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This is going to sound pathetic; it is about a friend giving me mixed message

(25 Posts)
onepieceoflollipop Fri 24-Oct-08 09:52:02

Sorry in advance if this sounds pathetic, but I am quite upset. sad

I have/had a friend. Our 5 year old dds were quite close, as were we and we even had a couple of weekend breaks together, the last being 2 years ago. The dds are in different classes at school now (same school)

For maybe 1-2 years we were very close, saw each other several times a week, spoke daily etc etc. There have been a couple of minor differences of opinion. E.g. we attend the same church and they allow their dd to behave very differently to ours. (in that we prefer our daughter to sit down etc) Also she has drifted away a lot from me (which I accept, these things happen, although I was upset.) She has new friends (fair enough) but has excluded me to a large extent and not always in a kind way.

Her dd has always been quite overbearing and we parent very differently. For example hitting/shoving my dd and then this is ignored by her mother, or (worse) my dd is told off by her for telling tales.

I sent her a nice e-mail and in it mentioned Christmas and how we were cutting back, and suggested just exchanging token family presents but the reply I got was a bit manipulative imo. Basically saying that her dd sees my dd as "more than a friend" and will continue to buy a present for my dd, it is "up to me" what I do. She also said when she was growing up she bought all her best friends presents That imo was quite insensitive as she knows I had quite a deprived upbringing, no niceties like presents for friends etc.

Just want reassurance really, feeling very [sad[

RubyShivers Fri 24-Oct-08 09:54:22

oooh - very passive aggressive

why do you want to continue the friendship? She doesn't sound very pleasant

sorry you feel upset but i think this may be a friendship which has run its course

Twiglett Fri 24-Oct-08 09:56:32

I'd reply that you think it is rather insensitive for her not to accept your need to cut back and whilst you appreciate her thoughts on the matter you feel a token present between 5 year olds is totally appropriate as it is the thought and not the monetary value that counts.

onepieceoflollipop Fri 24-Oct-08 09:57:35

Ruby that is just it. It has run its course imo, but then she sees me at the school gate/gets in touch or whatever invites dd for tea, then I have to reciprocate.

Her e-mail left me in tears tbh, I felt she had really criticised me. Also for all she knows we might not have the money to exchange presents. We also both have younger dcs so of course I have felt that if the older ones exchange presents, so should the younger ones.

Yes, your passive aggressive comment is spot on.

I feel about 14 at the moment, not a woman in her 30s. She has a "new close friend" which doesn't bother me as such. But she kind of flaunts it. At every opportunity there is mention of how new friend goes round there every week, has lunch at the weekends etc etc.

filz Fri 24-Oct-08 09:58:54

why donmt you just reply that its fine if her dd buys for your dd but you will not be able to return thwe favour and you hope thats understood.

I dont see any harm in it tbh

RubyShivers Fri 24-Oct-08 09:59:02


Next time she asks your DD for tea say that she is busy and soon there will be no need to reciprocate

horrid to feel so teary isn't it?

compo Fri 24-Oct-08 09:59:22

I'd leave it now tbh otherwise you'll make it worse.
Let her buy your dd a present if she wants but stick to your original plan.

onepieceoflollipop Fri 24-Oct-08 10:00:29

Twig I didn't mention in my op (was trying to keep it short rather than witholding info wink) that perhaps the girls could exchange token/family presents. I gave an example to her that my dd would like to make some biscuits. Imo that would look awful, if she gave me 2 toys/plastic items or whatever (she normally spends about £10) and I hand over a tub over home made crumbly biscuits.

The Christmas issue is the last straw really. I kind of hoped she would see it as another sign of the friendship ending. I feel she is using me to some extent. Her dd doesn't have many friends as far as I can see (they don't like being pinched and hit etc) so she is keen that the dds remain friends but not us.

onepieceoflollipop Fri 24-Oct-08 10:02:21

I sent her a little e-mail (before coming on here and crying) to say something like oh well, it was just a thought, hope I haven't offended you ^of course^ the girls can continue to exchange, and obviously we can't exclude the little ones.

mazzystartled Fri 24-Oct-08 10:08:23

ah well, maybe it will have sorted itself by next year

i think i would have been very blunt and just said, sorry, we can't afford it, don't want your dd to be disappointed.

think stuff like this always better said in person than over endlessly misconstruable email.

Twiglett Fri 24-Oct-08 10:19:20


do not be guilted into spending money you don't want to on someone your DD doesn't care for that much

do the biscuit thing .. they're 5 ..they'll love them

in fact wrap biscuits and giver her some writing icing .. it's a home-made gift that becomes a toy you can eat

everlong Fri 24-Oct-08 10:19:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

onepieceoflollipop Fri 24-Oct-08 10:21:49

Thank you for all of the kind replies. Trouble is she only seems to drift so far...I feel a bit used tbh. (although I do have ishoos about friends and getting close to people) I truly think she has been quite unkind.

Twig fab idea re the writing icing gift.

harpomarx Fri 24-Oct-08 10:24:58

I would just reply and say 'that's fine!'. No more. I wouldn't get drawn into commenting on the situation.

and if the dds like each other then I think you should carry on facilitating the relationship, you don't have to carry on seeing the mum presumably? If your dd is not so keen on her dd any more then that is a different matter.

I know it's hard but I really wouldn't let it get to me. Make new friendships and keep the relationship on a friendly but less intimate level.

ginnny Fri 24-Oct-08 10:27:03

Does your dd really want to be friends with her dd? She doesn't sound very nice anyway.
If not, then I'd let the friendship slide.

lou031205 Fri 24-Oct-08 10:34:13

On a different angle, could it be that you have mismatched ideas of the friendship, so she feels that you can be 'truly honest' with each other, so doesn't realise that she is offending you? Could she be trying to make you jealous re: her new friend to make you pay her more attention?

I think the fact that you feel the friendship has met its end yet her email makes you feel bad might indicate that you aren't as keen for it to end as you might think. Perhaps you are protecting yourself because you sense that she isn't as close now as you thought.

Ignore all this if it doesn't apply, but I think sometimes there is more going on than we realise.

onepieceoflollipop Fri 24-Oct-08 10:35:55

The mum blows very hot and cold iykwim. Somtimes I will pick dd up and go in for coffee, have lovely chat etc. Other times I barely get an acknowledgment. Part of the problem is that her way is "always right".

Thinking about this more, if any friend asked me could they cut down at Christmas (or birthday or whatever) I would immediately assume it was to do with finances. Rather than embarrass a friend further I would immediately respond fine, good idea, I agree etc. Not say "oh well you do what you want but my dd still wants to get your dd something" It's quite insensitive really.

Can she not see it would be embarrassing/humiliating for me and my dd if we didn't bother with a present and then they turn up with one regardless?

onepieceoflollipop Fri 24-Oct-08 10:38:56

lou yes I am protecting myself. I don't want an on/off friendship. I don't mind us being more "casual" friends iykwim. But I don't want my nose rubbed in it that she now has a "better" friend but I am good enough sometimes it seems.

I was hurt when she (fairly suddenly) started moving away from the friendship. It went from daily contact one week to almost nothing the next. The bottom line is that she/her dh don't always agree with our parenting (he is quite overbearing and always right) and rather than agree to disagree they get "funny" or refuse to accept that we sometimes do stuff differently.

warthog Fri 24-Oct-08 11:10:57

she sounds awful actually.

i'm shock that she ignored your plea to tone things down. totally insensitive.

i would definitely, as a matter of principle, make biscuits for christmas and under no circumstances buy a present. accept hers with dignity, but by no means apologize for yours.

onepieceoflollipop Fri 24-Oct-08 11:14:31

Unfortunately (and this bit is not her fault) I think all this has triggered some of my childhood insecurities. We were from a very deprived background and unfortunately money went on food etc there was never any question of presents for friends. (v cheap cards if we were lucky)

So a big part of me kind of wants to "prove" I am better than that. I feel rebuffed and embarrassed on behalf of my dd. I know this is unreasonable but I want to go and get 2 big presents and extra nice wrapping paper etc just to prove that I am good enough.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Fri 24-Oct-08 11:46:08

i don't understand why you would do that - go to the pound shop and get something arty. that will do. the kids are 5 - if her dd will care that your present is cheap, at the age of 5, she's only going to get worse...if it's only the mum who will care - leave it. you don't have to prove asnything to some woman you don't like.

dollius Fri 24-Oct-08 13:45:44

You mustn't let her manipulate you like that. You have stated your position, very reasonably, that you are cutting back and not doing big presents. Lots of people do that - we are doing it too.

If she gets your dd something pricey, it doesn't matter, you just go ahead with the biscuits and send a nice thank you. Then start making excuses for why you cannot go to tea etc, and avoid her at the school gate.

Do not let her railroad you into buying expensive gifts for her children - she is trying to assert herself over you and no-one needs friends like that.

Poor you. It really sounds quite bullying. Try to remember that people who feel the need to intimidate like that are probably fairly insecure and unhappy themselves.

bubblepop Fri 24-Oct-08 14:29:41

you don't sound just have feelings thats all. i was about to post a similar thread myself about friendships. i love having friends and people around me who are fun to be with etc..but life is too short for complicated friendships when your treading on egg shells and always wondering if they would rather be in someone else's company. time to move on and widen your social circle....

ps. if she was a true friend she would understand completely your request over christmas pressys..not make you feel bad over it.

ilovemyghds Fri 24-Oct-08 14:40:22

Home made biscuits sounds like a lovley present. She sounds quite unpleasant, I thnk you should stick to your guns, don't let her make you feel bad.

ShoppingBags Fri 24-Oct-08 18:24:50

You need to get a new BF too, one that's nicer than her.

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