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!