Women can be our greatest support or our greatest enemy 31



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Other women can be our greatest support, and our greatest enemies. Ask anyone trying to get on in business, sometimes it’s not the glass ceiling but the iron fist with nice red nails on the ends destroying them.

In everyday life too, it is the ‘put down’ with stray remarks falling like daggers in our chest. A funny friend of mine said of a well-known critical lady, “She sharpens her teeth not cleans them” she was referring to a mutual friend and I agreed! The acid dripped from her tongue, everyone she knew had been a victim. I often heard her remarks to others and winced. Why do they do it?

I have some amazing friends who have always been there in a crisis, the ones who come with a meal when you are ill, or just offer help when you really need it. Their kindness is immense and they really make the bad times bearable. Thank you to them, I appreciate every act of kindness. I try to do the same myself, and even if it’s only a bunch of flowers or a phone call, I try to be thoughtful.

There are the odd balls though; the ones who put up road blocks, complain, or moan a lot, then say really ugly things to make you feel small. I admit I am a little whacky at times, I like to wear different clothes, put odd streaks in my hair, indulge in dangly earrings, all pretty harmless stuff, I do wash my hair, and my clothes are clean, I was very strictly brought up in that way! My mother had an obsession with cleanliness.

Yet the other day I had been to a concert, a rare thing for me, and had dressed up as it was a 70s night! Well I am nearly 77 so why not? I still had a bit of lilac powder in my hair, a temporary change only, as it washes out. A ‘friend’ made a point of telling me she disapproved. “Looks like you have had scabies” she remarked without a glimmer of humour, “is it gentian violet on your scalp?” I stood back and mumbled I was going home to wash it out. This very stout member of the community a pillar of the church then made several other references to my appearance belittling me in many of them.

I walked away from this good lady and wondered what made her lash out to hurt? There was very little sweetness and light in the conversation. There are others who try to cut you down in other ways. “What are you doing spending on a meal out, you should be saving your money”, well we do save and pay the bills too. Does that mean that to go for a cheap meal is wrong? As I repeat many times, life is short. When I can no longer do it, I shall give in and sit in the rocking chair; but for now watch out world I am still alive, still active, and still busy.

Today we had an informal meeting of U3A, a coffee and a chat, this afternoon I shall try to complete a painting I am doing. Later we will meet other friends and have an evening drink, then for $5 I can go to the local theatre for a showing of “The Dressmaker”. All seems good to me. Most days have activities to speed the day. Meetings, swimming at a hot pool, (Costs $4.80.) Mahjong with U3A twice a week, art which I take on alternate Wednesdays for U3A, I am not a tutor we just help each other, coffee mornings and meeting friends Friday. So am never bored, in fact need a whole lot more day to fit it all in. Especially as I like to garden, and write when I have time.

Years ago when I was learning to cook in a more flamboyant way, trying French and Italian cooking, and enjoying the experiments I was writing a list, and a ‘friend’ saw it, “What do you know about cooking with garlic?” she sneered, “you wouldn’t be doing anything requiring garlic I am sure”. Years later when we had the roomy house and the business was doing well, I had lots of ‘Sunday Specials,’ lunch parties that were fun, we made our own pate and many other dishes, she not only had to eat the garlic, but had to eat her words too!

How do you cope with people who put you down?

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Jacqui Lee

Jacqui Lee is 75 and now retired but the last ten years or so have been some of her busiest. She worked at a hospital, where she took several Certificated courses, she cleaned a school, helped to run two conventions, wrote short stories, started painting, and in fact is never bored even now, "I honestly feel we are lucky to still be upright and breathing, and my motto is, Remember yesterday, dream of tomorrow, but live today. I love fun, clothes, food and friends."

  1. I see it a lot especially on FB, people say some very ordinary things to others who are posting seemingly innocently and get slammed down by both men and women. It’s almost as if they trawl different sites and find someone and just go at them. Social media has bought out the worst in some people

    3 REPLY
    • I totally agree, you see it on here all the time, especially if a woman is well kept for her age,or great figure, or financially well off, or young ect..with comments like mutton done up as lamb, or plastic, or it’s OK for her she’s got heaps of money ect, & it’s mostly women making these judgements

    • You have said it perfectly. I don’t hold back. I tell them I don’t need to read anything that they put on social media. If they feel they can get on FB and put people down or criticize then they should be told not to join in.

    • i’ve been amazed at some of the nastiness on this site and would have thought that people our age would have grown up and not acted like that. sadly that doesn’t seem to be the case.

  2. I’ve always been of the opinion that other women are a woman’s greatest enemy – particularly ‘en masse’. I have a small group of wonderful female friends who have been in my life for more than 30 years. However, my BFF is a man who I have known for almost 25 years.

    3 REPLY
    • I am with you here, men do not usually react in the same way, I get on well with most of them, always exceptions, and like you have some beautiful female friends too.

  3. It’s not the sole domain of women….sad to say but it’s happens in men circles as well……some people just need a bigger pedestal to fall from!

  4. My daughters are my best friends. We have a rule what is said here stays here. No yap about anyone outside.

  5. Women can be horrible sometimes. I find for me it’s them telling me what I should doing. What plants I should grow in my garden, should buy the appliances they buy, try to tell me to move my furniture around etc etc. I would not dare to tell them their house is cluttered, they should declutter, you have too many trees in your garden, you don’t get enough sunlight in your garden & home, your house smells, you need to open your windows, your dogs shouldn’t be inside when you have guests, your clothes are stained. How can you go out dressed like that? Why should I buy cooking appliances when I have a great gas stove. You should use your gas cooker….. Instead of using electrical appliances.
    My house & furniture is based on feng shui principles. Needless to say I do not see them anymore.

    1 REPLY
  6. My daughters are my friends, and I have a small number of good friends, that are still my friends if I dont see them for years. Some Woman friends can be high maintenance, this kind of relationship is not for me, I prefare my own company.

  7. Mmm. I do have someone in my life like that. This is a lifelong thing. But I choose not to speak much any more. My life is much better now.

  8. She wouldn’t be invited to eat my garlic, why don’t you cut her off? If she says anything just say “in light of her constant derogatory remarks you feel sure she would be happier not having you in her circle of friends”.

    1 REPLY
    • Yes almost did that…but she has matured and we are still friends, need to close my ears sometimes.

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