Let’s get to this week’s question.
I have a friend who is very needy. If I don’t text her back right away she asks if I’m angry at her. It’s crazy because I always respond to her. And, the other night I went to dinner with my cousin and she was upset because I didn’t invite her! AND she’s also competitive (we are both photographers). We were at a party the other night and I was talking to a woman about possibly being the photographer at her wedding, and my glommy friend interrupted and said she would also be interested in the job! It’s so annoying. I’m trying to figure out how to tell her to back off without making her sad.
I Need Space
I don’t blame you for writing to a fake advice columnist to find answers. Your friend sounds like a selfish human hole. I’m going to force myself to have empathy for her. Because, right now, I just want to swing her around by her ankles and throw her off a skyscraper. She’d have a splat attack on the sidewalk and I wouldn’t even have to write this ‘effin column.
I do understand her need for an immediate response after she texts you. We’ve all been there. Ya know, you’re sitting around waiting for people to respond to your emails and texts, wondering why everyone hates you. Then, when you finally do get a text, it’s from the Red Cross asking you to donate to another disaster relief fund. You’re like, ‘SCREW YOU RED CROSS. MY MIND IS A TSUNAMI AND NOBODY IS SENDING ME MONEY.’ Then, maybe you dramatically throw your phone onto a soft surface because you’re upset, but not upset enough to break your phone. Oh look, it’s a new email! Too bad it’s a Groupon notification for 67% off dinner for two at a Sushi restaurant. But the last time you ate sushi, you contracted a parasite and it went untreated for months, and now you’re unable to have children. Life is hard and our food is contaminated. We need friends, not corporate notifications, Groupon!
What I’m saying is this: Your friend is obnoxious. She got mad at you for not inviting her to dinner with your cousin? Who is she, your mom? That’d be so funny if she really was your mom and she’s keeping it a secret. It’s possible. Maybe she gave birth to you in a barn when she was 11 years old, and instead of throwing you in a Dumpster, she dropped you off at a petting zoo. She never told anyone, but made a promise to herself to be a part of your life one day. She’s actually a really nice lady for not throwing you away in the story I’m making up. You two should go on Maury, get into a fist fight and take a paternity test. My friends and I will watch it.
If she’s not your birth mom, bummer. She’s just a lady who expects you to make her happy. You should to tell her, “Hey Glom Bomb, if you think it’s my job to give your life meaning, why don’t you let me almost drown you in a river so when I finally let you up for air, you’ll be thankful for air.” She’ll probably say, “No, thanks.” If she’s a self-help junkie, she’ll know that this is a reference to an old Zen story about a master who almost drowned a student, because his student was an idiot– or something like that.
Oh, and her competitiveness. She’s poaching potential clients right in front of you? So annoying. I live in Hollywood and this happens to me all the time. I know a lot of important people because I’m sort of slutty, and sometimes a “friend” will throw me under a bus just to form a relationship with someone I know, in hopes of furthering his or her own career.
You know what I do? In my mind, I murder them with a snow globe a la Richard Gere in Unfaithful. But when I see them in real life I just say, “Hey.” I mean, who can blame these people? They want to be successful more than they want to have true friends! Good for them. People will use and abuse you for the rest of your life, so the only thing you can do is be the best goddamn photographer you can be.
But since you’re both photographers, why don’t you try one of these three things:
1. If she has ugly feet, take pictures of them. Whenever you’re out with her say, “Who wants to see pictures of my friend’s disgusting feet?” Everyone will want to see, she’ll hate it and then stop hanging out with you.
2. Tell her you booked her a photography job up in the mountains. All she has to do is drive 317 miles North, take a right at Burger Barn, head up the windy road, over a one-way bridge, then ask Trudy at the Five-N-Dime for further directions. Since all of this is made up and I’m pretending GPS doesn’t exist, let’s just say she’ll get lost. She’ll stop and ask a man with a beefy chest on the side of the road for help. He’ll pretend he knows all the answers to everything, and she’ll think he’s so smart and fall in love with him. He’ll chain her up in his basement and you’ll never see her again.
3. Tag her in photos of horse shit everyday for the rest of your life.
Listen, Spacey. You need to speak up. Quit acting like it’s your job to make her happy. You can simply say, “I’m feeling uncomfortable because this relationship is stressful. I’m going to take a step back for now.” Done. Whatever she says and however she feels about it is none of your business. Also, if you want move beyond resentment and into peace of mind, wish her the best. Be honest. Get happy.
Featured artist: Jane Mai is an illustrator and comic artist residing in NYC. She has a cat farm. Check out her site janemai.co.