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Sunday, December 13, 2009

When Friends Lie . . .

I'm not crazy. Kiki was pretending to be unwell.

"Kiran, I'm soooo, soooo sorry. I just can't come. I have a fever and the BIGGEST migraine ever. I hope you understand," Kiki* said.

"Of course I understand," I said, as I could hear my friend coughing up a lung.

"Well," trying my best not to panic about my already too-high credit card bill. "You need to focus on feeling better. Make sure you get some rest, Kiki."

I hung up the phone wondering how to fix this. I felt bad about my friend being sick but I was also worried about how I was going to cover the cost of the $50 ticket. Since it was only a few hours before the concert, I could end up eating the cost since my friend had gotten sick only a few hours before sound check.

I was in my mid-twenties and things like $50 concert tickets were a hard thing to swallow. They still would be to me. I don't like to throw money away like that.

John, please be quiet. I know what you are thinking, husband. (we talked about that - it's an investment, ok?)


I had gotten 3 tickets to the Matchbox 20/Sugar Ray concert. It was the spring of 2003 and some unheard of band named Maroon 5 was opening. It was at the Verizon center (then known as the MCI center).
She will be a liar, She will be a liar . . .

I just want to lie

As for it being a Matchbox 20 concert - please don't throw stones. I could be lying and saying it was something way cooler but I really want you to understand me better.

I had expected my friends Amee and Kiki to come to the concert with me - they had both jumped at the opportunity when I told them about the ticket pre-sale event I heard about. So I splurged and took a leap of faith and put it all on my credit card, which was pretty much how I rolled when I was in my twenties.

The thing was - Amee was still in. Kiki had a migraine.

Now, I met Kiki at a telecommunications company we both consulted at. She was new to the area and amidst a sea of nerdy "telecommy" dorks, two party girls saw each other across a crowded room and recognized each other as comrades.

A few years older than me, Kiki was a cool chick. She always had the best clothes and drove the nicest cars and drank drink swankier cocktails than I could afford at the time. I was excited to meet her and as was also common in my twenties, pronounced her one of my "new best friends" and introduced her to everybody I knew as a "salt of the earth" kind of girl.

Or really, more like a "salt with her margarita" kind of girl.

But as I got to know Kiki more and helped bring her social status on the rise, I noticed that she wasn't "quite as friendly." And that's cool - I had my own things going on and my own circles I ran in.

But you know that episode of Brady Bunch, where Marsha helps this nerdy girl up the social ladder by giving her a makeover and somehow Davey Jones from the Monkees is also involved in the episode and then the girl becomes hot and starts dating Greg. And now that she is all that, she tells Marsha that she doesn't need her anymore?

And as Marsha looks devastated in all her blonde glory, the girl says "It's not how I got here Marsha. The point is, I'm here."
That made Marsha sad

I guess that's a little bit of what Kiki was like. You would go to a club with her, leave for the bathroom and she would be gone, on to a cooler club. If you asked her about it later, it was always something like "Oh, I thought you left and I was just meeting you there!" or "No, honey! Don't you remember we agreed to meet there after I told you about the hot bartender I wanted to introduce you to?"

"We did?" Scratching my head. Sucker written all over me.

"Oh darling, I would never leave you! How could you even think something like that?"

I don't know. Maybe it was the fact that she never seemed happy just hanging out at a club. It was always about going somewhere "better" where the guys were "hotter" and the drinks were "swankier" and our dating prospects were more in line with her expectations.

I suspected that Kiki had blown me off a few times before - I'd seen her do it to others so I knew it was possible I was also in the way of her campaign towards social domination. One time, she made a big deal about me meeting up with her in a bar in Georgetown - Cafe Milano. I got there ten minutes later and could not find her. She was nowhere to be found. No messages on my phone and I couldn't reach her. I spent another 20 dollars on a cab to take me home, feeling pretty bad. When I would ask her about it (she now decided to answer the phone) , "Oh honey - I never left! You just didn't see me! Cutie, pie!"

I am pretty sure unless she became a hairy greek man, she was not there - the bar was dead (which explains why she would want to leave) but couldn't she have waited 5 minutes till I got there?

But sometimes these feelings are just that. Feelings. And you don't always know what to trust. As far as I was concerned, Kiki and I just had a habit of getting into misunderstandings that were mainly my fault and I would need to do a better job at reading her full memo before we embarked on the evening as I was obviously missing something.

I'm sure this happens to everybody. Right?

So I called Amee and told her about the ticket and we figured out who we could sell it to. Things started to look up and once again, we were excited to make it to the concert.

When we got to the stadium, we ran into several groups of people we knew. That's the norm in this area - for a big city - its a lot of small overlapping social circles.

Me and Amee - in happier days. We were still so naive.

We got situated in our seats which were AWESOME - we were so ridiculously close to the stage and the walkways the musicians came across - they were within touching distance. We really lucked out. I felt bad that Kiki was going to miss this!

A few minutes before the show was set to start, some stragglers came in to claim their seats. And in the seat right in from of mine sat . . . hmmm. No, that can't be . . .


The funniest thing was that as she walked to her seat and saw me, she first had the immediate reaction of "hey - kiran!' and did that fake arms in there air "oh, you know you're getting hugged girl" kind of thing that we do in DC. And there was actually joy to see me. But then realization, awkwardness and a whole lot of other things took over and replaced the joy as she realized she had just stepped into some really stinky dog poop.

And it wasn't mine.

I of course was mute and was pretty sure my mouth was left hanging open for several minutes. Amee tried to help, I think. It was very blurry. I was kind of devastated.

I mean, what could I say?

1) You didn't want to come with me to the concert
2) You got what you thought were better seats from someone else
3) You LIED to me about being sick and were ok with me taking on a new $50 debt
4) you had the audacity and disrespect to show up - just never expecting to see me.

Well I'll tell you something about that day at the MCI center where over 20,000 fans came to the venue. The fact that Kiki ended up in the seat RIGHT IN FRONT OF MINE was no accident. It is called KARMA and I believe everything played out exactly as it was meant to. I could think of no better way for me to realize that yes, the doubts I was having about my so-called friend were not just in my head. They had been legit.

So, unlike most people, who have some of those doubtful situations with their friends, I don't know how many get their questions resolved by some ultimate bitch-slap that confirms all those doubts.

I got the bitch-slap and I am so very grateful it happened and ended things at once, rather than years of more prolonged doubt provoking events.

The good thing? I don't think Kiki enjoyed ONE SECOND OF THAT CONCERT. After my initial sadness and anger abated, I felt a strange relief for ever doubting myself and those feelings I had dismissed for so long.

I enjoyed every song and sang as loud and as possibly off key as I possibly could manage, as close to her ear as I could.

I never received an apology. So I didn't apologize when I spilled half my Miller Light down her shirt by accident.

I never received an explanation. So I also didn't explain why I spilled the other half of my Miller Light down her shirt on purpose.

Whenever I hear a Matchbox 20 song, I remember her mortified face and I laugh and laugh and laugh. (and they are not funny songs, so people may think that's odd.)

I hear Kiki married some guy with four kids up in NJ and just had a kid of her own. I am guessing she is not clubbing anymore, but who the heck knows? She's probably trying to get on to the next round of "The Housewives of NJ." She would fit in well.

Some of you who read this know her and may still be friends with her. Every friendship has a story, a balance and an integrity of its own.

Our story sucked, the balance was all hers and there was no integrity, so it's safe to say she is probably investing more in her relationships with you.

I would ask you to never hurt your relationship with her because of me, but for anybody who ever tried to excuse what happened above, and my own reaction to it and to tell ME, ME that I was the one with the problem.

You get a big fat, "Seriously"?

A Meredith Gray, from Gray's Anatomy "Seriously? Seriously?"


A resounding, "Are you on crack, Seriously?"

So, let's just not plan to go there EVER AGAIN.

She had a migraine. Sheesh. I should have GIVEN her a migraine.

* Not her name. But I have never been a fan of this name and so today I shall call her Kiki.



(I am in training all week and may not be able to answer emails/comments till late at night. But my posts will auto-publish every day). Have a great week!


Monique-aka-Surferwife23 said...

Oh man. I have never had a bad friendship play out like that. And I totally agree it was Karma that put her in front of you.

But I DO know the kind of girl you are talking about and it took many years for me to accept that mutual friends should be allowed to do what they want. Back in my twenties I wasn't so understanding though.

Anna See said...

Holy Moley! This is astounding. Love the poetic justice. I don't have quite an example like this, but I must say I never, ever ditched my friends in favor of going out w/ someone else, but I did tell my best friends they could feel free to snub me if I guy asked them out.I also never dated a friend's ex. I've known several people like Kiki.

Shandal said...

Oye... she sounds like keeper. That's awful that she would treat you like that... but at least you got some revenge. ;)

Masala Chica said...

Hey Ladies, I guess that was a really long post - sorry to put you throught it. It took me ten minutes to write it - I sometimes don't realize what comes out when the floodgates open. Anyway - i thought it was one of those crazy stories but I wish I still didn't sound so bitter. I really didn't spill beer on her - that was really more in my head. I'm not that bad.

Anyway - thanks for reading - hope you lovely ladies are doing well - am in some bad ass training all week and am pooped!

ModernMom said...

You are so not alone. I have...had a friend who was very much the grass is always greener. Always looking for the next party, the better invite and as we got older, the better golf club to join? huh? It took me a long time to catch on..but I'm rid of her now. Bu bye bagagee!

When did I become my Mom said...

Totally relate. Wrote about it recently here: Bitter disappointment

It sucks when your kindness is taken for weakness.

And as for how Kiki can live with herself? These guys create and inhabit their own reality.

Masala Chica said...

Modern Mom - I know - why does it take so long to get rid of that excess baggage?

When did I become my Mom - I remember that post! I commented at the time and remember thinking uggh - this is another kiki.

too funny.

Anonymous said...

About three years into a friendship, a friend wrote me off without any explanation. For months it didn't make sense, but come to find out she blamed me for an incident which I had nothing to do with. A coworker of mine went to college with her, and didn't take a liking to my friend, so she decided to use some information I shared with her against my friend (and in turn, me). I knew my coworker didn't care for my friend but they never ran in the same circle post college (or post her dislike for this friend), so it never phased me. I never thought she would do something so immature (details of the incident are irrelevant because it would take an entire page to explain). I admit I am at fault for sharing one incident in which I didn’t agree with my friend’s actions, but it was said in casual conversation. Next thing I know this one piece of information caused my friendship to fall apart. Although it was upsetting to find out what my coworker did (which I did one year later), it was more disturbing that this so-called "good friend" never confronted me at the time and trusted I wasn’t capable of such a thing. Yes, I didn't agree with what she did and would express this to her if asked (isn't that what real friends do?), but I wouldn't ever take it the level my coworker did. No offense, but I have more important things to worry about in life than acting on my dislike for one’s actions. Had my friend asked me the truth right away, things might be different now. Actually, I know it would because when I confronted my previous coworker (again, one year later), she admitted the truth and apologized over and over. She even said she would contact my “ex-friend” to explain, but given my friend assummed the worst about me, I wanted nothing to do with her again.

Everything happens for a reason, and it's a blessing in disguise. In my opinion, we were never that close if she couldn't give me the benefit of the doubt by asking what happened and if I was responsible. Anyone that knows me will say I was beyond good to her and I’m not capable of doing a mean thing, nor do I have to the time to waste on such things. It's unfortunate because she has also turned others against me by telling her version, but trust me, I'm fine with that. It's a true sign of one’s character, and I’m far beyond ever speaking to her or my coworker again.

Karma always graces one when appropriate, and from what I hear, karma has graced my ex-friend in many ways. I don’t ever wish her bad, but I have been turned off by her for years now. I don't even think about her unless we run into each other, and it makes me laugh she handled it as she did. But, do you think she'll ever admit she handled it wrong? No way. At this point, she's told too many people her version of the story.

Friends come into your life for a reason, and sometimes they leave for a reason, which one should be thankful for you. So, Kiran – like your situation, you saw your friend’s true colors, and it’s a blessing in disguise.

Masala Chica said...

Anonymous. Why are you anonymous? How can I give you a virtual hug if you are anonymous and send a shout out to a fellow sister if you don't tell me your name. Here is the thing - crazy crap like that happens. Sometimes we are a victim. sometimes we are an unknowing instigator. being "dropped as a friend" is one of the most confusing things ever, especially when it is done without explanation.

I had a friend named Lisa - we were GREAT friends. started at accenture together - stayed friends - were very close. One day I called her and she wouldn't tallk to me. She was really cold. wouldn't return any of my calls. She had started dating a guy and someone said - did you ever flirt with him? and I said - i only met him once so no - couldn't be it. had no clue.

A year later I started doing open mics, singing and had included her on my distro. She sent me a nasty email saying to get her off my distro. I said ok - but what happened - can you tell me? and she said somethings are not worth opening up and then cursed me off. I swear to god I never looked at the guy she was dating, never talked about her behind her back. To this day - NO FREAKING IDEA WHAT happeded.

Sometimes i wonder if she was just bipolar. Not putting it on her. She was just so so so very lovely and it makes me sad that my husband never met this woman who I had loved. by then for some reason she just hated me. I definitely think there was a bipolar thing going on.

anyway - we all have these stories - and our lifes our richer for them, Thanks for sharing your story - please come back again and be yourself - we want anonymous to take your coat off and stay a while. I'll make you some coffee.


Anonymous said...

You said it best -- we are made to be the victims without even knowing. And as I said, blessing in disguise in the end. You never know what is going on with that person. So, a toast to both of us because these situations make us stronger. A loss to them, not us.

Btw... I signed 'anonymous' out of respect to the ex-friend who I wrote about. Although she's handled it poorly, I won't sign my true name and throw her under the bus. :)

Kristin said...

Yup, walked away from a nasty frenemy this year. Only after a major betrayal did I realize how horrible she was. Thankfully it happened now and not even more down the road. I'll never understand users. And I remember being like...DC is a big city. Why do I always see the same freaking people out? Ah ha ha

Archana said...

Oh yeah, I have definitely had just such a "new best friend", on very similar lines. Someone who was new in town, new to school, who had a tough time getting to 'belong' and for whom I went out of the way to make her feel comfortable. And then suddenly, two years down the line, she had firmly attached herself to the "coolest crowd" and I found myself stranded more often than not (though I'm sure it was not really sudden, but a very gradual process the most of which I just didn't realize at the time as one ends up making excuses for other peoples behavior more often than not). It shocked me more for the fact that it was the same crowd she could hardly stand the first two years!

I totally know the self doubt you end up feeling till you get better friends and till you just grow up enough to be able to tell yourself that "it was not me". The way I see it, even if we were friends today, Id have ended standing by her always and never the other way round. So, today I am able to tell myself and believe in my heart that "It's her fault" thanks to all the other wonderful friends around who make me feel precious *wink :)
Though I do wish I had a chance for a celestial revenge that you were lucky enough to get. *smiles.

Anonymous said...

I had a crisis of friendship last weekend, but on a broader scale. I invest myself in few friendships and when I got fired last month, I thought one coworker in particular would remain close and dear. She'd hosted my bridal shower, afterall! But she hasn't and I had to come to terms with the fact that I was only a coworker and let that go. That hurt so much.

And on the heels of that, a longtime friend invited me up to her place for the day, only to con me into taking her to the ER. And then she was mean and snappy and demanding to me.

Who are these people and how do they convince themselves this stuff is ok?

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alessandra said...

I had this friend, who always said "we have to meet", but when I proposed an appointment, she always had something else to do.
I was puzzled by her behavior, until a day, talking about the same things, and her saying that she never had time, her husband told her something ironically that made me understand.
So I never called her again, so sad.


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