The Rival

It makes me sad mostly.  Another single woman 30+ in my ward has tried to befriend me.  But.  I don't care for her friendship.  I tried.  I could tell she was lonely and  in need of companionship, I knew what that was like. So, I felt duty-bound to accept her overtures as a comrade in arms.  Some expensive debacles later, I realized that I couldn't afford her friendship.  We have since maintained a fake friendship at church which makes me somewhat ill, but it's not worth having a conflict over.  Now, however, she is treating me like her rival. 

Last summer I met a nice Mormon man online and I asked him out because he was attractive, employed and local.  He took me to a soccer game.  I knew by the end of the night that I did not want to go out with him again.  Meanwhile, I was still trying to be a real friend to the woman.  When she asked about my weekend, I told her about the date.  She nearly drooled at the mention of a man who took me to a soccer game.  She went on and on about how much she loved soccer, that she used to play in college, blah blah. 

The dude emailed me because he wanted to go out again.  I felt bad because he was sweet and good.  But, we had nothing in common except the church and I didn't find his company compelling.  I asked the woman if she was interested in meeting him.  She was very interested.  So I set it up. They both agreed as long as I was there too. *Groan.*  I organized the whole thing, considering it a duty of friendship. 

She wanted to go to the mall. *Double groan.*  She needed a ride, she always does.  Fine.  (I was also still wearing the splint having just had a metal plate surgically attached to my wrist and was still in pain but able to drive.)  I was in the middle of my summer financial fiasco and had just enough from unemployment to pay my rent.  My friend knew this, I had described my situation in detail so she'd know that I couldn't spend any money.

I had never been to this mall.  When we got there she told me to park at a large retailer across the street to avoid the parking fee.  She promised that everyone else who drove her to the mall ALWAYS parked there. It was perfectly safe.  I didn't see the very small signs warning mall patrons not to park there.  After the date, which seemed to go well enough, the gentleman walked us to the parking lot.  We couldn't find my car! At first I thought it was stolen.  I don't have comprehensive insurance so I started freaking out.

Then my friend said, "Maybe they towed your car?"  "WHAT???? Why would they tow my car?"  "Because the signs say you are not allowed to park here to go to the mall."  But. You told me to park here. ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? I could not afford to get my car out of impound.  I couldn't even afford to get home on the bus.  We found the no parking signs and called the tow company. They confirmed they had my car.  I started to cry.

I asked the gentleman if he could drive me home.  He agreed, but then he asked me how much it cost.  $190.  He offered to take me to the lot and lend me the money to get my car. (!!!)  He was the absolute definition of a gentleman.  Sooo sweet.  I promised him that I would get the money from my parents and pay him back right away.  So we got my car.  The woman.  She said she was very sorry.  That was all.  She offered no help with the cost.  She never offered to pay for any of it at all.  Not one single red cent. I only parked there solely because of her.  Nada.  Nothing.  Not even an apology for not helping me to pay.  

Before we all parted, the two of them said they wanted to go out again, for thai food.  The three of us.  I said I couldn't afford it and they offered to pay for me.  Fine.  I didn't want to go but I owed the very, very nice man.  

The next week, we went out. I could barely stand the sight of the woman because I was so angry.  But I put on my best fakey-fake demeanor (which isn't very good.)  The two of them ordered appetizers and juice and desserts.  I thought they were paying, so I ordered along with them.  Then the check came, $60 after tax and tip.  I happened to have a $20 in my pocket because I was going to the ATM afterwards to deposit it because my account was $20 short of the rent.  If I didn't get it in there, the check could bounce.  

Everyone looked at the check uncomfortably and said nothing.  I couldn't stand it.  I wanted to go home already, I had some work on a research proposal that I needed done yesterday.  So I picked up the check and said, "Why don't we each pay 20?"  I expected them to protest and offer to pay my share.  They did not.  My rent check bounced.  For the second month in a row.  I could be evicted for that in Jersey.  They both wanted to do this again.  Not on a cold day in hell.  They never went out together.  I ignored her calls afterwards because I knew I couldn't be civil with her. 

We've been fake friends ever since.  A few weeks ago, we were sitting together in Sunday school when an attractive man in his 30s, very smartly dressed, approached us.  I had never seen him before. They knew each other and started chatting.  I waited for the woman to introduce me.  She did not.  I even tried inserting myself into the conversation but she shut me out.  Eventually, after five minutes or so, I walked away.  Later, I asked her who he was.  She said, "Oh! That's so and so. You don't know him? I thought you did.  He always introduces himself to new people.  If I had known I would have introduced you."  I asked if she was dating him.  She said, "No. But he's good looking, right?' "Right. You should go out with him." "Me? Oh, no, no, no. I couldn't." "Okay."  I took that as the all clear for me to date him should the opportunity arise.  

Since, I have seen the smart man looking at me, often.  So, a week or two after not meeting him, the woman and I were talking in the lobby.  He was leaving, saw us, turned around and came over to talk.  He asked her about something.  I waited to be introduced.  I was not.  The woman, not only did not introduce me, she turned her body so that her back was facing me and I was shut out of the conversation, again.  At one point, the man looked right at me and asked if I ever got migraines.  I said 'no' and he looked disappointed then turned back to the woman. Oh, those suave single mormon men!   I got bored and walked away.  This time, her omission was not accidental.  She knew I hadn't met him.  She, clearly, did not want me to meet him.  Whatever.  I went home.  

It's been a few months.  The man travels for business so he's not always there.  He looks but he has never approached.  I tried to smile at him last week but he wouldn't make eye contact.  I suspect my 'friend' told him I had a boyfriend.  Because she knew I had one once.   She asked me about him on the first day I didn't meet the smart man.   I told her that my boyfriend kept breaking up with me so I really didn't know what my situation was, other than I probably didn't have a boyfriend.  So, now, in addition to not liking her, I don't trust her.

If I cared, I would go introduce myself to the man.  But I don't.  I just can't believe the juvenile behavior of that woman.  It's pitiful and sad.   


TOWR said...

What a hag! I wouldn't even pretend to be friends with her. For the record, if I had told you to park your car somewhere and that it was safe, I would have paid the $190 myself to get it out of impound. She's ridiculous. Kick her to the curb.

Sterling Fluharty said...

Your post has got me curious. It sounds like datable LDS guys are in short supply in your area. So does this mean that, with every new unmarried Mormon male that moves into town, the single women in your ward and stake are automatically in competition with one another? If so, what are the rules of the game? Is there a general expectation that everyone should or will compete fairly or even charitably? Or is it every woman for herself, where individuals do not hesitate to accentuate their strengths in an attempt to stand out from the crowd and make themselves look better than everyone else?

JL said...

As far as I know, there are no rules. And no friends either, which is why I stayed away from singles wards, because the culture made me sick and the girls hated me. If this woman wants him she can have him. But he doesn't seem very interested in her. And I'm not interested in him, so life sucks, eh?

Notes From The Glass Ceiling said...


Sadly, it is hardly better whether you are in Zion or Paris, Texas. They dynamic is the same. You can't trust friends or ex's with anything personal...and yet getting personal is part and parcel of friendship, right? The whole thing is a double-nightmare, and is a fine agrument for dating non-members, or on-line (which is just as bad for different reasons.)

Anyone up for arranged marriages yet? Ha.

And, as far as I am concerned, she owes you the $190, and the $20 for the restaurant for knowing you were completely broke. I really don't like her.


JL said...

the dating situation at church doesn't bother me anymore. i don't have any more room in my soul for one more ounce of anger, distress, bitterness or pain. I'm over it. It is what it is. I'm not wasting any more energy worrying or giving a crap. Maybe some day I'll meet a man outside the church who is mature enough to date without sex. Maybe I won't. Whatever.

Sterling, it has always been every woman for herself in the church when it comes to men. From the time I was 18 to 34, that hasn't changed. That's what happens when you tell little girls their whole purpose in life is to be a wife and mother, but there aren't enough men to go around. You damn well better find a man if you want to be a real woman.

Notes From The Glass Ceiling said...


I have nearly reached that point myself, actually. I guess I am just too much in the habit of bringing it up because: it is the Church's dirty little secret and it keeps people from converting or staying in the Church.

But, sadly, I have figured out...after long effort to the contrary...that there truely is nothing to be done but to date outside the Chuch. La-dee-da. Best of luck with the whole thing.


Sterling Fluharty said...

Okay, maybe it is mostly every woman for herself. So do LDS women give up trying to find dateable Mormon guys when the quest becomes too competitive? Or is it really just a case of giving up prematurely, since there hundreds, if not thousands, of eligible individuals who attend midsingles conferences each year?

JL said...

Some women give up. Some women cling to the hope that the Lord will bring them a man as long as they are obedient. Others prefer to expand their dating poop by dating outside the church because they don't want to die a lonely old maid. I'd hardly call dating outside the church premature after one decade of failed dating within the church, let alone after two decades, which I nearly have. I'll still date mormons. I dated both equally last year. I tend to get along better with non-momos because I'm kind of a freak and it's easier to find people like myself elsewhere.

I've never even heard of thousands at a singles conference. That must be a west coast thing. I think if they get 100 to show up here it's a good day. And, among the ones that do show up, the pickings are slim.

JL said...

"dating poop" ahahahahahah Freudian slip.