Saturday, August 29, 2009

Stepford Lives

It's been a long time since I've made a true friend. Jill is my constant and will always be my very best friend. Sinead has been there for 35 years and, even though we haven't seen each other in the past 8 years, she's still another constant.

I often wonder if there is something inherently wrong with me, making me unable to forge a strong bond with another woman. Sure, I've had friends throughout my adulthood, people to gab, gossip and hang with on holidays. But have I found that one person whom I totally click with? That I feel comfortable with, can tell anything to? Someone who totally gets me and all of my phobias and quirks and does not find it necessary to joke about/make fun of/trivialize them? Someone who understands that as much as I want to, I can't just pick up and go for lunch or a movie because of said phobias and quirks?

I lived in a gorgeous neighborhood in the Tampa area for 9 years and in all that time I never found a true friend. What I mostly found were people who would rather talk about one another behind each other's backs, cause marital problems, sometimes even divorce. They were always good for a laugh or a back-stab or a drinking buddy. I like to laugh, but I have a problem with being a two-faced bitch and hey, I don't drink either.

Every other day it would be something new to talk about on one of our driveways.

Don't tell so and so I told you this but...

Did you hear what so and so did the other night?...

Please promise not to say a word, but I think so and so is a horrible mother...

For 9 years, these were my "friends". I haven't heard from most of them since, nor have I felt the need to keep in touch with them. Hey, I'm no longer involved in the gossip so there's nothing to say.

When we moved here to St. Augustine I didn't have much hope of finding anything different. And guess what? I was right!

Same stuff, different location. It was like I was meeting the same exact people but with different facades. Here's the same (but different) party house, here's the same (but different) social butterfly, here's the (same but different) one who will tell you everyone's business but swear you to secrecy as she flits to the next person to swear them to secrecy.

And the same hurtful scenario I came across in Tampa was right here in St. Augustine as well!

*A bunch of us standing together in the street*

So and so says, "Oh my God, I have got to lose some weight. I am soooo fat! I have to lose at least 5 pounds. I look to my right and blink my eyes. I look to my left and blink my eyes. Are these women fucking kidding me? They're standing there, right in front of me... me who is extremely overweight, and bitching about how FAT they are? They wear a bikini and look kick-ass in it but they're FAT? If they're fat, what the fuck am I? And how do they think this conversation makes me feel? They don't! Think, that is.

I shuffle away with my head held high but my self esteem in my shoes. I don't say a word to let them know how much this hurts. I don't scream at the top of my lungs what I really feel. GO EAT ANOTHER GRAPEFRUIT AND FUCK OFF!!! No, I don't say a thing to them but I want to.

Is every friggin' neighborhood in America like this, or is it just the neighborhoods I choose to live in?

Don't get me wrong. I do not dislike everyone around me. I don't even necessarily dislike the people that have hurt my feelings, or said things about me they had no intention of my ever knowing they said.

There are actually quite a few really good women that I know here. People that either make me laugh, make me think, will lend a helping hand when needed, will take my kids into their homes for hours at a time to play.

Since some of my neighbors read my blog I won't use their names. If I like them, I'm sure they know it. At least, I hope they do.

When we moved from one house on the block to another 5 months ago, I finally got to know a couple of the neighbors down here a little better. People I knew and already liked but had the chance to get to know and like even more.

Bloggy friends? It has finally happened. I have met the one. The yin to my yang, the peanut butter to my chocolate. The woo to my hoo. Oh yes I have!

We haven't spent much time hanging at each other's houses. We haven't done lunch, or gone to a movie or any of those things. She's right across the street but our favored form of communication is FaceBook IM.

I can tell her anything and not worry that the whole neighborhood will know within minutes. She can count on me in the same way. If it's private, it's staying private, no question about it. I don't know all there is to know about her yet, just as she doesn't know everything about me. But we'll get there, I'm sure.

Her name is Ethel and she's beautiful inside and out. Ethel girl, thank you for being you!

Pssst! If you love me, you might love my sister more. Go visit her at Jill's Believe it or Not, and tell her I sent you!

36 "Sister" Lovin' Friends Said:

  • Chocolate Covered Daydreams

    I SO get you and totally agree with you on this. This is a universal thing...even in blogging....why does drama have to exist? I'd much rather not deal with it but after 404 hits in one day's time because of some drama, I was reminded of how much some people love personally, I can't stand it.

    Missie sounds like a great friend!

  • mommynoodles

    Oh my,I hear ya about these neighbor hoods!! I am so a people person,but so not where I live ever! Sounds funny,but I stay to myself for all the reasons you have listed above! That way when there is trouble,i'm not even a suspect! lol I can say that I do have one good friend that lives on my block and that really started b/c our girls go to school together! Anyhoo,that is very sweet about what you said about Missie!! Hope your friendship continues to grow!! Natalie,

    P.S. See ya at the farm!! lol

  • Tootsie

    If I lived next could trust me too!!! just move here already...we could hang...and I'd plant your garden...and you could watch! Oh...bring Jill...she is another true friend!

    You have been there for me through thick and thin ...I have fought with you and we have had a lot of fun...I am glad I met you are like my sisters!
    now...go to my blog. I finally sort of answered a question you asked a LONG time ago!

  • Tootsie

    OH...and I am super glad you found her...she's adorable!

  • Yaya

    I don't have many friends. I know, *shocker* right? But a few years ago I weeded out all my "friends" into just leaving me a core group of FRIENDS. Who needs the ones that are superficial, not real and unsupportive in our most needed times of help? Not me. Nope. I'd rather have 2 amazing friends than 20 "friends".

  • Amy

    I would have to say your situation is not unique. Your right, people do not think before they speak. Oh and Thank goodness my hubby loves my "curves, or I'd be kicking the skinny beeotch 3 houses up's butt for running her tight body past my house 7 times a week.. HA!

  • Missie

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Stephanie

    I was going to write about this very thing sometime. I know exactly how you feel! So glad you found someone who can be a real friend, even if it had to take this long!

  • Four in Costa Rica

    Justine, I can totally relate to the "oh, I'm so fat" thing and it really is unbelievably rude. Geez!

    I'm thrilled for you that's you've found such a terrific friend nearby. Our lives are so enriched when we have close relationships with other women, I think.

    And hey, don't forget your loopies! I know we don't live close to you and we don't always agree on stuff (Ha!) but we're all still here and we love you too. :)

    (By the way, I call Lauren "Missy girl" sometimes--the only one who ever does--and had to laugh when I saw your nickname for your sweet friend!)


  • bj

    I've been blessed in my ole LOOOONG life to have some TRUE friends. It is a blessing I NEVER forget to thank HIM for.

    So glad you and Missie have formed such a sweet friendship. You are, indeed, a worthy friend and I know Missie is just as proud of YOU as you are her. In so many of your posts, your personality comes thru..your feelings, too.
    I know when your children (and grandchildren) read your blog, years from now, they are going to love getting to know the real you.
    This is one of the perks of having a blog.....
    Have a good Sunday.

  • Tami

    Sad to say it happens in every neighborhood! I never hang out with people, nor allow my neighbors in my home, I learned my lesson on that one. They called me ANAL ANNIE. For years. It hurt.. but figured (They talk about me they are leaving someone else alone) YOU ROCK Justine, and I truly wish I was your neighbor. I'd be hangin out! with OR WITHOUT an invite! heh heh.

    and the "i wanna lose 5 pounds" I'll hold'um down while you PINCH their skin off. should have told them perhaps you need to POOP?
    I DISLIKE women like that.
    As I struggle to l,ose my 70 pounds. I see Ms. 5 pounder at Weight Watchers. LOL I LOST FIVE POUNDS.
    get out my face! LOL


  • Ginger

    I can relate to what you are saying. I'm happy that you found a true friend. I am lucky to have a couple of true friends too.
    I think blogging has opened up a whole new world for me, and I love yakking with everyone.

  • squawmama

    I know just what you’re talking about and I do have that one true friend too... And you know who she is! But if we were there we'd all be buddies... Love Ya and so happy that you have connected to your wonderful new BEST friend!


  • Jill

    Yeah, some people just don't think.

    I think all neighborhoods have these sure are not alone.

    Good that you found a friend in the neighborhood.

    Be good!

  • Diane @ Four Paws and Co

    I wish I could give you a great big hug! I hope you realize those ladies complaining about losing 5 lbs have low self esteem & they're trying to inflate their egos. Just be happy with yourself. (Oh & I can relate because I used to be one of those complainers - bet everyone hated me - & I could never lose enough weight to be happy.)

    I've lived in my neighborhood for 31 years & go shopping sometimes with my neighbor across the street. That's pretty much it. I don't know most of the neighbors & it's sad, I have no desire to. I don't want hear about what the others are doing, unless it's home improvement that may spark some ideas for us. I don't have many close friends because I've weeded out the users & the me-me-me people. Really - how many times do I need to listen to how great someone is & they don't give a rats a** about how or what I've done.

    I thoroughly enjoy my blog & Farm Town friends. What a wonderful group of ladies and I am so delighted to have Bridget as a lunch & shopping buddy! ☺ Now it could get even better if more of you would move to the Bay Area! ☺♥☺ Diane

  • Cole

    Tiney, I'm so glad that Missie is in your life! I make friends easily...but finding a true friend is something that is few and far between.

    You deserve happiness and I'm glad that someone who deserves your friendship has come along. :-)

  • Kristen

    Tell me about it. I am so looking for a local friend that fits perfectly. I am glad you found yours.

  • Calming Scents

    I think for some its they need the constant pats on the back..and for others they truly think they do look bad. I would have to admit perhaps a small few might do it to intentionally hurt someone who is closeby that has a weight issue..but it makes me sad to think someone would be that cruel. The other day i saw a couple of guys in a truck and they had a bumper sticker that said--No Fat Chicks..I cringed.

    I'm heavy to..and yes i need to lose weight-and i continue to try..but so far I"m not doing well. I take care of myself and am proud of myself as a woman. For those who would be rude to me-I would my mind--they look horrid when they do it--so nothing need be said.

  • blueviolet

    This makes me so happy! I love that you've found the one.

    And yes, it's like that everywhere, for the most part. And if you don't engage in it, they don't really want to include you because you're no fun.

    Being nice is underrated.

  • santamaker

    Oh Justine, isn't that just wonderful?!? Every time I've moved, I always hope for a neighbor that turns out to be a BFF. Soo happy for you, it just makes our lives so much better to have a buddy to share with. Well, make a date with her and go out to lunch, why don't cha?!?
    As far as the other chicks in your neighborhood, you are sooo right. I've got them in mine too.

  • Ronda's Rants

    Oh...I just love you...There are many of us that feel insecure and I guess all of us look at those who we feel look "better" than us and trivialize their feelings. But, we all have feelings of insecurity...not the same but maybe similar. I am praying that I didn't seem to trivialize your feelings...I don't feel that way...I understand more than you may know!
    I also don't see you the way you see you...
    I see you as beautiful inside and out...even with swollen feet! :)

  • Tam

    I was reading this and felt that I could have wrote this! I live in Stepfordville right now. MY neighbors are all stepford wives with stepford children! Gossip is the middle name of all the Ladies on my street! Great post and glad you found your Ying to your Yang...still looking for MINE! I once again have HOPE!

  • Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria

    GM Justine...girl this shocked me...With your humor and warmth I just figured you of all people would have a ton of friends..I don't have any...but I out lived them all...Thanks for coming by and Yes I loved Diane or for that matter anyone who takes and tries to make the world a better place...May you have a great week my friend...Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

  • Nikki via The Scarlett Rose Garden

    Wonderful post Tiney. I'm so glad you found Missie and that she is just a hop, skip, and a jump away! What are the odds of that?!

    I have no close freinds either. There are a few nice friends that I can trust but still don't gush everything too nor totally click with; so like you I'm glad I have my sister. My mom was on that list till recently and things are pretty rocky right now~ and I hate it.

    Mindless, skinny twits those "5 lb" girls! I love to be able to put people like that in their place when they talk to me about other people being fat. When I tell them I used to be big they are shocked and I'm like yeah, watch what you say!!

    In the end I'm just glad that YOU are friends with YOURSELF, phobias quirks and all!
    Love ya girl!

  • Jessica

    I know exactly what you mean!! True NON superficial friends are lifes dearest treasures!!

  • Mrs. B. Silly

    I'm so happy that you have found Missy. She's beautiful!!!
    I think the problems you had were just a Florida thing. I never really connected with any of my neighbors when I lived there.
    ROFLMAO about the grapefruit. BTW, don't tell me that, I hate grapefruit!

  • Mariah

    I have two good friends that I can say anything to. Two, that's it! I have tons of fake friends though

  • Stacy (the Random Cool Chick)

    You ROCK, Justine! I can absolutely relate to everything you've written in this post...except, of course having found 'the one'. :) I have 2 awesome friends that have been with me through thick and thin, but they don't live nearby, let alone in my state. Glad you found your Yin to your Yang! :)

  • Elizabeth

    I don't know about neighborhoods and bitchy women, but I do know how difficult it is to have a true friend and to MAKE a true friend as an adult. I probably have only 1 friend to whom I can say anything. The others are all nice people, not bitchy or talk-about-others, but with each of them there is some part of myself that I hold back, even with my sister.

  • Grand Pooba

    First of all, I think you should tell the skinny bitches to fuck off.

    Somebody should.

    And when I see you I see beautiful, not fat!

    Yes, every neighborhood is like yours with the gossipers and the back stabbers. Well at least in my experience. I too have had 2 constant friends in my life and others that come and go I think it's just harder to make friends when you're out of school or work because you never see these people.

    Of course I'm the black sheep of my neighborhood so nobody even talks to me anymore but hey, I wouldn't want to hang with them and have family home evening anyway because I'm pretty sure wine isn't aloud.

  • mrsben

    Justine I am so glad that you found Missie...BUT, BUT, BUT I hope you realize not all 'skinnies' are bitches. Also sometimes grapefruit has nothing to do with it and it's a curse of genetics. Hah!
    Many hugs -Brenda-

  • cindy

    Wow! I'm glad to see I am not the only one who feels this way...looks like alot of your readers do too. I have lived here in the woods among the drug dealers and users and thieves and losers for 9 years now....My store has been broken into 3 property outside destroyed...I have endured countless rumors...and yet I plug on...and not a true friend in site.....(maybe thats why I blog)...Most of my good friends I have had since childhood..but they are far from here, miss them terribly. So glad you and Missie found each other!

  • Rachelle

    I think no matter where you go there are neighborhoods and neighbors like the ones you describe in your post. Like you, I just don't get the things that come out of some peoples mouths. They can be so insensitive! I'm glad you found a good friend you can count on.

  • xinex

    I am so happy you found a true friend, Justine!..Christine

  • MJ's doghouse

    WELL THERE YOU GO....someone finally said it...its the same everywhere...canada too...imagine such a beautiful country and we have some of the best...i pretty much keep to myself...i alwasy have a ton of people to talk to at work....they wanna hang after work and i never go...ever...i hear all the bitching and complaining all day....i go home and hang with the what is worse for me is hubby is he isnt always around to be buddies with....thank god for my 30year old daughter....oh and about the skinny bitches....well i am a pound or 100 over when the twinkies say stuff like..."i am so fat..." i just agree with them...tell them to lose some weight....they look shocked....but usually decide thate perhaps pammy sunshine is not the one to complain too...and they are probably right....and what a great tribute to your friend missie...she is truly special....

  • Lavender Chick

    You just reminded me of the reason I moved to a farm 7 years ago.... My only neighbors are my own cows that like to stare at me through my dining room windows. That' fine with me.