Tuesday, July 18, 2006

72. A Little Help, Please - UPDATE

So, I'm reaching out and asking for advice... or at least for affirmation that I'm not going crazy (or an explanation of why I'm going crazy so I can get past this).

So, here's the situation.  S. and D. were dating.  Now they're not.  Now they are just good friends, and it is all good.  They've talked it out, and are both happy with the situation (at least from what S. has told me).  What does this have to do with me?  Well, as much as it sucked, I could rationalize and thereby get past being 'ditched'.  I mean, the three of us hung out a lot together, and when they started dating that sort of stopped.  It sucks realizing that you were being used, but it's not like that hasn't happened to me before.  I realize that it isn't done on purpose.  It's just easier for a guy to ask a couple of girls to hang out than to ask just the one you're actually interested in... I'm often a sort of 'buffer' between the guy and the hot girl.  The fact that our 'three-way' activity stopped rather abruptly when they started dating was kind of a shock to my system, but I understand.  Couples want to be alone together.  That's cool.

But they aren't a couple any more, and something happened last  night that I'm struggling not to be angry over (or more accurately, not to be hurt over).  For almost 2 months, the three of us got together at D's house and watched movies on the weekend.  Well, last night, the four foreign teachers went out for dinner (which was nice).  Before we went out, S. asked if she could borrow a movie from me so that she could go to D's house alone and watch the movie. (A movie, incidentally, that I own, but haven’t seen, and that she knows I haven’t seen because we’ve both talked about how we ‘need to see it’ sometime).  I was actually confused when she asked, and it took about half of dinner for me to realize why.  I couldn’t figure out why she needed to take the copy of the movie to go over to D’s… it didn’t make sense because before they were dating (and to my way of thinking, it should be the same again now, right?) I would have just brought it with me when I went. Honestly, I was perplexed.  And then I was hurt, which quickly transitioned into angry (because angry doesn’t immobilize me).  Now I'm trying not to be angry about it, but I am.  Especially when this morning I had both of them telling me over and over again how awesome the movie was, quoting lines, etc... and all I could think was "Why wasn't I invited?!?!?  It was my movie, for crying out loud!"  Or to quote my thoughts more directly (with apologies in advance)  “What the fuck?!?!”  They're not dating.  S. has been quite clear about that, at least to me.  So why am I being left out now?  Was the level that I was being used at even beyond what I originally thought (and am able to cope with)?  I think it hurt more that it came from S, because at least D’s motivations I could understand when he stopped inviting me to join them.  But S… she has never been as into their relationship as he was, the fact that she initiated this whole thing – a movie night without me… hurts.

So, am I crazy?  Am I overreacting? I want to think I'm overreacting, but I'm just hurt (and am feeling anger instead because that's easier to deal with at work.  I don't want to start crying here).  Argh.  What do I do?  Do I do anything?  I hate confrontation.  I probably won't talk to them about it, but still... help!


So, I took a page from the Book of Grownups and talked it out with S. (Thanks Boo and TransAtlantic Girl). It went well. She had actually noticed what she was doing (ie: how I was being excluded) as that night had gone on (probably about the same time I realized what was going on), but hadn't known how to backtrack and either invite me without being patronizing, or cancel on D. without being rude to him. Which I get. That alone made me feel better, I must say... just to know I wasn't being petty and paranoid (both of those being adjectives that I think would have described me several years ago). (Of course, several years ago, I never would have mentioned it either, so either way it's a step in the right direction). She is also aware that I'm being shafted by their 'coupledom', because the three of us were sort of tight, but when they got tighter, I got squeezed out. She brought that up, not me. I didn't know what to say to that, because it happens -- all the time -- and I'm not sure anything can be done about it. You were right, by the way TransAtlantic Girl, they are still together, sort of. They weren't when she told me they weren't, but they are going up and down so much I'm getting dizzy trying to follow it. Heh, in a letter to a dear friend recently I used the phrase "heterosexual mating rituals are weird!". It was in a completely different context, and not that this is an exclusively straight thing -- but man, it really is confusing to try and follow. I could try and ignore it, but I see them everyday, and knowing the status of their relationship actually does help me in the office.

Anyway, I'm not angry anymore. I'm still a little bit hurt, but that's now on me and I just have to get past it, I think. It's funny, the day after I told S, D invited me over for a 3 day movie marathon of Lord of the Rings... so I'm assuming she told him and now he's attempting to give me a peace offering. I kind of felt bad telling him I didn't want to spend my entire weekend with them (if you know Lord of the Rings, you know how long it will take to watch all three extended version movies -- especially with a newbie like S who has never seen the movies or read the books), not to mention the fact that inviting me the next day did feel a bit forced.

Well that's it. Just thought you'd all want to know. I know this wasn't blog relevant, but I appreciate your help anyway.


Boo said...

A thought:

"Up until tonight, I had to do it in such a way as to somehow pretend that I didn't realize that S. wasn't coming with me... it was weird. Tonight, I just walked into the building when we got home, sort of waving goodbye behind me. D. called after me, "What, you're not going to stay for the awkward goodbye?", and S. followed with "Please, come back and stand around..." To which I, somewhat bitterly I admit, responded "Sure, because that's fun.""

Did you explain or discuss that comment with them subsequent to saying it? They may have felt you didn't want to hang out with them any more.

I'd say you have 3 options:

talk to S about it

invite S to do something without talking about it

ignore it, possibly lose the friendship, and feel bad about it all

option 1 is the hardest initially, options 2 and 3 leave lingering awkwardness

TransatlanticGirl said...

Talk to S about it.

Seriously, I'm the worst person in the world to be giving that advice, because I *hate* confrontations, but that really does seem to be the only way forward with this. It could turn out that there was more to that evening than they let on (I've had plenty of friends swear up and down that they've stopped seeing someone, only to give it another chance a few days later--that may be what this was.) Or there might have been some misunderstanding between you and them.

Either there's a piece of this puzzle missing, or your friends were being rude by not including you. But either way, this shouldn't be the end of your friendship. Friends can be inconsiderate sometimes. It's usually just a matter of them not thinking. Tell them what they did was inconsiderate (not to mention tacky.) If that's what happened, they'll agree, once you point it out them.

Good luck.

Willie Hewes said...

I'm glad you were able to work things out, to some degree at least.