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"That Friend Who I Don't Like So Much"
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Betty at Our Wedding

Yesterday I had an overdue visit with my mom, Betty, who lives in Novato. In the course of relating an anecdote about a recent medical adventure, she described someone as “you know...that friend of mine who I don’t like so much...” and went on to tell her story.

Later, thinking about my mother’s matter-of-fact statement, I discovered that it raises some questions, “uh, then why do I call this person my friend?” being the primary one. I wondered if I could say the same about any of my friends, and realized that there have been times I could. I assume we all have friends we don’t like so much. At least I think we do—if not, then my family is weirder than I thought.

Here’s my invitation to you: tell me about the friend you don’t like so much. You don’t have to name names or reveal any identifying characteristics. We can all use “Muffin” as a code name. But please do feel free to take this opportunity to vent, and/or reflect on the nature of friendship with people you don’t like so much.

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Muffin, mine

"Muffin" is the one that gives me backhanded compliments. She says things that she believes are life-affirming then twists it into something that hurts. Later on, I wonder why I like this person and I realize that I don't...not really. Then I won't see her again for a good long while, run into her again, and think "gee, I've missed her" until she does it again.

Of course, maybe I do the same and don't realize it, but that pretty much describes the "Muffin" or "Muffin"(s) in my life.