Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Me and My Big Mouth

I probably should never have opened my mouth. But I just couldn’t help it.

For months, I’d listened to my friend Monique complain, cry and obsess about her new boyfriend.

First she worried that with his tattoos, nipple rings, revoked driver’s license and crass sense of humor, he wouldn’t fit in with people she hung out with. (I told her if he made her happy and treated her well, real friends would overlook differences).

Then she was offended when he didn’t ask her to be his date to a friend’s wedding. (I gave him the benefit of the doubt. He was standing up in the wedding, maybe he just didn’t want her to get stuck alone for the evening).

Then he wasn’t available for things that were important to her… meeting her parents, hanging out with her friends, going out on normal dates. (I told her to start making a mental note of these disappointments and decide whether or not this relationship was worth all her yearning).

So by the time she called Sunday, I just couldn’t take it anymore.

She was crying – said this guy had basically blown her off all week. When she tried to talk to him about it, he took hours to respond and got defensive -- as if SHE was being annoying. She went on and on about how he’s going through a bad time in life because of his issues and tragic background. She said she just wanted him to talk to her and tell her what the problem was so she could understand why he was being this way.

I probably should never have opened my mouth. But I just couldn’t help it.

“What exactly are you waiting for him to say?,” I went off. “There is absolutely nothing that can come out of his mouth that can excuse what’s going on here. Bottom line, he’s just not making you happy. Why do you need him to explain that to you? Isn’t it fairly obvious?”

I told her she was amazing, and beautiful, and the life of a party, and successful, with a masters degree and a great job and her own condo and car. But she was putting up with a loser who was acting like SHE was the loser. And the longer she did that the longer it was going to take for her to find a GOOD guy, someone who would NEVER blow her off for a week, ALWAYS want to meet her family and friends, someone who would feel LUCKY to get her phone calls, not burdened.

Monique and I have always been bluntly honest with each other. But I’m sure she wasn’t prepared for my tirade. I told her I was sorry to be so harsh – I’ve never even met the guy (don’t get me started).

But she was epitomizing the line my friend Felice’s ex-boyfriend articulated so well for her when she kept giving him more chances.

“Women spend too much time letting assholes explain why they’re assholes.”

By the end of the conversation, Monique said she was so thankful that I was being honest and that I was giving her the strength to stand up for herself and not put up with crap. She said she was going to confront him that night and tell her that she didn’t want any part of what he was doing.

I told her I’d be on call if she needed to drive straight to my place after the confrontation.

I texted her a reminder of what a great girl she was and how she could have better if she just sought it for herself.

I called her the next morning to make sure she was o.k.

Six hours later, I finally heard back. Knowing exactly what had happened, I let it go to voicemail.

In her message, she said her talk went well. She told him she doesn’t want to be treated badly. He told her all about these issues he’s been having. She said she was glad they had the talk because she feels badly for him because she cares about him.

“It was good,” she said, going on and on about how she’s going to try to be better from now on about not obsessing and blowing off her friends to accommodate his schedule. Somehow, in her mind, things are now just peachy.

And I just don’t have the energy to call her back.

Women spend too much time letting assholes explain why they’re assholes.

Best friends' words are a waste of breath.