The Bitch & Big Daddy.

If you’ve gotten to know me at all from reading this column, then you may have figured out that I’m a pretty practical girl. I’m not big on superstition, not a fan of forced sentimentality, and I have a low tolerance for vagueness. I’m also not very sensitive when it comes to social slights. If some friends have lunch and don’t invite me, I don’t take it personally. If someone forgets to call me on my birthday, I get over it. In other words, it takes a lot to make me upset.

 

Fortunately for me, I have nice friends, and I don’t get upset very often. But recently, I’ve found myself embroiled in what can only be called a middle school-like drama, and I am really, really pissed about it. Here’s what happened: Last year, my daughter’s preschool class had sixteen kids in it. Half of them we knew from before, including several whose parents I am very good friends with. The other half I didn’t know at all. The room mother was a woman from the half I didn’t know, and we’ll call her, oh, I don’t know, let’s see, how about, Bitch. Anyway, Bitch’s daughter was turning five at the very beginning of the school year, and for her birthday party, Bitch chose to invite only those kids her daughter knew from the year before, plus my daughter and one other girl.

 

Now, me not being sensitive about things like this, I was like, okay, whatever, and we went to the birthday party. It turns out, however, that other people are sensitive to things like this, and when the other parents in the class found out that Harper and this other girl were invited and their daughters were not, all hell broke loose. I should mention here that our preschool has a birthday party policy, which states that you either invite the whole class, or just the boys or just the girls from the class, but you may not pick and choose who you invite based on who your child likes the best, because that is just mean. Well, one of my friends, let’s call him Big Daddy, was so appalled by Bitch’s behavior – especially given that she was Room Mother – that he called her up and told her off, and then he called up the preschool Director and ratted Bitch out. You with me so far? Good.

 

When I heard about all of this, I actually spent some time trying to defend Bitch to Big Daddy. Not because I thought she was right, but because I thought he had slightly overreacted to the whole thing. Big Daddy, not surprisingly, disagreed, and he and his wife decided that they would HATE Bitch for all of eternity. Good old practical me, however, determined that, since I really had nothing to do with this, there was no reason why I couldn’t still be friendly towards Bitch and maintain my close friendship with Big Daddy. And that is how it went, for the rest of the school year. Bitch and I sometimes talked at pickup and drop off, and once, in March, she invited me and my kids over for a playdate, which went fine.

 

Peachs Mom
02.19.08

I can relate to much of what you are talking about. It seems to be particularly common around the pre-school/kindergarden age-may have something to do with the fact that some mom's have been waiting for this opportunity when their children are "in the real" world and they can show off their perfectness and "I'm a better mom than you" gig.
Anyway...here is my advice. Talk to her. But be prepared for her justifications that may sound a lot like insults. I had a conversation with someone that went something like this: "I know we both want for our kids to have a great time, but I'm noticing that there has been some problems. (Identified just a couple) This is making it difficult/awkward for everyone and I wanted to hear your side of things. What do you think?" Saying what you want, identifying the issue and then asking for the other persons feedback/solutions is how I tackle conflict both personally and professionally and most of the time it works. I'd prefer to confront it then have the awkwardness hang over me. That said, it doesn't mean you have to be friends, but common courtesy would be nice.

MichiganMom (not verified)
02.19.08

To Jessjames4 - This is true!

MichiganMom (not verified)
02.19.08

Hmmm..you could go either way on this one. But, being who you are (as you described), I would walk up to her the next time you see her and say, hey, I've heard you are no longer talking to me because I'm friends with Big Daddy. Call her out on it and let it go from there. I wouldn't play her game of ignoring you and pretending not to see you because that is really childish. I'd get it out in the open and that way when you do see each other in the future, you'll both know where you stand.

msgnkgonk
02.19.08

omg! why is it that the older we get it seems that many women act more and more like we did in high school? I think that you should confront this woman andask her whats going on but approach it in a non confrontational way...hey i noticed that you and i haven't really had time to chit chat, etc. see what she has to say. worse case scenario she is pissed or maybe she really has been busy and hasn't had the chance to stop and chat...either way you'll find out the truth. If she is upset because your friends with people she doesn't like do you really want to be associated with someone soooo petty???

lisahazen
02.19.08

I loved this post! I've found myself in the same sort of situations, and think that if the 13-year-old me would have known I'd still be going through this stuff in my mid-30s I would have run off to an ashram.

I think you just need to be cordial when you see her and "like, whatever!" when she blows you off. She's the one acting like a real boob here. Try not to let it get you down.

Lisa Hazen Design & Editorial
http://www.lisahazen.com/

jessjames4
02.19.08

Don't waste your time. People like that aren't worth it. If she's upset and bringing drama to your life now, think of what she might bring if she's a permanent fixture in your world.

SarahKimmel
02.18.08

First of all... yes it's a completely ridiculous situation for a grown woman to be in... Here's a noxema pad....

Second it totally reminds me of an episode of Seinfeld when a guy in Elaine's building stopped talking to her.

Third, I would probably say something to her. Not in a confrontational sort of way, but just say, hey, you may not be aware of this but you seem to be ignoring me, is there something I may have done to make you upset? You know kinda put like she may not be doing it intentionally, but you have noticed kinda thing. I'm no good at confrontation though so I probably would just ignore her back. :)