I’m reading the comments of this post like:
I can relate to the author in the how dissappointed she was that the friend bailed on her before her birthday cake. Like the author, little gestures that are innocuous to other people tend to mean a lot to me. That’s my baggage. I’ve written before of how hurt I get when people do the whole “let’s get drinks next week” thing and then blow me off. I get invested in that kind of attention because I don’t get it very often. I’m working on it, okay?
Anyhoo, there’s a lot going on here if you read between the lines, which many of the commenters defending the author aren’t doing. It sounds to me like the friend only went to dinner with the author because she felt bad for her. That she would bolt without waiting for the friend to get her stupid birthday cake and wouldn’t invite her to tag along on her plans to go to a karaoke bar tells me this author and the friend aren’t really that close.
Second, the fact that the author invited the friend to dinner (at a steakhouse, no less) and seems perturbed that the friend asked for separate checks is completely out of whack with appropriate expectations. I don’t care if it’s your fucking birthday. You ask, you pay.
Then there’s the whole bit about how the author chose a dessert that she didn’t even like in favor of something she thought her friend would like reeks of martyrdom.
When I was choosing the dessert, Sandy was texting on her phone, and when I suggested the dessert to her, she just said “Whatever.” I chose a dessert that was not so much in my palate, but I knew it was something Sandy would enjoy.
About five minutes later, she flagged down the waitress and asked to pay her portion of the bill since she was in a hurry to leave. We each paid our bills and waited for the dessert, but as soon as the dessert came, she told me that her friend was outside — and she darted straight out of the restaurant.
Imagine how I must have felt during that moment. Looking at a cake with a candle that says “happy birthday” — alone. Imagine me blowing out the candle and eating alone, being abandoned by my friend for a new friend, on my birthday. Imagine the stares from the patrons around me.
The waitress asked me what had happened to my friend, and another waiter came by to try to comfort me.
I felt so embarrassed, abandoned, and humiliated.
Was getting the cake to go not an option or…? Could it be more obvious that the friend had no interest in sitting through this agonizing pity party of a dinner?
The people at the table next to me said “I can’t believe your friend would leave you on your birthday.”
Huh. That’s weird. How’d they know that? Oh right. BECAUSE YOU SAT THERE LIKE A SAD SACK BLOWING OUT YOUR LONE CANDLE ON YOUR BIRTHDAY CAKE.
I’m going straight to hell, I know.
The rest of the story just supports the theory that the author is possibly a little delusional as well as alarmingly needy.
I eventually decided to message her on Facebook to explain my thoughts about the situation. It took three messages for her to even look at what I wrote, which made me look desperate considering she should have messaged me first, even if it’s just to check up. A true friend would show effort, ask me how I’m doing, and apologize again with me having to pester multiple times.
I could see she “read” the messages but didn’t bother to respond immediately. When I saw that, I sent another message asking why she didn’t respond and telling her how I felt used and taken for granted since I drove her around, invited her to stay at my house, helped her with her homework, gave her advice, tolerated being the third wheel when she was with her boyfriend.
I finally got a response with yet another mediocre apology, and she said she would understand if I chose to end the friendship. That made me really skeptical because it implied she didn’t want to be friends anymore.
The friend is DYING to shake this woman and she’s just not getting it. But like I said, I sympathize. I’ve totally done this and seeing it play out in front of me is making me cringe because I’ve been that girl. I’ve been the girl who gets too invested in attention. I’ve been the girl who has believed something that wasn’t real because it was comforting. Unfortunately for the author, she’s published on a site that will probably refuse to remove it when the author realizes she comes off horribly in this essay. The upside of that will be that she’s developed the self-awareness to necessary to realizes she comes off horribly.