Thursday, May 08, 2008

Why Girls Make Sucky Friends

So, here's something that's been bothering me for a while ... at least a month. It's one of those girls-are-weird kinda stories and helps explain a part of why I started bloggirls. But first here's some background.

I don't have a lot of girl-friends. I've always got on better with the boys. Mebbe it's because I'm direct and to some degree lack tact and most certainly can't fake my opinion just to please someone else (something Varen has to deal with daily, bless him).

I know there are good and decent girls out there, so please excuse this diatribe on what awful friends girls seem to make. This is not directed at you few fabulous ladies (I'm lucky enough to know a handful of you and am supremely grateful for it!).

So as you all know, since I've been dating Varen, we've been going to Tuesday Night Dinners on a pretty regular basis. This has stopped. It was a temporary break since I, unfortunately, had Action Cricket scheduled at the same time, but has recently been made permanent. By us as much as by the rest of the group, I imagine (you'll understand, maybe, when you've read the story).

If you've been a regular reader, you'll also know that last month I started a Monthly Games Night. Now here's the thing. Games Night was supposed to be an opportunity to interact with some new people and make some new friends. In fact, I didn't include a single girl from Bookclub (except GalleryGirl who is a new recruit from the Tuesday Night Dinner Gang). I did however (and here's the unwitting mistake I made) invite a handful of people from the Tuesday Dinner Group ... because they're fairly new friends and I was keen to get to know a few of them better outside of Tuesday nights and I knew some of them would be keen. And me, I'm pretty naive when it comes to invites. Generally I invite anyone I think will be keen and get very few responses - as you may have noticed so far on the bloggirls first event :( I always think you never know when someone may want to do something. But there are some things, like Board & Card Game playing that even I wouldn't take the chance on. People don't seem to be undecisive about this sort of thing, they're either completely into it (also, this can depend on the actual game ... but for my new evening, you need to be up for them all) or completely against it and pretty much see it as a Loser Activity. Yes, believe it or not there are those of us who like our nights in and don't need to still be standing on the dance floor at 3am to prove we're having a good time.

So, I made the fateful flaw of assuming that the Tuesday Night group could be considered individuals outside of their regular ritual. We'll all find out much to my future character-assasination that I was, in fact, wrong.

Now I found out about all this the Tuesday Dinner before Games Night (which was on a Thursday eve, if you recall?). Apparently there was huge drama because I'd not invited a specific person. By my own count (and I did send out the email personally), I'd left off 5 of them (out of 10 ... yes, discriminatory, aren't I?). One of whom ended up coming regardless (and that's not said in a bad way at all). Which brings me to my primary point, when I sent out the invitation, I said "Please feel free to forward this on to anyone who you think might be interested".

So here's what ended up happening, the whole rest of the group got up in arms because I hadn't invited Daisy. The rest of them all "felt" invited by a partner receiving the email (or didn't care cause they weren't interested anyway, I assume). So at the Dinner in question, they called me on it. And I explained the two honest reasons I didn't send her the email invitation.

Firstly, because she doesn't seem to respond to emails - by the time we had our housewarming (that she attended, the Saturday after Games Night), she still had yet to reply to the email invitation, although when I asked her personally she said she'd be there. I guess she's just too good for email. Which is useless when trying to organise things like a Monthly Games Night which relies on regular email corresspondence.

And secondly because I didn't think she'd be interested. Now I'm fairly new to this group. Newest by far. So surely it's not a stretch of the imagination that I might not think she'd be interested (honestly, to this day I'm not even sure if she would be or not). But I will say that not a single one of the people in the group that I did invite has had to defend why they didn't forward the email on to her or extend the invitation verbally and respond on her behalf. Since it was discussed at the Tuesday Dinner prior to the first Games Night, they clearly had all noticed well enough in advance that she had been left off the list. Petty. Petty. Petty.

And can you believe it's all still going on in my absence. We had Games Night and myself plus 3 of the girls from Tuesday Night were there. As much fun as the evening was, it was technically a flop in terms of meeting new people ... of 8 there was only one person I'd never met before. But that's to be expected, I started the whole thing. And now, almost a month later, I'm still apparently being bitched about behind my back at every Tuesday dinner I miss because of not inviting Daisy - hence the not bothering to return on Varen & my part and the not feeling especially welcome there from theirs. And I'll be honest, I know it's not all of them. Of the 6 girls, I've talked with some of them about it and those that I have, don't care one bit ... they're as over it as I am and can't see what the issue is (or even was in the first place ... like moi!). It's some of the others (including Daisy herself, naturally) who are dwelling on it making the situation toxic. And I hate it. I never left her off the list in a bad way. I never even thought twice about it. And suddenly I'm a terrible person. Things like this make me wonder how girls form any friendship at all!

And here's another point. It's the *girls*. Boys just really couldn't care about these sorts of things. I bet (if their girl's have let them) they would have forgotten all about it by now and carried on with life as normal. See why boys are so much easier to deal with?

And yes, I know ... technically I'm not actually certain that all the bitching is even going on (since at least one of them has been perfectly normal to me when I've spoken to her), but I have heard from a reliable source that it is. That and I've been at Tuesday Dinners when other people are away and have heard the "chatter" that goes on by all these so-called friends about whoever is not around. Makes me scared to miss an evening ... which is another reason we've decided not to go back.

Let me tell you something else, Varen & I have organised almost every time we've seen any of them outside of Tuesday Nights and that's enough of a hassle regarding who to include already ... how many of the group can you invite before you hit tipping point and it stops being about who you included and starts being about who you've excluded. Sigh. Does anyone else reading this feel like I'm back in highschool?

Thankfully I had Bookclub last night and it was a refreshingly nice evening spent with a group of lovely girls :) Sometimes I get sad with some of them who I'm "supposed" to be better friends with since our friendship seems to have devolved to only seeing each other at Bookclub but aside from that they're still a lovely bunch.


The Jackson Files said...

omg...the girls in the group of friends I have inherited since I moved back here are the same and I just don't get it. It's like they all need each other to be complete.

Me? Well, I have never felt the need to move in a troup, and there are times when I'd just like to see some people and not others, so I always figure that other people feel the same way too.

I could care less if I'm not invited to something, but then again, I'm mostly friends with boys too.

btw...I did check out the bloggirls wiki, but I am so technically inept I couldn't figure it out.

boldly benny said...

OH GLORY I hate girl admin - I blogged about it yesterday. I'm TOTALLY a girls' girl, I love my guy friends and get on well with guys but have more girl mates and I STILL HAVE ADMIN. I must admit I don't have it from my close girl mates, but I have some residule groups that are a bit strange about being separated from the pack - I've slowly ended up distancing from them!

I LOVE your blog girls idea - unfortunately a very good friend is visiting from Durban so I won't be able to make the very first meet but I'm keen for June ;-)

phillygirl said...

@tjf - Yeah, I'm from Cape Town but I still don't get the clique mentality!

Have updated the "Adding your name to the list" instructions so hopefully you'll have better luck :)

I've also added a handy badge you can put on your blog if you like!

@bb - Why is it the girl-friends come with so much admin. Someone always seems to be upset / offended by someone else!

Glad you're keen to join us in future, I'm really hoping the idea will take off :)

Jam said...

I think the girl admin has a lot more to do with group mentality. Girls in groups seem to be cliquey and dangerous! I've seen it too, where friends are perfect in isolation, but as soon as a 'group' is formed, problems start to arise.

Despite this, I used to favour guy friends, but my girl friends now come out tops. I find my connections with them are much deeper and simply, I just have much more fun with them!

PS - I'm definitely in for bloggirls - but can't log into gmail from work as they've banned it on account of the chat function - will log in from home! :)

Jam said...

Ignore gmail comment above... I have realised the error of my ways!

phillygirl said...

@msmozi - Yeah. The best part of the experience is that I really have made (at very least) one fantastic new friend :) I agree that a girl definitely needs those girl-connections and I'm so missing it ... But I'm on a quest to find some long-lasting ones ;)

Also, thanks again for the post on bloggirls on your blog :)

Aubrey said...

You know what I say?
Real friends see you for yourself and forgive if you make a small mistake.
And really, you've wasted enough time writing this blog post, which is more than sufficient time spent on such a petty schoolgirl problem.

And you girls from the group in question? Grow the f*ck up!

phillygirl said...

@bug-e - actually the time spent writing the blog post was for me, personally I needed this bad seed out of my own mind and left elsewhere :)

I have high hopes that things will all be fine again in the end :) it has all been a bizarrely drawn out misunderstanding in my opinion, after all.

Sage said...

That hit right home with me, I prefer the company of a bunch of men than a group of women.. lack of anything in common (I don't do fashion, shopping or children - in no particular order) and from my POV when you get a group of women together it can get really bitchy very fast. At least with men, it takes a while :0)

phillygirl said...

@sage - this topic certainly seems to have hit home with lots of readers ... that's a little scary when I think about it tho. As I'm sure you can tell, I'm not your clichéd girly girl either ;)

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