Sometimes Opposites Don’t Attract – by Cara Potapshyn Meyers

What do you do when your child’s best friend has a Mom who is your polar opposite in every conceivable way?

I have found myself in this situation as of late. Although I enjoy having my son play with his best friend, his mother wants all of us to spend more time together. I would never choose her as a friend if she were the last woman on earth. The more time I spend with her, the more I dread weekends.

I have been offering to take the boys out myself to various venues. I’ve invited her son over to my home. I have brought my son to her home. This becomes a little more sticky because she wants me to stay and have tea or coffee with her. I try to beg out explaining that I have shopping to do.

I am normally very tolerant of almost every type of person. I have found that this woman has crossed the line in several ways, though. She has blatantly lied to me. She has asked to borrow several hundred dollars (I’ve never gotten reimbursed money I’ve laid out to feed her son), she has used my iPad (with my permission), and created her own Skype account on it! I hear it ring at all hours of the night (I deleted it finally)! Now she is trying to “change” me. She terms it, “Giving me a makeover.” If you saw how she dresses in skin tight clothes, low-cut shirts, and enough make-up to write your name, you’d understand my reservations.

She’s just not my type. So what do I do with her?

Because she wants us to become friendlier, if I back off completely, it may filter down to her not allowing her son to play with mine. This would devastate my son. If I went out with her occasionally, she would assume a closer “friendship,” which is not what I want.

If I do nothing, I get a full weekend of irritation of her inconsistent plans, lies, and unsolicited “makeover” advice. I get a migraine just thinking of her.

What to do, what to do…

Have any of our readers been in this situation? If so, how did you handle it?

I have two more months of this before this woman’s son goes to sleep away camp for the summer. I don’t want to build up any type of friendship with this woman to the point that she wants to get together while her son is away. If I flat out tell her that I prefer to just be acquaintances, I know she is going to be hurt and will vindictively keep her son away from mine. Come to think of it, do I really want my son spending so much time with a friend whose mother acts like this? I know the answer. I just can’t stand seeing my son get hurt from an adult situation, of which he has no control. Is that really fair to him?

I think I am going to make weekend plans with my son, which may include other friends of his. If his best friend can join us, fine. If not, just as well. My son has to see that there is a world of things he can do other than wait for this kid’s Mom to get her act together for the day. If their friendship sustains, so be it. If not, it’s just as well.

As the saying goes: Whatever is meant to be, will be…


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  1. 2 Responses to “Sometimes Opposites Don’t Attract – by Cara Potapshyn Meyers”

  2. This reminds me a little of the “Orgy Guy” episode of “Seinfeld,” in which George and Jerry spend hours trying to figure out how to extricate Jerry from his relationship with his current girlfriend so he can date her roommate, only to have the plan fall apart when the two women don’t react as expected.

    I’m not sure there’s a graceful escape hatch for this situation. If your dislike for the mother were based just on differences in personal tastes, it would be one thing, but you mention instances of dishonest and rude behavior.

    First, perhaps try to get your son socializing more with other kids. But if he doesn’t start drifting toward other friendships fairly soon, then I think you need to have a talk with him and lay out a little of the actual misbehavior you’ve experienced in terms a child can understand. Emphasize that this isn’t about his friend (despite your misgivings, which I very much understand) and that you don’t want him to mention this to his friend, because you don’t want to hurt his feelings.

    Then, if you’re comfortable with your son continuing to socialize with the friend and his mother, maybe he can go on play dates where just you or the mother will be chaperoning. I know this might not sound very clever or helpful, but as you say, it’s a sticky dilemma, and there may not be any very feel-good solutions.

    By Maggie on Apr 25, 2012

  3. This is a toughie. Honestly, I don’t assume all my kids’ friends’ moms want to be friends with me. I had a situation once where my daughter and her friend ended up in an…uncompromising situation during a playdate and the mom hasn’t talked to me since, despite my heartfelt apologies, the note I had my daughter write to apologize and my efforts to schedule playdates that were highly supervised by us both. (She and I were both at the playdate in question, by the way – there’s no telling which of our kids initiated the “game.” All I can say is that my daughter had never done it before and hasnt done it since…so….) But I can tell you that my feelings were slightly stung that she snubbed me (and had her daughter snub my daughter) so hard. But you know what? I got over it. And my daughter got over it, too.

    If it were me, I would explain the situation to my child as best I could and then do what I needed to do as far as interacting in a way that felt authentic with the mom. Then, let the chips fall where they may.

    Good luck!

    By Liimu McGill on Apr 26, 2012