Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“I Don’t Want to Vacation with Our Frenemies”

From the forums:

My husband and I have a core group of friends which includes two sets of couples each with one child; let’s call them the “Johnsons” and the “Millers”. The Millers are awesome friends — my husband has known them forever and, when I started dating my husband, we got along really well. However, we’ve always had issues with the Johnsons, some of which include flakiness, bailing on our wedding, narcissism, and being horrible to another mutual friend who had just been diagnosed with a severe medical issue, so we distanced ourselves appropriately.

The Johnsons and Millers had their children around the same time. Understandably, the children grew up very close and my husband and I love the kids. However, the Johnsons are really terrible parents to their son. They barely interact with him to the point of neglect, punish him for behaving “like a child” and have told him directly that he is the reason why he will never have any siblings. One of the biggest issues for me is that they refused for months to take their son to the doctor when he had some significant health issues. Honestly, I was very close to calling CPS when they finally took him (they were too “busy” before). He ended up having major surgery and now has permanent damage that will affect him for the rest of his life. Basically, they’re not great people and if it wasn’t for the Millers who invite them to a lot of events, I’d back away completely. As it is, I’m fine with seeing them occasionally, but I won’t go to events they host anymore or invite them to ours.

The issue now is that we’ve been invited on a lengthy trip with the Millers, and the Johnsons are invited. While I’m fine with seeing the Johnsons occasionally I’m not fine with sharing a residence with vacationing with them. This is only one reason why we don’t want to go on the trip (finances and availability are others), but my husband related this reason to the Millers and now Mr. Miller wants us to all get together and talk to the Johnsons about our issues with them. The Millers also have many issues with them. My argument with my husband occurred because he agrees with this plan and would want to go on the trip with them and doesn’t understand why I can’t just ignore their behavior for the duration (hint because I would go apeshit and snap).

So my questions are:

1) Do you think having a group discussion would be worth it? I don’t consider the Johnsons my friends at this point and am fine with the status quo as it is. Also, what in the world would we even say to them? My husband says we can be “tactful,” but how do you tactfully say “we don’t really like you because you’re terrible people, parents and friends”?

2) How do I get my husband and Mr. Miller to understand that I can’t just ignore the Johnsons during these types of trips? — Not a Fan of the Johnson’s

1) No, a group discussion would not be “worth it.” There IS no tactful way to tell people you just don’t like them and can only really be close friends with them if they get a personality transplant and quit acting like total assholes. Besides that, you have other reasons for not wanting to go on this trip — finances and availability. Even if the Johnsons got personality transplants in time for the trip, that still wouldn’t change the other factors keeping you from signing on to this group vacation.

I say put your foot down and tell your husband and the Millers you absolutely will NOT participate in any discussion with the Johnsons and you strongly, strongly advise against such a discussion, even without you. Although, to be honest, if the Millers have the discussion without you, there’s a good chance the Johnsons will no longer want to be friends with them and you will no longer have to endure their presence at group events, so I take it back; tell the Millers they can do whatever they want, but you (and hopefully your husband) wish to be kept out of the discussion.

2. It’s not your job to get your husband and the Millers to understand that you can’t just ignore the Johnsons on a long trip; it’s your job to tell them you’re not going, period. You’re a grown-up — you don’t have to make every decision understandable to every person in your life. You certainly don’t need to get the Millers to understand your feelings about the Johnsons. Frankly, it should be enough that you can’t afford the trip/ don’t want to spend the money on it and that you aren’t available. As for your husband, tell him that the two of you should invite the Millers — sans the Johnsons, of course — on a trip you CAN afford and CAN be available for — at another time this year. That way, your husband doesn’t feel like he’s missing out on a fun trip with his pals and the Millers don’t feel alienated.

***************

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148 comments… add one
  • avatar

    kerrycontrary January 8, 2014, 9:04 am

    WWS. I wouldn’t add anything. As a general rule of thumb, sitting down and telling people what you think is wrong with them never goes well. Trust me, as I did this once to my friend in 8th grade (I think we were trying to “help”) and it was one of the most horrible things I’ve ever done to someone.

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    • honeybeenicki

      honeybeenicki January 8, 2014, 9:19 am

      It’s like a… personality intervention? I just couldn’t fathom doing this. I mean, I’ve talked to friends (you know, people I actually like) to tell them hey, I don’t like when you xyz or whatever.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest January 8, 2014, 9:25 am

      Imagine if it did though? Like all of a sudden that asshole you work with is all ‘HOLY SHIT, I never realized I was being so crazy and bitchy!’ That would be amazing.

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      • avatar

        bethany January 8, 2014, 9:32 am

        That actually happened with a manager I had in college when I worked retail. Everyone hated her because she came off really mean and bitchy. The store manager had a talk with her one day, and from that day on she was like a totally different person. I think she had no clue how she was coming off before. It’s been like 12 years since that talk happened, and to this day, that change is still there. She’s freaking awesome now.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 8, 2014, 9:33 am

        That’s cool! I feel like there definitely are people that could work with, just very, very few people.

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      • avatar

        kerrycontrary January 8, 2014, 9:34 am

        I think that a lot of people can accidentally present themselves worse than they mean. Like sometimes my fiance has to remind me to watch my tone or say something in a better way, because I don’t have malicious intent and/or I’m not angry, I’ll just sound like it. So I think that works with people who are good on the inside but don’t realize how they are coming off. Not sure if it works on people who are sucky on the inside.

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      • avatar

        lemongrass January 8, 2014, 9:36 am

        Bitchy resting personality.

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      • avatar

        kerrycontrary January 8, 2014, 9:40 am

        Yeh combined with my bitchy resting face? Not a winner.

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      • avatar

        bethany January 8, 2014, 9:45 am

        My mom has bitchy phone voice. She always says “hello” like she’s really pissed at you. I told her about it, but she still does it.

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      • avatar

        shanshantastic January 8, 2014, 9:59 am

        I’m someone that a talk like that actually worked on. It was a bad time, and I was young and immature and – I’ll never forget how she put it – arrogant yet so insecure at the same time. I won’t say it was a radical overnight transformation but that talk was almost 8 years ago and I still remember it when my attitude threatens to stray into bitchy territory. It can work…but the recipient really has to be open to it and ready to change. That same talk would have backfired completely even 6 months before it happened with me.

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      • avatar

        Kelly L. January 8, 2014, 10:53 am

        Something similar worked on me too. I had someone go off on me and tell me I was both too insecure and talked too much about myself. On the one hand, there were a few things she didn’t know me well enough to understand (i.e., part of my “low self-esteem” was a joke with another friend that she wasn’t in on, and part of my self-focused talk was a way to discuss LGBT/kink/alternative religion events where it was strictly verboten to “out” someone else as having been at the event). But on the other hand…during other conversations I really was doing some of what she accused me of. Her delivery was pretty vicious and we were never really close anyway, so we didn’t have a friendship afterward either, but it did cause me to have a look at my conversational habits.

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      • avatar

        Banana January 8, 2014, 11:59 am

        Once I was getting drinks with some tangential friends — those people you know through other people, but aren’t especially close with yourself. I wound up going out with them, even though I didn’t really like them an awful lot, because our mutual friend that I DID like bailed in the last second. After a few drinks, we got a little loopy and loosened up around each other a bit. One of the girls (whose behavior had obviously indicated, in the past, that she’s no big fan of me) said, “You know, you’re not too bad. You complain a lot, but you’re a lot more fun than I thought.” I wound up still disliking that chick (because she had her own host of insecurities, flaws, and bitchy behavior that I just couldn’t put up with, and as I said she could be quite mean to me at times) but that comment stuck with me, and I actually made a solid effort to complain less in conversation from then on. I realized I’d been leaning on complaining as a conversational crutch when I didn’t know what else to talk about, and since then I’ve tried hard to think of other things to say, and stop and question myself before I let a bunch of complainy word-vomit leave my mouth.

        But I think Kerry hit the nail on the head, that those talks work on people who have a genuine desire to be better, and if the talk focuses on one or two distinct traits with specific examples — but that’s hit or miss and I can’t imagine it being effective on someone as comprehensively awful-sounding as the Millers. So for the LW: don’t do it!

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      • katie

        katie January 8, 2014, 9:33 am

        god i wish people were that self aware. could you imagine, like for this kids sake- or the other kid in the forums from yesterday that the lady thought the mom was emotionally abusing?

        equally amazing would be the moment when the came to you and thanked you for pointing out such a bad thing in their life that they were able to fix.

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    • GatorGirl

      GatorGirl January 8, 2014, 9:28 am

      I did a similar thing in high school and oh man did it back fire. I told a pretty close high school friend she was spoiled and had unrealistic world views (which in my defense it was completely true) and she has never spoken to me again, like 10 years later.

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      • avatar

        kerrycontrary January 8, 2014, 9:32 am

        Yeh our friend was just a little….quirky. And I think we were trying to help, but my friends didn’t want to say anything so I said it, and then I looked like a huge asshole (correction, I was being a huge asshole). We were really good friends and then she wouldn’t talk to me for 3 yrs. Plus of course she told everyone what happened. We’re acquaintances now, but I still feel horrible the 8th grade me did that to some other 8th grade girl.

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      • Stonegypsy

        Stonegypsy January 8, 2014, 10:01 am

        I used to work with a guy who nobody could stand, at all. And it wasn’t because he was an asshole or anything, it was just because every time he would enter a conversation he would start talking about himself, and not let anyone change the subject away from him. Aside from that he was a nice guy with a good heart, just… young. I really wanted to talk to him about it on my last day there, but he ended up not being there. I still wonder if it would have helped or hurt.

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      • avatar

        rachel January 8, 2014, 10:25 am

        GG, that’s basically what happened to me in high school, too. One of my best friends was getting more and more irritating to me, because she basically thought HER way of thinking was always right, and I just lost it one day and blew up on her. I still think a lot of what I said was true, though I feel bad for the way it happened. I still have a lot of good memories with her from when we were younger.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow January 8, 2014, 10:42 am

      OH GOD. I think I tried to suppress this memory or something, but one time in high school, my friend and I did this. She and I were best friends our whole life, and we started hanging out with this guy almost every day one summer. By the end of the summer, we realized he was a weird braggy liar who was manipulating us into being mad at each other (which sadly worked). When we figured it out and had just had enough of him, instead of just…not hanging out…we felt compelled to write a list of 101 reasons we hated him and SENT IT TO HIM.

      Wow. I feel awful.

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    • avatar

      MsMisery January 8, 2014, 1:03 pm

      My step-mother does this to me on a nearly yearly basis. She saves up all the crap she thinks I’ve done to her all year long (or since the last blow-up) and then lets it all loose. Most of the time I have no idea what she’s talking about, or she’s projecting (because we are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT people in every imaginable way), or she’ll bring up something from seven months ago. I don’t even know how to deal with that.

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  • avatar

    bethany January 8, 2014, 9:10 am

    WWS, especially this: ” You’re a grown-up — you don’t have to make every decision understandable to every person in your life.”

    LW, your instincts are right here- don’t cave under pressure. Don’t go on the trip, don’t sit down for a “talk” with these people. Just don’t do it.

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    • avatar

      Banana January 8, 2014, 12:05 pm

      I loved that line too! I don’t think it’s said enough. So many of us (general us!) are concerned with making everyone understand WHY we make our decisions. Maybe we’re afraid of being judged, or maybe we’re proud of how carefully thought-out our decisions are and we want to explain to demonstrate we’re smart, or maybe in cases like these the real motivation for explaining the reasons behind a decision is so you can land a jab on someone else (the Millers). But at the end of the day, you don’t owe anyone an explanation, and most of the time most people really don’t care to learn that much detail anyway.

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      • avatar

        Banana January 8, 2014, 12:08 pm

        Sorry, I mean land a jab on the Johnsons. I got my names mixed up!

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  • avatar

    ktfran January 8, 2014, 9:25 am

    Wendy’s advice is pretty perfect!

    And honeybee’s personality intervention comment. HILARIOUS! If only we could do that with everyone we disliked.

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  • katie

    katie January 8, 2014, 9:25 am

    WWS. im really glad she answered this one!

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    • katie

      katie January 8, 2014, 9:26 am

      also, thats two days in a row ive had the same thoughts as wendy! im awesome. im glowing in wendy inspired awesomeness.

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  • avatar

    Sansa January 8, 2014, 9:31 am

    I actually had no idea how Wendy would answer this one, it’s a toughie but she answered it well. I say follow Wendy’s advice.

    Let them figure out how to say “hey, you’re terrible parents and we don’t like you”. See how well that goes over lol

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  • FireStar

    FireStar January 8, 2014, 9:35 am

    I don’t see what the husbands hope will come out of such an intervention. It just can’t end well. It’s like breaking up with someone and telling them all the things wrong with them. Why bother? It’s just mean. I have a guy friend who keeps insisting on doing this reconciliation intervention with me since I no longer have anything to do with some mutual friends. It’s like he wants us to hold hands around a camp fire singing folk songs. I just laugh and dismiss it. I find when you dismiss something as clearly a joke it stays dismissed. When you start arguing the merits the other person starts thinking their position has legitimacy. In any case, you’ve already given him your reasons. You should not have to spend precious vacation time and resources to be around people you just don’t like. You sure as all get out aren’t going to meet up with them to list all the different ways you dislike them. Frankly Mr Miller sounds like a busybody. Embrace the phrase “so not happening” every time your husband brings it up. You’ve already given him reasons why. It’s up to him now to accept it.

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    • call-me-hobo

      call-me-hobo January 8, 2014, 10:09 am

      I was going to write a reply, but then I realized you had said everything perfectly. I cannot fathom WHY Mr. Miller wants to even have this conversation. 1. It’s super rude 2. You are signing yourself up for a seriously uncomfortable and awkward situation. “I know we’ve hung out with you for a while, but honestly it’s because you are such shitty parents that we want your son to know there is some hope”.

      Geeze. Avoid this at all costs. I would also strongly suggest your husband doesn’t go to this friendtervention. That seems like you’re asking for drama from people who have proved themselves to be kind of unstable.

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  • avatar

    lemongrass January 8, 2014, 9:35 am

    So I’m just going to hijack this a bit. Mr. Grass and I had some friends that we were fairly close with but not BFFs or anything. Sex was something we had talked about though and other intimate convos had happened. Back when I was pregnant, the wife had told me that they were going to try to have a baby after this trip they were taking but had stopped using birth control and that if she got pregnant beforehand she would just fake- drink on this trip (with their families). A month later we were at their place and she was drinking vodka cranberries. And complaining that the juice was giving her a headache, and yawning at 11 (she used to party hard) So I figured out that she was pregnant. Then I go to the bathroom and notice in the garbage can (that doesn’t have a lid and is directly under the TP, I couldn’t miss it) there is a pregnancy test wrapper. So, considering what she had told me previously, I told her that I thought she was pregnant and that I was happy for her but I would keep it to myself (our friends can be very gossipy over this kind of stuff). Well a week later while I was in the hospital on bed rest for a potentially fatal pregnancy complication, the husband freaks out on Mr. Grass via text message. He says that I was snooping through their things, not true and very offensive.

    After that blowout we have the same kinda friendship as the lw, we exchange social obligations (Christmas cards, gifts for the babies, etc) but I don’t want to hang out with them one on one although they have been attempting to get closer to us. So I guess the whole point of this was that it is okay to maintain your distance with people and that there doesn’t need to be a come to Jesus talk.

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    • avatar

      Sansa January 8, 2014, 9:46 am

      Say whaaaaat? Talk about over reacting. She TOLD you they were trying. Not to mention your husband had YOU and your unborn baby on his mind while you were in the hospital and he freaks out like that? No loss there. But they are trying to get closer, how are you handling that?

      And as for the bathroom garbage? Pssshhhhh…. I knew my good friends were trying for a baby for a while (she’s in her 40’s so they weren’t sure if it would happen) and a few days before she gave me the news, I went to throw a tissue away in the COVERED bathroom garbage can and saw a tampon wrapper. I was like …. awwww…. no good news for Sansa yet. Then three days later she announced her pregnancy and I was ecstatic (and very surprised lol) for them. Had I told her about the wrapper she would have laughed. THAT’s a good friend.

      And she just had her baby yesterday. Sooooooo happy and excited for them <3

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    • katie

      katie January 8, 2014, 9:48 am

      yea people like that i just dont get.

      them: were trying to get pregnant.
      you see the pregnancy test wrapper
      you: your pregnant, huh?
      them: you snooped through our stuff!!

      no logic there. just crazypants.

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    • GatorGirl

      GatorGirl January 8, 2014, 9:52 am

      And this is half of the reason I want to buy a new bathroom trashcan with a lid. Also, I always take the bathroom trash out before people come over…is that weird?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 8, 2014, 9:56 am

        I won’t say I ALWAYS do that, but if I know I’m having people over (other than a pop over of family or something), I’ll usually empty the garbages but only because that’s in my cleaning before company routine.

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      • avatar

        bethany January 8, 2014, 9:57 am

        I always take it out before people come over, too. My dad empties every single trash can in the house before people come over.

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      • katie

        katie January 8, 2014, 10:07 am

        the thought has never even crossed my mind to do that. lol. except for “their” bathroom, when people are staying over, i make sure that is all clean, which includes a new trash bag.

        sort of related…? i have this one pair of “fun” panties and they were …used… and i needed to wash them, but i was scared to put them in the washer with my other clothes because they are red, and so they were just sitting there, on my counter, when this guy came over to check my water meter. he walked right past them, many times. it took me almost 3 hours to even put it together. haha

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl January 8, 2014, 10:12 am

        Really? If I have any warning someone is coming to our apartment, I take out every trash and recycling can and wipe down every counter (and clean the potty too usually). I would feel super weird if like GGuy’s friends saw tampons or dirty q-tips or that I’ve got 2 empty bottles of wine in the bin. Probs a little OCD but oh well.

        I did have some lingerie drying on a drying rack on time when a tour came through (since we’re the show apartment for the complex). That was weird.

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      • avatar

        bethany January 8, 2014, 10:55 am

        We cat sat for a neighbor one time, and we had to go into her bedroom, because the litter box was in the bathroom off her bedroom. She had drying racks full of her underwear and bras all over the bedroom. It was really weird. She was a pretty new neighbor, so it wasn’t like we had *that* sort of relationship with her. And she also had the other neighbors coming over, too. (they had the morning feeding, we had the afternoon), so she knew that 2 sets of neighbors would be in her bedroom, and she just left it like that. It was weird.

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      • katie

        katie January 8, 2014, 11:48 am

        haha, maybe she made the mistake i did and was like, oh my laundry is there, its fine! not thinking that particular bit of laundry is of the sexy variety.

        or maybe they just dont care. to GG, i just dont care if people see q tips or tampons or whatever. its a trashcan. i feel no emotions one way or the other of what things are in my trash that people might see.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest January 8, 2014, 9:57 am

      I wish you would tell them its weird they are trying to be close after accusing you of being a snoop. Wow. What nutjobs!

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    • avatar

      WAPS January 8, 2014, 9:58 am

      Okay, so apparently I’m a super private person, because I would have found that comment really intrusive. An invitation to use my bathroom is not an invitation to comment upon its contents. If you (general you!) see a tampon wrapper, don’t come out and say, “So you’re on your period!” Or if you see medication in there, don’t say, “Oh, so you’ve got a yeast infection/genital herpes/UTI” or whatever. Especially with a pregnancy – I know a lot of people who wouldn’t want to tell, or wouldn’t want others to know before they were ready to tell. They don’t sound like they handled it well from their end, but I can see why they felt like their privacy had been violated.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 8, 2014, 10:02 am

        But her friend TOLD her she was trying, which opens up (allows?) conversations about that…and was yawning…and told her of plans to not drink. I definitely see a huge difference between the normal approach of not asking questions like that and this scenario.

        If she were a super private person like you, she likely wouldn’t have discussed sex and trying for a baby.

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      • katie

        katie January 8, 2014, 10:05 am

        yea, i mean, this is just a 1 + 1 = 2 thing. how is one not supposed to come to that conclusion?

        … i guess then you are not supposed to talk about it? like just pretend like you dont know until they tell you? i dunno, i dont operate like that, and i wouldnt want my friends to either.

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      • avatar

        WAPS January 8, 2014, 10:17 am

        Yeah, actually, I do think you are supposed to say nothing about it until she tells you directly. It is not unusual for people not to want to tell before 12 weeks – that is quite common, actually. And I’d want to share the news myself instead of being confronted with someone else knowing. I just don’t like the feeling that someone else is gathering clues about my life (not drinking! yawning! pregnancy test in trash!) and then springing their conclusions on me (you’re pregnant!). I would find it intrusive, even from my friends. And you may not operate like that, but that doesn’t mean that other people don’t. And sure, you can absolutely decide to cut people like that out of your life, but it doesn’t mean that their feelings are crazy or not normal. Like I said, I don’t think they dealt with it particularly well, but the initial feeling isn’t crazy.

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      • katie

        katie January 8, 2014, 10:19 am

        i guess to me that is like, tiptoeing around life. and to me, real friends dont do that. someone i dont know very well, sure. but not my real friends.

        real friends bring the wrapper out of the trash can and wave it around screaming “ohhhhh babies babies babies babies” while everyone laughs

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      • avatar

        WAPS January 8, 2014, 10:31 am

        That’s extraordinarily unfair. I know you said, “to me,” but your implication is that my type of friendship is “less.” I have let my friends stay with me for months when they had nowhere else to go. I have given money to friends in a tight spot. I have blown off important things to lend a shoulder to cry on. I have flown across the country to comfort my friend after a nasty breakup. Not wanting someone to yell in my face about my pregnancy does not make me less of a friend.

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      • katie

        katie January 8, 2014, 10:47 am

        no, i dont think your type of friendship is “less”. you are reading into that.

        i did use “to me” on purpose, and i meant that. i get that not everyone will have or will want to have the same types of friendships as me or anyone else- its your life and you can live it however you want. to take how *i* would like my friendships as a personal dig at you ..well, i think that is extraordinarily unfair.

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      • avatar

        WAPS January 8, 2014, 10:50 am

        Oh, please.

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      • katie

        katie January 8, 2014, 10:55 am

        oh please what?

        im sorry that you think my preferences are about you. i promise they arent.

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      • avatar

        WAPS January 8, 2014, 11:02 am

        Okay, I’ll spell it out. You said something semi-judgmental, couched in words that gave you a little deniability, then when I called you out on it, you did a passive aggressive, “Who me? My preferences aren’t about you.” Believe me, I know how this works. And it’s fine if you want to play it like that, but I’m not buying it.

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      • avatar

        bethany January 8, 2014, 11:07 am

        I don’t get it. Katie said how she acts with her friends. That’s it. If you want to take that personally, that’s on you.

        I have the sort of relationship Katie describes with my closest friends, too. I wouldn’t act that way with everyone, but with my 3 best friends? Hell yeah. There are literally no boundaries, and if someone wasn’t ok with that, then we probably wouldn’t be close friends.

        If your relationships are different, that’s fine. That’s how you chose to interact with your friends, and I’m sure your friends are on the same page as you.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl January 8, 2014, 11:09 am

        Dude, I think you’re taking this totally wrong, WAPS… Katie said it’s how her friendships works. Let it go. Your friendship structure is just as right as hers is, and she never said otherwise.

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      • avatar

        Sansa January 8, 2014, 11:51 am

        Sweetie, just relax. I’ve overreacted to people on here before (under another name) and gotten all upset but there doesn’t seem to be any insult going on.

        I think something struck a personal nerve that we don’t see and it hurt you for some reason but I don’t think there was intent to make you upset 🙂

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 8, 2014, 11:56 am

        Sansa, I will give you three dollars if you tell me what your old DW name was. $4 if you say who pissed you off 🙂

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      • avatar

        lemongrass January 8, 2014, 12:00 pm

        Sansa, you’re secretly BGM aren’t you?

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      • avatar

        Sansa January 8, 2014, 12:03 pm

        LOL Sansa will not reveal. This was actually way back in like May, before Sansa became the …. mature individual that she is now… and she got really upset because someone said that she had no idea what she was talking about and she flew off the handle. Bad day I think.

        and Lemongrass, the insult was like “old sansa reminds me of bgm except bgm at least made sense”

        She disappeared for a while but is now back, hoping to remain calm and respectful 😉

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        lets_be_honest January 8, 2014, 12:07 pm

        haha Sansa. Well I hope it wasn’t me!

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. January 8, 2014, 10:39 am

        Actually, I’d be really embarrassed if somebody did that. I guess I’m llike WAPS. If I’m pregnant, it’s my news to tell and nobody else’s. I also know that some people don’t tell until the pregnancy passes a certain marker (first trimester, or whatever) in case something goes wrong.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest January 8, 2014, 10:54 am

        I feel like if you are opening a discussion about trying to get pregnant and then all of a sudden, that same friend won’t have a drink when she normally does, its practically an invitation to ask or comment. If you never mentioned trying, then I would consider it rude or at least slightly inappropriate.

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      • avatar

        WAPS January 8, 2014, 11:04 am

        It’s a little dangerous to defend behavior that apparntly hurt someone else with, “Well, you were practically inviting it!” Why be so defensive? Instead just admit that you’re sorry you overstepped and be done with it.

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      • LadyinPurpleNotRed

        LadyinPurpleNotRed January 8, 2014, 11:07 am

        Well when you tell someone here’s what I’ll do if I’m pregnant and they do it…FAIR ASSUMPTION YOU CAN COMMENT

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        lets_be_honest January 8, 2014, 11:11 am

        I’m saying this person did invite it, I’m not saying you should respond saying “well asshole, you invited it so fuck you.” haha. If my friend “invited” me questioning whether she was pregnant and then I asked if she was and her response was that she wished I hadn’t asked that, I would say sorry. I wouldn’t say you asked for it. But I would think that she asked for it, because she did.

        If you don’t want people to wonder if you are pregnant: 1. don’t tell them you are trying, 2. don’t tell them how they will be able to tell (fake drinks, etc.), and 3. don’t leave pregnancy tests out in the open when you invite said friend over. Kinda solves the problem.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl January 8, 2014, 11:13 am

        So, take pregnancy out of it. Say your friend said she’d been looking into a boob job, and would start wearing pink socks if she made the decision to do it. One day y’all have lunch and friend is wearing pink socks…it’s rude to say “OMG you made a choice about the boob job?!?!”? Sub anything in….adopt a cat, take up pie making, become a vampire. You laid it out there that XYZ would happen; I can’t imagine NOT asking when those things happened.

        (edited to fix punctuation)

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        lemongrass January 8, 2014, 11:17 am

        GG, if you get pregnant can you please post a pic of you wearing pink socks on FB! It can be like a DW secret thing. It would be awe- wait for it – some.

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        bethany January 8, 2014, 11:20 am

        I love the pink sock idea!!!

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl January 8, 2014, 11:29 am

        somehow this whole conversation is making my baby-making-meter or what ever go off the charts. I like want one TODAY. haha.

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        lets_be_honest January 8, 2014, 11:31 am

        GG, I told Peter he’s not allowed to hang out with our friends’ 2 year old anymore because she keeps giving him baby fever.
        Did you already share when you are going to start trying? I can’t remember.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl January 8, 2014, 11:36 am

        Yeah, I saw my friends 9 month old over the holidays and was like NOW NOW NOW. We’re thinking mid summer to stop birth control and mid to late fall “trying”, but it could change. I want to get a handle on some financial stuff (pay off cars, build up savings, be better about drinking) and be a little more solid in GGuy’s graduation date before for-reals trying. But we’re hoping by the end of 2014 to be pregs, if all goes according to the tentative plan. Whoop!

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        lets_be_honest January 8, 2014, 11:42 am

        YAYYYYYY

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        bethany January 8, 2014, 11:44 am

        GG if you steal my thunder and get pregnant before me, we’re not going to be friends anymore!

        jk 🙂 (see forum topic!)
        It would be fun to be pregnant together.

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        lemongrass January 8, 2014, 11:48 am

        Bethany while we are referencing other topics- the other day you were saying you wouldn’t live in canada because it’s cold. Not where I am! This winter has been an average of 45 F and we’ve only had one light dusting of snow all winter.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl January 8, 2014, 11:56 am

        hahahaha Bethany that’s too funny. (PS I’ll be up in February so let’s drink more before we steal each other’s baby thunder.)

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        bethany January 8, 2014, 12:04 pm

        @GG– YES! We can get tipsy and talk about our baby fever!

        @lemongrass- I’m going to need more than 1 warm winter as proof that Canada isn’t cold!

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        lemongrass January 8, 2014, 12:08 pm

        It’s like this every winter! If you need proof come visit then. I’ll let you babysit! I won’t even charge you!

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        lets_be_honest January 8, 2014, 12:09 pm

        Lemon, its probably too cold for E in the winters. How about you just send him to me til winter is over?

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      • Miss MJ

        Miss MJ January 8, 2014, 11:14 am

        I have had several friends that I knew were trying and I guessed immediately that they were pregnant when they stopped drinking, were tired, or sick, etc. (For whatever reason, no one I know announced before the 12 week mark. Maybe it’s because most of us are older?) Anyway, I never said a word because it’s not about me and it’s not my news to tell. And, when they told me at the 12 week mark, I told them how happy I had been for them and that we’d kind of figured that was the case but didn’t know for sure and wanted to let them tell it the way they wanted to tell it when they wanted to tell it. I think it’s incredibly rude to announce someone else’s pregnancy before they have even confirmed it. Maaaaaayyyybe it’s okay to quietly ask your friend if she’s pregnant, but telling anyone else is inappropriate in my opinion.

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      • Miss MJ

        Miss MJ January 8, 2014, 11:20 am

        Oh, and we actually had one couple get a little miffed that we said we’d figured it out because they wanted the announcement to be a complete surprise to everyone and they thought they had covered it up well (they hadn’t been even remotely subtle with the not drinking thing, but okay) so the next time, I probably won’t even say anything like that. Sometimes people just want to deliver news in their own way and on their own timetable.

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        lemongrass January 8, 2014, 11:20 am

        I didn’t tell anyone. I told her when I figured it out that I would keep it to myself and even after they had their text freak out, I kept the whole thing to myself, freak out and all. I wouldn’t announce that I thought they were pregnant to anyone else, that is definitely not my place.

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        lets_be_honest January 8, 2014, 11:22 am

        No one is suggesting you announce someone else’s pregnancy to the world though. Like you said, quietly asking your friend who told you how you could independently confirm it once it happens is so different.

        And generally, you know how your friends would like things to be. If my closest friend was extremely private, I’d know not to ask because I’d know that about my close friend. However, I’d also assume if she were super private, she wouldn’t tell me about her sex, trying, plans to hide it, etc.

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      • Miss MJ

        Miss MJ January 8, 2014, 11:31 am

        I guess, because of all the potential complications, etc. that go along with pregnancy, unless my friend told me she was pregnant, then I’d assume she didn’t want to talk about it. Maybe it’s just my group of friends, where over the last five or so years, I know couples have had miscarriages and have watched other couples engage in ridiculous, yet kind of cute, schemes to “hide” a pregnancy until they announce, so to me it seems like you’re ruining their moment to say anything before they announce it. Other groups/people may not be like that.

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        Sansa January 8, 2014, 11:59 am

        Lets_Be_Honest, my friend just had her baby yesterday, gave me a picture today, and I’m hoping to visit them and the baby in the hospital after work. I’m ITCHING to post my congrats all over facebook but they haven’t been on yet and I don’t want to do that announcement for them.

        I’m waiting for them to do the posting and then I can blast it all over however I want lol.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl January 8, 2014, 12:07 pm

        @Sansa This is kinda related, but I always ask my friend before I put up a picture of her 9 month old on social media. She’s always said yes, but I feel like I owe her (and her husband) to ask if I can blast their kid on the internet. She’s always said “thanks for asking” so I assume it’s appreciated.

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      • LadyinPurpleNotRed

        LadyinPurpleNotRed January 8, 2014, 10:20 am

        Well her “friend” told her the plan if she was pregnant. It’s not like she had no basis for her assumptions. Her friend TOLD her what to assume

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay January 8, 2014, 5:31 pm

        I saw it less as a “watch for these signs and if they happen, you will know” and more of just saying what a person will do to hide it. I mean, a friend could tell me that if she had a certain medical problem, she’d probably have to take off work, but it doesn’t mean that if she takes off work, she was inviting me to ask if she in fact had that medical problem after all.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl January 8, 2014, 10:28 am

        I mean this chick basically laid out the road map to the assumption…she said “I’m going to do XYZ if I’m pregnant”, then did them and left a pregnancy test in plain sight…I would have done the same damn thing lemon did out of shear excitement that a good thing may have happened for a friend! Like “OMG are you pregnant?!?!” out of pure happiness. If a friend thought I was a jerk for being excited for them…well I wouldn’t want to be their friend either (even if my excitement was a little premature/not fitting in the neat little “12 week” box).

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle January 8, 2014, 11:27 am

        Sort of off-topic, but I had a friend announce to a small group of us at a party that she was pregnant at the 8 week mark, apparently, & it made me incredibly nervous?? I guess I internalized some of that “don’t tell before the 12 week mark” thing)

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        lemongrass January 8, 2014, 11:31 am

        I think you should tell when you feel comfortable and that women shouldn’t feel shamed into feeling like they can’t talk about miscarriage openly. I went public at 9 weeks once I had my ultrasound and I had some people shame me for it by asking “what if something happens?” Which was really hurtful. It is basically asking “what if your baby dies? Because you know you can’t talk to people about it if that happens.”

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle January 8, 2014, 11:57 am

        I mean, I would never, ever say that, but it was in the back of my mind just knowing how common miscarriages are? (which is something I only semi-recently learned)

        But that’s a good point—I wasn’t thinking that part of the reason women are encouraged to wait to announce is because people find miscarriage difficult to talk about. I was more thinking of the dramatic emotional swing from “happy, happy, babies” to utter feelings of loss & sadness, & how difficult (for me, I’m assuming) I’d find that ride if other people were along for it.

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        lemongrass January 8, 2014, 12:03 pm

        It’s fine to feel that way but the reality is that women are encouraged to keep their miscarriages private. It must be heartbreaking to go through that pain and pretend like everything is okay, that nothing is different in your life, for the sake of not making anyone uncomfortable. It is just another way that society tells women to put themselves last.

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        Breezy AM January 8, 2014, 5:07 pm

        Until I had my first miscarriage I was an early announcer. Not after that! Not because I was shamed or anything, but honestly I did not want to sit around and mope and be all saaaad and have to look at sad people and see them be sad and all be sad together. I mean I don’t care if someone ELSE is sad about their mc. I am the first one there with red wine and shitty movies! But for me it’s just… see I feel guilty saying this but I was more ANNOYED by my miscarriages than anything. It was gross, I ruined a lot of clothes due to the extreme bleeding, and it set back our timetable for how we wanted the kids spaced. I wasn’t all OMG I LOST MY BABY. And people kinda expected me to be and meanwhile I really just wanted to go get a beer and talk about BJs and get my mind off it.

        So after the first one, I never told again until well past the “safe” mark.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay January 8, 2014, 5:34 pm

        I don’t think women should be “encouraged” not to talk about it, but I think that many women who experience miscarriages don’t want to because they feel it’s private. Some people want to tell so they can get the support of many people, but some people feel more supported when it’s just family. In the same vein, a woman shouldn’t be made to feel like she’s oppressed or is doing women a disservice because she wants to keep it private.

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      • muchachaenlaventana

        muchachaenlaventana January 8, 2014, 1:13 pm

        we had friends announce at like the 4 week mark (To our whole friend group of about 20+ people) and then miscarried at 10 weeks. It is good I guess because we were there to support them, but also if I ever get pregnant I think I will tell a few close people at 10 weeks and wait until later to tell the rest.

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        lemongrass January 8, 2014, 10:05 am

        See, I can understand being a private person and feeling that way. Expect that said friend already told me that they weren’t using protection and would fake drink, etc. Can you really claim wanting privacy when you have already shared equally private information?

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay January 8, 2014, 10:18 am

        I don’t think it’s fair for the friend to get angry after sharing so much with her friend, but I also don’t think it’s wrong for her to share private info at first and then want privacy later. I’ve known several people who talked about trying to have a baby, but they still wanted to choose when they shared that information with others. Some people aren’t really aware of how important privacy is to them until something is happening that they feel really private about, if that makes sense.

        I guess to me, I think it’s risky to assume someone never wants privacy about a topic just because they were open about it at first because you never know what they might be dealing with. Complications, miscarriages, worries that someone is going to spill the beans. Or if a person thought they were pregnant and weren’t. Either way, I don’t think it’s awful of her to change her mind about wanting to be private — not that I think she should be mean about it.

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        WAPS January 8, 2014, 10:28 am

        I can see telling a friend I was trying for a baby, but I still wanting them to let me tell them when I was pregnant. I tend to err on the side of caution with private information, like medical questions and pregnancy status, by asking like, “So are y’all still trying for a baby?” in a private setting, like having coffee together. That way, they get to choose what information they put out there. And I don’t agree that anyone’s expectation of privacy goes away because you share one aspect of the whole thing. Maybe privacy is the wrong word – I’m not exactly sure what the word I’m looking for is because privacy is too strong. I guess just I just think it’s courteous to let pregnancy news be told by the parents. I’m just trying to put out the other side here. It sounds like you don’t like the way they told you they didn’t like what you did, and they didn’t like the way you handled knowing about their pregnancy. I know the overall point is that you don’t have to be friends with people you don’t see eye-to-eye with on major points, and I completely agree with that. I just don’t think they were being crazypants in how they felt (not that you said that, but there were a lot of people acting like they were crazy).

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        lemongrass January 8, 2014, 10:40 am

        Accusing me of snooping, which I did not do, while my life and my baby’s life was in danger? You don’t think that response is crazy? That is not the same as calmly saying that they would appreciate if we didn’t talk about their pregnancy status or asking us to drop it.

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        WAPS January 8, 2014, 10:49 am

        I said multiple times that they did not handle their response well at all. If you had told them that you were having a life-threatening complication before they texted, then they were absolutely in the wrong there. But I am merely saying that the feeling that prompted them was not irrational or uncommon. Those are two different things.

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        lemongrass January 8, 2014, 10:56 am

        They already knew I was in the hospital and why.

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      • avatar

        WAPS January 8, 2014, 11:05 am

        Yeah, then they were being total dicks about it.

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      • avatar

        ktfran January 8, 2014, 10:17 am

        So, I kind of agree in that nothing should have been said. I mean, even when I know friends are trying and then said friend suddenly stops drinking, I still won’t ask. I knew she was pregnant, but I respected her enough to tell me when she was ready. My reason being is that a lot can happen in the first three months of a pregnancy and it makes it awkward to have to call and tell people that you miscarried. It sucks. Not that it has happened to me, but it does happen.

        BUT . . . if people are over at your house, don’t effing leave a pregnancy test in the visible trashcan right next to the toilet!!!!!!

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        kerrycontrary January 8, 2014, 10:31 am

        I agree with ktfran. I wouldn’t have said anything. Like if I had a friend who thought she was pregnant, told me that, and then I saw a pregnancy test, I still wouldn’t have said “omg are you pregnant?” just cause people have the right to share that info when they want. But I don’t think the husband chastising you was right either.

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        lets_be_honest January 8, 2014, 10:58 am

        Right?!?! What if instead of the test in the trashcan, there was a crib in the living room. Are you still not allowed to ask? haha.

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        bethany January 8, 2014, 11:11 am

        I was at a friend’s house for the first time, and he was giving me the “House Tour”. There was a sonogram picture very obviously tucked into the frame of the mirror over his dresser.

        You’d better believe later that afternoon I cornered him and was like “Do you need to tell me something?”

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        lemongrass January 8, 2014, 11:15 am

        Right? Hide that shit if you want to hide it. I don’t want to be asked about my vibrator so I always think to put it away before someone comes over.

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      • avatar

        ktfran January 8, 2014, 11:22 am

        Totally agree. If you aren’t ready to say anything, then don’t leave clues.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay January 8, 2014, 11:12 am

        I think it’s easier to overlook a small wrapper. A lot of people forget that when you throw something “away,” it’s still around. If I found out I was pregnant, I would probably have my mind on other things than whether the wrapper was visible. Maybe they meant to dump the trash and forgot? I know I”m not super vigilant always about checking my trash cans before people come over.

        I guess I’d just assume that if someone was pregnant and hadn’t told me, that they weren’t necessarily wanting me to know yet.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl January 8, 2014, 11:19 am

        I have no idea how a person could overlook/forget a pregnancy test was taken and that there was a wrapper. It’s like one of those THINGS in life that have so many emotions attached to it (positive or negative). The few times I’ve ever taken a pregnancy test I’ve sure as SHIT covered up my tracks. I know I’ll do the same in the future.

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        Painted_lady January 8, 2014, 11:32 am

        I one time had to take a pregnancy test in a hotel, and I definitely hid that shit in the trash can under like a pound of Kleenex that I hadn’t used and just pulled it out of the box to cover that damn thing. Wasteful? Yes. Kinda nuts? For sure. But that housekeeping staff had not a clue that I wasn’t pregnant after all.

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      • muchachaenlaventana

        muchachaenlaventana January 8, 2014, 1:16 pm

        ha the first time i took a pregnancy test i was in college and did it at home while on summer break and i am pretty sure i drove to a remote location to dump it in a trashcan so there would be no trace, and paid with cash ha.

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        lets_be_honest January 8, 2014, 11:25 am

        EVERY time I’ve ever taken a pregnancy test, I’ve been so beyond overly cautious about throwing it away or whatever happens to it after I use it. I assumed everyone would be like that.

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        Sansa January 8, 2014, 11:43 am

        I have generalized anxiety disorder so I can convince myself that I’m pregnant even if I have my monthly friend. I’ve gone through sooooo many pregnancy tests, and I always wrap them in toilet paper and bury them after in case someone sees. Therapy has helped with the compulsion of testing myself even if it’s not possible to be pregnant though.

        Plus, my new puppy goes through the garbage, and I’ve found… other… unmentionables… chewed up throughout the house. How embarassing! But a plus for helping me keep things tidy

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        lets_be_honest January 8, 2014, 11:54 am

        My sister is like you! I feel like all of us have that happen sometimes though (irrational thoughts of being pregnant)

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl January 8, 2014, 11:59 am

        I think I’m pregnant like every month. I don’t go so far as to test, but there are a few hours each cycle that I’m all “omg what if an oops happened!!!” Even though I take my pill religiously.

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        lets_be_honest January 8, 2014, 12:05 pm

        Ugh, almost every time we have sex, Peter comments on how he thinks that he was so good he probably made a baby. haha

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        lemongrass January 8, 2014, 12:06 pm

        Oh I was so like that before actually getting pregnant, especially the few months we were trying. I bought cheapie pregnancy tests off the internet so that I could take as many as I want without going broke.

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        lemongrass January 8, 2014, 12:10 pm

        @LBH mr. Grass does the same thing! He asked me yesterday if I feel pregnant, hours after we did it. Granted, we are trying, but I shot him down with a no haha

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        lets_be_honest January 8, 2014, 12:12 pm

        ahahhaha. I love mr. grass!

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster January 8, 2014, 11:48 am

        I’m the same as GG and LBH. I will wrap a pregnancy test + wrapper in an entire roll of toilet paper, duct tape it, slap some biohazard stickers on it and then bury it beneath coffee grinds and banana peels.

        I really need to invest in an incinerator.

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        ktfran January 8, 2014, 11:20 am

        Totally agree about their reaction. They were just ASKING for someone to say something.

        With that being said . . . .
        I had a friend that had a hard time getting pregnant. She’s a foodie and also likes her wine/beer/whiskey. So, when she all of a sudden stopped doing those things, we were like what? She’s pregnant! One of our friends asked and cat was out of the bag before she was ready to say anything. A few weeks later, she had to call ALL OF US and let us know she miscarried.

        That had to have totally sucked.

        Fast forward a few months, I kind of suspected she was pregnant again. And we hadn’t been hanging out in the usual group settings so I was pretty sure I was the only friend who knew. But I didn’t ask, because I didn’t want her to go through getting excited again and then it being a false alarm. One day, before her 12 weeks, she told me because she had figured I knew. I hugged her, and was super excited, but kept it to myself. I figured she would tell everyone when she was ready. Now I’m helping her sister-in-law plan the baby shower. Yay!

        I guess my point is, a miscarriage can be a painful thing and I prefer to error on the side of caution. But you also have to know your friends. I knew this friend is a lot more private that others. I have friends that are more open and maybe the situation would have been different with someone else.

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        Ele4phant January 8, 2014, 11:27 am

        I agree. While I think the friend and her husband overreacted, I would still feel weird that a friend was commenting on my trash contents. Even if I had previously talked about trying to get pregnant.

        Although I probably would not talk so explicitly about something like that in the first place, so I dunno.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle January 8, 2014, 11:22 am

      So I don’t know where my reply will show up in this whole discussion, but basically: I, personally, probably wouldn’t have said anything, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable that you did @lemongrass (& I mean, there were other clues besides the wrapper, right? And you didn’t ~mention~ the wrapper? Because yeah, then I’d think it was kinda weird) (But either way, they reacted terribly)
      As a side note, I finally caved & signed onto DW from my new work computer. Secret phone DW-ing was starting to make me lose my mind, & there’s nothing going on here sooo 😐 Waah

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      Banana January 8, 2014, 12:12 pm

      Is it just me, but if they leave a pregnancy test wrapper sitting at the top of their LIDLESS trash can in a highly visible place in the bathroom when they have a houseful of guests, doesn’t it sound almost like she was HOPING someone would say something?

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      • avatar

        Banana January 8, 2014, 12:21 pm

        Holy sh!t I didn’t scroll down far enough to see that everyone’s already covered this one from every possible angle 🙂

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  • avatar

    Laura Hope January 8, 2014, 10:05 am

    What about this poor child who’s being abused? Isn’t it worth an intervention if it can possibly help this child?

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    • katie

      katie January 8, 2014, 10:11 am

      parents are usually the most defensive about their kids/parenting (not a judgement, just an observation)… an intervention that might help the kid would have to come from “authority” figures like cps or a counselor or something for it to mean anything, probably. otherwise they are just going to think they have judgemental friends.

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        lets_be_honest January 8, 2014, 10:59 am

        And frankly, even if it came from an “authority” figure like cps, it still wouldn’t work probably.

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      Breezy AM January 8, 2014, 5:13 pm

      Yeah I was kind of floored no one seemed to give a shit about that.

      My ex and his wife did this with one of her friends and his wife. They just… were not taking well to parenting and were being dicks to their kid. And so they set them down and basically told them as such. “We have concerns about how strict you seem to be with Junior. He’s just a little boy.” It was wrapped in a lot of “we understand how hard it is, how can we help you, because we know you don’t want to be that harsh.”

      The initial reaction was explosive but exH and his wife kept their cool and remained calm and over several hours a good talk came out of it, and a slow road to better parenting.

      I’m kind of shocked Wendy and the LW were all “fuck this meeting, I don’t want to hang with them.” Um, the point of the meeting is not to be BFFs it’s to tell them “we know what you’ve been doing, it’s not fucking cool, it needs to stop, how can we help you accomplish this?” WTF.

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  • Lindsay

    Lindsay January 8, 2014, 10:10 am

    The only reason I’d see this as being a good idea would be if you planned to talk to them to discuss with them that you think they are abusing their child. Not that I have any expertise that tells me whether speaking directly about that would be appropriate or helpful, but I don’t see any purpose outside of that. Telling them they are awful is not going to save your friendship or make them more fun to be with on a vacation. And as horrible as you think they are, telling them that for your own benefit is still pretty rude.

    To me, the issue here goes back to how a lot of people failed to learn that you don’t have to be friends with everyone and you don’t have to try to salvage every friendship that you once had. If you hate them, then stop spending time with them. You don’t appear to like either family, so why not just spend time with families you do like? Just because your kids are friends doesn’t mean you need to be. I had plenty of friends growing up whose families rarely even saw mine.

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  • avatar

    Laura Hope January 8, 2014, 10:21 am

    Yes, if you accuse them of child abuse they will be defensive. But maybe when they think about it, they’ll be aware that there are witnesses and soften.

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      lets_be_honest January 8, 2014, 11:00 am

      …even without softening to the lw/husband. I’ve had people call me out on shit before and become defensive, but at some point, it will result in self-reflection even if I never tell that person it did.

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  • avatar

    j2 January 8, 2014, 10:34 am

    I agree with Wendy, but I would add one caution. If the “Millers” have that big talk with the “Johnsons” w/o you two, there is some chance that you two will be blamed or otherwise have all the negative views attributed to you.

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    • Imsostartled

      Imsostartled January 8, 2014, 5:34 pm

      True it could be like…. oh Imsostartled and Mr. Imsostartled have all these issues with you including blah blah blah. While, that would be annoying I don’t think it’d be too bad since A) I don’t care if the Johnsons dislike me if it means I’d see less of them and B) not worried about the Millers choosing their “side” of things since we’ve never done anything against the Johnsons (besides not inviting them to our house).

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  • avatar

    Laura Hope January 8, 2014, 10:36 am

    You know what? The more I think about, the more I’m realizing that they have to call Social Services and try to get this kid rescued. You can’t be a witness to evil and do nothing.

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    • Lindsay

      Lindsay January 8, 2014, 11:09 am

      Yeah, I’m not trying to be judgy because I know it’s hard to decide whether to do it or not, but I think it’s important for people to remember that “almost calling” isn’t an action. It’s inaction.

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  • fast eddie

    fast eddie January 8, 2014, 11:07 am

    Social misbehavior might be overlooked even repaired and if the Millers want to take it on that’s their business, NOT YOURS. Child neglect is criminal and must not be allowed to let it pass. I’m surprised that the hospital didn’t report it.

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  • avatar

    Lucy January 8, 2014, 11:30 am

    While I was reading this letter, I kept thinking “oh, what a horrible idea… except then you’d never have to be friends with them again, so actually maybe an awesome idea?” But don’t take the job at the drama factory. Let the Millers create the drama and stay as far away as you can.

    Also, call CPS. The poor kid at least deserves a chance to be helped. Don’t just sit on the sidelines shaking your head,

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  • Imsostartled

    Imsostartled January 8, 2014, 12:20 pm

    Yeah LW you should really take everyone’s advice! do di do di doooo….

    So yeah, I’m the LW. Perhaps I should clarify a bit more about the CPS situation. I didn’t want to put too many details in case someone stumbled across this, but I’ll be a bit more forthright anyways. The child kept having many many ear infections and they DID take him to the doctor on occasion, but the doctor kept telling them they needed to go to a specialist because it could result in permanent hearing loss. They didn’t for months, even though it was very noticeable to us that he couldn’t hear properly and wasn’t able to speak correctly (because of his hearing). They kept telling us they would, but put it off and off and off. Miller Guy actually had a “Come to Jesus” talk to them about this and I think that’s what put a fire under their butts to go ahead and schedule the doctor’s visit. He did need surgery and he does have permanent hearing loss in one ear. The Johnsons would probably have said that it would have happened anyways, but I’m really doubting that’s the case.

    I actually talked to my mom who works a lot with CPS about the situation (she’s a nurse as well) and she advised me not to call (yet) since the child is having some medical attention and not interacting with your kid isn’t “abuse” in the eyes of CPS (even though I think we can say it is). She also said that the inquiry could be traumatic for the child depending on how the parents handle it. The Johnsons are pretty well off, they cloth, feed appropriately, educate and aid him in those ways. Belittling, indifference and treating him more like an inconvenience or an object is their crime to me. I don’t think CPS would think that way though. If I’m wrong and CPS could have intervened and it would have made a difference, I’ll admit it. I just didn’t know what exactly to do in that situation.

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    • Imsostartled

      Imsostartled January 8, 2014, 12:42 pm

      Also Thank you so much Wendy! You’re advice is awesome. Sometimes you just need someone to tell you how it is and I kept wondering if I was the crazy one because I thought the “talk” was an insane plan. It was like “does no one see that this will never work and will just cause 10x more drama and stress?!”

      Also, Thanks DWers for the (as usual) excellent advice. I’m getting warm fuzzies knowing how much this community cares and how much thought everyone put into the question(s).

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    csp January 8, 2014, 1:04 pm

    So I have to say DO NOT have a conversation and suggest that your friends don’t either. So I am in my mid thirties and moved to a suburb with my husband about 6 years ago. We met 4 couples and we would all hang out. Then 4 years ago two of the women had a fight. It was a fundamental personality difference and it broke up the group. Now, here is why it is SOOOOO important to be tactful. We all own homes in this same town and three of these couples had kids within months of each other. Now for the rest of their lives, they are going to have kids in the same grade. They will be at the same school events and parties. We had a big party at our house last weekend and it is still awkward years later. I know for a fact that everyone wishes there had been the slow fade so that we won’t deal with the same nonsense for the rest of our lives. If you live local to these people and plan to stay that way, really think about it. It might be true that you won’t be friends anymore, but really think if you can handle full blown animosity.

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark January 8, 2014, 2:02 pm

    Wendy is right. A groups discussion would not only be pointless. But a disaster. This is a NO win situation. What-so-ever.

    Wait. Wait… Then again you obviously DESPISE these people. And if the Millers truly are hellbent on such a discussion, maybe you SHOULD simply tag along? Why? Um, trust me — if said intervention takes place the Johnsons will suddenly NOT be available to go on this trip. Just you watch… Problem SOLVED!

    Yikes, this could be my most devious and most ALL ABOUT EVE advice yet.

    Now, a random word to the wise for everybody else. It’s really quite simple. NEVER, EVER go on a trip with ANYONE if you have even the slightest reservations about spending extended periods of time with them. Just don’t.

    Just say you can’t get off work when they want to go and that will be that. OR invent another family conflict (wedding, reunion, retirement party blah blah blah) if you truly want to save face.

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    • Imsostartled

      Imsostartled January 8, 2014, 3:24 pm

      Haha I was wondering what you would say Mark! Don’t think I haven’t thought that if this discussion actually happened that it would inadvertently solve the problem. 😛 I actually can’t get off work for part of it, so there are legitimate excuses besides just disliking the Johnsons. I also agree 100% with you about the trip and not going with someone you’re hesitant about. Unfortunately, my husband thinks that it’s ok to go with people you don’t like, since you should be able to ignore them. I’m glad I’m not alone! So thanks!

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark January 8, 2014, 10:22 pm

        HAH! Um, wow. My advice is almost the EXACT same as Wendy!! I was multitasking/slammed today so I only skimmed her first paragraph… Whoops. Great minds!

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  • avatar

    Shadowflash January 8, 2014, 2:21 pm

    WWS, obviously. (At least I think it’s obvious).

    I can’t imagine what the hubby thinks will come of the amateur group therapy (and I say that as “that chick who always wants to talk it out”). As it is, I’d be pretty mad at him for blithely sharing such a deep, personal grievance with the Millers, thereby dragging them into the LWs/Johnsons drama. Why was that even necessary? Cite the lack of time/funds and beg off. It’s completely true, even if it’s not truly complete. Maybe later have a tactful, *private* conversation with the Millers if they keep pushing the group vacations.

    And yeah, I’ve totally done the “friendtervention” thing. Ditto everyone above on the results–some (very few) people find it brilliantly eye-opening, most just find it bitchy.

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    • Imsostartled

      Imsostartled January 8, 2014, 3:20 pm

      Haha, my husband had an argument exactly because of that. I was like “WHYYY would you tell them that? What was the point? It’ll make them a. feel bad and b. want to fix it!” his response was “Because they’re our frieeeeends. I didn’t want to lie and I thought it was ok since they already know we don’t invite them to our stuff and don’t attend the Johnsons events.” It just opened such a can of worms, but he’s come to see that we don’t have to share EVERYTHING with the MIllers even thought they’re our best coupled friends. TBH he might just wanted to bitch about the Johnsons and inadvertently caused the issue. 😛 Unfortunately, I was sick that night, otherwise I would have kicked him under the table.

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      • avatar

        Shadowflash January 8, 2014, 4:39 pm

        I have a quote that I’ve always wanted to have framed and put on my desk for occasions such as this:

        “Tell the truth, but tell it slant
        Success in circuit lies.”
        -Emily Dickinson (I think)

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  • avatar

    BecBoo84 January 9, 2014, 10:51 am

    If their parenting is such that you were considering calling CPS on them, and they delayed medical care for their sick child to the point that their child suffered lifelong repercussions, I think it is despicable that neither you nor the Millers have said anything and continue even being pseudo friends with them. I have no idea what specifically you’re referencing, but child neglect and abuse (and, based on what you’ve said, the Johnsons are at a minimum verbally abusive) are very real and serious issues.

    Reply Link
    • Imsostartled

      Imsostartled January 9, 2014, 12:12 pm

      Hi I’m the LW. I’m not sure if you’ve read my clarification above regarding the CPS situation. There WAS a talk with them (Mr. Miller talked to them) regarding them taking their child to a specialist which DID result in them going and the child having surgery. Furthermore, we DID tell them that they need to take him for more care – continuously – we didn’t sit idly by saying nothing. Also, I described in my comment above why I chose not to call CPS YET. I wouldn’t really call attending mutual friends events being friends with them. Also, the only reason the Millers still keep inviting them to things is for their child. I said it in the forums and I’ll say it here, he has a hard life ahead of him. Does it help him if all the positive adults in his life disappear? Is it fair to him that his best friend (the MIllers child) disappears because his parents are douche-canoes?

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      • avatar

        BecBoo84 January 9, 2014, 3:09 pm

        Just read your clarification above, and that does change my opinion somewhat. However, neglect is the #1 reason children are taken out of their homes (at least in the state of IL), as opposed to abuse. Only you can judge though whether or not their neglect is at that level.

        I am still confused though by Mr. Miller’s general happy go lucky attitude towards them and his thoughts that everyone should just get along. How the hell do you “just get along” with a crappy parent?!

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      • Imsostartled

        Imsostartled January 9, 2014, 4:37 pm

        “How the hell do you “just get along” with a crappy parent?!” That I can’t answer. It baffles me.

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