Thursday, March 7, 2013

Do You Have One of These Friends?

I have a friend, well maybe she's more of an acquaintance, who is proving to be a bit of a nuisance in the circle of mom friends I've attained from the eldest boy's school. Maybe you can relate . . .
Her son gets invited to all of the birthday parties, and she responds with a resounding "yes" to all of them. Come party day, her son never shows up. She has similar excuses for each missed party - unexpected family drop-ins or extended stays from sleepovers the night before. When you hear the excuse once, maybe twice, you might believe it. But after the third and fourth party, you pick up on the pattern pretty quickly.
Not only does she prevent her son from attending birthday parties, when she drops off the birthday present at a later date, it's a regift. I kid you not. She is an infamous regifter. I have no problem with regifting but you can't do that in the same circle of friends. I, hand to God, have a friend (Jules) whose son got the same gift from her that Jules gave to her son for his birthday. Another friend says the gift her child got was already opened and retaped shut.
Not only is this acquaintance a party problem, she frequently needs to ask for help with respect to her kids. She has quite a few personal obligations. She and her husband have numerous jobs. She owns vending machines and needs to fill them constantly. She is a personal assistant to a few people. She sells low-cost energy. She works out and partcipates in marathons/races at ungodly hours in the morning. She attends meetings out-of-state quite frequently. She's got a lot going on. She also has 3 young children under the age of 7. They typically take the backseat to her numerous other obligations. So she asks friends to pick up her kids from school when she can't get there on time. Or she is unaware of school functions/requirements and her friends step in to help.
It's all rather frustrating, especially when she calls upon the same people over and over to help. She actually called me in tears the other day asking if I could take her to the hospital because she pulled a muscle in her leg at the gym that morning. I packed up my 3 year old, threw out my lunch and rushed to her house. By the time I got there, she told me one of her other friends got back to her and was coming to pick her up. She didn't need me anymore. Rude!
I'm not sure how to handle one of these "friends" when they ask for help with this or that. I almost don't want to get involved, especially after offering my assistance only to be turned away. It's not the fault of her children, but I don't think I want my kids involved with hers outside of the classroom. I don't want my children to be let down because her son can't show up to a playdate or other arranged function at the last minute. I think it's best to keep my distance and let her figure out what's really important on her own.

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