Author Topic: How Waterlight Grew Her Spine: Spine Story #3 (minor update reply #2)  (Read 8571 times)

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Waterlight

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Hi everyone,

I debated whether to put this story in "I'm afraid that won't be possible" or "Special Snowflake Stories" because it does deal with a certain SS I used to know, long ago.  This is the story of how I stood up to the SS for the first time... and started growing a spine!

At the time of this story--almost 10 years ago--my father was in the final stages of a seven-year battle with cancer.  I'd just learned that his cancer had spread from his lungs to his bones and liver, so nothing more could be done except to keep him comfortable.  He was already on Oxycontin for the pain.  I agreed to travel to Hometown (three hours away from Seattle) one weekend a month to help care for Dad so my stepmom, who'd exhausted all her sick leave, could go back to work... starting with the weekend after Thanksgiving.  Since this would be Dad's last Thanksgiving, I'd be spending the holiday with him rather than with Mom.

<BG>This is where SS Ellen comes in.  We'd been friends for 9-10 years, if you can call it a friendship.  TBH, I idolized and was intimidated by her.  She always seemed to know just what to do in social situations.  She hosted big parties at her house, went to ballet and the opera, traveled a lot... in short, she seemed to be living the kind of life I thought I should be living.  There was very little I wouldn't do for her.  I gladly fed and loved her cats while she was off on one of her long trips.  I helped her move.  I called in sick to work when she needed me to come with her to a city in a neighboring state to drop off some artwork at a gallery for her daughter, because she had carpal tunnel and couldn't do any of the heavy lifting herself.  I provided free babysitting at several of her parties at her insistence, even though I'm not particularly good with small children.  You get the picture.</BG>

What made me realize Ellen WAS an SS, and I needed to start saying no to her increasingly unreasonable demands, was her asking me to cat-sit for her that Thanksgiving weekend.  She knew perfectly well my Dad was dying.  As far as I'm concerned, it was fine for her to ask me to cat-sit.  Once.  Normally, I would have loved it; she really did have great cats  :D  But if ever there was a time she needed to take no for an answer, this was it.

"I'm sorry, not this time," I said.  "You know normally I'd love to, but this will be Dad's last Thanksgiving, and I've already promised to spend it with him."

A real friend would have understood, would have realized I had a MORE than valid reason for saying no just this once.  But SS Ellen "hoped I'd reconsider" because it was going to be sooooooooooooo hard to find someone else.   :o

"Sorry Ellen, this time you don't have a choice.  You'll have to find someone else.  My Dad comes first."

"Why can't you spend another holiday with him and help me out?"

"My Father.  Is.  Terminally Ill.  He.  Is.  Dying.  He may not have any other holidays.  He wants me there for him this Thanksgiving and that's where I'm going to be."

There was a Sigh of Deep Disappointment from SS Ellen and some PA grumbling about how hard it would be to find another cat-sitter so close to the holiday.  No sorrow for me, even though I was losing someone I loved and cherished, and who loved and cherished me.  No, this whole cat-sitting thing was all about HER and the inconvenience my absence from Seattle would cause HER.

I don't regret responding the way I did.  I do regret that it took losing someone who truly did care about me, for me to see SS Ellen didn't.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2014, 08:42:41 PM by Waterlight »
“The best lightning rod for your protection is your own spine.”--Ralph Waldo Emerson

suzieQ

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Re: How Waterlight Grew Her Spine: Spine Story #3
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2013, 07:00:50 AM »
 ::)  :o  :(  >:(
There are no words. Glad she is a thing of the past!
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Waterlight

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Re: How Waterlight Grew Her Spine: Spine Story #3
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2014, 09:08:58 PM »
::)  :o  :(  >:(
There are no words. Glad she is a thing of the past!

Just a minor update:  I went NC (no contact) on this SS after my father's death in 2004... (we had friends in common and did speak briefly at one mutual friend's funeral about two months after I ended the friendship) so almost 10 years of not seeing or hearing from her at all!  I know from what mutual acquaintances have told me that she's badmouthed me to them--but the people I actually care about and WANT to see, don't talk to her or see her either, and haven't for some time.  (I suspect for reasons similar to mine ;) )
“The best lightning rod for your protection is your own spine.”--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Kari

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Re: How Waterlight Grew Her Spine: Spine Story #3 (minor update reply #2)
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2014, 04:20:28 PM »
Wow, how can a person be so callous as to badmouth someone for choosing one's dying father over her cats? How this person has any friends is beyond me!

ladyknight1

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Re: How Waterlight Grew Her Spine: Spine Story #3 (minor update reply #2)
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2014, 08:06:31 PM »
Your feelings meant nothing to her. She is a true SS.

Peppergirl

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Re: How Waterlight Grew Her Spine: Spine Story #3 (minor update reply #2)
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2014, 10:24:43 AM »
Horrible..I'd say other things, but the filter would smack me.  >:(

I'm sorry for your loss, despite it being a while. And I'm very glad you no longer have this *thing* in your life. Can't call her a person, because she's clearly a beast.

It shakes me to my core when I read stories like this...that there are actually people like this running around amongst us.  :'(

DanaJ

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Wow, how can a person be so callous as to badmouth someone for choosing one's dying father over her cats? How this person has any friends is beyond me!

Well, SS version of events would have been quite different. More along the lines of: "Can you believe it? She bailed on me at the last minute before Thanksgiving! Plans were ruined. It affected my entire family's Thanksgiving dinner. How selfish can a person be?"

She certainly never, ever would have said word about why the OP has to say no. She had to be the master of her outrage, and the why wouldn't help her position. Plus, she probably couldn't remember why the OP declined. She was probably so shocked at the word  "no" that any reason for it just sounded like static in that big void between her ears.