This story isn’t as bad as many others I have read on this wonderful website, but at the time it did upset me quite a bit.
A while ago my best friend (Fran) of 15 years (we met when we were 12) wanted to introduce me to her new boyfriend (“Jay”). We had gone for a drink that night and she was meeting him later, so she talked me into coming along as he was out with a couple of his friends as well. I am quite shy and awkward when I meet new people, so I wasn’t thrilled with the situation, but she really wanted me to meet him. I did however ask her to call him and make sure his friends knew we were coming and were okay with it as I didn’t want to intrude on a boys’ night out.
We arrived at a smokey little bar and she immediately threw herself at Jay before introducing me to him and his friends “Mike” and “Monty”. I could tell from the start that Monty was very unhappy with Fran and me being there, he only gave monosyllabic answers to the few questions we asked him before giving up talking to him. I should mention that these boys were 5 years younger than Fran and me, so their conversation was mostly about computer games and their recent graduation from high school. Let’s just say that I didn’t have a lot to contribute to that so it was basically them having their conversation and me and Fran talking about something else, with Jay making some sort of effort to occasionally comment on something we were talking about.
Also, this happened in Germany and obviously the conversation was in German. I mention this because at some point I used an English word and Monty, having heard it, interrupted me loudly and rudely: “That’s NOT how you say that!” Apparently he was half-American and took offense at my pronunciation. I explained to him that I had lived in the UK for years and that’s why I pronounced that word differently. He shook his head and said, “I don’t care! Okay? I don’t CARE! It’s wrong! You have to pronounce it like *I* pronounce it.” I told him I would go on saying things in my British accent and went back to my conversation with F.
A little while later Monty, who was sitting next to Jay, went to the bathroom and Fran got up from her seat next to me and sat down in Monty’s chair. When he came back he stared at her, then at me, then her again and complained: “That’s MY seat! You’re sitting in my seat!” Fran apologized and explained there was a draft where she was sitting. He gave me a nasty look and said to Fran: “How can you feel a draft when you’re sitting next to *her*?” I am a big girl, but I am not so morbidly obese that I would block the air coming from the door. I was stunned for a moment and sort of expected Fran to say something in my defense, but she carried on talking to Jay (Monty eventually sat down next to Mike). I decided to remove myself from this unpleasant situation, got up and went to the bar to pay for my drink. When I went back to the table to say goodbye to Fran, Jay and Mike, Fran was a bit confused as to why I was leaving already, but I simply wished her a pleasant evening and left. On my way to the door I could hear Monty say, “She’s leaving? Who’s gonna shield us from the draft now?”
The next day I had a talk with Fran (including telling her to make sure I never had to see this cretin again) and she insisted she hadn’t heard him insulting me. I found that hard to believe, but whatever. She told Jay about it who told Monty off and apologized to me for his friend’s behavior. I’m still glad Fran broke up with him a few months later and has nothing to do with this circle of friends anymore! 1126-12
It doesn’t appear to be a”circle of friends” problem as much as it is a “Monty” problem. Why is an entire set of friends being demonized by the bad manners of one? And Jay appears to be a decent guy who is pleasant.
You will run into Montys for the rest of your life. There is always someone somewhere who is tactless and has no governor on their mouth so that whatever nastiness that is bubbling in their heart or mind leaks out. We allow them to ruin our day or life because we give them far more credit and esteem than they deserve so they end up influencing our emotions and opinions. When I encounter Montys, I size up the situation and often mentally flush them away. They just are not worth my time or mental energy to take them seriously.