Spin Cycle: The One Upper

April 29, 2009 12:42 am

Over the course of the last several years, I’ve noticed myself making more grown up decisions in my life. I’d like to think that the progression down this road comes not just from age but also from past experiences. One such decision involves my time management skills. My days are spent fulfilling obligations and I recognize those obligations as part of my life. Since my time is scarce, I spend what little free time I have doing activities of my choosing. In other words, I’ve cut unpleasant activities and people from my life in order to make it more enjoyable.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m cursed with bad teeth and my entire (ex)dental staff knows me fairly well. My (ex)hygienist got married a few days after me and her daughter had the same due date as Graham. We talked about our pregnancies as they progressed and one day, I got an email from her wanting to know if we could become friends since we had so much in common. Our kids were both born and we sent daily emails back and forth sharing the milestones as first time parents. We got the kids together a few times and talked on the phone several times a week. We attended each other’s first birthday parties.

About halfway though Graham’s first year, I noticed that my friend was very competitive about our kid’s milestones. Instead of calling to chit chat, she’d call and immediately blurt out “Amber is rolling over, is Graham?” “Amber crawled today, has Graham crawled yet?” This continued on for things such as feeding, teething and sleeping through the night. It felt like a competition rather than two moms comparing notes and I began to dread the conversations. On one occasion, she even called (after seeing updated photos on our family photo site) to tell me that I looked pregnant (I was not) in the pictures and wondered why I hadn’t shared the news yet. I gave my friend the benefit of the doubt and soldiered on through the tough competition.

After months of being grilled by my friend, I had finally had enough. It was pointless to be friends with somebody who was only in it to brag about her kid. The honorable thing to do would probably have been to talk to my friend about things but instead I declined a few play dates and blew off a few calls until my former friend got the message. The last time I saw her was shortly after Elliiot was born.

Fast forward to last week. Elliot and I were out killing time while Graham was in school and stopped by a local baby consignment shop. I was thumbing through the racks when a little girl caught my eye. I turned around to see familiar faces: little Amber and her mom. We both made polite chit chat, filling each other in on the past year and making false “we should get together soon!” statements. We both knew they were empty promises and wrapped up the conversation rather quickly. As I was turning to walk away, she turned and said:

Her: “By the way, is Graham potty trained? Amber potty trained at fourteen months, we were SO excited for her!”
Me: “He started a few weeks back, yeah. We were really in no hurry to potty train him and thought we’d start toward the end of the summer when he’s not in school”
Her: “Oh, well you know you… you were always WAY more laid back than me. You just never got bothered by stuff like that”
Me: “…..”

We parted ways and I made it a point to delete that competitive bitch’s number from my phone. When Graham finally gets the hang of the potty, I may just have him piss on a picture of her for good measure. I’d be willing to bet that little Amber can’t pull that trick off.
This post was posted in conjunction with this week’s Spin Cycle hosted by the lovely and talented Sprite’s Keeper. The topic this week is mistakes. If you’re wondering how the topic ties in with this post, I consider the amount of time wasted on that fruitless friendship a mistake. I’ve since learned to save my friendship for people who are genuine and honest and won’t waste my time.

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  1. Wendy

    Good for you. Such a waste. Good riddance, I say. Next time I’m in your neighborhood, the first round is on me.

    Wendys last blog post..Afternoon Quicky with Wendy 4.28.09

  2. Robin

    Wow! That’s just backhanded nastiness. Amazing. You so don’t need that kind of bulls–t in your life. Good for you for getting rid of her.

    Robins last blog post..Cinnamon & Honey’s Follow Your Heart Giveaway!

  3. anymommy

    ugh. This is not a friend that you need, that’s for sure.

    Also, hell yeah, hurray for late potty trainers!

    anymommys last blog post..There May Be Hope

  4. People in the Sun

    As a first time parent, I know the obsession with milestones. There is a constant worry of “What if he’s behind?” And if he is behind, is it normal each-kid-has-his-own-pace, or is there a problem?

    I think she probably didn’t mean to upset you. I think the milestone obsession is normal, even if it is wrong. She could have used a little more tact, but maybe by saying you were laid back she was just making fun of her own compulsiveness.

    People in the Suns last blog post..Earth Day

  5. FoN

    Wow – what a bitch. I HATE back handed comments like that. I have a friend who every time I mention some stupid thing the Hubby did she responds with, “wow, I could never live with that. I would have walked out years ago” Read: you’re a doormat. Whatever lady, everyones husband is a fucktard to varying degrees, I’m just honest about it.

    Sorry – I think I just turned into the obnoxious blogger friend who makes everything about *her*

  6. K

    Life is too short for “friends” like that.

    Good for you.

    Ks last blog post..RTT -The Check is in the Mail Edition

  7. WickedStepMom

    I bet Amber can’t pee standing up. Graham has her so beat. I bet he will play football way better than she does. And he will have way more girlfriends. LOL… Take that snotty jerk who will make your kid neurotic and high strung.

    WickedStepMoms last blog post..Stories That Need to Be told Part 5: He is not good enough for you if…

  8. Cat

    I can hop on one foot, can you?

    Cats last blog post..I Might Be Your Biological Mother, But Don’t Try To Find Me – I Will Reject You

  9. Ginny Marie

    You’re right…a friendship like that is not worth keeping. It’s not a true friendship, after all.

    Ginny Maries last blog post..Tweet, Tweets, Tweeting, Twitted??

  10. Keely

    It’s funny how we assume that since we’re pregnant at the same time as someone, that we have a “lot” in common and therefore must be friends. I mean, it DOES end up in good friendships sometimes but the person may be someone that you would NEVER have picked to be your friend otherwise.

    Glad you cut her out of your life.

    Keelys last blog post..?These are the people in my neighbourhood, in my neighbourhood ?: Wordless Wednesday

  11. jenni

    oh, competitmommy, how I hate thee. almost as much as I hate scantimommy.

    jennis last blog post..Random Tuesday Thoughts: I Suck

  12. bex

    she’s a piece of work. she sounds more like the frenemy type than a true friend. pity. she must not have any real friends at all with that attitude.

    bexs last blog post..8 is great-I’ve been tagged!

  13. Kendra

    I hate backhanded compliments. They are the worst!

  14. Sprite's Keeper

    Damn, that last conversation just nailed the coffin on the friendship. I have those competitive moms in my circle too, snd I consider it a mistake anytime I say anything good about Sprite’s milestones to them, because it always starts a comparitive study. Once in a while, I’ll say something stupid like “Sprite picked her nose for the first time!” or “Sprite taught Blue how to beg for cookies!” just to mess with them when we;’re around each other. Great Spin! I can see the mistake, and you’re linked!

    Sprite’s Keepers last blog post..30,000 feet is not an ideal location to face my fears.

  15. Lisa

    I’ve been lucky with my friends since none of them has done this. I’m glad because I’m just not worried about when my kid reaches what milestone. I hope they never felt like I did that to them. I think you did the right thing cutting off the friendship in the end.

    Lisas last blog post..Tag! You’re it! No wait! I am!

  16. Lisa

    Oh yeah, I totally tagged you. Don’t feel obligated to do it. 🙂 If you do, just have fun with it!

    Lisas last blog post..Tag! You’re it! No wait! I am!

  17. HeatherPride

    I hate competitive friends. I’m glad I don’t have any more in my life. I bet you are too!

    HeatherPrides last blog post..The Final Countdown

  18. ck

    She must be a lonely woman, because CLEARLY she has no social skills. Seriously. What mother…what woman who has given birth and had to lose baby weight…asks if you’re pregnant? I don’t even ask women when they look about 8 months pregnant.

    Poor Amber…

    cks last blog post..naked dinner (then/now)

  19. Sammanthia

    Good for you! She sounds like a total beeyotch. You should send her a picture of Graham peeing 5 feet away from the toilet. I’ll bet Amber can’t do THAT, either.

    Sammanthias last blog post..If Johnny Depp Is Still Having A Hard Time Finding Neverland, I Think I Can Point Him In The Right Direction.

  20. Stacy (the Random Cool Chick)

    Definitely not a friend you need sharing your space. I can’t stand the people that always have to do the ‘one-upsmanship’ thing, it’s like they’re trying to compensate for falling short everywhere else…it can be mentally exhausting just having a conversation with them.

    And WickedStepMom nailed it – Graham is totally the winner in that scenario! 😉

    Stacy (the Random Cool Chick)s last blog post..Wordless/Wordful Wednesday – Greenhouse Nesting Part 2

  21. Becky

    Ooh, great post. And so true. Not every friendship is meant to go the distance.

    And good on you for eliminating that underminer. It finally dawned on me that “negative person” didn’t mean someone who said negative things or complained all the time. It means someone who makes you feel a tiny bit more like crap after you talk to them. Ugh.

    Beckys last blog post..Playing Hooky

  22. sherendipity

    Oh man, does everyone have a “friend” like that? I know where you’re coming from, and you absolutely don’t need associations like that in your life.
    Can you imagine the pressure the kids would feel if you remained friends and they had to deal with that as they got older? Yuck.
    Poor Amber.

  23. Zip n Tizzy

    That’s why I was too afraid to join a mom’s group when I had T. On the one hand I wanted the companionship, but, my time was so limited with a newborn, and the competitiveness terrified me!

    Oh and my boys… both potty trained after the age of 3!
    (Or at least we think he’s almost potty trained!)

  24. Amber

    The way I see it, you should steer clear of ANYONE named Amber or a person who would name their kid Amber.

    I like to call these peoplel “bigger bear”. If you got chased by a bear, they got chased by a bigger bear.

    Ambers last blog post..And For My Next Act…

  25. cyndi

    You are wise beyond your years – I remember it being so hard to avoid those competitive mommy types in the early years. It’s easier now, mostly, tho I am still self-conscious about enjoying what’s happening vs coming off as bragging/competing. Still therapizing and valuing friends like you :hug:

    cyndis last blog post..I’m American made, but I like Chevrolet

  26. mrsbear

    Wow, she sounds hugely annoying. And that whole you look pregnant comment is never EVER received kindly, I know from experience. You were smart to cut her out. Those conversations would’ve driven me up the wall, I get similar stuff with my neighbor about how her grade-K-er, can read anatomy text books, but I usually shrug it off.

    Did I tell you, though, Max is composing original symphonies on his toy keyboard and he can name all the US presidents, their birth states, and the state capitals? Aren’t he and Graham the same age? 😉

    mrsbears last blog post..Absent Mindedly Random Tuesday Thoughts

  27. bessie.viola

    This is awesome. That woman sounds like a real piece of work… good for you for cutting ties. Life’s too short, you know?

    Great spin!

    bessie.violas last blog post..I think I have a problem.

  28. Deemarie

    Why do people have to make everything competition?!?!? Kids grow and develop at their own pace. Sorry you wasted that time trying to be a friend she didn’t know how to be… you deserve better.

    Deemaries last blog post..What Have I Done???

  29. Monica

    Sadly, most competetive people don’t see it in themselves at all. Sounds like the friendship faded out just as it should have. And can I tell you? When I hear that anyone has their kid potty trained at 14 months or less, I feel a bit worried for that kid. Think of the parental pressures they are getting so early. It’s got to hurt their psyches on some deep level. Don’t you think? -Moniac

    Monicas last blog post..People let me tell you ’bout my best friend!

  30. Stimey

    I have been blessed with either not having “friends” like that or being too oblivious to notice.

  31. Meli

    I hate moms like that. Good riddence to bad rubbish.

    Melis last blog post..Taking a stroll on the dark side

  32. Pseudo

    Having children does bring out the worse in competitive people.

    Pseudos last blog post..Spin Cycle: Mistakes

  33. Katie

    Why? Why are some people like this??? Do they realize it? Ew.

    Katies last blog post..As we drive by a graveyard…

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