A call came in around 4 pm on a Saturday. My boyfriend and I were sitting in a Weatherspoons (best UK pub chain, ever) hounding bottles of white wine and tequila. The day hoon was coming to an end though, as I was nearing blackout.
My phone flashes and my heart drops. It’s my pal, Arri. A bit of backstory here – I met her at uni and can only describe her as a massive pain in my arse. She’s one of those people to LOVE the sympathy vote and will rattle on and on about her past traumas, delighted when people take pity on her. I remember the first time I met my boyfriend’s sister and her pals, Arri called saying she wanted to come round. I cleared it with everyone and told her to pop along for a couple of hours. Ten minutes into her being at the party, she had a carousel of people coming in and out of a room, talking about deep, personal traumas (they were complete strangers to her) meaning I had to spend most of the night saving people who were too polite to make their excuses to leave. She. just. wouldn’t. go. fucking. home. Also embarrassing for me, as everyone kept asking if ‘she was okay?’ and ‘your friend is strange.’
She does it every party though. A little bit of gear and you’ll be sitting there for hours, unable to get a word in. It’s a real vibe killer. To add insult to injury she never pays for anything as she has NO money but always wants to party the longest. She will manipulate you out of 200 quid and have no intention of paying you back. I’m wondering why I’m still friends with her as I write this.
Anyway, flash forward to sitting in Weatherspoons. The phone rings, my boyfriend has gone to the loo and I drunkenly pick up. All she wants to do is come and see me, she says, and something TERRIBLE (highly doubt it, she needs an excuse) has happened. I calmly explain that I need a nap ASAP Rocky, and let’s do the next day. Nope, that wasn’t good enough – she’ll be over at 6pm.
Sensing my disheartenment, I told my boyf when he was back about how Arri was coming to see us and we should leave the pub now. I was also dismayed, as this would mean paying for everything – the wine, gear, cigarettes AND have my ear chewed off for a minimum of 10 hours. I felt morally obliged though because she was sad and I should be a good mate, right?
‘Boundaries! she cannot dictate our day. You said you are going to sleep, so why is she still insisting on coming? Give me your phone, I’ll message her, then you can set some boundaries. This is ridiculous.’ It was. I am a complete people pleaser and need to start learning to put my bloody self first. She knows I’m a weak link, and from what it looks like – I’m one of the only friends she has left. This isn’t friendship, this is extorting your mates to fuel your drug addiction.
Anyway, she didn’t come round as I completely ignored her afterward. We all need boundaries. Feels good to set them as well.