact explained or excused any of Sally’s behavior, but it certainly would predispose the OP to be somewhat less sympathetic to her complaints about inadequate salary.
And @AuntieMame, I interpreted the OP’s comment about “the funniest thing since the Clinton administration” just as an attempt at a more humorous way to say, “the funniest thing she’d heard in a long time.” While in an election year I certainly understand jumping to partisan conclusions, I read this statement as being pretty consistent with the overall comedic tone of this post.

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gramma dishes April 9, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Shoegal (post 15) ~~ The OP didn’t say that Sally only made half as much as the OP. She said ” … Unasked, she told me how much she makes, and it’s about half again as much as I earn.” I interpreted that to mean that if the OP makes $50 a day, Sally makes half again that much, or $75 a day.

OP ~~ This is an extraordinarily well written post and I love how the “no problem” phrase winds through it culminating with the grand finale! Great story, well told.

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David April 9, 2012 at 10:28 pm

@shoegal;

Sally didn’t make half of what the op makes, she makes half again, or 1.5 times what the op makes. It’s mentioned only because Sally was bemoaning the deficiency of her own salary – “We spent the afternoon discussing the various deficiencies Sally has discovered in her friends and family over the years, how badly she’s treated at work, how inadequate her salary is, etc. Unasked, she told me how much she makes, and it’s about half again as much as I earn.” – while at the same time making more than the person she is complaining to.

All in all, Sally just doesn’t seem like someone it would be fun to be around.

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Marna April 10, 2012 at 1:02 am

“I don’t know why it was necessary to tell everyone that Sally makes half of what you do – that wasn’t relevant to your narrative and certainly isn’t a explanation for her behavior.”

That’s NOT what the OP said. The comment was that Sally claimed to make “half AGAIN what the OP makes” (as if as much as the OP, and MORE). I took it to be some kind of a brag on Sally’s part as to how much better off she was than the OP. Whatever, Sally has changed markedly over the years. She wouldn’[t be welcome in my home, either.

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Laura April 10, 2012 at 7:12 am

By saying “the funniest thing since the Clinton Administration” I think she was implying that the Clinton Administration was a long time ago (12 years?) and that she hasn’t heard anything as funny since then. At least that’s how I took it.

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The Elf April 10, 2012 at 7:26 am

@ Gloria Shiner, good point! I wonder if we heard Sally’s side, if maybe we’d hear about a host who wasn’t paying attention to her guest’s needs (i.e. “I told her the week before I came that I was allergic to scents! I tried not to show how much it bothered me at least”) or who seemed resentful of her very presence.

But, at the same time, I have a hard time imagining a justification for all those restaurant substitutions, so I’m inclined to think rude guest rather than rude host.

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