RE: You don’t know me, but…
…I work with a girl who is always chatting to her friends instead of getting shit done, so one day I shadily went through a group chat she’d left open on her computer.
I wasn’t really surprised to see her and her pathetic little ‘dream team’ talking trash about everyone I know – including myself – but another name was coming up almost more times than any…Yours. To start off, they think your marriage is a joke and your haircut is ridiculous…
The message went on – in horrifying detail – about basically every mean, malicious, bitchy comment these girls had ever made about me; every picture they’d ripped from my Instagram and laughed at; every employment issue my husband had ever experienced; every hair colour I’d tried, or outfit I’d worn, or status I’d posted, or life choice I’d made – they discussed, dissected and made fun of it all.
My personal favourite was their theory that the reason I’d adopted a pet rabbit in the last year was because I was desperate for a baby but unable to have one. Girls if you’re reading, I’m sorry to say that’s not true – I really just think rabbits are adorable. But good guess, I suppose.
But the worst was yet to come – as I neared the end of the message, I realised my would-be bullies weren’t simply a group of sad strangers who’d found me on Facebook and decided for whatever reason to secretly bash my whole life to bits. They weren’t strangers at all.
The Well talks friendship: The good, the bad and the toxic. Post continues after audio.
They’d been good friends of mine since high school.
To clarify things, in no way have I ever been under any ridiculous sort of impression that all of my teenage best friends would be my best friends for life, or that we’d all continue to speak to each other every day after graduation, get married at the same time, have babies at the same time, buy houses in the same street and live out the next sixty or seventy years of our lives together in harmony before peacefully and painlessly all passing away on the same day while holding hands and humming the school song we’d somehow all managed to remember.
I’m not an idiot; I know life doesn’t work that way. In reality, we all start uni or full-time work, we move out of home, we settle into a routine, we put our heads down and focus on adulthood and by the time we finally look up we’ve got crow’s feet and a mortgage and haven’t seen most of our old friends in more than a year.
However, I do think that some relationships are special, and that there are some friends we like to put in the life-long category – and unfortunately, I’d pretty much put these four girls on that list years ago. All four had been at my wedding; I’d travelled internationally with two of them; I was attending one of their birthday parties that same week.