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All posts for the month July, 2015

With friends like these….

Published July 20, 2015 by The Merida Review

Penn and I had this senseless fight, he said things that hurt my feelings, I said horrible things to him. I get like that when I’m upset, things come out of my mouth and, once they’re out, they’re out. You can take some minor thing that bugs you about someone you really and truly love, twist it into something huge and hurtful just to hurt the other person back, and then you find you’ve crossed the line, you can’t unsay them. And you’re not thinking clearly because your friend has said horrible things to you as well. So you both sulk for awhile and wait for the other to back down, which you won’t because it’s like admitting defeat and you were the one in the right, he was all wrong and it’s up to him to come crawling back to beg forgiveness.

It’s only later, when you can look back on it objectively, that it all seems stupid. When you’re in the middle of the feud, lining up your loyal allies on your side to stand shoulder to shoulder with you against your very best friend, the guy you would trust with anything…yeah, it can get ridiculous.

Penn and I didn’t speak for an entire week, and the upshot of this is that I got so lonely, I actually made some new friends, something I don’t normally do, because when you’re welded at the hip with your little clique, it’s not too conducive to friend making. But because our dynamics were all screwed up, I met this wonderful couple, Lucy, a china doll, and Harriet, a hand carved wooden who is actually articulated at the shoulders and elbows and the hips and knees. Some woodens that you meet can be so stiff, you know? They say they are sisters, but I’m not sure how that can be. But I don’t care. If they want to be sisters, let them. Who am I to judge?

They look rather like two prim maiden aunts, but when you get to know them, they are rather acerbic and sly, silly and hilarious.

Penn thinks they’re common. He just hates them. I think it’s all because I met them while we were fighting. He was jealous and they got off on the wrong foot. If he and I had met them together while we were still friends, he would like them just as much as I do, but since it started off on the wrong foot and now he sees them through grey tinted glasses (the opposite of rose colored ones) and hones in on anything bad about them and misses their good qualities, well. It’s exhausting, trying to stay friends with everybody, and I really hate being in the position where you are supposed to choose one friend over another, even if it’s only implied – Penn would never actually come out and say it…

So here I am, in the position of seeing the worst of all my friends, basically. We assiduously avoid mentioning one in the other’s company, but you can’t always avoid it – it just comes out. Like “Penn and I were at the most amazing party the other night,” or “Lucy and Harriet took me to a new restaurant and I think you would like it.”

When you try and disguise it, it all turns awkward, “My friend took me to the most amazing party,” or “I went with some friends to a new restaurant.” Statements like that just beg the question, “Who were you with?,” don’t they?

Everytime I mention Lucy and Harriet to Penn, his eyes roll heavenward and you can basically see his mind shutting down. He’s not going to take anything seriously that comes out of my mouth after that. Lucy and Harriet, on the other hand, are polite, too polite. They just don’t understand that Penn doesn’t like them They want me to bring him along when I come visit. They tell me to tell Penn to invite them along, too, when we go to our next amazing party.

The worst part is that I really think they’d all get along just great, if the circumstances were different. Because of all the awkwardness and my obvious discomfort whenever we’re all together, they only see the worst behavior in each other. Penn has never been around Harriet and Lucy when they are relaxed and funny and we are laughing till we nearly cry, and Harriet and Lucy have only seen Penn in his pompous judgmental twit mode.

So then I feel like I’m always having to justify why I like this other person so much. Ugh! Sometimes your friends just make you want to SCREAM!

“Oh, but you should see him/them when…” I am so tired of saying that!!!

Lucy’s and Harriet’s wardrobes aren’t as fashionable as they might be, true, and their hair is only painted on, and Harriet’s, in particular (the wooden), is growing quite thin, though she covers it with a rather threadbare bonnet, in an unfortunate shade of green. Penn doesn’t take into consideration that he is brand new and vinyl to boot and that you can buy clothes off the rack to fit him. In one hundred years – oh, but I hate to think of Penn in a hundred years. He is vinyl. I don’t know how he’ll hold up, but I can’t help thinking the worst. Gosh, though, I would never say that to him! Who knows what he’ll be like when he’s their age!?! I mean, it’s only luck that I was (A) so well made and (B) so well preserved with my wardrobe intact and that (C) my clothes were made by a professional seamstress – they are exquisite!

Can you blame a doll if she was owned by a child who was just learning to sew? Or if her once plentiful closet full of clothes were lost somewhere along the way? If she was so well loved she bears the scars?

It makes me so angry, I want to spit!

And, yes, I’m sure that some among you will remind me that not so long ago I was an even worse snob than Penn. I’m not now, though, and I’m thoroughly ashamed of what I thought then. The move to Vicki’s collection, where I’ve met dolls from all walks of life, made of all sorts of things, and was finally able to see past that and appreciate what they had to offer, was the best thing that ever happened to me.

Better late than never!

(Can you imagine the old me if I had been told about a plastic doll who was as much of a snob as me? Ha, ha, ha, ha!)

So there you go. The juggling act of trying to balance different friendships.

I’m not sure where this is headed.