I have suffered the recent revelation that I do not like a lot of the people in my life. I have a best friend, and he is great (though I am not sure that he doesn’t want to date me), but that is about it. All of my girlfriends are mean and shallow. Well, not totally shallow, but totally judgmental and snobs. The other night we actually had an hour-long conversation about another girl’s living room that only two people in the group had actually seen. For an hour we dissected the description fed to us by the two and used it to violate this poor girl’s name. All of this because she doesn’t have stuff like our stuff. I think. I don’t even remember. The point is that it was pointless and mean even though the girl wasn’t there to be hurt by it. These are not nice people, and I don’t want to be like them. There is also a lot of bad talk about the men we date, or are married to in one case. Like they are cattle or handbags.
I work with several of these “women” and day in and day out I feel like my soul is going to be barbecued and fed to a pack of rabid Chihuahuas. Seriously, I don’t know what is wrong with me or them, but I don’t think I can take it much longer. How do I escape and find new friends? I am looking for a new job as I think this is necessary, but I also need to sever the social ties. What do I say? I don’t want to be all melodramatic. Do I say anything?
I would really appreciate your insight on this situation and how to meet people who are kind, friendly, and interested in the world and want to talk about it.
— Not a Mean Girl
Everyone goes through these kinds of changes or shifts in perception. It’s a part of growing up and really becoming an adult. The driver’s license, drinking age, and ability to reproduce are prematurely obtained to assist or impede in the development, but being an adult is something that happens in your late 30s. I know this because I am in my early late mid-30s and am still not fully developed. Just wait till you discover you studied the wrong subject in college or that you want to be the first lesbian on the moon, but you don’t like girls and there isn’t a moon program at NASA.
Your friends may be the dogs of hell unleashed upon modern civil society or they might just be misunderstood, primarily by you. They could be at home writing this same letter to Dear Abby or ¡Ask a Mexican!. You did have the hour-long conversation, too. A cake doesn’t bake itself.
If you want a new job, go find a new job. If you want new friends, start talking to strangers, but don’t go burning bridges just yet. Next week one of these women is going to save your ass or rescue a squirrel or read a book or a magazine. You didn’t become friends with them for no reason, and if you did, then you are definitely more of the problem than you think.
The next time you are having an unseemly chat about the “cattle and handbags” you breed with, why not bring up a more worldly topic you want to discuss. Try this, “You’re right Becky, it is cool that Brad is more hung than Bob. Gee, I sure wish that oil spill didn’t happen. How would you stop the leak and clean it up?” It’ll totally work, and if it doesn’t just try again. Segue, segue, segue. This is also good advice for surviving networking events and family gatherings.
You are the only person who can make your life more interesting. You are the only person who can make you into a bad or shallow person. No one is perfect.
Not at being evolved, educated, cultured, and kind or terrible, thoughtless, cruel, and vapid.
Hang loose, breathe deep, and let the world spin a little.
Much love, personal insight, and happiness,
Your Uncle Mat
Uncle Mat answers questions about relationships, sex, pets and art. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, myspace.com/yourunclemat, or check out the Dear Uncle Mat Page on Facebook. Your true identity is safe with him.