Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The two worst words to start a conversation

For me it's, "brace yourself." That always gets me. Brace myself? For what?

While I was still at work tonight, my friend sent me an IM with those words and immediately I froze. This is the same friend I recently wrote about for making a poor decision by getting back together with her ex-fiance.

Before she asked me those two words, I was tempted to ask her about this guy and how they ended up together again, but "brace yourself" was much more compelling. I was expecting any of the following: pregnancy, marriage, engagement or break-up. While I was hoping for the last one, it turned out that number one was right - pregnancy.

After yelling (out loud) "oh my god!" she proceeded to tell me that she was not only pregnant but recently suffered a miscarriage. Fortunately, she is fine (thank goodness) and she will be able to have kids still but it definitely gave her a scare. When I asked if this changed anything, like did it put anything into perspective, she said that it did - that she was ready to settle down with this guy again and have a real family. Not exactly the answer I was hoping for. I was hoping for more of "I deserve better! I want to do something more with my life!"

But as I've recently realized, I love my friends enough to want them not to make these horrible mistakes but in the end, I can't stop them. And if this is what she's realized from this situation, then maybe it's the best thing for now. Who knows, maybe it'll work out and maybe I'm wrong - although I doubt it ;)

So next time I hear "brace myself," I will do so and hope for the best.

Geez and I thought that the news that Project Runway was moving to Lifetime for it's fifth season in November was big! Nothing says fashion like a little movie-of-the-week.


shoesaplenty said...

Brace yourself.

If you really love your friend and her boyfriend is a total jerk, I don't understand how you can sit idly by. What kind of friend are you? You'd just sit there and let her jump into a lake? Sit there and let her jump out of a plane without a parachute? What if this jerk marries her then ends up pulling a Peterson on her - how will you feel? A true friend would intervene, not sit there and listen to the drama, offer criticisms on a blog and let her continue.

If you were living a mistake, I would hope that your true friends wouldn't just sit there.

But, then, maybe your response is conditioned. Don't act. Ignore. I remember a few years back, there was back-to-back rapes on the Roosevelt Blue Line platform - during rush hour. No one did a thing. Not giving you a hard time - just the typical conditioning that all young professionals in Chicago are conditioned to do.

If you are bold enough to blog - be brave enough to act.

On a separate note, I hope you don't have a cat. I would say that maybe cat dander may have something to do with your actions (or lack thereof).

Speaking of cats. Please don't listen to women who have cats. Think of the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz -- she had monkeys. Think of Ursala on Little Mermaid -- she had twin eels. Questionable city women have cats. I'm telling you - it's the dander. They are zany.

Cass said...

shoesaplenty, why do you hate cats so much? just curious...

Bayjb said...

I do not own a cat.

About my friend, the reason I'm sitting idly by is because I told her when she first met him that he was a mistake and that she would end up miserable forever, which lead her to not talking to me for 6 months. I am not thrilled by these recent developments, but I can't live her life for her.

Blaez said...

i've had friends that got with someone i knew was bad and tried to talk to them and ended up losing the friendship. sometimes it is best to sit by and watch it happen and be there for them when they get hurt and hope and pray that things work out for the best.

btw, i have cats and i'm an awesome friend.

ShoesAPlenty said...

Cass ~ I don't have a problem with cats, just that I see there is a strong correlation between older single women and their quirkiness and the fact that a majority of them own cats. I would hate for you and our wonderful blogette to succomb to the thoughts and advice of friendly cat lovers whose viewpoints could be passive high risk.

Bayjb ~ you don't have to live her life, but you should live by the standards you wish. If she doesn't talk to you for 6 months from good advice ~ that in itself is a red flag. Maybe if you chose to do the same, she'd figure it out, but it's hard to learn a lesson if nothing really changes. If you really believe in something -- stand up for it. Passive advice is never really heeded. If I beat my husband regularly and he stays - I'll continue to slap his hot rear daily even if he says otherwise.

If I had a friend who was a daily drunk, I would tell them that I would refuse to be around that behavior because it's detrimental to my friend's health and safety. If they don't comply ~ I disappear. To do otherwise is a simple endorsement. To stay will just add unnecessary drama to my life and I love myself too much to be around drama and be around people who choose to be unhealthy.

Even though you think that the bad energy doesn't effect you and you are trying to be a good friend -- it actually does effect you. To see someone be treated badly and just watch will eventually eat you up inside.

If your friend marries this jerk who treats her badly ~ how long will you allow yourself to do nothing or listen to the same story until you blow up inside? You'll get high blood pressure, major acne, ulcers, go into excessive drinking, etc. all on your own.

You cannot live free if the people who surround you live in bondage and/or own cats.

Cass ~ how many pair of shoes do you own and what is your favorite pair?

ShoesAPlenty said...

Blaez ~ If I happen to become an alcoholic or my husband starts to beat me ~ I hope you would never be my friend.

I would hope that my friends would stick to their guns and aggressively push me to sobriety or to leave my wife beating husband. I would do the same for my friends and I'm the kind a friend weak women need.

I do not blame you for just watching your friends get walked all over by a jerk. You are in the majority. Working out of cubicle, not knowing what you want out of life makes you pull back and stay out of other people's business. But, remember, these people are your friends.

Could it be the cause of dander and/or the infrequent change of the litter box? You can keep the cat, but don't be a wuss. Be as brave as the number of shoes I fashion.

Bayjb said...

Thanks Blaez for agreeing with me. I'm not saying that I would be passive if something happened to her, but for now, what can I do? She needs to live her own life. Besides, she's called off the wedding once on her own, while we weren't talking, so I'm hoping she will be strong enough to take care of herself again. I don't want to lose her friendship again or strain it more than it already is.

ShoesAPlenty said...

Bayjb ~ strain it? What if he flies off the handle after a few cocktails and pulls a Peterson (ie last wife missing, previous wife killed). Don't you think that their friends are kicking themselves in the pants?

"Oh, he would never do that." -- last words of friends prior to friends becoming victimized.

Giving good advice and living strong is not living other people's lives -- that is the excuse they give strong friends stepping in -- or the excuse children give their parents when they're doing something wrong.

Bayjb, wait until you have children. You'll learn to intervene. Just don't allow them to have cats.

Listen to my advice. I am brilliant. I live a full life and I only wish to help my younger city girls continue onwards to the path of success and happiness.

I collect shoes, attractive male friends, orchids for my solarium in my highrise condo perched over Lake Michigan. I am a full-time philanthropist, part-time spin class fanatic and budding ballroom dancer (thank you DWTS). I am ShoesAPlenty. Hear me roar. Ut oh feline sound. Stay away from cats.

ShoesAPlenty said...

BTW ~ Bayjb ~ how is your MacBaby? After a hard spin class, nothing beats working on my Mac on a summer day, poolside at East Bank sipping cosmos with a shot of spritzer to add some zing. I am looking forward to this summer, not just to do the above, but to read your blogs.

On a separate note, did you know that the average American walks 900 miles a year. On average, we consume an average of 22 gallons of alcohol a year (yikes the calories).

What am I getting at you may ask?

Well, that all means that Americans get about 41 miles to the gallon. I tell my husband that he can get much more mileage and fun from me then his Maybach. Don't you agree? Muah....

Cass said...

shoesaplenty, I think you will be disappointed in my answer...while I probably own 50 pairs of shoes, I can only really wear about 4 of them. I have nerve problems and scar tissue in my feet. the doctor actually forbid me from wearing heels or anything without arch support. how sad is that? but I keep buying cute shoes because I always think I can just grit my teeth and bear it or add gel insoles and be ok. but I can't. I end up literally crying from pain every time. so I guess my default favorite pair would have to be my new balance running shoes because I can walk several miles in them and still feel ok. I will fully admit to being jealous of you and everyone else who can wear cute shoes!