I feel life is too short to give my time to people who bring me down. I've had two real frenemies in my life. Girls that were my "closest friend" at some point. I think they have to be a close friend to really do the harm that puts them into frenemy status. I was going to do a little blog entry today on my two frenemies, but realized that there is too much to these stories for just one post. If it was short and simple, they wouldn't be frenemies after all. So today we'll start with...
Frenemy #1 (Let's call her Sue)
Phase One: The Honeymoon Phase
Sue was my best friend in high school and for many years after. We swore that our bond was as strong as blood. We were "sisters" and would be for life. I really have no complaints about her during our high school years, and even the six years after high school. Our friendship even survived our living in different states for many of those years.
Phase Two: The Deterioration Phase
The first time I realized something was off, was when my 21st Christmas rolled around. I was working full time at San Francisco Airport, for $6.10/hr. It was very low pay, even for the time, and especially in that area. Though I had two roommates, and took the bus everywhere in lieu of owning a car, I could still barely make ends meet. I asked Sue, who was going to college up in Oregon (an only child living on her parents' dime), if we could skip the present exchange that year, since things were so tight.
Sue was upset. Presents were important. Presents show you care. But she wasn't a greedy monster of course, so she said we could do our exchange AFTER Christmas (We were only seeing each other once a month when I used my flight benefits to go visit her, and okay, to visit my orthodontist too.) So the next time I saw her was early February. I had used every extra penny I made in January to get something I thought Sue would really like. A beautiful music box from the famous San Francisco Music Box Company. Since the whole present exchange was so important to her, I didn't want to let her down. The box was expensive (to me). It was charming. It had adorable little penguins on the top that skated around when the box was turned on. I knew she would love it.
When I arrived at Sue's dorm, I happily handed over the wrapped box to her. "Merry Christmas!" I said with a smile.
"Oh! I forgot all about that," said Sue.
Sue did love her gift, and said she'd get me one later.
I never cared about getting a gift in the first place. Which is good. She never got me one.
A couple of years later we both moved back to our hometown. We got together at least once a week, for lunch or just hanging out. It was pretty good most of the time. At this point, however, there were some unpleasant aspects that had become typical and expected. When my birthday was fast approaching, Sue asked what I wanted to do. Since our evening visits always included her boyfriend, I said that I'd like a "Girls' night out", just the two of us, to go out for some music, maybe dancing, and dinner. She asked what present I'd like. I said I would love a gift card for a manicure from the beauty school. The beauty school was literally one door over from where Sue worked, and their manicures were only three dollars.
Instead of going out, Sue 'surprised' me with a birthday party in her home instead. With just herself, her boyfriend (of course) and a male co-worker that I was only acquainted with. She also gave me an I.O.U. for the manicure. If I'd ever expected her to get me the actual gift card, I'd still be waiting, decades later.