The Emperors New Clothes….

Hello! Nice to see you again 🙂 How’s your week been? Mines been quiet – except for trying to find an outfit at the last minute for Stroppy 3 to dress up in for World Book Day.

Anyway, I have a friend. I don’t just have one friend. 😉 But one of my friends is needy. Very needy. And I don’t know whether to just distance myself, or to ride it out and hope the situation changes.

You see, she has very low self-esteem and thinks that if she tries to impress everyone she’ll feel better in herself. She won’t of course, but she’s not the type I can sit down and talk to about the situation – she would just never speak to me again. Although at the moment that seems like quite a nice prospect….

For the last few years she has been very heavily in debt, to the extent that she can no longer release any more equity from her home. This is on top of the mountain of credit cards she has. It makes me sad to think that she is in this position – but should I pity her or be angry with her for continuing to make the situation worse?

A few examples over the last 2 years are –

Buying her 16-year-old a car for his birthday. Why does a 16-year-old need a bloody car when he can’t take to the road until he’s 17?

Paying for the most extravagant wedding for her daughter (more on her later!) because she ‘wanted it’.

Making her husband come home from work (he’s self-employed, so loses money if he’s not there) because she is in bed feeling stressed and can’t walk downstairs to get the Kalms. Seriously. 😦

Paying for a puppy (£800) for her daughter for Christmas because she ‘wanted it’. She couldn’t afford it, but that doesn’t matter to the daughter. What she wants, she gets. Said daughter is in her 20’s with a child. Buy your own bloody dog girl!

Making her husband buy the puppy’s sister because it was the only one left and would be lonely. Another £800. Jeez…..

Buying the son with the car not one, not two, but three motorbikes. Because he wanted them. And he had to have the best bike among his friends.

Making her (poor, long-suffering) husband come home from work and take her to Fortnum & Mason to buy cheese and olives for a tapas ‘night’. The guests consisted solely of her immediate family, so it was essentially dinner. Why the hell she couldn’t go to M&S or Waitrose is beyond me.

All this is invariably posted on her Facebook page. Everything from getting up in the morning to drinking a cup of tea goes on her Facebook feed. A tea post won’t say ‘having a cuppa’ though. Ohhhh no. It will say ‘sitting with a lovely Teapigs cuppa’. So you see, she goes to great lengths to impress others (even down to the brand of tea), and I find it hard to feel sorry for her when she’s moaning about money every time I see her, but then spending thousands on a new sofa for her daughter, because she ‘wants one’.

Yes, this is the same daughter. She’s married to a man who has a good job, but has her mothers spending morals so despite him earning in excess of 50K a year, the bank of mum & dad have to fund her lifestyle monthly. My friend now looks after her grandchild full-time so that the daughter can work, which means she doesn’t have to give her so much money. She’s knackered. Far too old to be looking after a (VERY naughty) toddler. But she does because her daughter (much like mum), doesn’t like to be told that she’s spending too much or to pay for a childminder, and would never talk to her mum again.

The daughter is a brat. A hugely confident brat. She is so über confident that she is a dress size 22/24 (easily), but is convinced she’s a size 12 and dresses accordingly. Which means that a woman who could look nice in clothes that fit her, squeezes herself into clothes much too small – and her mum’s too scared to tell her.
It doesn’t matter what size she is – it’s the confidence that’s amazing. As her mother has self-confidence issues, I always assumed that the children would pick up on it and be affected in the same way. But the opposite has happened – certainly with the younger two children. They aren’t the most attractive people in the world. Hitting all the branches of the ugly tree springs to mind…. 😉
I was looking at pictures that the daughter had posted on Facebook, and lovely man asked “Who’s that in drag?”. Now this is lovely man. He wouldn’t say a bad word about anyone. He just genuinely couldn’t tell she was female.

They like to come across as the UK version of The Brady Bunch, but in actual fact are the most dysfunctional family I know. But how do I tell her? Is it my place to tell her? That is my dilemma.

How would I tell her that in actual fact we can see through this public boasting. When she pops a post on saying ‘At our place by the sea’, lots of her acquaintances are impressed – ‘Ooh look, they’ve bought a place by the sea’. But they haven’t. They rent it each year because the lady allows dogs. She knows we know that she can’t afford a place by the sea. But she still posts boast after boast. Maybe she can’t stop herself. But I now just feel that the friendship is becoming so strained that it’s really not worth the hassle.

When Stroppy 3 was little, my friend wouldn’t meet me with her because she’d ‘done kids’, so I’d drop her with my mum to meet her for coffee. The last time we arranged to meet I did the same thing, only to find her there with not only the very naughty toddler, but the brat of a daughter as well! I was not best pleased.

I think tomorrow night will be make or break. She’s hosting a party for her sons 18th and I’ve been invited. If I do go I know it’s going to be as boring as hell. They all are. Same food, same games, same ‘bring money in an envelope’ hints when I ask for gift ideas. If I don’t go, she won’t talk to me for months.

I find self boasting one of the worst traits and it’s really beginning to get on my very last nerve.

This is what I want to say –

Admit you’re broke and on the brink of bankruptcy. Tell your bitch of a daughter to grow up and find someone else to look after her brat of a child. Be honest and stop spending to impress people, then your nerves won’t play up so bloody much because you won’t be worrying about the bills.

This is why I’ve titled this post The Emperors New Clothes. Because none of us can tell her that she really needs to hear. We’re all afraid of upsetting her…. What would you do?