How do you tell a friend who's convinced you're pissed with her that it's not her, it's the company she's keeping?
During a conversation last week, a friend (Mrs. X) mentioned she’d talked with another friend of ours (Mrs. Y). Mrs. Y asked if Hubby and I were angry with her and Mr. Y as we seemed to “blow them off” whenever we saw them, mentioning that Mr. Y felt somewhat snubbed by Hubby.
WTF? I didn’t understand the comments. We’ve rarely seen the Ys during the past six months. In fact, Mr. Y called the day before to invite Middle Child over (he’s good friends with their youngest), but with family holiday stuff to get done, we declined the invite, one of the first since the summer he's gotten from this friend. Let's face it, with sports, school, family obligations, and the holidays, most of us find weekends just as jam-packed as our weekdays.
There is another angle to this situation. We were all part of a group with kids in the same grades and ages that was once VERY close, a group with two rings - a few of us on the outskirts, and the Inner Core. Unfortunately, due to some backstabbing by two Inner Core couples, the group began to fracture. We’re still friendly with most of the group, even vacationing together in the summer, but not with the two couples who caused the drama.
I really don’t care who my friends are friends with. Honestly. That crap pissed me off in grade school. And in the real world, most adults have different groups of friends: the High School Friends, the Parents of the First-Kid’s-Friends, the Parents of the Middle Child’s Friends, the Work Friends, and so on. That’s fine. Would I like to be included in a Girls’ Night Out with the Ladies of the Inner Core, who still get together? Oh Hell Yes!!! But since I don’t want to deal with the Others, I’m okay with not being invited.
But how often are we supposed to suck it up when invited to a gathering at the Ys that includes people who've done us, and more importantly, our child, wrong? Who never had the guts to apologize even though they’ve admitted to others they were wrong? How do you approach it when your friends stand on the sidelines with these people, or sit with them at school functions, and expect us join in? We always talk to the Ys if we see them, but we don’t seek them out when they're with the Others. And as a coach for Middle Child’s team, Hubby was busy at practices and games… COACHING.
Hubby and I are civil, but try to limit contact with the Others. And in doing so, the Ys now seem to feel we’re ticked with them. On top of this, they had a recent loss in their family. I couldn’t go to the wake or funeral due to the distance and kids, while some, including the Other Two, made the journey. We did contribute to a floral arrangement, and a card is in the mail, but a small part of me feels I should call Mrs. Y and invite her out for lunch or a drink and discuss the situation. What’s holding me back? I have a suspicion that if I broach the subject, she’ll think I’m making her choose between friends. Hubby’s choice is to leave it alone and invite them over for Sunday dinner in the near future.
I want them to respect our decisions on who we’re friends with, just like we respect theirs, and understand we’re not angry with them. Any suggestions? Thoughts? Magic solutions?