A couple of weeks ago I got a friend request that actually gave me that jolt-in-the-stomach lurchy feeling when I saw the person’s name. I took a couple of weeks to contemplate how to respond in a ladylike and concise fashion. Today I sent this, and I am feeling a warm sense of closure and satisfaction. I might send a copy of this to Miss Manners (one of my favorite authors – as a child I loved to read her books. I also loved to alphabetize my own books, which were also sorted into non-fiction, by category, and fiction. It’s a wonder I ever made a friend – but I did: in tenth grade! Thanks, Laura!). This is what I wrote:
“Dear ***Mabel, (***not her real name)
I was surprised to get your friend request. In case you’ve forgotten how we lost touch, let me summarize what I experienced: you (my dearest friend in college) and I moved to New York the summer after college to explore the big city. Instead I spent the summer alone in our sublet on 186th Street, looking after your cat, while you spent the summer with a guy you hooked up with in our second week there, who had a nice downtown apartment. After our summer sublet ended and I moved back to Virginia, you and your boyfriend spoke to my mother on the phone and told her the following:
a) that you would not be paying me back for any of the household bills, which I had rather naively paid for both of us
b) that I had been stealing money from you, and
c) that she had no idea what kind of person I really was.
Of these statements, only the first one had any truth to it. Luckily my mother knows me well and didn’t believe you. That didn’t make the whole experience much less sad and sickening for me. And that was the last I ever heard from you.
Months later a mutual friend from college heard what had happened and said, “Oh, didn’t you know Mabel’s a pathological liar?” I hadn’t known, unfortunately for me.
Whoever and whatever you are now, I hope you treat both your friends and your animals better these days. I hope I made it clear why I have no desire to be either your actual or virtual friend.
As for your writing to me “I am so happy to have finally found you!”: I’ve worked as a performer ever since college. If you had done a google search for my name, you’d have seen that my website is the fourth link listed. You can’t have looked very hard.
I think Miss Manners would be very proud. She would probably tell me to go have some lunch, and a mango popsicle. So that is exactly what I shall do. Achieving closure really works up an appetite.
all my love,