Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Speaking the truth

So I managed to get 5 minutes today to myself - not much time to do anything of note - even an eyebrow pluck takes a good ten mins (there is always another hair or two if you twist your face to the light) - so I used it to flick through Grazia magazine. Mostly purdey pictures of stuff I can never afford (£400 for a clutch bag? I think not) but also a few articles that take only 20 secs to read. Perfect. One was about a girl who didn't like her best mate's boyf. At all. Worst of all - she told her. Yep she sat her best mate down and broke the news to her that she and several other mates didn't like him one jot - and then reeled off all the reasons why... Amazingly she and her best mate are still bezzie friends, although they 'do see less of each other' and never mention the bloke when they do. Funny that.

Now I've been in this predicament myself a few times. But unlike this brave (or mad?) woman - I've never told my friend, 'Oi, see that bloke you're in love with, or indeed married to, well, he aint my cup of tea.' I've always reckoned that it is the quickest way to lose a mate. You are telling them that the person that they hold in the highest regard, you frankly don't. Well, what has it got to do with you in the first place? It isn't like you're in a relationship with the twat - your mate is... And that is her (or his) choice. But down in the pit of your stomach, there is the niggle - if I am a good friend, surely I should tell them that they are making a massive mistake dating such a tool? Then you think: maybe I'm a better friend by keeping a dignified silence, letting my mate live their life as they see fit (after all they are a grown up). What to do? Well - opening one's mouth can only lead to one result - tears. Your own. As your mate tells you to sling your hook and spends the next few years bitching about you to all your other mates - the clever ones who kept quiet. For sure when mate with dodgy partner/husband/wife/lover/girlfriend/boyf isn't around they'll all cheerfully moan and relish picking apart the relationship - but the minute your mate arrives - hey presto it's all fake smiles and chumminess.

I've done those fake smiles and super chumminess myself. Kept it up for 8 whole years once. That is a LOT of fake smiling I tell you. Especially when they went up the aisle. The tears my mate's Dad shed that day were not ones of joy... My friend who saw sense eventually and kicked the loser into touch now wonders why no one piped up - most of all me, her bridesmaid. But my theory is that you simply can't. Because it isn't your relationship - and only the two people in the relationship really know what is going down. You aren't gonna like everyone all of the time - and that includes friends' partners. Most of all - who are we to judge? As long as our friends are happy - then why should we rain on their parade? Different situation entirely if your friend is miserable, but even then - you can't be the one to tell them to leave, they have to work that one out for themselves.

This article got me a thinkin' - what would you do? Avoid the couple in question as much as poss and hope that it all blows over eventually? Cross your fingers that the love that appears to be blind will suddenly sprout a pair of specs and see the true colours before them? Not so easy if they are wed or worse, have kids. Then you just have to bite your tongue and try and find the best in the person who doesn't exactly rock your world. Maybe there are folks out there that dislike my Husband. Or - hard to believe I know - friends of his who don't like old CrummyMummy too much? Husband reckons if he didn't like a mate's Mrs he would say. But I didn't hear him piping up too loudly when his best buddy dated a dumb, fake breasted, insecure personality-less bimbette for almost a year....

There is of course the fact that just cos you don't click with the other half, doesn't mean others won't. But there is something to be said when a group of you all share similar feelings - what then, will someone raise their hand and spill the beans? Who would risk it? You might read this and say - I would always be honest, hand on heart. But would you, really? Even if your mate wasn't asking for your opinion, would you throw it out there just for the hell of getting it off your chest? Isn't that what the moment in all romantic comedy weddings is for? 'Does anyone here present have any reasons why these two may not be joined in holy matrimony? Speak now or forever hold your peace?'

My money - hold that peace in for all you are worth. And no drinking at the reception - just in case.


jkelsofarrell said...

I've held my tongue and spoke my mind with varying degrees of success. In one case, I was really afraid for my friend's safety. That completely backfired on me and we went three years without speaking. In another case, my friend (a different one) knew that the boyfriend was a jackass and just needed to hear it from someone else. In most cases, I just hold my tongue until enough libation has passed and we girls get real.

AG said...

I wish someone had told me this 15 years ago. Would I have listened? Probably not. Would I have been upset at the way they feel? Yes. now agree with you, keep your thoughts to yourself! It's their life to live, and to learn x

martha mayhem said...

Hmmmm. that is a difficult one. It really depends if it is a really close friend and the guy is a REAL BLOWHARD. Otherwise, I would just smile and hope that Karma catches up with the situation REAL FAST!!