I bet you anything you’re going to read this and beat your head against the wall as hard as I did.
I learned from a friend last night that apparently I wasn’t welcome in her grandmother’s house anymore. At Friend X’s 16th birthday party I’d popped off some black humor and her grandmother had thought I was being serious. She thought I was “acting superior” and “had offended her personally”.
So what’s my first reflex? To do what I was raised to do. I load up Wordperfect and type the grandmother a big, completely earnest letter of apology. I figure that’ll get her attention, teenagers don’t write letters anymore. I use my good writing voice, I want this woman to know damn sure I want her forgiveness. So I get it done and I have Friend X proofread it and she drops this bomb:
“I wasn’t supposed to tell you that. So if I get in trouble for you sending this letter, I’m never speaking with you again. Also, you’re trying to sound older than you are in your letter. She’ll think it’s insincere.”
Sadly that’s not out-of-character. Friend X has always been toxic. She’s whiny, overreacting, self-indulgent, and has an ego bigger than the Hindenburg. She starts more needless drama than all my friends and family combined. Under all the fake problems, though, she does have some real ones, and I stay her friend because I want to help with those. I’ve had some close confidants tell me that that’s a warning sign; that it means I’ll tolerate abusive relationships in the future. If I stay her friend, I’ll feel honorable but be plagued by her vitriol. If I nut up and tell her what she really is, OR I send the letter and it goes over badly, I’ll be free of her drama but drag remorse around for years.
Fatiguing story, isn’t it? So now at long last we come to my question. Should I even send this letter? Is there any point in stretching this friendship out to the end of senior year?
First, you don’t type apologies. You hand write them.
Next, put down the fucking thesaurus. Your friend may be toxic, but she’s right about your “good writing voice.” Phrases like “plagued by her vitriol” make you sound like an asshole.
As for your letter, no you shouldn’t send it. The very fact that you’re still considering it leads me to believe that you secretly crave drama, which would also explain why you even bother keeping your whacked-out friend around in the first place.
Also, you really seem to be missing the point when it comes to honor and friendship. The point isn’t for you to “feel honorable.” The point is for you to be honorable, regardless of how it feels. In other words, treating a friend like she’s an emotional charity case isn’t honorable, even if it feels that way.
Actually, it seems as if Granny McSourcunt had you pegged when she said that you’re “acting superior.” Your friend isn’t a psych patient under your care. It’s not your job to “tell her what she really is.” It’s your job to be a friend without any of the holier-than-thou tone.
Either be her genuine friend, or move on.
If this feels like a bit of a bitch slap, it’s because someone needs to tell you that you come off as smug. It’s typical teenage pretension masking typical teenage insecurity, but the rest of the world just sees a mean girl.
Other than Twilight novels, this kind of stuff is the single biggest reason why people can’t stand teenage girls.