Thursday, June 30, 2011

Frenemies to Friends?

I went out with an old "frenemy" not long ago and had a great time.  This was a girl who ran in a similar circle as I did and we shared common hobbies, interests, and friends but for whatever reason we were never actually friends.  As far as I know, she never really had any problems with me (although when she reads this, she may! ha!) but I never sincerely liked her.  I would be nice to her but secretly I resented her. 

A couple of years ago we friended on face book (yes to the teen next door-we old folks have face book!) and the more I followed her facebook, the more I realized we had a lot in common and I actually really liked her, I was seeing her through entirely different eyes than I did at 16.  I actually listened to her, talked to her, appreciated where she's been in life (for the past 10+ years).  She's a fun loving, good christian, intelligent, woman.  Really, she's the type of friend I enjoy being around and maybe she always was, but as a teen I couldn't see past my opinion of her.

The sixteen or seventeen year old I saw was beautiful, smart, popular, fun, and the boys loved her.  She had a great family, a hot boyfriend, and her life was perfect (right?!) So, naturally, I hated her (internally, of course).  It's really a shame that I missed out on being friends with a girl who was probably really nice, because I was jealous.  I honestly don't remember anything bad about her, I don't remember her saying anything mean about anybody, she was labeled a "good girl," and she probably was very likable.  (I wouldn't know because I never gave her a chance)  I wasn't unpopular, unattractive, or unlikable so there was really no reason for my internal competition with this girl but it existed anyway. 

I've thought this over quite a bit, for several reasons, and one is so I can help my daughters not make the same mistakes or at least advise them when they do. 

I think it all boils down to boys...

We road on 4H drill team together and she joined the team a year after I did.  I was comfortable with my group of friends and I was best friends with one of the boys on the team.  I don't know why, but I think it was sarcasm that drew Matt and I together from the very beginning.  We were both smart asses and thought we were tough so we really hit it off.  He was one of my very best friends for years and sometimes I still miss the closeness we once had.

Then came Danielle...Matt was smitten!  (most of the boys were if I remember correctly)  but I didn't care  about the other boys, I cared that she was taking my BFF's attention away from me!  I never had a "crush" on Matt, and we never dated, and there was no romantic competition, but she was interfering with my good times!  I think Matt and Danielle dated for about five minutes so it should have been a non issue but in my teen drama years, it was a big deal!  Add an ounce of insecurity,  a boy, and a pretty girl to compete with and you have one hot mess on your teenage hands!

The last time I was in Nashville, Danielle and I got together and had a good time. (Well, I did anyway, maybe she was hating life! ha!)  I got to know her as an adult, without pettiness, Matt, or any of the preconceived notions I'd had, and guess what...I liked her. She was still beautiful, smart, popular, fun, and the boys probably still love her, but I'm finally secure in myself (even if I didn't realize it was insecurity as a teen-it was) and I no longer see her as a threat or a competitor, I saw her as a woman who came from similar beginnings as I did.  I don't have a whole lot of friends from my childhood or teen years so it's really nice to spend time with someone who can relate to where I come from.  She's someone who has a common thread and I could see being friends with.  I forsee us getting together when I'm in Nashville and keeping in touch, and honestly, if we were to ever end up in the same city I think we'd be really good friends.

And if Danielle reads this (and she really should since I'm going to send her the link) next time I'm in town, the cold beer is on me!


  1. Lisa, I think this was a beautiful admission and I hope Danielle sees it the same way. Isn't it great that God allows us to make these mistakes, and we can "right" them too if all parties are open. :) I have had several instances as an adult, that though painfully humbling, I am happy to have had the opporunity to see them with "big girl" eyes. :)


  2. You are such an awesome person, Lisa! Hopefully, your girls will benefit from your knowledge (but don't be surprised if they don't)! It always amazed me how much smarter my mom got as I grew older! I am privileged to count you as my niece!

  3. It seems as though I recall us having these conversations years ago. I believe that I even said that knowing Danielle since we were little girls, (and I too was jealous of her beauty, popularity, and physique) I didn't see anything wrong with her. I may have even said that if you gave her a chance, you might like her. Now saying that, I know that she and I weren't best friends, but I never had a problem with her at all. So I'm glad that you have finally realized how right I was/am and will try to listen to me more in the future
    :-). Love you both!

  4. wow. how strange to read this! i have so much to say, i don't know where to begin. first of all, i admire and applaud your bravery for putting something so vulnerable out there. insecurities are NEVER easy to admit and concede, even ones from a zillion years ago. which leads me to my next point... you weren't the only one fraught with them at that time. if you recall, i didn't exactly "fit" the drill team, despite loving to ride and wanting to fit desperately. i'm pretty sure i wore guess jeans and italian boots to practices, because i didn't have wranglers and justins. and i'm also pretty sure i was among the worst of all the riders. walking into that group as inexperienced as i was proved to be extremely intimidating, especially for a girl as shaky on her feet (or in her boots--ha!) as i was.

    i'm not sure what you saw that looked "perfect" to you, but my homelife was horrible, which is how i came to be on the drill team in the first place (living with and being raised by my grandparents --> they were the ones with the horses). i was as angst-ridden as nirvana and pearl jam put together and spent most of my teenage years pondering suicide, not how perfect my life was. i had walked a long hard road and am still walking it, so appearances aren't always what they seem.

    as for appearances, though, another thing i'd applaud is your treatment of me. i was SHOCKED when i read this today. i was shocked because i had NO IDEA you'd ever harbored any ill will towards me. and that, girl, is a testament to your character. whatever you felt about me at that time and however negative it was, it never showed. while, as you said, we never hung out or anything, i had no reason to believe you had anything against me. you, in spite of what you're saying you were feeling, always treated me with kindness. and how many teenagers can you say that about? wow. your character then amazes me, as does your character now.

    we were all insecure about all manner of things, and i really respect your ability and willingness to be honest and open about that in yourself. thank you for that and the authenticity you've shown. (and also for giving me a chance.......15 years later--i'm not as bad as i seem, i swear!!!!)

    i had a blast with you and am stoked to have had the opportunity to show you who i am and to better learn who you are; who you are is a person i like and respect very, very much.

    and if you are ever in nashville, it's cold beer all around!


    and love to YOU both!!!