“Know Your Worth–Breakfast with ‘Friends’ ”

I’m talking girlfriend groups here. The various collections we women seem to gravitate towards by way of similar interests…vocations…avocations. There’s often an interesting dynamic that occurs.

Now, at 76 years of age, I’ve had all sorts of girlfriends. Unfortunately, 3 of my closest have already left this world, but today, I value good friends even more and try to treat them as I would wish they treat me (you know—the “Golden Rule.”)

But what seems one constant in the groups to which I’ve been party is a sort of pecking order that establishes with one woman presupposing her attitudes/beliefs should dominate all others’ (you know the type—don’t you?)

It’s most annoying.

Case in point: a breakfast group who met monthly at a popular neighborhood restaurant—a group of women with whom I’d worked for years.

One woman was always late. Now, she wasn’t just a little late. She was a LOT late. Like 45 minutes. Each and every time. The reaction of the group? “Oh, that’s just Trish…She’s ALWAYS late,” like it was part of her DNA and we must accept it.

The fall-out? Most thought we should all wait til Trish arrived to order our food.

Then, when she did arrive, she took center stage, regaling us all with the monstrous problems (they weren’t) she’d encountered on the way, problems which precluded her timely arrival.

She went on this way for a good 20 minutes.

At the 3rdmonthly meeting, I’d had it.

I’d just had my husband diagnosed with Alzheimer’s; I’d had a bad foot surgery that resulted in permanent disability and our 3 young grandkids were due to arrive in a week and I was fearful I’d not have enough energy for them (but didn’t want to pull the trip, either). I’d mentioned these problems on FB and I hoped for girlfriend support.

All too soon I recognized that the group had little interest in me.

When I got up to leave on a pretext I needed to get back to my husband, the “Self-appointed One” looked at me and said “You said a really stupid thing on FB, this morning, mentioning you had guns.”

I was stunned. I considered the arrogance that would allow such a statement to tumble out of another’s mouth.

Yes, I’d mentioned guns. I said it to forestall a problem with a crazy neighbor, one whom I wanted to inform that we (an older couple) had a potent means to defend ourselves if the need arose. I said it to my husband in casual conversation next to the hedge dividing our property from the neighbor’s, as in “Paul, let’s go to target practice today, to maintain our skill.”

I said it to avert problems—not invite them.

But “the friend” chose to chastise me. If truth be told, it wasn’t the only time this person had assumed wrongly.

So, perpetual lateness…hogging the conversation…presuming to know my motivation for my action…disrespecting me.

It was time to move on.

As a wise friend so wisely put it: It was “Time to weed the garden.”

It’s called “valuing oneself.”

The cost of some group membership is simply too high.

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