Hey, chimeras, Mapie here.
I know it’s been a long time. I’m sorry for that. We’ve had a lot of changes going on around here, including some changes of who’s involved, but you can expect to see a couple new faces (sort of, I guess you don’t really see us at all, do you?) around here as we move towards summer.
Today, I want to talk to you about something that’s been on my mind for a few months now. It’s half me giving you advice, half me venting something I’ve needed to say for a while.
There’s this mentality, I think, that some people— girls especially— get into, usually in high school, where there’s a really big focus on drama, and who’s cool and who isn’t, and being on top in social situations. There’s a lot of backbiting and gossip, a lot of hoarding little bits of information as weapons, and thinking that somehow, someone else’s unhappiness can make you happier.
I have spent the last six months living with someone who used to be my best friend. When we were friends, she was sweet and supportive, but she was also a total mess in her own life. Our relationship was a combination of me worrying about things while she reassured me and her making comically terrible life decisions and then me reassuring her and helping her get them under control. That was fine, because we were friends, and friends do shit for each other.
But then we had a fight. That’s also fine, because people fight. And sometimes they fight so badly that they can’t be friends anymore. And that’s okay. That’s normal, and it will happen more than once in most people’s lives. She did things I’m fundamentally not okay with, and I said things she wasn’t okay with, and as adults, we’re allowed to decide we don’t want to associate with each other anymore. We still have to live together until the end of the year, but that’s a thing that can be worked around. The adult thing is to be civil, if not friendly, and try to invade each other’s space and comfort zones as little as possible, because that’s mature and sensible and means no one gets hurt any more than they already have been. I’ve tried to adhere to that, and hoped that she would, too— I used to be kind of a massive bitch in high school, mostly in self defense, and I know how that can turn into an ugly cycle of bullshit, and I didn’t want that.
Instead of that whole mature-leaving-each-other-alone thing, she has spent the past several months passive aggressively bullying me. She’s refused to speak to me out loud. She’s left snarky, passive aggressive notes on the whiteboard and made snarky, passive aggressive comments about me where I would have to overhear them. She’s brought her friends over and bitched about my general living habits right outside my door, without ever having approached me about the things she’s complaining about. She’s made me feel out of place and uncomfortable in my own home, my own living space, and generally acted like I’m a freak and a loser and she’s this cool popular kid.
Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I was pretty eager to leave that shit behind in high school. This is college. Getting wasted and going to parties and having a group of dudes following you around doesn’t mean shit anymore. Hell, it didn’t mean anything in high school, really— I did it, and I was still a geek and a freak and that was just how it was. Either way, there are no cool kids or losers here. We go to the second biggest school in the state. Every single social group has their own standards. We’re not friends anymore, not even one portion of our social group overlaps anymore. It’s college. It’s a HUGE COLLEGE. No one has to hang out with anyone that they don’t actively think is cool. There is literally no reason for us to ever have to interact again outside of the next month, and even then, the only actual necessary interaction is stuff like “do you need to pee before I use the shower?” and “I need the oven for the next six hours, so if you want taquitos, make them now.” There is no reason to be a petty dick to anyone. But she’s made my own home so unwelcoming that I hesitate to leave my bedroom to go to the bathroom because it means I might have to see her. She’s catty and underhanded and I worry constantly that she’s going to try to frame me for something or spread lies about me or anything, really. I’m not a bitch anymore; that was a big, difficult change for me, and it was worth it, but it also means I live vulnerable, and frankly, she has a bunch of sketch as fuck friends and I don’t feel *safe*. I bolt my bedroom door when I leave to take a shower.
Like, seriously. I’ve avoided doing anything douchey back because I don’t want to have to worry about Mean Girls style pranks and drama— suffering them OR having to come up with my own. I want to go to class, I want to hang out with my friends, I want to bake delicious cakes and scroll through Tumblr and watch Sherlock too many times and have my boyfriend over for movie nights. I have a full life. I don’t need drama. Yeah, I think she’s a totally irresponsible, flaky, vapid bag of dicks, and I’m done putting up with her shit on a personal basis, but I also don’t think that making her more angry and uncomfortable is going to make my life better. I just don’t want her in my life. Since she has to be until May, I just want it to be as painless as possible for everyone for as long as it’s going on.
Yeah, okay, but where am I going with this?
She doesn’t really have hobbies. Mostly she stalks people on Facebook and judges them cattily and is bizarrely aware of the details of the lives of everyone she hates. She also sleeps with underage dudes or dates questionable guys (not that safe, well-thought-out sex is a problem in general), gets drunk a lot, goes to parties, and takes drugs with strangers in unfamiliar places when no one she knows is around. There are a couple ways to take that, and believe me, I’ve been on both sides of the thought coin on that one— “She’s had a lot of shit in her life and she’s doing things that make her feel in control/validated/alive,” and “Jesus Christ, she’s a giant moron.” Both are pretty much true, as far as I can tell, but she’s not my friend anymore, and it’s not my business what the hell she does with her time. She can be hyper-aware of her ex’s class schedule. She can break up her other ex and his girlfriend/her old best friend because she’s too petty and jealous to handle it. Whatever. When I was her friend I overlooked it, and now that I’m not, I mostly don’t give a fuck.People have a right to be as petty as they want. Hell, I’ve been plenty petty in my time, and if it makes her feel validated, I don’t need to take that away from her.
But now it’s encroaching on my life. The guy I’m dating now? I dated him a few years ago, and she dated his best friend. She hates him. Like, she didn’t like him when we were dating before, and she didn’t like him after. But a couple of days ago, she sent him a friend request on FB. She doesn’t like him; it’s not a weird, misguided attempt at friendship. There’s literally no motivation I can come up with that isn’t tediously petty and catty and kind of evil.
He told me about it immediately, of course, and there’s nothing I’m keeping from him, so there’s nothing actually true that she can tell him that he doesn’t know already, but it’s still a dick thing to do. I’ve been really sad without him, and I’ve spent months rebuilding drama-free, angst-free trust and goodness between us, and for the first time in years, I’m genuinely happy and content. I mean, I still have stress from family and school and everything, but I got my Prince Charming and I’ve got good friends and I’m passing all my classes, and I’m happy. And she’s poking at the edges of that. For no reason. We haven’t exchanged verbal words in six months. It’s over, it’s done, and I’ve been being good and leaving her alone because there’s no point to being a bitch. If she had something to say, something she wanted to get out, she’s had months to say it. We only have one month left to go. Why is she doing it?
Like, that’s what all this comes down to. I’m kind of pissed that she’s trying to dig her claws into my life to try to control it or interfere in it in some way, yeah, and at first I was really concerned about a Moriarty-style, Reichenbach Falls type thing from her, but I trust him and I love him and if we can be as terrible as we were to each other and come back to each other, I can trust him not to believe her if she makes up convincing-sounding shit about me.
And what that leaves me with is, my god, her life must be really pathetically empty if she needs to mess with mine to feel valid and relevant. If she’s the “cool girl”, with her boyfriend of several months and all her friends, all her parties and drinking and sex or whatever, why on earth does she feel the need— how does she have the time— to mess with my life? If someone is happy and loves themselves, they don’t need to try to make other people unhappy. They go about their lives and live in the moment and do what they can to fulfill themselves. It’s not about taking anything away from anyone. That’s not how being happy, or being a good person, works.
What am I going to do about it? Probably nothing. If she doesn’t do anything else, I’m mostly happy to ignore her and finish out my semester. I have really hard classes and very little free time and a new boyfriend and great friends and I want to fucking live my life like a human being. I did the drama thing. I’ve had enough. I mean, yes, there are fundamental social rules— don’t mess with mutual friends, boyfriends, parents, or the law— and if she breaks them and keeps on with it and actively tries to make my life harder than it already is, you can absolutely believe that my friends in law enforcement will be made aware of her extracurriculars, and my super-terrifying mother will be brought in (I might not be willing to be a vicious bitch anymore, but my mother is from Jersey, okay, you do not fuck with her or her kids), and I will finish whatever she thinks she’s starting. But I don’t want that. I want to enjoy my fucking college experience.
So let’s sum up, here.
There are no cool kids or losers. Even in high school. There are people who like different shit and dress differently and look differently. Don’t be a dick about it. You are not inherently better than anyone else because of what you do with your time or who your friends are.
Starting a bitchfight cycle with someone will not end well for either of you. You might win, but you will be a casualty, too. Ending a bitchfight is sometimes necessary, but do it with grace and totally above board. Dirty fighting will only make things worse when higher powers eventually step in, and both of you having dirty hands doesn’t make yours look any cleaner.
Good always wins. Don’t be a bag of dicks.