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Little Brats Sometimes Grow Up To Be Big Brats

I’m from a very small town and I grew up on a street full of kids my age and in my class at school. Although we all had our differences, we got along well enough as we grew up. But when we were younger the girls on our street were ruled by Sarah. She lived in a gorgeous little house and always had really great clothes and toys and her mom was by far the prettiest mom on the street. The rest of us were always a little awestruck by her even though she was just plain nasty to us.

As we got older, she began to get into a lot of trouble. She drank, ran around with boys and was smoking among other things by the time she was in the seventh grade and it wasn’t long after that that she was sent to live elsewhere.

Ten years later we had all graduated and gone our separate ways and Sarah was long forgotten. I had been to university in another part of the country and I moved to a major city close to my home town when I was finished. I had been dating a boy from back home and he was my first serious relationship. We were spending a weekend in our old town and were invited to a small party at his best friends house. His friend just happened to be dating Sarah’s sister and both she and Sarah were there.

Sarah and I had not set eyes on each other in about a decade and she eagerly regaled me with tales of her life. She had quite the colourful life! I listened politely, showed appropriate responses (“Then I lost my job.” “Oh no.” “I moved back home and its going well.” “Oh good! I’ll bet your mom is thrilled to have you close by.”) and so on. Then she asked what I was doing. I had accepted a job in sales with a big telecom company that had recently moved to our part of the country. It was an awesome job! I didn’t brag though. I just said that I was in sales for such and such company. She was shocked.

“Really? My goodness are you serious? I just cannot believe that!”
I thought that she was being complimentary. She wasn’t.
“I’m shocked. I mean you were always so smart. I thought for sure that you’d be something successful like a doctor or something. You seriously work there? Wow.”

My job wasn’t glamorous but I’ve been there for nearly ten years now and it pays well, provides excellent benefits and is a job.

There was some drinking that night and the roads were icy so we all slept over. Breakfast was the perfect time to get more digs in. And Sarah didn’t pass up that opportunity.

“I seem to remember that you were always a very strong Christian. Yet you slept in your boyfriends room and – maybe I’m wrong – but you slept in his bed too. Are you guys being intimate? Isn’t that entirely against what you believe? I just can’t believe how far you’ve fallen. I mean I know I have my past but I’m going to church with my mom now and now that I know that sex outside of marriage is a sin I feel so guilty and terrible. If I had known that it was a sin before then I would have never done it. How can you, knowing that you’re sinning against God, still do that?”

Even Sarah’s sister was shocked by this. I was too stunned to say anything more than that my life was between me and God and that I was content to leave it at that. 1108-13


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Just4kicks October 17, 2017, 5:47 am

    I know this is an Etiquette site but I would’ve told Sarah to shove it and leave me the hell alone.
    You don’t owe her any explanation about your life or choices, and it’s none of her business.
    Good for you for keeping your composure…I’m not sure I would’ve been able to keep my big mouth shut in that instance.

    I knew a girl in high school who would make up tremendous lies for no apparent reason.
    Her dad was a VERY nice man who was a janitor at a hospital across the street from our school.
    She told everyone he was a big shot surgeon.
    Btw: NOTHING wrong with being a janitor at all, my mom volunteered there and said he was just the nicest man.
    She would say things like, “My dad got paged to the ER at one am…..I waited up to see how many lives he saved!!!”
    Years later I ran into her at my ob/gyn and she hadn’t changed at all.
    “My hubby is the best most expensive lawyer in town!!!!”
    “We just got back from a month in St. Croix!!!”
    You get the picture.
    Her husband just sat there with the MOST confused look like “What the HELL are you DOING?!?”

    • Kiara October 17, 2017, 8:32 am

      For what it’s worth…..I would have told her to shove it too. “That’s none of your business, Sarah” said in the iciest of tones might have been polite enough, right?

      • Just4kicks October 18, 2017, 3:22 am

        Sounds good to me….definitely the high road..

        • NostalgicGal October 19, 2017, 12:39 am

          I might have let the snark out and asked the mister about what was part he liked most about the trip (to St. Croix)…. might. Hm. Might… yeah.

          • Just4Kicks October 20, 2017, 3:44 am

            I was thinking about it, if memory serves, but the guy looked so damn confused I figured he would ask “what gives” on the way home.

  • TracyX October 17, 2017, 7:10 am

    Honestly, in the moment I would feel so angry, but afterward, I have to say that I pity Sarah. How miserable must her life be that she needs to demean you and your accomplishments so she can feel better about herself.

    I think your response about your decision being between God and yourself is awesome!

    • Just4kicks October 18, 2017, 3:30 am

      I am a born and raised Catholic, but stopped going to Mass many years ago.
      I personally have a huge problem with many of the things going on with the Catholic “corporation” and the child abuse cover ups.
      Again, my opinion…I don’t wish to offend anyone.
      Anyway, this has been a major point of frustration between my mom and I.
      I refer to myself as a “recovering Catholic”, which drives my mom bonkers.
      However, even though I don’t attend Mass or receive the Sacraments, I feel I have a strong personal relationship with God…..and that’s MY business and is between God and myself.
      Its no ones business how I choose to pray or when.

  • Lerah99 October 17, 2017, 7:26 am

    Some people just aren’t happy unless they are making others miserable.

    I try to be compassionate.

    Yes, it is a pain to deal with them.
    But I only have to deal with them for a brief amount of time before I can make my excuses and get away.

    Sarah (and all the other Sarah’s in the world) is stuck with herself, 24/7, with no chance at escape.
    Everywhere she goes she brings that cloud of misery, rage, and insecurity with her. Every moment, of every day, there she is. No hope of escape.

  • Cleosia October 17, 2017, 7:31 am

    I’m betting her life isn’t quite as nice as she would have you believe so she needs to make herself feel superior to you. I guess that means you’re actually superior to her. You’re happy enough that you don’t need to put someone down to feel good about yourself.

  • Abby October 17, 2017, 8:15 am

    ““I’m shocked. I mean you were always so smart. I thought for sure that you’d be something successful like a doctor or something. You seriously work there? Wow.” ”

    This sentence right here says so much more about Sarah than it does about you. It’s obvious she’s ashamed of how her life has turned out, and all the opportunities she’s likely blown, and she has to make you feel like you’ve similarly failed in life. Then the fact that she has to keep harping on it, so you know just how much of a failure she considers your current vocation to be, lest she be too subtle for the dig to really sting. Sort of a pathetic woman. She’s rude, but mainly just sad. People that go out of their way to try and make others feel bad about themselves obviously can’t be too happy with their own lives.

  • Jennifer Wilson Boozer October 17, 2017, 8:39 am


  • TheCatLady October 17, 2017, 9:24 am

    Someone sounds like sour grapes. I have a feeling that everyone there was made very uncomfortable by her display, especially if any one of them were Christians. I wouldn’t let it bother you, she is literally exactly the same as she was when you were younger, and her judgement is between her and God.

  • Dyan October 17, 2017, 9:47 am

    I am sorry but I would have put that woman in her place…it is like you are still being bullied by her….

  • Michelle October 17, 2017, 10:12 am

    Sounds like the classic “mean girl” still trying to prove how superior she is by trying to point out all the “wrong/bad” things someone else is doing. She’s a “bless your heart” candidate.

  • AS October 17, 2017, 10:20 am

    While Sarah sounds obnoxious both when she was young, as well as now, I think that her reasons are different. She had gone wild. Then she probably had a realization, and did a full 180 and became super-religious. She hasn’t (yet) grasped that there is a middle-ground and you can “enjoy” life and still lead a good and religious life at the same time, if you know what you are doing. In a perfect world, she’d have had an epiphany and decided to change her wild and irresponsible ways (either by becoming religious, or not and just changing), and made a better life for herself. But while she changed in a way, she has not figured out what the change means. She probably thinks that “sex outside marriage” = “wild sex, smoking, drugs (maybe), etc.”, because in her perspective, that’s how it was for her. Given that her sister seemed embarrassed too, Sarah might not have been brought up that way. So maybe in time she’ll figure out that there is a middle ground. Or maybe not. But either way, it seems like she is still in the middle of self-discovery. And you don’t have to entertain her if you don’t want to.

  • ladyv21454 October 17, 2017, 10:23 am

    It’s been my experience that some of the most obnoxiously self-righteous people in the world are certain “reformed sinners” that now feel it’s their duty to condemn everyone else for their perceived sins. My standard response when dealing with people like that is to look them square in the eye, say “Matthew 7”, and walk away. (Matthew 7 is the chapter that starts with “Judge not, lest ye be judged” and goes on to talk about getting the beam out of your own eye before you go after the mote in someone else’s eye.) That normally will either leave them speechless or sputtering.

    • Devin October 17, 2017, 2:39 pm

      You are so spot on!! Ive known several Sarah’s, who were hellions in high school, ended up as teen mothers or drop outs and then found Jesus. Ten plus years later they mostly have their lives together, and love to post their new version of religion for all to see on social media (I end up unfollowing or unfriending after 2 or 3 posts). It’s always the Jesus humble brag “god has blessed our family with a new car/Disney vacation/diamond encrusted cross.” Or the bandwagon posts “all real Christians should boycott Cheerios because they support same sex marriage in their commercials.” Can’t say I don’t chuckle when someone calls them out on their hypocrisy like “didn’t you make out with a girl at the senior party?”

    • Noemie October 19, 2017, 6:21 am

      I also noticed many reformed sinners are horribly judgmental. It’s not just religion, you also notice it with couch potatoes who become fitness addict and look down on anyone who doesn’t exercise, ex-smokers who vehemently want a complete cigarette ban, previously fat people who go out of their way to be nasty to people who are obese, etc…

    • EchoGirl October 24, 2017, 5:57 pm

      “Sarah” as OP describes her actually reminds me of a character named Sally in the teen novel “Annie On My Mind”. At the beginning of the book, Sally is the quintessential “bad girl” who gets suspended from school for piercing other girls’ ears in the school bathroom (yes, really); shortly afterwards, she gets pulled into the school’s Christian club, and by the end of the book she’s one of the ones who leads the crusade against the lead character (and two teachers) for being gay. Obviously, it’s a fictional character, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that she’s based on a real life person very much like “Sarah”.

  • Dee October 17, 2017, 10:45 am

    There obviously is something very wrong with Sarah. It would be difficult for a young adult to know how to deal with her but I think OP did a good job. There’s nothing to do or say to Sarah, she has to get help on her own, but there is also no reason to make conversation with her or be anywhere near her. A polite ‘excuse me’ whenever she joins the group would suffice.

  • sandisadie October 17, 2017, 11:34 am

    I agree with those who feel sadness for Sarah. She obviously is very troubled. As someone else said, she is with herself 24/7 and you, just once in a good while. If you encounter her again I would just look past her, or look her in the face and state that your business is your business and you don’t need or want her advice. I think it’s ok to be rude to a bully. As far as her giving you advice about religious matters – I’ve had to tell several people that my religious views are private and I don’t discuss them.

  • lakey October 17, 2017, 11:53 am

    I don’t think OP, or any of us, need to worry about how to deal with people like this. Say nothing, tell them that it is none of their business, or just walk away. The thing is, if you see how outrageous her behavior is, so does everyone else. So let it go and avoid contact with her. And as others have pointed out, she has her own problems, probably lack of self extreme, if she feels the need to behave like this.

  • Amberly October 17, 2017, 12:42 pm

    Clearly Sarah is insanely jealous of OP’s stable, happy life and is too immature to just be kind. So instead she slings nasty insults as an attempt to regain the “upper hand”.

  • staceyizme October 17, 2017, 12:50 pm

    Someone like Sarah can only get on your nerves if you allow it. It isn’t worth the aggravation required to take them seriously. You can ignore, laugh, deflect or let them natter on without interruption while they make themselves look foolish and petty. In any case, it’s her problem to deal with (living with herself) unless you decide to make it your own….

  • kgg October 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

    Sarah clearly does not feel good about herself – because of her past, her present, or both – and her coping mechanism is to lash out and criticize others. She’s trying to make you feel as small as she does. She doesn’t feel good enough, and she wants you to join her – misery loves company.

  • mark October 17, 2017, 3:20 pm

    Sarah’s statements are so crazy over the top that it is actually somewhat amusing. I’m not sure how I would deal with this. Perhaps simple bean dipping is the best way, really obvious bean dipping. Like after she is done talking, responding with “So how about them Yankees”.

    Actually thinking about it more, maybe the best response is to just literally flip her off, and then ignore her. Of course in the moment it’s hard to always be ready with the perfect response, especially with something so unexpected.

  • Shoegal October 17, 2017, 3:29 pm

    I know that girl, Sarah – she is that girl in school – pretty, popular, smart – etc. That girl would have had very little to do with the girl I was in school. But if there was absolutely no one in the room for Sarah to hang with – then I somehow became good enough. Any other time she wouldn’t have known my name. She was totally and completely phony. Yes, you should pity that girl – pushing everyone else down so she can be more. Must be exhausting.

  • Nancy October 17, 2017, 7:22 pm

    “… something successful like a doctor … “

    This rankles me. Why are certain professions deemed to be successful and others aren’t? Don’t we all want and look for the best mechanic, plumber, the cashier that can get us through the line the quickest and the customer service rep that makes our phone call the least painful? Right now I am trying to hunt down the cement guy that did work for us about five years ago, truly hoping that he hasn’t retired because he was “that” good and, to my mind, a huge success in his chosen job/profession.

    Sarah managed to insult a huge segment of the population while personally insulting the OP. She sounds like a real winner.

    • LadyV October 18, 2017, 2:08 pm

      I wish I could give this 1000 likes, Nancy. Skilled workers of ALL types should be appropriately valued. I might not need a doctor more than once or twice a year – but the barista who knows my name and remembers how I like my coffee, or the plumber that I know will come out in an emergency and not overcharge me, are constantly valuable!

      • NostalgicGal October 19, 2017, 12:44 am

        I have framed wallpaper. I’ve mopped that floor, bussed that table and smiled despite everything and served you your order. Or whatever else. Just because I earned the alphabet doesn’t mean much either. I chose what I wanted, at times I settled for what was on offer, and nobody should be ashamed of whatever they’re doing, just do it well.

  • Anonymous October 17, 2017, 10:58 pm

    Now I’m imagining God letting the OP into Heaven, but not Sarah, because, born-again Christian or not, Sarah was nasty to OP.

  • Marozia October 18, 2017, 3:33 am

    My line is usually “Yeah…something like that..” , then turn away and engage in other conversation.

  • pennywit October 18, 2017, 9:01 am

    “I seem to remember that you were always a very strong Christian. Yet you slept in your boyfriends room and – maybe I’m wrong – but you slept in his bed too. Are you guys being intimate? Isn’t that entirely against what you believe? I just can’t believe how far you’ve fallen. I mean I know I have my past but I’m going to church with my mom now and now that I know that sex outside of marriage is a sin I feel so guilty and terrible. If I had known that it was a sin before then I would have never done it. How can you, knowing that you’re sinning against God, still do that?”

    “Actually, I gave up Christianity. These days, I keep a statue of Baphomet in my room, and I hold rituals regularly. Would you like to join sometime? There’s only a small … sacrifice … involved.” Waggle your eyebrows when you say “sacrifice.”

    • NostalgicGal October 19, 2017, 12:51 am

      I have a pet sermon that I can trot out and deliver to the audience of one about the ‘Sunday Morning Hypocrites’ and that one can sting more than you know if I want to deliver it that way. I find in one version it’s a great Sunday morning sermon about how faith is 24/7, not just the hour you sit in church and do what’s required. In another form it will shut someone like Sarah down…

      A friend of a friend scared off all the Jehovah Witnesses for forever. She was changing and seen them coming up the walk so she snagged a black sheer teddy outfit (um she’s quite a bit over on the padding, losing to gravity, and ‘cottage cheese’) and took a lipstick and drew a few pentagrams on herself. She met them at the door with a large knife and smiled and said “I’m about to hold a service, come on in, you’re just in time for the sacrifice”… they couldn’t leave fast enough. They haven’t bothered her in over two decades. Fancy that.

      • pennywit October 20, 2017, 7:25 am

        My last encounter was really with some very nice Mormon missionaries. I spoke with them for a bit about where they were from and such while I was walking my dog. They tried to talk to me about faith, but I demurred. They tried to bring the conversation back around to faith, and I demurred again. Very politely, but I added a little bit of an edge to my tone. They sort of got the message at that point.

        I found that once we got out of college, a lot of folks kind of realize that it’s a little rude to try to spread religion to those who aren’t interested.

  • SpottedPony October 18, 2017, 1:26 pm

    You know that song, Lying Eyes? The line, “You’re still the same old girl you use to be,” seems to apply to Sarah. Still a mean girl, just in a different way.

    Spotted Pony

  • bern821 October 18, 2017, 3:06 pm

    Wow – Sarah’s really awful! I don’t think I could have bitten my tongue hard enough at breakfast stop myself from saying “Wow, they let you in the church? You were such a slut in high school I’m surprised you’re not wearing a big, red A on your jammies”!