They say to keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. This is hard to do when you don’t know your friend is actually your enemy. Today they call those people “frenemies.” I supposed it’s an adequate enough expression, but I personally find it too…friendly. Simply put, too kind. Since they are in no way, shape, or form a friend, that should be removed. Yet, how will you know that they are referring to a friend who is actually your enemy with just one word?
Well, let’s try this. I am going to tell you a story about my Jezebel. Did you know what I meant? Probably. Jezebel is basically the archetype of all wicked women. The name Jezebel comes from the Bible, it’s Hebrew form being Izebhel, which means impure, wicked. She was the wife of a Jewish king named Ahab. It was an arranged marriage, set up in order to form an alliance between two countries (modern day Lebanon and Israel) and she was a “heathen” who worshipped Baal. This was not a good match for a man who worshiped the one true God and was the King of Israel. In her defense, that in and of itself, may not have been so bad. But that’s all I can do for her, since she ordered all of God’s prophets killed, and when Elijah prophesied that she would be killed and eaten by dogs, she was, as the southerners say, ma’ad! Elijah had to run for his life. Then there was a vineyard that she and Ahab coveted. When the commoner refused to sell it, Jezebel brought about false charges against the land owner and thus, stole his land. A few years later, Ahab died and Jehu went to kill Jezebel. She apparently knew he was coming and got all dressed up and put on her make-up. It’s unknown if she meant to attempt to seduce Jehu or if she just wanted to look nice when she died. I tend to lean toward the former of the two. And sure enough, she’s thrown from her bedroom window, trampled by horses and eaten by dogs!
Doncha jes love that story?! I kind of do!
However, let’s also consider Delilah. (Also Hebrew, meaning “she who weakened.”) She was covert in her ways to bring Samson down…for money. (Specifically silver.) She was the equivalent of Judas. And if you study Torah, like I do, you will start to see how almost every story in the Bible is one of Jesus. Be it his coming, his betrayal, his crucifixion, or his resurrection. His story is told over and over again in many different ways throughout the Bible. I think about how Jesus always taught in parables, and liken the Bible in that way to teach us about Jesus.
Delilah not only betrayed Samson and delivered him into the hands of his enemies, she also caused him to break faith with his ideals. While he was strong physically, he was weakened morally after getting involved with her. Which would then also lead to his physical weakening and demise as well. (Scandalous indeed!) She was both beautiful, and evil as well. It was suggested in one of my readings about her that perhaps Shakespeare had Delilah in mind when he wrote:
“O Nature! What hadst thou to do in Hell,
When thou didst bower the spirit of a fiend
In mortal Paradise of such sweet flesh.”
While I can see how this could be applied to Delilah, I am not inclined to believe that he was speaking of her in the least when he wrote this. (Though I’m no expert.)
Long story short, she asked Samson three times the secret to his strength, and each time he did not tell her. So, she turned on the tears and basically said that if he really loved her, he would tell her. So, he did. That night as he slept, she had someone come in and cut off his hair and delivered him into the hands of his enemies. He was bound and gagged and had his eyes gouged out and was made to grind corn as a slave until one day he was tied between two pillars and repented to God and asked for his strength back just once. God granted him this final wish and Samson pushed the two pillars down and the building and everything around it collapsed upon thousands of people. He killed more of his enemies that day than he had before he was captured; including himself and Delilah.
There are plenty of life lessons to be learned in the stories of both these women. (And men.) Samson, was physically strong, but morally weak. Delilah was greedy, seedy, and conniving. Ahab was also morally corrupt in coveting another man’s vineyard while apparently going along with the murder of the prophets Jezebel ordered-thus making him culpable as well; and Jezebel was a murderer, colluder, and thief. That’s just the beginning; but my story is not about this.
That being said, Jezebel might have been a wicked woman; but at least she never pretended to be anything other than who she portrayed herself to be. She was evil and made no apologies for it. Delilah, on the other hand, pretended to love Samson in order to help the Philistines bring him down. Because of that, I liken this person who crossed my path to be more like Delilah. So, I will call her Dee Dee. Dee, for short.
I met Dee Dee when we were both in real estate in Pueblo, Colorado. She was this petite, cute, little girl I felt not unlike an amazon next to. She had short brown hair with some blonde chunks put in by her stylist, and had a small nose with hazel eyes that were predominantly brown. She had an easy smile with a bit of an overbite; and white Chiclet teeth that although straight, were too big for her mouth and tiny face. Dee was the kind of gal who had always had, and always would have, what she wanted. She was the kind of gal who would get new carpet for her whole house for Christmas from her parents. That’s the kind of gal Dee was.
Dee’s dad was in real estate too, and had been for many years. So, she had a bit of an edge getting into the business. I did not fare as well in a new city where I barely knew my way around and didn’t know anyone; nor did I have a family name to fall back on. So, after I was offered a job where I knew there would be a check coming in and when, I took it. This was in about 1996 or so, but we wouldn’t start really hanging out until around the year 2000. I wouldn’t see Dee again for a few years.
I don’t remember how our paths crossed again, but they did and it started out innocently enough. We caught up and started going to lunch together more and more often and then it was like we were best friends. We hung out together almost every day or at least talked on the phone and it was pretty great. She seemed to be incredibly supportive of me, was an attentive listener and was always building me up. The perfect friend. Right?
For a long time I thought so. One day we were on our way somewhere and she needed to stop by her parents house. She introduced me to her mom and they chatted a minute and then we were on our way. A while later, Dee called me and was gushing.
“Oh my mom thinks you are just gorgeous!” She oozed.
I was a little dumbfounded by this, since I wasn’t even wearing any makeup and had a pair of gym shorts and a T-shirt on. Which I remarked to Dee.
“Oh, she loved your long legs and thought you had the cutest figure and she said your green eyes were beyond beautiful.” She retorted.
I tried to take the compliment in stride, but did feel awkward. I wasn’t used to being complimented like that.
She and I would talk for hours and she would listen to my stories, problems, and jubilees intently and always gave good feedback and support. I thought she was a really great friend. I had no idea.
Before I broke up with a guy I was seeing named Toby, she had met him and seemed a bit “friendly” for my taste, but chalked it up to me being kind of insecure. Not long after that, like that day or the next; he was late and I called everywhere for him and got no answer. I called her to vent because I was worried, and I could swear I heard his voice in the background when she picked up the phone. When I asked her who she was with, she said it was the radio.
She assured me that she was positive everything was fine and that there was a perfectly good reason why he was not answering his phone, or his page, or his office phone, or his cell. Toby and I had been having a few issues, so I was not so convinced. But she again assured me that she bet I would hear from him any minute. Did I just hear her car door open and close?
Wouldn’t you know it? Within just one brief moment; my phone rang. He did not have a very good excuse.
I honestly didn’t really didn’t think much more of it, as far as Dee was concerned.
Toby moved to New York, and after this complete fiasco in which I was going to go with him and actually had all my furniture moved out and everything; I realized in the nick of time this would be a very bad move for me. Everything went back into the house and I stayed in the black hole of Colorado. (This is another blog in progress, but not yet published.)
As I began to be more interested in dating again, Dee was very supportive. Even helping to fix me up at times. But I began to notice things were becoming weird. For instance, we went to a party where this guy I had chatted with at length before happened to be. He was so dang happy to see me and going on about how I was “the bomb” and everything else; but Dee did not seem to be happy about this at all. And as the night went on, it seemed that this guy was less and less inclined to think of me at all. Instead, he was interested in Dee. Hmm…
Okay, whatever. To each his own, right?
One night I was out at Prime Time, and Dee had not gone with me and I met an exchange student from Germany named Mark. I had met him before, so the convo started out easily enough. We ended up exchanging numbers and agreeing we would see each other again. I called Dee extremely excited and she seemed as excited as I was!
“I have to meet him!” She said excitedly.
So, the next time I saw him, I invited Dee along. It was just drinks, anyway. Not a romantic dinner.
Well, Dee sat across from Mark and about halfway through the night I kept catching glances and smiles between the two of them that did not make any sense. Moments when one of them would start to smile and then realize I was watching and force it away. Things like that. I felt very odd and did not want to believe that my friend was flirting with my date right under my nose. She wouldn’t do that! Or would she?
Before leaving that night, Mark and I had agreed he would take me for a motorcycle ride the following day. I sat at home cleaning and doing whatever I could to take up time without actually leaving the house all day. Finally, in the evening, the phone rings and it’s Mark. He tells me that he is sorry he stood me up, but he decided he actually liked my friend, Dee instead. He hoped I understood…
I, of course, thanked him for his honesty and played the good sport. Dee called the next day and asked me if I was mad. To which, I said no. And while disappointed, I really could not see a reason to be angry about it. I moved on.
I met a guy named Cole; and oh my goodness, that man was fine. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything that beautiful before or after in my life. I couldn’t believe he was even talking to me and agreeing to go out with me! He was about six feet tall with dark hair and bright green eyes. He had broad muscular shoulders and was rather well made.
I told Dee about him excitedly and she again wanted to meet him. I told her I was meeting him at a bar called Eiler’s Place. It was a small little pub where a bunch of Bojons hung out, and it was fun. (Bojon is a term used in the area for those who were from Slovenia or from their decent. Pueblo was populated in abundance with them due to the influx of those who immigrated there to work in the steel mill. The smelter was closed down in 1908, but other parts and functions have remained in operation. They have a strong sense of community, and in fact, Pueblo has a district or community in which a large number of Bojons have stayed, where the original owners no longer live in the houses in other communities about the city. They were discussing making Old Bojon Town a historic district in 2014; but I don’t recall if this came to fruition or not. I have read some things in which those of Slovenian decent considered the term Bojon to be a derogatory term, I however did not ever see it that way. The Urban Dictionary had this to say as to what a Bojon was, and I think it’s rather flattering: “…In the 19th and 20th century, the French would see the Slovenians passing through on their way to America and say, “Look at those good-looking Slavic dudes. In French, that would be beaux gens, which in America, via Ellis Island, turned into Bojon.” I prefer to think of it that way, anyhow.) But I digress. Just an interesting tidbit I thought I would share with you.
Eiler’s was packed that night, and given the fact that it’s a very small place, there was no place to sit for most people. We were no exception.
Cole was socializing with some of his friends on one side of the bar and I hung with Dee and her current date on the other side. I happened to notice that Dee would hug her date and look over his shoulder and stare at Cole.
“Oh my gawd, he’s gorgeous!” She said to me the first chance she got. I didn’t think anything more about it.
A few weeks later Dee decides to have a birthday party for me at her house and tells me to invite Cole. So, I give him the address and the time and the night of the party arrives and Dee has put together a very nice party. By midnight, most people had left and I was tired. Cole still had not shown up, but I was not surprised. I had quickly discovered that Cole had an alcohol problem, and possibly drugs as well. I knew he’d catch me later at my house.
I am not home long before my phone rings and it’s Cole. He’s at Dee’s house and doesn’t believe that I am home. He was really out of it. Once I made him realize that I was indeed home, as he had called me there, he said he was on his way over.
Once he arrived, we chatted and he made a remark I found odd, but he would not elaborate. Any attempts I would later make to get him to explain what he meant would be met with a, “Never mind.” But, just as he was about to pass out, he said, “Man, you have a really f*cked up friend.”
Dee didn’t seem to have any more friends than I did. Except she grew up there, so I don’t know what her excuse was. With me being fairly new in town and having girls to raise, I didn’t get out much, so that was my story and I was sticking to it. That summer the girls had gone to stay with their dad though, so I had a lot of free time on my hands, and it was great to have someone to hang out with.
Dee did have a couple of acquaintances from her stock broker’s office. I don’t even really remember their names, even though I had lunch with her and them a few times. The lunches with these guys were painful, and after just a few, I refused to go anymore. They were both relatively good looking guys and seemed nice enough I guess. But they were not interested in me the least. I don’t mean as in dating or sexually either. They were both married. I mean that these lunches were spent with me being all but invisible and listening to the three of them talk and joke around while I was all but ignored. On the last luncheon invite I went along for, the discussion came up regarding their hair; or lack thereof, more specifically. One of them was actually bald and Dee was asking him if he shaved it and other questions; ending with a request to feel his head. He agrees and she starts to reach over, and he jerks his head over in my direction and says, “You can’t though.”
I was not even interested in feeling his big ole egg head, so I found this outburst from him to be not only be kind of rude and hateful, but unwarranted. I did not reach out to touch it, and didn’t ask to. He had no reason to think I even wanted to. Or did he?
One time there was another guy there named Steve. It was either the first or second time. I think it was the first time, and then he never came with the other two again. He was nice and would visit with me. I would run into him on occasion and he was always nice. One time shortly after that luncheon, I had lunch with him on our own, and Dee gave me the third degree.
“How could you have lunch with a married man?!?!” She asked indignantly with a bit a shock mixed in for emphasis. This baffled me because she knew I was going to go to lunch with him BEFORE I even went. I wanted to ask her how she could always be going to lunch with TWO married guys but left it alone. I reminded her that it was a business lunch and that was all. (Now I wonder who was with her in order for her to play this role for their benefit.)
There did, however, seem to be this, back and forth thing with Dee, I was noticing. She would agree that I should do one thing, or even encourage it; then act indignantly repulsed and accuse me of impropriety. I just had no idea what to make of it.
In September we celebrated my birthday and things would continue on with all it’s splendid weirdness for a few more months until spring or early summer.
I would one night find myself at Prime Time with co-workers after work, and notice Steve. He was sitting there alone eating some of their famous chicken wings and drinking a beer, so I went over and sat down across from him to catch up.
After we had a few beers, Steve seemed to get a far away look in his eyes and seemed as if he was thinking really hard about something. Finally, he started.
“You know, I have been around you a little bit and talked to you on several occasions and you seem like a really nice lady.”
He paused and I waited.
“You know how Dee and the other two guys in my office are kind of friends, right?”
I nodded affirmatively, and he looked off in the distance as if what he was going to say was actually painful.
“You are a nice lady and a good person.” He said again.
“Ok?” I said, not sure why he was repeating this.
“Well, you know, since Dee and these guys are friends, she comes in to chat with them quite a bit.” He paused again.
I wait patiently.
“Often times when they are visiting the subject that comes up is….”
He pauses again.
I wait again.
“You.” He looks me in the eyes with intent warning.
“And I think you should know that the things that are said about you are…Less than nice.” He pauses again.
I put my head down and try not to cry. I’m not even really shocked. I half suspected something wasn’t right with this girl. Still I didn’t want to be faced with knowing it was actually true. It was so much easier to suspect she was a shady bitch than face the fact that she was making a fool of me. Then trying to decide what to do about it…
As we visited he told me how that Dee would often not only make fun of me at his office, but call me promiscuous (the nice version) and crazy, and would even tell my boyfriends that if they would dump me she would go out with them. Then they would all laugh about it, apparently. Now I understood what happened with Mark with so much more clarity! She really WAS flirting with him across the table! How many times had she done this!? All those guys I would see once or twice and sometimes not even once because they’d cancel or not show up! Then they’d disappear and I was confounded as to “why?” Was that HER? Wow!
I thanked Steve for his honesty and suddenly I just wanted to go home. He nodded and told me again, “I just thought you should know.” And it’s weird, but I never saw him or spoke to him again.
I had no desire to argue with Dee over what I had just learned. I knew she would never admit to any of it and besides, I didn’t have the strength. I sat down at my desk in front of my computer and wrote her a very long, bitter, email. And I let her have it, let me tell ya!
Of course she wrote back and said something about how could I possibly accuse her of such a thing? When I told her it came from Steve, she knew she couldn’t deny it. So, then she just made remarks about how I was always the victim, and made more attacks upon my character and sanity. By this point, I had already written her off and didn’t care what she had to say. I knew I could only count on one thing, and that was that she was a liar and deceitful.
At some point a week or so later, she would call with what I call a blanket apology. It’s one of those apologies where the person apologizing actually takes no responsibility for anything they have done and makes sure they cover their many infractions at the same time. Kind of like just throwing a blanket over it. This was what she said. “I just want you to know that I am sorry for anything and everything I may have done that hurt you.” Mmm hmm…. That, my friends, is a blanket apology and is completely unacceptable.
I told her thanks and I appreciated it and gave her back the same meaningless crap she had just given me. While I could certainly do my best to forgive and forget, I had no intentions at all of ever being friends with her again. Dee and I never hung out again.
I would run into Cole again a few weeks later. He was back from vet school and I ran into him somewhere and we went out another time or two.
“You still hang out with that crazy friend?” He would ask, one night at dinner.
“Who? Dee? No, we had a bit of a falling out.” I told him.
He shook his head.
“You know that night you had your birthday party and I showed up late?” He asked.
“Yeah.” I said.
“Well, she answered the door wearing very little, first of all.” He started.
I nodded. “Go on.”
“She told me I could come in to use her phone and call you, so I did. She kept trying to talk to me and touching me and then she got me cornered in the kitchen and told me that if I would quit seeing you, she’d have sex with me.”
He glanced up at me, almost afraid to look me in the eyes.
“I was scared!” He said and chuckled.
“I just wanted to get out of there! She’s scary!” He said.
“Crazy, really is more like it.” He said, thoughtfully.
“She was not your friend.” He said, now looking sad for me.
I could not believe it! In my opinion, this was the worst infraction yet, as far as I was concerned; and I had only just heard about it! What the focaccia!
I wanted to pummel her all over again. To tell her I know what a slut she was and how she tried to seduce my man. But, I left it alone. I had already removed her from my life. I considered this bit of information as a confirmation in my sanity and that I was not crazy, and instead took comfort in the knowledge that I was right for not allowing her back in.
She would go on to marry one of the guys she had started dating (and cheating on) right before she and I had our falling out. Story has it, he was addicted to porn, so she took the computer and threw it in the shed so he couldn’t watch it anymore. She also made him take back the engagement ring he bought her and get her a new one, because the stone in the one he got her wasn’t big enough. That’s the last I heard about that.
I ran into her with her family at Texas Roadhouse a handful of years later. I was polite and smiled and said hello. She looked well and had two young, very cute little boys. She was still married to Brian…Poor guy…
At some point, two or three years after that, she would send me a friend request on Facebook. Ha! yeah, like that’s happening! Denied.
I don’t know about you, but I will not accept a friend request from someone who was mean to me in high school or in the past at all; or if they were just basically a crummy person in general. Not gonna do it!
I got one from this gal who, in high school, had come up to me and grabbed my arm and started squeezing it really hard and digging her nails into my skin.
“Hi!” She exclaimed with a big smile and wild eyes. “What have you been up to? How are you doing?” She was asking me with a smile. All the while continuing to squeeze my arm.
I acted as though I was only vaguely aware of her hand on my arm and smiled back and told her I was doing great and continued the short conversation. I gave no indication as to whether or not she was hurting me, at all. Sometimes, you CAN beat them at their own game. When she realized she wasn’t getting to me, she quickly took off and never bothered me again.
I later decided she was demon possessed. Freak.
So, when she sent me a friend request, I would not accept it for years. All based on that one experience. That’s how I roll though. I recently added her, but only after deciding that maybe she has grown up a little and is hopefully not like that any more. But she’s on probation!
I have had some so-called friends do some crummy things over the years, but Dee really took the prize. I mean, I knew girls could be like that and try to steal your man and all; but wow. She was on a whole nutha level! It was awful. Nor, did I even really expect that from her. Only to find out she was doing not just that, but worse! She was intentionally building me up just so she could tear me down and watch it. Add to it the way she would gossip about me and run me down to these two stock brokers who didn’t even know me. (Though I am sure they think they did.) I can only surmise that the only reason I was invited to lunch with them was for the sole purpose of them being able to see who she was talking about…How sad that they had a good laugh at someone else’s expense. The maggots. As the saying also goes, “With friends like that, who needs enemies?”
Quite honestly, I think where Dee is concerned, I prefer the way things ended for Jezebel better. I’m not bitter or anything. Even if a building did fall on her, that would be fine with me. I just like the idea of the horses trampling her body and being eaten by dogs to drive it on home!
I have asked God a million times why he lets those kinds of things happen. Maybe more. It’s hard to understand why bad things happen to good people. Especially in our carnal minds. We are created to have a physical aspect of our beings, and so this can come very natural to us, but we must be careful of this. Remember, Paul said in Romans 8 that a carnal mind is enmity against God. He also reminds us in Ephesians 6:12 that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against…spiritual wickedness in high places.”
I have never really figured out what exactly I was supposed to learn from that experience. Or any other experience of betrayal I have encountered, for that matter. There have been more than a few. But I did eventually come to understand that not everything is meant for me to know, or even understand. His purpose and his calling are higher than I can even imagine at any point in my life.
While it may seem like it’s a cruel world and that it is somewhat heartless for God to let us suffer, I am reminded that this simply isn’t true. When Christ came, he lived as a man and experienced everything we as humans do, and that included being betrayed by Judas for 30 pieces of silver. (At least Samson was worth 1,100) So, when we go to him in prayer with a broken heart, he understands exactly what we are feeling, and he does care. At that point he sends his holy spirit to comfort us and remind us that even though we don’t understand what he is doing or why, he is working in our lives, just the same. We have to trust him, and quite honestly, if we can’t trust him, we are in serious trouble. Maybe that is the lesson. To stop putting trust in man-and that includes ourselves. Then, when man fails us, we aren’t so devastated by it, because we know God is in control.
I know I am preaching to the choir here, and I need to write this as much as anyone else may need to hear it. I just LOVE to worry! But, have you ever noticed how things always seem to work out in the end? Do you think that’s just coincidence? Because there’s no such thing! God always takes our unfortunate circumstances and turns them into something good. Romans 8:28 says, “For all things work together for good to them that love Him.” So, taking things in stride and fighting with all our might to let things roll off of us just like water off a ducks back, is a good idea. Isn’t that what faith is truly about?
“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:…” Isaiah 53:4