About two months ago I made a new friend and for me, she really couldn’t have come along at a better time. I met her as we soccer-mummed on the sidelines at kids sport. She has really good energy and is lots of fun. Being 35 years of age and having recently moved to a new area, I was quite proud of myself to make a brand new friend, independent of everyone I know. She is 31, has kids the same age as mine and she happens to live just off my street. Score on many levels.
We caught up a few times at the local park and watched our kids play together. We related well but as our conversations progressed into a more personal realm, I noticed how she was very forthcoming with details about her private life. She would tell me about her parents in law, who are in fact, well-known locally, her own family, her past. It was, at times a case of, too much too soon.
I’m talking big slap-you-in-the-face details.
Things I would consider telling my friends but only after a considerable amount of time. I teetered between admiring her openness and feeling compelled to say, “Hey mate, be careful who you tell shit to”.
At our last kiddy play date, we agreed to make our friendship official by wetting the proverbial baby’s head, with dinner and drinks down at our local. I invited another two friends of mine and the date was set, Friday 16 November. A date that will now be known as, “That Night”.
So last night, the married with kidlets versions of Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha each got dressed and headed out for a much needed and much deserved night on the town. We arrived promptly for Happy Hour where I stupidly consumed a Vodka AND two and a half sugary Caprioskas. ‘Dumb’, you say. I know. But I blame the excitement on finally being out in public with a handbag, not a nappy bag.
I got myself comfortably numb early and although I wasn’t completely plastered, I had consumed the first lots of drinks way too quickly, thus failing to pace myself for the rest of the night. I’ve paid for it today, I assure you.
With liquid courage, my old friends got to know my new friend, the ‘Samantha’ of our foursome, very quickly. There was quick rhetoric and lots of laughs as we shared stories about our kids, husbands and colleagues; the usual victims of conversation when four friends get together. It was shaping up to be a great night.
We went to the dining area and sat down to order. In retrospect, I wish I’d stopped drinking at that point. Over the course of the next hour, Samantha transformed into someone completely different. One of my old friends remained sober throughout the night, so she was able to help me piece together my blurry recollection of the evening.
Without elaborating too much, straight, married Samantha, although mostly outrageously funny, became sexually suggestive towards my straight, married friends. She was inappropriate throughout the night in more ways than one and made my sober friend, in particular, feel very uncomfortable. My sober friend told me, that if I wasn’t so drunk I’d have probably ended the night early, which is what she did. One of the husbands’, who picked up his wife, my other old friend, qualified my sober friend’s story with his own, very similar version.
All in all, what was meant to be a night for the four of us to relax and do something different, quickly because something reminiscent of Schoolies Week.
I’m pissed off.
Although we got home safe and sound, there are many minutes I can’t account for during the night, the short cab ride home for example. I’m not taking the moral high ground on this one, I was just as irresponsible with the teenage binge drinking moment and I’m pissed off that I let it happen. I’m also pissed off because I feel like I can’t trust my new friend’s character.
I know my new friend enjoys a drink. I do too. But I’m a laugh-my-head-off-and-fall-asleep drunk. I’m worried that if she’s the what-I’ve-just-described kind of drunk, then she might, in all likelihood, find herself in a situation that she may end up regretting. I care about her and I don’t want to see her potentially lose friends or worse because she can’t handle her liquor.
If I behaved how she did, it would kill me to hear it but I would want to know and I would expect my ‘friends’ to tell me. I think I’d be upset if they didn’t.
This is what I want to do.
I want to tell her about the night without making her feel like she’s the worst person in the world. I want to say something like:
“hey, this and this happened and it was pretty full on. Everyone’s cool but it was mentioned and I feel bad coz I organised it. I’m just worried that you might not realise it and I don’t want you to find yourself in trouble. I can understand if this makes you uncomfortable but I’d feel like a shit friend if I didn’t tell you. Don’t be embarrassed, I’m a walking embarrassment when I’m pissed too. If you think I’m a bitch I understand but I’m telling you because I care about you”.
One of the cardinal rules of blogging is never to write something about someone that you can’t say to their face. I can say this to a friend. But obviously it’s something that no-one wants to hear.
Wrong or right, I am going to say it, the next time I see her.
I know the friendship is at stake but that will be her decision.
I would love nothing more than to continue the play dates and soccer-mumming, with the odd Happy Hour thrown in, for good measure.
Please leave your thoughts below. I’d love to hear constructive advice on how to be honest without being hurtful.