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...about a 'delicate' friend?

(429 Posts)
Nettletheelf Tue 30-May-17 10:53:38

I'm part of a group of six who have been friends for more than twenty years. We're all women in our forties.

We live in different parts of the country and go on holiday together twice a year: city breaks, spa breaks, that sort of thing.

One of our number (who I'm less friendly with than the others, but whom I still like) regards herself as 'delicate'. She has never been diagnosed with any health problems, but her delicacy manifests itself as follows:

- nights out have to be curtailed early because she 'gets tired easily' and can't go back to the hotel or airBnB on her own.

- many restaurant and cafe options are rejected because she has a delicate digestion and the menu doesn't suit it.

- when we find a restaurant or cafe that fits the specification, she has to choose the best chair because of her delicate joints.

- when we order wine in a restaurant, she won't have the same as everybody else because whatever everybody else likes somehow upsets her delicate stomach.

- says that she never sleeps in hotels or unfamiliar bedrooms, so everybody has to walk slowly in the morning because she is exhausted.

We've just returned from a trip, so I'm more irritated than I'd normally be. What I don't get is how she manages to take so many people in. Am I the unreasonable one? There's nothing medically wrong with the woman.

After a long-ish day out on our most recent trip, we decided to sit on the balcony and have a glass of wine. Delicate friend decided that she was going straight to bed because she was tired through not sleeping in unfamiliar beds, etc. After she said goodnight, one of the other members of the group said, "X has done well today hasn't she?"

Me: "Done well how?"

Friend: "well, it's been a long day and it's late for her" (it was 10.30 pm)

Me: "She's a grown up. She can cope with being up until 10.30".

Friend: "but she's a delicate little flower, isn't she?"

Me (laughing): "she's no more delicate than you or I!"

I resent being part of what feels like a ridiculous pantomime in which we're all expected to dance attendance on the dainty, delicate one. I think that cultivating 'delicacy' is a very good way of getting other people to dance to your tune.

Am I right or am I just intolerant?

Luckily I only see this particular friend twice a year. I see the others far more regularly.

KeepCalm74 Tue 30-May-17 10:58:43

How do you know fir certain that she hasn't been diagnosed with anything and hasn't chosen to share it with you? I'm thinking that the side effect of some mental illness medications can cause these symptoms and she may wish to keep that to herself and pass it off with the euphemism "delicate". Just a thought

Radishal Tue 30-May-17 11:04:20

Are you her health professional?
If not, mind your own business and get a new circle of friends.

olympicsrock Tue 30-May-17 11:05:06

She sounds too delicate to go on group holidays imo ...

LapinR0se Tue 30-May-17 11:05:36

You sound really mean.

magoria Tue 30-May-17 11:06:47

Do you really think on a trip away someone would up and go to bed at 10:30 if they were having a great time just to make people think they were delicate rather than something actually being wrong with them?

Justmadeperfectflapjacks Tue 30-May-17 11:06:50

Attention seeker springs to mind.
Not that I am a professional. .

YoureNotASausage Tue 30-May-17 11:06:54

I can understand how annoying it is but she clearly has something wrong with her so I'd accept it on the basis of that and try not to focus too much on the detail or the why's.

JumpingJellybeanz Tue 30-May-17 11:07:00

YABU

Some people are more robust than others.

TheClaws Tue 30-May-17 11:07:29

Luckily I only see this particular friend twice a year.

There's your answer. You don't know enough about her daily life to stand judgement over her "delicate" habits. Everyone is different.

SinglePringle Tue 30-May-17 11:09:18

Bloody hell OP, you're more tolerant than me! I'd have asked the questions loooooong ago.

booloobalooloo Tue 30-May-17 11:11:22

This message is what I worry my in laws think about me. They are all very active (pushy) people. I however have asthma, pain from a broken foot that didn't heal right and anaemia. I also have a couple of allergies/food intolerance which can make eating out tricky. I try not too make a fuss but sometimes do have to say slow down I can't breathe, or no I can't eat there. Believe me, it feels horrible to be that person. Have some compassion. There's no reason she'd lie avd you have no idea really how she is feeling!

MikeUniformMike Tue 30-May-17 11:11:40

YANBU. She sounds a bit of a PITA.

MeowWoof Tue 30-May-17 11:11:58

I couldn't be bothered with that. One of two of the things would be fine, but she's too needy

TheStoic Tue 30-May-17 11:12:42

If she has no physical issues, then she possibly has psychological ones to act like this.

Could you have patience and compassion on that basis?

Nettletheelf Tue 30-May-17 11:13:06

Trust me, WE WOULD KNOW if she had ever been diagnosed with a health problem.

She dances three nights a week - yes, until late - and goes on dance weekenders, ditto. When she has had a medical procedure, we hear about it in remorseless detail. She had a foot problem ten years ago, and we had every detail. She's clearly got over that, as evidenced by the dancing!

LauraMoon Tue 30-May-17 11:13:07

I'm with you OP. This would drive me crackers.

Delicate or not, she's getting everyone to dance to her tune. That's manipulative and irritating.

ChicRock Tue 30-May-17 11:13:14

Yeah she sounds like a PITA but I'd laugh it off if I only had to put up with it twice a year.

BarbaraofSeville Tue 30-May-17 11:15:32

Are you sure your friend wasn't being sarcastic? Delicate little flower is not usually used kindly.

DLF sounds like an ex work colleague of mine. She managed to get out a of a significant work project that no-one wanted to do but everyone had to muck in with because she said it was too physically demanding and it would cause to go off sick for months at a time if she had to do it.

It was harder than office work but not unreasonably so, but the worst thing was that during the year we did that work she had two holidays one of which was to climb Kilamanjaro and the other was trekking to Macchu Pichu hmm. The cheek of it was breath taking.

YANBU, even if DLF is actually ill, the amount of 'reasonable adjustment' she expects seems to go far above and beyond the reasonable. It just sounds like she wants her own way with food, activities etc and for everyone to fuss around her. If she was genuinely ill, she would probably just get a taxi back or whatever, rather than expect the entire group to curtail the night so early.

Anothernewnn Tue 30-May-17 11:15:39

Sounds like you don't like her

MyFavouritePlace Tue 30-May-17 11:15:39

Think you've been away with my sister! Maybe it's being a bit harsh but she sounds like a PITA.

MoiraRosesMeltdown Tue 30-May-17 11:16:50

Maybe your friend is depressed, OP. I have had bouts of depression when little things seem massive. eg a late night made me feel extremely tired, period pain and headaches seemed unbearable etc. Maybe you should ask if she is okay.

Lisa9819 Tue 30-May-17 11:17:11

I wouldn't be upset with her going to bed early or wanting to go back.. only that she makes everyone go with her. If she has a substantial health problem she is not sharing, then thats fine, but you'd think she'd choose to either not go on the trip with you all and stay home or try and invite you guys to her home so that you guys could have a good time and stay out as you wanted. Especially since you're probably paying good money for a trip you don't do very often.

lanouvelleheloise Tue 30-May-17 11:17:32

Oh God, my mother is like this. It's a way of getting attention and care, because she's not able to state her wishes in a more straightforward adult way. It's also extremely controlling behaviour.

I had an battle of an illness a while back and my energy levels were significantly reduced. I worked really hard to ensure that it had a minimal impact on those around me - I wouldn't have dreamed of insisting that everyone returned at the same time as me to the hotel, or of dictating the food everyone ate. That's really selfish!

PyongyangKipperbang Tue 30-May-17 11:17:42

For delicate read self obsessed.

Couldnt be arsed with that at all.

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