One of the things I find so interesting (objectively) and so painful (personally) is when a friend turns out not to be such a good friend after all. Men don’t seem to have this problem, but every woman I know has a story. Every one! Whether it happened in high school, at work, over a guy, during a wedding, over nothing discernible at all, we all have that story. Or sometimes, stories.
Happily, I have about a dozen best friends. One of them, author Joss Dey, is also fascinated with this subject. In fact, Joss and I became super-close five or six years ago, when we were both dealing with a mutual friend who was, to put it in delicate terms, going off the rails on her crazy train. She had seemed so normal, so nice when we first met her, and then, month by month, certain things red flags began fluttering, then flapping, then slapping us in the face. But we had to help, we thought. Because we were friends. We had to talk to her and tell her to take a breath, calm down, stop doing destructive things, stop lying to us.
Suffice it to say, things didn’t go well. They never do, right? Joss, who is very wise, pointed out that while there are roughly 10 million books about romantic relationships, there don’t seem to be any about how to build a female friendship.
There’s a pink silk veil of expectation that floats over women’s friendship. We’re all steel magnolias, right? We’re Thelma and Louise! We meet, hit it off, and boom! We’re great friends. There’s no vetting system, like there is in dating. There are no steps outlined, the way there are in countless books and websites. There’s just instinct, and, unfortunately, this notion that if you like another woman, you’re going to be lifelong friends.
But people are people. Maybe we were wrong about how awesome our friend was. Maybe it took us awhile to figure that out. If a guy had treated us so craptastically, we would’ve dumped his ass in a New York minute… but with girlfriends, it’s harder. It’s almost verboten. It can feel like a betrayal, even if it’s in your best interest. And sometimes, it’s agony!
So…Joss and I have decided to do a podcast, tentatively called Shitty Friends & Circumstances.
Joss and I will get together, talk about shitty friend situations (for now, female/female, non-romantic friendships). We’ll talk about what happened, how it could’ve been prevented, and what to do now. Are we shrinks? Nope! We’re just two great friends. But we’ll have guests on from time to time (including our friend the therapist), as well as other friends, authors and bad-ass women.
Can’t wait to get started!