Where I whine & complain (& maybe lose some friends?)

So I have a minor dilemma (besides "Chocolate cake-to eat, or not to eat?"), and who better to ask than the internet, right? I mean, I have like 4 readers left after my long-ass mystery disappearance, so, it can't hurt to ask, right? Hell, the people I'm referring to (below) probably don't read anymore anyway.

I find myself to be pretty laidback. Low expectations, easy going, kind, funny, fun to be around. I mean, I don't think I'm exaggerating here: I'm a decent friend. Loyal, caring, blah blah blah.

So, when I ask something of others, it's usually important, right? Like "Hey, every holiday my kid is the only kid at my house, and it's sorta lonesome for her. How about this year you stop by with your kids, even if only for 30 minutes, so my girl isn't alone". I know it's someone else's fault that my brother and I are 10 years apart; my sister and I are 19 years apart-so I get that it's not my friends' fault that I have no nieces or nephews, no cousins for my girl. I get that.
And I know it's someone else's fault that I have 3 nephews and one niece on my hubby's side that we never see. As in, the last time I saw one of them, he was a toddler, and now he's in middle school. And it's certainly not my girl's fault that these cousins and uncles have absolutely no relationship with her.
And I get that the holidays are a crazy time. Everyone is running between 4 different houses, and just one more stop is the pain in the ass. I get that.
So, yeah, I'm asking a lot. I get it, for pete's sake.
So I send an email out, letting all my friends know it's no biggie, but it would be greatly appreciated. I had several people right off the bat say that they couldn't make it because they would be out of town. No biggie. I had about 20 people (including their spouses and kids) say 'Sure! We will stop by for a bit somewhere around blah o'clock.'
My girl and I pick out presents for the kids of said friends.
And my hubby and I buy a shit-ton of food.
And then it snows.
So there were a couple of people who couldn't make it because of the weather. And I totally get that. No biggie.
But only one of them even bothered to call/email me.
The rest? I had to text them.
And a couple, had absolutely no excuse.
And a couple STILL haven't returned my text. It's fucking January 14th, people.

And all day I had to play it off, fielding my girl's questions: "When will so and so be here?" "Is so and so coming to play with me?"

Fuck me.

And I'm not even gonna bother to lie about this: It really hurt my feelings. I mean, seriously. I feel like I do a great job of being there for others. I go out of my way to watch other people's kids, set up playdates, support birthdays & parties, and just be there emotionally. And it's not like I didn't tell any of my close friends about this MONTHS ago. They KNOW how much it bugs me that my girl is the only kid in the middle of adults who drink too much and ignore her (not all of them; just some of them).

So, I tried not to cry, put away all the food, and carried on. Because I didn't want my girl to see me cry. And I didn't want my own feelings to affect my girl's holiday. So I told her the snow had slowed people down, and she played a ferocious game of Hungry Hippo with my dad, brother, and sister.

I said I was over it, but the reality is this: I took down my Christmas tree, and there are still a dozen presents from my girl to other kids under the tree. And every day, my girl asks me "When can I give so and so her present?" And I tell her "Soon, baby, soon". But really?
Today I put the gifts in the hallway closet. And I haven't emailed those friends since New Year's Eve, when I was dumb enough to invite them all over for New Year's.
I am not over it. My feelings are hurt. I am angry. I am feeling let down.

I am not talking about the one that emailed me because of the weather, or even the two that responded to my texts by saying the weather was keeping them in. I'm talking about the ones that didn't bother to respond to my texts, after they were all gung-ho about coming over in the first place. I'm talking about the ones that had shit-hole excuses.

And then begins the huge descent into the valley of disgust:

Am I fooling myself into thinking these people are really my friends?
Am I annoying?
Am I as annoying as my father?
Am I a bad friend?
Did I do or say something wrong?
Am I reading too much into this?
Do I value their friendship more than they value mine?

And I'm disgusted that I let it affect me like this. I'm disgusted that I am all wishy-washy about what to do with these gifts, that are still wrapped, for these kids of these friends who could give two shits about me and my daughter. I'm so disappointed in a couple of them. I mean, seriously? I've been to almost every birthday party of every one of these kids. I give birthday presents to these friends. I invite them to do stuff. I'm just flat out disgusted.

So advice please:

-Do I return the gifts? Or do I keep them and give them when these people finally hang out with me again?
-Do I say anything to said friends? Or do I just let it go and continue being my usual self, emailing regularly, texting, etc.?
-Do I continue the friendship? Or do I let it take a backseat to the friendships with those that did show up?

I just don't know what to do at this point. I don't want to appear whiny or desperate (well, FAIL there). I don't want these people to dote on me, beg for forgiveness, or kiss my ass. I guess maybe I would just like some acknowledgement that they hurt my feelings.
Aw, fuck. I don't know.

Happy fucking new year.



Tara said...

Hey, first time commenter here. What you just laid out here totally sucks. I've had it happen to me before, and I always tend to look at those that do this type of crap in a totally different way after a situation like this. I mean, how hard is it in this day and age to simply say I can't come or sorry, my plans changed? It's just so freaking inconsiderate!

But like you, I still go to those kids birthday parties and all the other crap that they host because I'm a "good friend". And you know what? Those people, they don't realize that they hurt you. You were just one more rotation on their holiday list that they didn't make. No big deal to them.

I'd probably keep the gifts and when you saw them, make a point to say "Oh, here's the gift my girl got little Sally for Christmas, but since I never heard from you guys and all......" Lol, a little harsh perhaps, but that's how I am... And those friends? They should absolutely take a backseat to the ones who showed up.

Sorry for the hurt feelings.


Girl, girl, GIRL! I so get this. I can't stand that. Hate it. Sucks. You have a right to be upset and highly disappointed.

My suggestion? Take the gifts to the Salvation Army or CCC or some other charity where they can distribute them. And let your daughter know what you're doing. She will feel good knowing that they're going to someone who WILL appreciate them.

Secondly, I would tell said friends that you are feeling let down and disappointed. Period. Even if you send an email or another text. They obviously need to know that their behavior hurts or else they'll probably keep doing it. They need to be aware.

Thirdly, be around people who love you. You deserve that.


PBPDesigns said...

Aw! Sorry you didn't have a good holiday. Sorry these people don't know how wonderful you are! But most of all, I'm sorry we don't live closer so I could have been there for you for the holidays! I TOTALLY would have come visit you! You are an awesome person and more people need to know this!

Sarah said...

It's one thing for your friends to break or ignore plans with you, but when your little girl is all jazzed up about it, well the thought is wrenching my heart right now. Bless her sweet little heart. So as a fellow Mama Bear, I feel that you may be more upset that said friends did this to her; and with good reason.

I don't have that many good friends. All of my besties from school live far away. I'm stuck here with all these people who thought they were better than me in high school and apparently still do. Big fish in a small pond.

Anywho, if I had friends that did me like that, then who needs it? I would definitely not act like everything is fine. Because it's not. You are hurt. And no, an ass-kissing sesh may not be applicable, but for certain an apology for breaking a promise, or at the very least an acknowledgment of wrong-doing. And if you don't get it? Well, I fail to see how they are really "friends". Because that is not how you treat a friend.

If some or all of them do come around, then maybe next year you could plan a holiday gathering around Christmas day, but not the actual day for your girl.

While it is hard to go so many places in one day with little ones, they still shouldn't have said they would come over and then not without calling to tell you that it wasn't going to happen for whatever reason.

Also? Move to my hood. PLEASE.

We can rock the casbah.

Sarah said...

Meanwhile? Let girl keep the gifts!

Anonymous said...

Dude, I am so sick of people being selfish and downright rude. What is UP with that?

I know it's busy during the holidays and people have shit to do, but hey. Take 3 minutes to call and say "sorry we can't make it after all." Still would be sad and maybe hurt feelings, but WAY better than just freaking being ignored. OMG that makes me mad!

Either keep the presents for your girl or take them back. I certainly would NOT give them to the intended recipients, even if it isn't the kid's fault.

I wouldn't mention it to the friends b/c I don't think it would do any good and bring about anything other than awkwardness, which is already there b/c of their asshattedness.

Then I would sit and forever wonder if they were "real" friends or not.

I'm so sorry.

Kristie said...

I had to whip my phone out and see if I texted or called you to let you know we weren't going to make it on Christmas. I felt just awful about not being able to make, the frozen streets delayed my family's Christmas and then Jackson had another Christmas at Eric's house and we just couldn't make it work.
We haven't had much time to talk, at all really, since then and I do feel guilty about not being there.
I hope you can forgive me. I tried to be a good friend and tell you I didn't think we'd make it. But I still feel kind of like an asshole.

MommyGeek said...

Aw hon. That seriously sucks a lot.

Not sure what I would do... I would be tempted to mail the gifts with a note about how gosh, you didn't see them on Christmas and you sure hope everyone is OK because you haven't heard from them and you didn't get a cancellation and blah blah.

It's a toss up between that and send angry emails, mope about it for days, and generally let it tear me down until I am sure I am a worthless piece of shit before finally getting ANGRY again and sending another email because no one responded to my first one.... but I'm trying not to be bitter about lost friendships this year. #snort

Fiona Picklebottom said...

Oh, that SUCKS! Those people should be ashamed. When I tell someone I will be somewhere, I damn sure go and if something stops me from making it, I damn sure call. Hell, I even call if I'm going to be more than 15 minutes late. ESPECIALLY if a child is on the waiting end of things. You should stop torturing yourself over those people. OR, let your daughter call them on the phone and tell them that she's been waiting since Christmas to give their kids gifts, why didn't they come over like they said they would. And let those jerks explain it to her. Since the worst part of these kind of situations is explaining it to a child.

Chibi Jeebs said...

Ouch. Inconsiderate people blow, especially when you're not one (but if you *were* one, you likely wouldn't notice something like this). It's so hard when you give so much of yourself - the BEST of yourself - and get shit in return. I'm sorry your girl was disappointed. :(

I honestly don't know how I'd handle this, because without SOME form of acknowledgement - whether they apologized or not - this would just fester until I blew.

I'm sorry, love.

linlah said...

Please stop asking yourself all those valley of disgust questions becuase theyre all blame yourself questions..in an effor to help the answers are yes, no, probably not, no, no, yes, yes.

If the same set of people have done this more than a couple of times then it's time to move on.

Save the gifts for future use or donate them to a childrens shelter.

I'm working on making my written comment voice sound softer..how'd I do?

Alan said...

Ya know...I read this post a couple of times because I wanted to make sure I got everything right before I commented and here are MY thoughts. First off...you did nothing wrong here DL. Don't be hard on yourself for something that has nothing to do with you.

Here's the thing...how many TRUE friends do you have? Because it is MY opinion that it should have been your TRUE friends that you invited to your home for the holidays. The reason I say TRUE friends is because we all have peripheral friends who we know & like but who are not the ones we share our every thought with. I can say I have maybe 5 true friends in this world and everyone else are friends who I probably wouldn't be inviting over for Christmas. I'm not saying you were wrong in doing so...I'm just saying that maybe they didn't feel like they had to show up.

As for the gifts, I would simply return them and chalk this up as an insight to who your true friends are. It's not wrong to want to be liked & loved by your friends and neighbors, but sometimes the feelings you have for others might not be returned in every case.

Those are just my thoughts. Seeing as how I'm a third party here, I hope I'm not out of line.

Left of Lost said...

@Tara-Thanks for commenting! I love when people delurk! I am definitely holding on to the gifts and when I *do* see these people, I will mention it. But I'm thinking of putting a due date on when I see these people. Sigh.

@T-I think I will donate the gifts if I don't see these people soon. And I am definitely trying to surround myself with only those who give two shits. Hugs to you!

@SouthernSis-You moved North, not south, so you are further away now! :) Thanks for caring tho!

@Mox-I have a handful of very close friends, and one of them is actually one that didn't show, and I REALLY thought she would. Like, we used to do everything together, until school got busy for both of us. We would be trouble (you and me) if we lived near one another. :)

@shelly overlook-My thoughts exactly-I am angry. Also pretty shocked at 2 of them, honestly. Time to move on, I guess.

@Kristie You're not an asshole. :) You had good reason for not coming.

@Mommygeek-It's so hard not to feel bitter about lost friendships, especially when YOU are the one who has made so much of the effort. Sigh.

@Fiona-I actually did send an email to several about how my girl really wanted to give presents to their kids. I am very sad that she was disappointed. But she has moved on, and I have not. Even as I'm writing these comments to everyone, I'm changing my mind on what I'm going to do. :) The fact that she was so disappointed is what pisses me right off.

@Chibi-It's been festering here, let me tell you. I actually had to sit down and realize who my anger was focused towards, and if it was appropriate. Yep, it is. Grrrrr.

@linlah-Yep, it's time to move on with a couple of them. I just can't keep doing this to myself.
Also, you sound nice and soft to me! :)

@Alan-OUt of the people I invited, I would say that 5 are very very close friends. Only 1 showed. But at least 2 others had already responded as to why they couldn't come in the first place. It's the other 2 that said they would FOR SURE be here, and then didn't show. And it's those 2 that I am a bit shocked at. I've actually culled the herd (why did I just say that?) awhile back, because I got sick of being hurt by people, and I'm about to do it again. Sad.

Thanks to everyone who responded. I appreciate it, truly!

My Bottle's Up! said...

this sucks and i'm sorry to hear that you've been so hurt. in other news, i'm glad to see you writing again. i have missed your words.

Anonymous said...

I too would be exceptionally upset and hurt. I would return all the gifts. And I would also expect them to acknowledge that they have hurt your feelings. If they can't do that then I would ditch them in a heart beat. Life is too short to be other people's doormats.

TUWABVB said...

I know we already talked about this over the phone, and you know how I feel - but I just wanted to let you know that I'm here and I think you have every right to feel the way you do. Hugs honey.