Our nice early morning commute chat is turning into a heated argument over the phone.
“So is Nisha your bestest friend then?” I demand to know over the phone. “You sure are very defensive.”
“I see even you have decided what is true and what isn’t even though you were not there.” Dorothy throws back.
“Oh really?” I boom sarcastically. “I don’t see me making any statements here.”
“Yes. That’s the reason Suzi hates me.” Dorothy goes on half choking on her words.
“You’re just being defensive for NO apparent reason.” I emphasize trying to avoid further conflict.
“I have told you this many times.” Dorothy insists.
“What?” I spit out. “We never talked about you. We talked about Nisha.”
“No I am not. Suzi hates me because I slept with Michael.” Dorothy snaps back.
“That’s a long long time ago.” I remind Dorothy, hoping she’s not going to dig up more dirt from the past. Things get ugly when she does. “Forget about it. And it was wrong of you. You shouldn’t have. But it’s done now so get over it.”
“I merely demonstrate a pattern. If you trust Suzi then you do.” Dorothy does her best to let me hear how wounded she is feeling.
“I do trust her.” I retort again. “And there is just a pattern of Suzi with Jo.”
“Oh go away with you stupidity and narcissistic bullshit.” Dorothy is getting obscene. This means she is really very upset and highly emotional now.
“And quite honestly I am feeling very used right now.” I show my hurt feelings too. “What?! What on earth? I haven’t said anything about you. Come on. Don’t get all nasty with me now.”
“Don’t tell me to get over it. Who you talking to. An idiot?” Dorothy is livid with anger. It’s palpable even at the other end of the phone.
“I have nothing to do with this.” I try to regain my composure. “What? Just get over it. Whatever it is. Who are you angry with anyway? And why? And don’t you dare be nasty with me.”
“Suzi like you has conspiracy theories on her mind. She is also a gossip monger. She also in my opinion needs a life.” Dorothy will not play nicely. In my opinion she is saying things she shouldn’t.
“In your opinion.” I point out. “Good.”
“She suffers from illusions of grandeur.” Dorothy is going all the way in her nastiness now.
“Stop exploding each time I mention her name.” I hate arguments. “She doesn’t. And just for your info, Suzi bad mouthed nobody. She was just talking about how she feels. And you were never mentioned. And stop being so defensive about Nisha. She’s a big girl and can lead her own life. Just like me. You don’t get all caught up in what I do, do you? You just let me struggle and get on with it. You wouldn’t even look back if I were to fall. So just get on with it. And forget about Suzi. For god sake, blowing up each time like that. Shows she means more to you than you’d admit. Else you wouldn’t react at all. Be nice.”
“I am reacting now to your extensive knowledge on behaviour.” Dorothy is mocking me and I don’t like it.
“I know.” I’m using my annoying voice now. “I’m an expert. 40+, you know. So what shall I talk about with you? Or now I need to be certified and qualified to talk to you? Fantastic. Oh go on, be nasty then. You re good at that.”
And I pull an angry face. “See, now I have an angry face for the day!”
And I let out a frustrated noise. “I can’t believe we’re having an argument about something as stupid as this. I really couldnt give 2 hoots.”
Dorothy remains silent at the other end of the phone, so I rant on: “And you know what? Nisha will get her restaurant. Because Suzi and Krish will jump in. She’s got backup. I’ve got no backup. Do you?”
Still no reply from Dorothy and I’m getting very frustrated now. So I bellow down the phone : “Well? Come on then. Let’s hear it.”
Still no answer from Dorothy, so now I take a deep breath and I hiss at her : “I am coming round to your place after work. And we will talk about this.”
Taking a stand against draining people is a form of self-care and canny communication that you must practice to give your freedom legs.
* Disclaimer : Any resemblance between the fictional characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle by chance more than by choice.