Lesson #28: How to Turn a Normal Girl and a Normal Guy Into That Couple

by Rachel on September 27, 2010

So, Caitlin wasn’t the only Houston visitor around this weekend! Eric also had a guest in town.

Although I was really, really excited for Caitlin to come visit, I wasn’t too pumped about Eric’s friend. Because, Caitlin didn’t, you know, make out with my boyfriend in college and then announce that she was flying down from Kansas to stay with him for the weekend.

And that, my friends, set the scene for a pretty terrible two days that brought out the worst in me and Eric. If you’d like to do the same sometime, listen carefully. I can teach you.

Step 1. Think you’ll never be That Girlfriend.

About a month ago, Eric told me that his friend who I’ll call “Polly” had gotten in touch with him. Now, I know about most of Eric’s girl friends, but this one didn’t ring a bell, mainly because they aren’t that close so he never really talked about her. The only time he had mentioned her was in the context of a discussion on making out with people once and then realizing, Nope, that would never work! Let’s just be friends! So all I knew was that she was his friend who he had made out with once in college.

Apparently, Polly had said on previous occasions that she wanted to come down and visit him, but in that way that people always do when you’re living in another state. They say it, but never actually give dates or book a flight. So when she mentioned coming this weekend, he didn’t take it that seriously, and hadn’t had a chance to talk to me about it…and then two hours later, she booked her flight.

Now, believe me, Eric and I don’t really have an “ask permission” sort of relationship, but this is definitely something I would have preferred to discuss ahead of time. Some girl I’ve never met and know nothing about just booked a flight and was planning to stay at his apartment for an entire weekend? That made me incredibly uncomfortable, but there wasn’t much I could do about it, what with the flight already being booked. I made it clear that I didn’t like it and that if she thought her ass sleeping anywhere but the couch, we were going to have a major problem. He said that she knew about me (and was “excited” to meet me — of course she was…aren’t they always in these situations?) and that he had made it very clear to her what the boundaries were.

I still really didn’t like it. I just put it out of my mind because I didn’t want to stress for a month over it and be That Girlfriend. But last week, once the reality settled in, I realized, Nope. Still not comfortable with it at all.

Eric offered the standard, “If it makes you feel any better, she’s not as pretty as you are,” but come on. Who cares? I mean, yes, if she were hot, it probably wouldn’t help, but let’s just look at how Sandra Bullock’s marriage ended and I think we’ve answered the question of whether or not that fucking matters.

Step 2. Find yourself being That Girlfriend, despite your best efforts.

Eric and I had another few talks about it, and I just explained that yes, I understand that he has known her for years and has never been interested, but that doesn’t mean the feelings are mutual. And while I didn’t assume she was coming down here to jump his bones, I couldn’t really piece together what exactly she was doing here. Something just didn’t add up to me. He asked if I was OK with them hanging out alone and I reminded him that I wasn’t OK with any of it, but I wasn’t going to insist on playing chaperone all weekend. I just asked that he refrain from date-like activities and that I wanted to spend the night over there each night she was there, even if we had done our own thing during the day. I really didn’t like saying that, because it made me feel like That Girlfriend, but I didn’t know what else to do. Again, if it had been any of his girl friends who he talks about all the time and considers extremely important in his life, I would have been like, “Have fun! See ya Monday!” He agreed that I could sleep over.

Things got off to a bad start Friday night when he said they were doing dinner and then going to the bar. To me, dinner and drinks was date-like and inappropriate. He begrudgingly agreed to figure something else out, but before that could happen, he had to stop by my apartment on his way home from picking her up from the airport to get his house key, which he had forgotten in my car. I was in a huge rush getting ready for Caitlin’s visit, and I did not really want to deal with him or with meeting her at that moment, but I didn’t have a choice.

I had no idea what to expect when I opened the door but I sure as hell wasn’t expecting her to be rocking a hot pink mullet.


In all our discussions on this person and her intentions for coming and your history with her, HOW DO YOU NOT MENTION THAT HER HAIR IS BROWN ON TOP AND HOT PINK ON THE BOTTOM?????

I really didn’t know whether to be disgusted or delighted!

From the second she introduced herself, she was just super, super, super fake. For me, there’s little worse than a girl getting herself all wet and trying to kiss your ass when you can clearly see she doesn’t want to be friends with you, and is only doing it to make herself look good. Within five minutes, she had complimented my cooking four times (from one picture on Facebook that Eric was tagged in with a pizza I had made?). I didn’t have time for small talk, and told Eric to call me later once he had solved the problem of what to do about that night. He just ended up texting me after dinner to say they weren’t going to go to the bar at all, and I could just come over.

Step 3. Try to be a good girlfriend.

Eric was being really, really nice and I knew he felt bad, so I went over there as open-minded and as ready to play nice.

I mean, this chick was 26 years old and rocking a hot pink mullet…I kind of wanted to know more.

I showed up with my s’more brownies, which she gushed over, and then started gushing once again about all my food pictures. (Even though Eric had said earlier, “She doesn’t really know what a blog is…” and I thought, It’s 2010; I’m sorry, but now I have to hate her.) Then we settled in the living room for some chat time. I wasn’t crazy about her loud, interrupting personality, or the fact that she was coughing up a lung whilst repeatedly finding ways to mention that she smoked, as if it were some sort of important personality trait. In between hacks, she told us she had a boyfriend who was older, with two teenage kids.

I was doing my best, I really was.

Step 4. Go outside to play in 100 degree weather.

We all went to bed pretty early Friday night, and after I awoke the next morning to the sweet sounds of her death cough, I got up and offered to make her breakfast. She said she never eats breakfast because she’s “like, the most unhealthy person ever.” Uh…OK. I headed home for a bit. Meanwhile, they went to watch football with some of Eric’s friends. Now, I thought this was good. They had had dinner the night before, and now they were on another outing that didn’t involve me. We were all meeting up to go to the Houston Food & Wine Festival in the afternoon, and then having dinner with Caitlin and her brother and sister-in-law, before going out with them that night. I felt like it wasn’t going to be them hanging out with me breathing down their necks too much. I thought everything was fine.

As we walked to the festival later in the afternoon, I kept my distance from Polly to avoid getting caught in her cloud of smoke. By this point she had started to act really socially awkward and just kind of spacey. Every time she’d talk, there was just sort of this “Are you f*cking high?” vibe.

So we get to the festival, and at this point, no, I wasn’t trying. The smoke, the pink hair, the weird behavior…I wasn’t that interested in BFF-ing her. Aside from that, it was as hot as balls and so, really, I was just trying to stay alive. She disappeared several times during the festival to find a place to smoke or just try different wines than we were trying. I was just trying to stay comfortable and in the shade, so I wasn’t terribly interested in figuring out where she had gone.

Step 5. Watch the dramz unfold.

By the time we left the festival, she had the teen angsty scowl on her face to match her “I hate my parents!” hairdo. She was pouting and snapping when Eric tried to make conversation. Once we were back at his apartment, she went to smoke on his patio and he went to talk to her. I was starving and waiting for him to wrap it up so we could figure out what we were doing for dinner. Eventually he came inside and told me she wasn’t happy.

Why isn’t she happy?

Because she didn’t come down here to be a third wheel and she didn’t understand why he was letting a girl come between them.

Up until this point, I was trying my hardest to be reasonable, texting my most rational friends when I wanted to check and see if I was being out of line or overreacting. I really didn’t want to make things harder for Eric because I knew he didn’t want to be in this position at all…but this was totally my BITCH, YOU BETTER STEP OFF moment.

I mean, I’m sorry if some random sluez you made out with and who hasn’t kept in touch with you over the years thinks it’s appropriate to book a flight to stay with you and thinks that your girlfriend is a bitch for caring and you’re That Guy for siding with your girlfriend. Oh wait, did I say, I am sorry? I meant that I’m SORRY I’M NOT SORRY.

At this point, Eric basically opened negotiations. She really wanted to hang out with him one-on-one, without me there. Would I do it for him? And see, this is where I always struggle. I pride myself on being compromising and laid-back, and there are a lot of things I’ll do for him….but I hate that I also end up doing it for the crazy person who is putting us both in this position. (Don’t even get me started on the similar battle we had when he wouldn’t confront his roommate over the summer.) So it feels like because I’m rational and reasonable, I always get put in the position where I have to be the one to give in.

He also said that she wouldn’t hang out with us that night. She just didn’t want to…and so she’d ask that Eric just drop her off at a bar on our way out and she’d hang out there alone because she’d rather do that than go out with us. And that was when I got really offended. I mean, yes, we’re different, but if you’d rather hang out in a bar alone than be around me, we have a problem.

I didn’t know her before she came, and now that I was getting to know her, her behavior was making me really not like her. Again, I’m not saying she was there to jump his bones…but something was just too intense about this for me.

Step 6. Be That Girlfriend Who is a Picky Eater.

Eric offered more negotiations. Even though we’d had other dinner plans, she wanted to stay in and eat pizza. I was not pleased.  I asked “Pizza from where?” and Eric was like, “I don’t know…Domino’s?”

Eric and I were standing facing each other and I think he had his hands on my arms in a nice, boyfriendy way. I made a face like a three-year-old being told she had to eat spinach and twisted my body away from him in an indignant huff.

I mean, was my boyfriend trying to hurt me?

I agreed to pizza from Whole Foods and then to leaving her at another bar on our way out.

We should have just quit while we were ahead. But due to some miscommunication, Eric hadn’t realized we were meeting Caitlin and her family at the bar. Once Eric realized we were going out with more people, he asked her if she’d like to come, because he didn’t want to be rude. Once Polly realized that we were going out with a larger group, she agreed to come along.

Her sheer delight when she realized I wasn’t going to be the only other person there made me want to just claw her eyes out.

Step 7. Be That Girlfriend Who Makes Bitchy Comments and then be That Couple Who Fights in Public and Makes Everyone Else Feel Awkward.

We headed to BRC, a pretty nice Houston gastropub I have been dying to try. Polly wore a super-tight thin neon yellow T-shirt dress, sheer neon purple leggings, and gold heels. We met Caitlin and her brother and sister-in-law and ordered beers.

I wasn’t slamming drinks or anything; perhaps if I had had more of my beer, I wouldn’t have been so cranky. Instead, I sipped slowly and just focused on talking to Caitlin. When Polly got up to go outside and smoke, I said something nasty to Eric about it and he told me to be nice. And with that, we totally were That Couple: holding hands, but arguing forehead to forehead in stage whispers, forcing tight-lipped smiles when necessary.

Step 8. Start heading toward being That Girlfriend Who Gets Inappropriately Drunk.

After BRC, we headed to The Drinkery and I was ready for some hard stuff. I bought Caitlin a shot and then bought myself a shot of tequila and a vodka and water. I think I am past the point in my life in which I drink my feelings, but I totally needed that to take the edge off that night. I ended up having a great time with Caitlin and her brother, in between totally ignoring Polly and being super polite and businessy to Eric. (“Would you like to leave now? I know you were feeling rather tired earlier today. Oh no, dear boyfriend, I insist we leave now if you are ready.”)

Every time I’d make eye contact with Polly, she’d give me a huge, fake smile. I mean, I’m pretty toothy, but I could see her goddamn molars at this point.

I. Was. Over. It.

Luckily, my tolerance saved me in this case. The drinks took the edge off — thank God I only had one tequila shot — but didn’t lead me to say anything I’d later regret.

Step 8. Be That Girlfriend Who is Loud So that That Boyfriend is Always Saying, “Could you please keep your voice down?”

Once we got back to Eric’s apartment, he apologized for making me upset and we started discussing what had happened. As I got more upset, I started being That Girlfriend, whining not-quietly about how I didn’t understand why I was the one who had to be nice, when clearly she was unstable. Then he’d be That Boyfriend, telling me to lower my voice. I’d get all That Girlfriend and screech, “I don’t fucking care if she hears me!” and he’d respond as That Boyfriend, saying, “I know you don’t care, but I do!”

The arguing went on at barely above a whisper for about an hour and was beyond exhausting. It was all things we’d argued about before (i.e. my need to feel like people are loyal enough to go to bat for me vs. his need to make everyone happy and avoid confrontation) and nothing was resolved. He kept trying to get me from going to bed angry, but eventually, we just did. He drove me home yesterday and I told him that I wasn’t coming back over that night to spend the night, because I didn’t want to be around either of them.

Step 9. Be That Girlfriend Who Cries All The Time.

Let me just say, I am not a crier. At all!!! Ever! I don’t react with tears!!!! But holy shit…yesterday, as the arguing continued for several more hours, I just kept bursting into tears. Every time, I’d be aware on some level that I was being That Girlfriend Who Cries All The Time, but then I’d just get even more upset and let the mascara run.

Seriously, watch your relationship fall apart over a pink mullet and see how strong you are.

Step 9. Be That Girlfriend Who Finally Suggests a “Break.”

I mean, we had reached a point where it seemed like we were dealing with some major dealbreakers.

Step 10. He’ll be That Boyfriend Who Stands Outside a Restaurant On His Phone Arguing With That Girlfriend.


Step 11. Be That Couple Who Gets All, “Baby I love you so much” at the End of a Fight.

And what a great context in which to first use the “L” word it was.

Seriously, I don’t know whether to be happy we worked it out or to just hate myself for how everything went down this weekend. I just want to throw up, take a shower, go to sleep, and wake up to realize none of this nonsense ever happened.

At least her ass is currently en route to Kansas.

I’ve never been so glad to see Monday morning before.

{ 82 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Teri [a foodie stays fit] September 27, 2010 at 8:29 am

HOLY….what a horrific weekend. Seriously, I don’t think you were out of line on anything. AT ALL. So sorry about all that. But glad it’s semi-ok now. <3


2 erin September 27, 2010 at 8:32 am

whoo that was BRUTAL. i totally get why you were the way you were… i’d be suspicious if some random girl that he never talks about just decides to fly in for the weekend. i think you were right, but things definitely got out of hand with everything. and glad things are ok now. =)


3 Lia September 27, 2010 at 8:33 am

I totally understand feeling like That Girlfriend, but sometimes there’s just nothing else you can do. Especially when there is a pink mullet involved. I would have been the same way.


4 Katie (Sweet Tater) September 27, 2010 at 8:36 am

sorry to watch your life like a TV show, but this whole escapade was so entertaining.


5 Veronica September 27, 2010 at 8:37 am

Yowza! All I can say is I think there’s something about pink-haired ex-girlfriends showing up when you really wish they wouldn’t. Been there.


6 Madison September 27, 2010 at 8:40 am

I don’t know if I’d act any other way, either. It was stressful just to read; I’m glad it’s over, too. Good luck this week! You deserve it!


7 Maryellen September 27, 2010 at 8:41 am

*Slow clap*


8 Lori September 27, 2010 at 10:18 am



9 Caitlin September 27, 2010 at 8:45 am

Oh. My. Gosh.

I need a drink after reading that. My blood pressure definitely rose a few times. I’m glad you can laugh at it now, I know it was hell going through it. I REALLY do. I just don’t *get* it – like it really still baffles me. I don’t think you were out of line at all. And as not-so-great as the timing is, perhaps the “L” word is the silver lining??


10 Libby September 27, 2010 at 8:47 am

This makes me feel like having a breakdown just by reading it. Seriously, just stress. Thank goodness it’s over – my boy and I had a similar series of fights, and it was so hard.


11 Lia September 27, 2010 at 8:48 am

Rachel…I love your blog, and up to this point you have very logical and I have totally taken your advice.
However, this is just ridiculous. (So ridiculous that I had to come out of the lurkerwork and comment.) If you and Eric are meant to be, it’ll be fine. If you’re not meant to be, sure it’ll hurt when you both realize that, but hey, what can you do?
You can’t make him like you any more by getting suspicious and territorial. All you had to do was say, “Sure, I don’t like it much but I TRUST YOU so have ‘fun.'” (“Fun” because you both are smart enough to realize how strange Pink Hair Girl’s impromptu visit is.) Leave Eric to entertain that strange person and have a great weekend on your own (because you can still do that, right?).
Of course it’s fine to be clear that he’ll have to be extra nice to you when you’re in a situation where that’s appropriate (alone together with candles, after Polly has left). But in the situations that happened, you weren’t supposed to be nice for Polly, you were supposed to be nice FOR ERIC.
Honestly, the problems I saw here were your not trusting Eric and not being confident enough in yourself and in your relationship. If he had allowed her to “jump his bones,” that would’ve been a better (read: healthier, less stressful, less That Girlfriend) way to figure out that you both have some issues.


12 Rachel September 27, 2010 at 10:13 am

Lia — I think you really touched on why this was so hard for me…I DO trust Eric. This wasn’t about that really. For me, it was about being in a situation that made me uncomfortable and trusting my relationship enough to SAY SOMETHING. In the past, I wouldn’t say something in a situation like this…and that led to me getting walked all over by guys who did things that were completely inappropriate and hurtful.

What sucked was that we both believed it was the other person’s job to give us the one thing we needed. For him, it was me just sucking it up and being nice. For me, it was feeling like he valued my feelings more than someone who he hadn’t ever really mentioned as an important person in his life. I’m not saying that this wasn’t ridiculous and what was so difficult for me is that I always pride myself on being logical, and suddenly I was in a position where I felt COMPLETELY emotional and unable to stop myself. Like I said, I never thought I’d be That Girlfriend. I really, really wanted to go have fun and let them do their thing, but I also wanted to be true to myself and speak up in a situation that made me uncomfortable.


13 Lia September 27, 2010 at 10:56 am

I guess I understand being helplessly emotional, so I am really sorry I came down hard on you for it. You do need some *hugz*.
Still, speaking up is different from being angry, and standing up for yourself is different from fighting–especially when two people are in love and, as people in love do, they know they’ll feel terrible when they fight…
Also, did you really think he valued her feelings more than yours??


14 Rachel September 27, 2010 at 11:46 am

Hey, it’s OK to come down hard on me — I appreciate all comments, even those that disagree!

And from some of the things that he did (or well, didn’t do), yes, I did feel like he valued her feelings more than mine. It was frustrating because the rational part of me was like, “That’s not even POSSIBLE” but then he’d do something (or not do something) and I’d be like, “Seriously?? Is this my relationship?”

I guess standing up for myself led to us fighting and led to us both being angry.

Ugh, the whole thing was such a cluster.


15 Carolyn @ lovinlosing September 27, 2010 at 8:50 am

I’m sorry you had such a horrible weekend! :( If they were such good friends then she would never have put either of you in that position and it’s really strange that she would decided to come stay the weekend all of sudden like that. Glad it’s over and you and Eric worked it out.


16 zenlizzie September 27, 2010 at 8:56 am

I think you pretty much summed up my entire relationship with this post.

But, honestly, I have a lot of guy friends and I make a point not to make things weird with their girlfriends if I’m not really friends with her. So, when a girl does things like, “Oh, haha funny I just happen to be in NYC the same time as you since you just announced it on your facebook-LETSSTAYTOGETHER!”-type I think to myself, “I would never, ever do that.”
Never. Sure it would suck for a guy to blow you off for a new girl, but when you`re an adult you expect your guy friends to have new adult boundaries for friendship. You also expect your boyfriend to have new adult boundaries too.

ps: Is it too much to ask for pictures of the mullet?


17 marie September 27, 2010 at 8:57 am

oh man oh man oh man. I’m so sorry. I’m really proud of you for only have 1 tequila shot. I would’ve been 10 shots deep by the time the neon rolled out. Pride yourself for your behavior!


18 shelby @ eatdrinkrun September 27, 2010 at 9:03 am

I also really, really want to see pics of the pink mullet. Because just…WHY? And HOW, for that matter? Do you think it was a DIY job, or are there salons in Kansas that specialize in this?

Anyway, tough weekend. Glad she’s gone and you guys can get back to life as normal. Oh, and congrats on the L-bomb (right?)


19 Joey September 27, 2010 at 9:03 am

Love your honesty in this & all your posts… Sorry you had such an awful weekend & glad she’s OUTTA there! :)


20 Nicci September 27, 2010 at 9:13 am

I can understand wating time with a friend…but come on!!! When someone is in a relationship, you have to understand that significant other will be there. This chick was plain rude and I would have brought out the baby powder for a good slap. How rude can someone be? I’m so sorry this happened…sounds like a jealous MULLET GIRL. I’ve had one tiny argument with the bf over a mutual female friend after fiding out she secretly liked him…so called plotted to break us up. Let’s just say she gets the evil eye everytime I see her & we both no longer talk to her. (he was oblivious to her flirting…didn’t even realize it) lmao


21 Ashley September 27, 2010 at 9:16 am

I am sorry (but I’m not sorry) but you did not move 1,000 miles so that some rainbow-headed tramp could STAY AT HIS APARTMENT. This is just plain nuts and I would have gone off the deep end.

I really think Eric should have been more up front with this chick that he is in a relationship and that she should just not even come to town. Clearly she was there for nothing but a hook-up, and when that was foiled, this is what ensued.


22 Rachel September 27, 2010 at 10:53 am

Literal LOL.


23 Secondhand Smash September 27, 2010 at 9:22 am

What a rollercoaster of a weekend you had. Poor dear! I won’t repeat what I tweeted to you, but you already know how I feel about this situation and her. It was a bad situation for you and for him, though I feel you were in the right for everything you tried to do.


24 Secondhand Smash September 27, 2010 at 9:24 am

Also, be sure to let us know her reaction to this WHEN she reads your blog. Like who can’t find a blog?… bitch please.


25 MelissaNibbles September 27, 2010 at 9:25 am

Whoa. I stressed just reading that. I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry…I don’t think Eric should’ve let that chick come visit him nevermind stay with him. She obviously has feelings for him and is a complete nutcase. In my opinion, he’s leading her on and the whole thing sounds kind of shady. If he has no interest in her, why does he still talk to her? I’m sure you guys have already covered all this and I probably sound like a bitch. But seriously, what is up with this whole situation? You didn’t deserve to be put in that situation.


26 Dori September 27, 2010 at 9:30 am

Whoa. I had no idea about any of this… you reacted much better than I would have. Wow. I’m happy you at least got to say you love each other… even in that context.


27 Angela @ A Healthy Fit September 27, 2010 at 9:40 am

Holy crap. That is a weekend story! I’m glad that you guys were able to work it out and it ended well, but holy moly…that girl sounds like a crazy biotch. I would have reacted the same way, except I would have said something inappropriate after having a couple of drinks.


28 Leah @ L4L September 27, 2010 at 9:42 am

I’m pretty sure I would have turned into That Girlfriend as well. And I probably would have gotten too drunk. And made a huge ass out of myself. Sounds like she was kind of a snot.


29 Melinda September 27, 2010 at 9:48 am

Wow, I’m so glad you had the balls to write all of that down…. don’t you for a second think about deleting it! I took that entire roller coaster ride with you and like Caitlin above, my blood pressure definitely rose.

Actually, I can totally relate to your story – I dated someone for 6 years who was very much like how you describe Eric – which is, super super nice – and it drove me totally nutts. And of course there was also a girl, who intentionally or not, put an end to everything.
But, looking back on it all, a few things are very clear to me… the girl (unlike yours, mine was blond and gorgeous and very nice, why wouldn’t she be, I was there and she needed to be around him – although at one point I did end up in the backseat of our two door, while she sat in the front when they came to pick me up for lunch from work, …ah the memories….) wasn’t really trying to ruin anything (similarly to your situation), if she was it would have happened right away but instead it took years. And the boy (my lovely ex) didn’t really mean to do anything either… in fact that was kind of the problem, he was nice – he would never mean to do anything to anyone. i guess, we kind of both saw it coming (hence all these types of discussions that you look back on and think, just accepting the fact that it needs to be talked about, already implies a sort of knowledge of the situation) and yet it seemed he didn’t really feel the need to anticipate it and or do anything about unless pressed, by me. And of course, as someone who anticipates and analyzes everything, that was just about worse for me than the possibility and/or reality of the outcome.

What am I trying to say here? I guess just this… As Eric’s feelings for you grow stronger, hopefully he will be more inclined to consider yours above anybody elses, but as far as the way you feel, well… while the way that you reacted is so totally normal (the part about her not wanting to hang out with you was fucking unreal… but as a reader it made me so mad that Eric didn’t say something to her -i mean seriously, wtf) – but, the reality is that whether or not your worst fears are/will be/have been/could come true, there is absolutely nothing that you can do about it… and the longer you play “That Girlfriend”, the longer it will take for you to see what “Your Boyfriend” is really like – his true self – ya know, without your guidance, or input or worse, berating of yourself and your own reaction to the situation (that stuff just derails things for a while, but it doesn’t actually allow you to gauge him as a person). Hang back and let things happen as they may, see what he does and how things turn out without meddling in it… Preventing things in the now, only postpones the inevitable (days, months, years, whatever…) But, if Eric were to prevent something/stand up for you/whatever it is that you would request of him, be it through tears, whispers or pursed lips :), on his own accord – then you will have found something truly special and will love him more for it. In my instance it would have probably saved me a few years in a much too long relationship… instead, I made sure it didn’t (probably made it that much harder for my ex to grow up and figure out what it means to set boundaries and know what he wants for himself) until i forgot to care enough and it did.

omg, sorry for the long comment ha


30 Rachel September 27, 2010 at 10:15 am

Ahhh THANK YOU for the long comment. I totally see what you’re saying and I appreciate it!!


31 Elisabeth September 27, 2010 at 10:15 am

HOLY HELL. I have so been in this situation, and I’m pretty sure that it went down exactly the same way (minus the pink mullet).

I am a firm believer that every great relationship has at least ONE of these awkward blow outs at the beginning. It sort of cements everyone’s place in the relationship, but also teaches you early on that you can work through situations (i.e. pink mullets) without completely falling apart.

I’d say that if you guys made it through this hellacious weekend stronger (and with the exchange of a mutual “I love you”, no less(!!!), then you’re going to be just fine.


32 Laura Georgina September 27, 2010 at 10:18 am

I can’t even tell you how much I feel your pain! That same feeling of wanting to puke and pretend none of it ever happened is how I felt for years dealing with a particular friend (high-school-tease-at 22, stuck-up-bitch-from-hell, Curly Sue wannabe cutie-pie, free-flinging relationship-wrecker on the loose with the stamp of “Only I am the Catholic Good Girl on her forehead and perennially visible panty waistband) of my man’s.

See? Nine years since her ass was put in place and my heart rate still goes up to think of her. She would try to hold his hand–in front of me. Outings always led to me downing two vodka shots so I wouldn’t lose my cool (which I generally would, anyway). And it was the same thing: because I was the “nice and reasonable” person, I was supposed to be the bigger person and not go ghetto on her. It was only after she started pulling the same nonsense with his (now-ex) best friend (whom she tortured with her priss-face for YEARS–they are now suitably married) he was able to see how she was, and he still feels deeply apologetic about it.

It SUCKS. But even if you don’t feel better for being the better person, Eric WILL see that you were the better person and it will go down in the books as such.

Imagine the mischief she would have tried to cause if she’d had halfway decent hair??


33 Lori September 27, 2010 at 10:29 am

Oh, Rachel: You are a normal woman. It’s okay that you are not a superheroine who meets every difficult situation with a wink and a smile.

It’s okay. It’s really going to be okay. I’ve been on both sides of this equation, and I can say years later, happily married to my best friend, that it all led up to where I am now. I can still imagine the pain, but it’s made me better.

Accept and move forward with him. This was a vital lesson. Glean what you can from it.


34 Kaytee September 27, 2010 at 10:36 am

I don’t know if it’s my relief that there was finally a happy ending or if it’s me still being upset with myself for being (a totally different type of) “That Girlfriend” this weekend as well, but I was in tears by the end of this.

And if it makes you feel any better, I probably would have been so pissed I would have “suggested” a break before homegirl even got there. You handled it much better than I would have.


35 tish September 27, 2010 at 10:41 am

sigh…i SO know what you’re going thru. my guy is this hottie trainer that has all these annoying twits flittering about all day ‘err day. recently an old hag blonde cougar chick asked him if he’d like to go to the east coast to watch a notre dame/navy football game. he said he didn’t have the money and she offered to pay for his plane ticket and game ticket. (mind you, the bitch knows we’re dating) i went over it and over it in my mind…i talked to my girlfriends and asked if i was over reacting because he couldn’t understand why i was so heated. (he had told her no thanks) that’s not why i was mad…i was angry at her for being so darn disrespectful and disappointed in him for not getting how inappropriate it was for the cougar call. there would have most definitely been a cougar catch to that little deal and ole boy was being naive. we’re STILL working on this. everytime i think about it i want to pull some grey/blonde hair…and that’s not normally me.

to be continued…


36 Rachel September 27, 2010 at 10:45 am

Do not EVEN get me started on cougars. These older women in Eric’s spin class…good lord…


37 Jessica September 27, 2010 at 11:19 am

Wow, what a rough weekend! I might be alone in this rule, but I firmly believe that friends you have while you are single OWE it to your new sig. other to make an effort at friendship if they want to stay in your life. It goes double if the old friend is of the opposite sex. Mullet chick needed to prove to you that she wasn’t trying to steal your man. She was a whiny little snot who probably won’t come back to visit anytime soon. Good riddance!

Personal example: my rule even stands for best girlfriends- I make sure my (single) bff knows that she occasionally needs to put in some face time with my husband even if they don’t have much in common. Of course me and her can still have our girls’ weekends, and hang time, and maybe in the future we can double date. But for now, all parties involved need to respect and acknowledge that I’m choosing to spend my life with my husband and he (and our relationship) will always come first.

Sorry I’m not sorry. :)


38 Rachel September 27, 2010 at 11:29 am

That is a really good rule!!


39 Monika @ ForeverImprovingGirl September 27, 2010 at 11:41 am

While I’m sorry you had to go through that (and I think we’ve all been through a variant of that, haven’t we?) I love you for being frank about it both here and on twitter. You are obviously a chick with a great head on her shoulders and a focus on bettering yourself, but sometimes? Sometimes everyone just needs to lose their shit a little bit.

I’m all about self-improvement and being rational and reasonable, but once in a while rationality needs to be put in the closet for a weekend and an annoying pink-haired skank and good-but-clueless boyfriend need to have a riot act read (or acted!) out to them. I love that you didn’t apologize.

Your “sorry but I’m not sorry” of a few weeks back has been the most valuable lesson of 2010 for me!

But back to this post: I really hope the ending means that you guys are Past It and emerged stronger and better connected. And hopefully this is the last you’ll be seeing of Miss Pink Mullet.


40 Rachel September 27, 2010 at 11:44 am

Thank you!! “Sometimes everyone just needs to lose their shit a little bit.” This made me feel a LOT better!


41 Monika @ ForeverImprovingGirl September 27, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Yay. I live by that (so that I don’t get so perfectionistic that it makes me into some sort of computer).

I don’t know about you, but my favourite people are people who fight to better themselves but do sometimes go a little loopy. I don’t trust anyone who DOESN’T lose their shit once in a while!


42 angierunner September 27, 2010 at 12:32 pm

If that happened to me I’d be pissed off too! It seems to me that you were nicer to her than I think other people would be in the same situation! Really, what was her intention on coming to “visit” ?


43 Angela September 27, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Oh dear. I think Lia made some good points. It’s so hard to not become That Girlfriend, though. It’s in our DNA, I think. I’ve actually stood outside of myself and watched that transformation and it ain’t pretty.

That being said, I think it’s important to always keep in mind that men communicate so differently from us. You have to be very specific and tell them EXACTLY what you want. I know it seems as though Eric should have been able to think ahead and say, wow, this might create an awkward situation for Rachel – but men just don’t do that on a regular basis. They are just not wired that way.

It’s very frustrating and I know that we expect them to make that leap and put the pieces together, but they just don’t. I’m not saying they’re bad or stupid – it’s just totally different wiring.

It sounds as though Eric was not interested in this girl no matter what. I know you weren’t worried about him – you were worried about her. But be careful not to put him down (unintentionally) by assuming that he couldn’t have fought off her advances, if necessary. She’s the bad guy here, not Eric.

Love ya girl!


44 Another Rachel September 28, 2010 at 11:55 am


I love my boyfriend dearly, but I realize that he just doesn’t always get it, and part of why we communicate well is that I say EXACTLY what I want/need. If I’m feeling like I overate, I say to him, “I need you to tell me I’m not fat.” Even if I give him cues, he doesn’t know exactly what I want to hear, so I tell him!

We had a sort of similar situation to this one, and part of the problem was that I didn’t explain exactly why I was adverse to it and what I thought was appropriate instead. Although I wasn’t trying to “test” him, it probably felt that way to him, because I didn’t tell him exactly what would be best for me/us. Our scenario was different, but the communication problem seems to be similar.


45 Angela September 28, 2010 at 8:26 pm

Good for you for telling him what you want and need. It really does help everything – even though it would be lovely if they would “get it” without us telling them. But it’s just the way it is.


46 Jessica September 27, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Oh jeez. I’m so sorry. I hate fights /situations like that. ultimately you’ll end up stronger, but there are always those few unsettling days afterwards…. Hang in there. I totally drank my feelings on Saturday night and I don’t usually do that anymore either. I think I was still hungover this morning. Ick.


47 Jennifer September 27, 2010 at 1:22 pm

UGH!! What a terrible weekend! Happy to see that you and Eric made it through, though. It’s tough when you disagree with someone you care about so much because you don’t want to permanently do any damage to your relationship, yet you do have to stand up for yourself and express how you truly feel. I am finally with someone who I feel comfortable expressing myself with, whether good or bad, but I do sometimes still get that “Oh, if I say this, will he end it?” feeling. Logically I know he’s here to stay, but I do get scurrred. So glad you spoke up!!


48 Ana September 27, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Dude, I can so see where you are coming from. I would have probably acted the same way.
However, I can also see it from the Pink Mullet girl’s perspective. The reason she acted like a whiny bitch, is probably because you made her feel like a third wheel. I mean put yourself in her place, she comes to visit a friend, and his girlfriend begins throwing some major shade her way. Chances are she could see that you didn’t like her and didn’t want her around. I would say that’s a pretty awkward sitch to be in. Not sure how I would have acted in her position or what I would have done, but I’m sure I wouldn’t want to spend time with someone who clearly didn’t want me around.


49 Laura September 27, 2010 at 2:12 pm

I’m exhausted just reading that.


50 Kendra September 27, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Oh Rachel, I was so feeling for you during this post. I would not have reacted to this situation nearly as well as you did. I would have slapped that bitch and been tempted to cut off her mullet in her sleep.

I think that you had every right to feel the way that you did. Your relationship is still kind of new and this whole situation was just strange.


51 Joyce September 27, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Had a drama filled weekend as well Rachel. I’ll take a rainy Monday in NYC vs this past weekend any time. We don’t want to be that girlfriend but sometimes it happens. Sorry I’m not sorry. Homegirl sounded super sketchy and I’m glad you spoke up about your feelings! Now off to throw up, take a shower, and go to sleep as well :| Hoping you have a great week!


52 Jess September 27, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Rachel, I’ve got to say I try to never be “That Girlfriend” either, but if I was facing that same exact situation, I probably would have flipped out just like you did. I mean seriously, who buys a plane ticket and flies however far to see someone that made out with once. That would have made me extremely uncomfortable and although I would have wanted to be like yea, go have fun, I probably wouldn’t have been able to feel comfortable doing that either. Sorry you had to deal with that crap. I’m glad she’s gone now.


53 Suzanne September 27, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Oh man. What a rough weekend- all I can say is that I would have been “that girlfriend” from pretty much the get go.
On a lighter note, I am always so impressed with your writing skills! Maybe because I can relate to the story, but I think it says something about your writing that while reading, I was getting stressed and upset just reading about the entire ordeal.


54 Bridget@PavementandPlants September 27, 2010 at 5:23 pm

I had this situation when I was dating an asshole. She was beautiful and blond and all that. Instead of standing up for myself, I told him I was ok with everything because I “trusted him”. They shared a bed (!!!!) instead of her taking the couch, they went to dinner together, we went to bars and he paid for her drinks. Even though nothing happened, I wish I would have said something. Because instead I seethed about it for weeks and picked at little things since I was already upset about this. So be happy you spoke your mind-it would have come out eventually!


55 Notes from the Fatty File September 28, 2010 at 9:24 am

Holy crap, my blood pressure just rose reading your story. I was stressed while reading Rachel’s, too, but yours just made me extra mad/sad. Rachel, I hope Eric realizes the stress this situation caused you. It sounds like he has a good head on his shoulders and that he really cares about you, but under no circumstances is it ever OK for a girl you hooked up with to fly down some random weekend to stay with you. Ever.


56 Rachel September 28, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Good LORD…shared a bed!?

It seems crazy, but then I look back on so many similar situations I had in college and yep, I just bit my tongue and didn’t say anything and it was a horrible experience, just like yours. Fighting sucks, but so does letting yourself be in a situation when you could have said something. It’s a fine line between playing nice and playing door mat.


57 Aly September 27, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Sounds like a typical weekend in the life of love. Crazy story tho. Glad you made it through.


58 Emma September 27, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Dude, I can’t sympathize enough! I HATE that feeling after a fight when I’m like, “ugh, I SO wish I hadn’t acted that way!” Like, on top of the fight and the shitty weekend, I also have to feel bad about how I handled the fight and the shitty weekend – awesome. But know that you are not alone, know that you are (apparently) very loved, and know that she f*cking DESERVED it. WOW.


59 Rachel's Mom September 27, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Just reading that story exhausted me.


60 Emily September 27, 2010 at 8:15 pm

I feel like a lot of us have been there–that uncomfortable place between regulating our emotions/reactions and letting some sort of primal jealous instinct take over…

I’m 100% sure I would have responded the same way–for better or worse, we protect what matters to us: relationships, our state of being, our investments…

and I think it’s worth mentioning that there is a difference between being jealous and disapproving of disrespectful (or stupid behavior)–visiting a man friend–over night–even though he has a girlfriend is stupid at best, disrespectful or dangerous at worst.


61 Emma September 27, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Oh! And a small bit of advice as to how to stop beating yourself up over it, as it sounds like you might be: Remember that you have a choice. You can choose to keep obsessing and feeling bad about it, or you can recognize that it happened, be proud of whatever you learned, and move on. Easier said than done, of course, but that whole “choice” thing is key for me.

And I’m with you – it’s awesome that you’re comfortable enough with Eric to be honest with him. I’m pretty positive the most important thing in a relationship is open communication.

Finally, don’t worry about the mention of the “B” word – it took me a few semi- blow-ups before I really *got* that the argument is not, in fact, a measure of compatibility. I had it in my head that every disagreement was an insurmountable obstacle and maybe we really just aren’t right for each other…until we surmounted about four or five of them. I think it’s normal ;)


62 T September 27, 2010 at 9:35 pm

am i the only one wondering why he didn’t say “hey, glad you’re coming to hang, but out of respect for my girlfriend, would you mind staying at the red roof inn?”

i think Lia is on to something, i think when you’ve crossed over to BF GF labels, there is a certain degree of appropriateness that should be followed… and her wanting alone time with your boyfriend for a single dinner or something is OK, but flat out bitchiness is not. sounds like she wasn’t aware he had a real GF to me :( what a craptastic weekend. i’m depressed now after reading.


63 Manon September 27, 2010 at 9:52 pm

What girl IN HER RIGHT MIND decides to randomly come visit, and stay at a guy friend’s place, when he HAS A GIRLFRIEND. Seriously. I have a ton of guy friends who live out of town, and anytime I go visit, I ALWAYS offer to stay at a hotel if they have a girlfriend….it’s just respectful, you know? AND I always WANT to get to know their gf’s….of course, I’m also not trying to get their bone.


64 Kathy September 28, 2010 at 8:19 am

I had ABSOLUTELY no idea that “green eyed monsters” were actually were real! Insecurity?


65 Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards) September 28, 2010 at 8:59 am

holy crap. this is one of the funniest things i have ever read. seriously. you are amazing. i want you around next time i am forced to deal with some psycho bitch! :)


66 Karla September 28, 2010 at 10:53 am

PHEW! That was stressful! I don’t think I’ve ever been so glad to get to the end of something I was reading. Let me point out that it was not because of the stress that “Polly” caused you, but because of your blatant disrespect for another human being. To me it seems you had your mind made up about Polly before you ever met her, once meeting her you found discrepancies in her personality to fuel your initial judgment. I’m a strong believer in being open-minded and apparently, you decided that that was too much for you to handle. POOR THING! I don’t understand how someone who writes a blog can choose to be disinterested in someone else, isn’t finding someone/something interesting and sharing part of the whole blog – je ne sais quoi. You missed out on a really wonderful human being because of your insecurity, I mean obviously this chick is AWESOME if she’s comfortable enough with herself to rock a hot pink mullet. That will be the last time I read your blog, good luck, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on making a career out of this.


67 S September 28, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Aren’t you passing the same judgment and disrespect onto Rachel through this comment? Especially at the end with your snarky remark. I’m all for people posting their opinions and everything, but your comment is rude and hypocritical. You obviously started reading this with some sort of preconceived idea about her.


68 Karla September 28, 2010 at 4:45 pm

As I stated, I have read Rachel’s blog before this post and had nothing but an open-mind and was genuinely amused/interested in some, not all, of her posts. This post, however, was different from what I would have expected from her and it was enough for me to realize that there could be nothing else worth reading from her. With that being said, I want to apologize to you if for some reason I offended your preference of reading material. As for my comment being rude and hypocritical, I beg to differ. Rude? Eh, maybe, but someone other than Lia had to stop singing her praises for being “that” girl and my comment was a far cry from rude when compared to the blog post. Hypocritical? Not in the slightest.


69 Jo September 28, 2010 at 11:48 am

Speaking as someone who knows and loves “Polly” – you missed out on a terrific chance. Is she spontanious and prone to doing things her own way? You bet, that is part of her charm. If you would have given her a chance you might have found out what a warm, loyal friend she is. I am going to give you the benifit of the doubt and assume your other posts are less whinny – but I don’t think I will be reading them.


70 Andrew September 28, 2010 at 2:47 pm

This seems a little silly to me. Have you thought to ask your boyfriend why he told her it was okay to come down in the first place given that they weren’t good friends, and you were clearly not okay with it? Have you thought to ask him why he didn’t just grow a pair and tell her that she couldn’t stay with him?

It just seems a little fishy that somebody would just randomly book a flight without asking if the host was okay hosting her.

Perhaps, like most conflicts between women, your finger pointed a little preemptively toward the woman.


71 Rachel September 28, 2010 at 2:53 pm

In four days of fighting, yes, I most definitely thought to ask him that. As I said in the post, she booked her flight before he had a chance to talk to me about it.


72 Andrew September 28, 2010 at 3:27 pm

But she did ask him? So my point is your boyfriend gave her permission to stay with him. So it seems to me that this whole ordeal was caused by your boyfriend’s lack of communication.

Let’s take all the sex and expectations out the equation: Polly went down there to visit a friend, and was greeted by his passive-aggressive girlfriend. You state that she tried to be friendly, but you make it clear to your readers you didn’t meet her half way. I wouldn’t want to spend my vacation hanging around my friend’s angry girlfriend, so I can empathize with Polly getting upset as you state in Step 5.

I’m simply trying to put a little perspective on your disastrous weekend. It sounds to me like your boyfriend pushed the snowball off the cliff, and you only made it bigger.


73 Rachel September 28, 2010 at 3:34 pm

You are very right that this was caused by my boyfriend’s lack of communication. Yes, I found her behavior strange and obnoxious, but believe me, the majority of the fighting was about that very problem — I was upset because he wouldn’t do what I needed him to do to feel comfortable in a very uncomfortable situation, even though he said he believed my feelings were justified.

And I’m not passive-aggressive. I’m pretty much just aggressive.


74 Andrew September 28, 2010 at 4:02 pm

So then you agree. This was your boyfriend’s error, yet the majority of the blog is dedicated to Polly and her obnoxious behavior because you felt threatened.

Like I said before, women tend to point the finger at each other, which works out beautifully for us guys.


75 Rachel September 28, 2010 at 4:04 pm

No, her obnoxious behavior is included because it made things so much WORSE.


76 Sophie @ yumventures September 28, 2010 at 3:34 pm

OMG Rachel, I’m just glad that ended on a (very) happy note! That sounds like the most ridiculous weekend, just reading it makes me need a drink! Not going to lie, I would have lost it as well. A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do, you know? I’m totally done with not speaking my mind about a situation, even if it gets a *little* messy sometimes.


77 Andrew September 28, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Take a look at the comments that follow this post. It’s very clear the attention is focused on Polly. Very few comments even acknowledge that Eric had anything to do with the situation.

Hmmmm. Perhaps you’ve found a subject for this weeks lesson: Why are women so mean to each other?


78 Elina (Healthy and Sane) September 28, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Oh man, I’m so glad you guys worked it out. That girl sounds like a loser :)


79 Erica October 27, 2010 at 2:34 pm

I recently started reading your blog via my Nutritionista (love you both!) and I find myself audibly laughing at work, or just sitting on the couch with my boyfriend (both situations get me weird looks).

I know I’m a little late on this post (actually you posted it on my birthday!), but there is a girl/situation similar to this that plagues my relationship. I TOTALLY understand how you felt in this situation. Totally, completely, 100 percent. You are NOT crazy and if you are then I am too!

My boyfriend knows her from college, they were always “friends” until something happened between them, one time, and then continued to be friends after that. I’ve always tried my hardest to not let myself be That Girlfriend, because his last girlfriend was That Girlfriend and she and Evil B*tch would literally fight, like show up to your work and threaten you, fight on a regular basis (don’t judge my boyfriend for the caliber of girl he dated in the past lol, and also note that I am the complete opposite of that, which is what I think brought us together). Anyways, I fully trust my boyfriend and honestly know that he would never do anything intentionally to hurt me. But there’s something about this girl that gets to me! She’ll pop up every now and then with an IM, write on his facebook, call him at 3 am, send him texts (the texts and calls stopped after a few months of our dating, I believe). Just the way she behaves and things she says rubs me the wrong way, and like you said, although I know how he feels about her (he doesn’t even grace her with a response, like, ever) that doesn’t mean she feels the same way!

One time back in the spring (about 6 months into our relationship) she talked about coming up to Michigan to visit (Michigan, represent!) and he kind of mentioned it to me casually, because (again, like you said) we all have those people who say they wanna come visit but never mean it seriously. When I told him how I felt about it (that she will not come stay with him in his studio apartment for a weekend, even if she sleeps on the couch, which is right next to the bed! And that she could come visit and stay on my couch in my apartment instead) we had our first little debacle about it. Ever since then, every now and then it will come up. She’ll text him. Or she’ll write on his facebook wall. And we get in a huge, full-blown, yelling at each other, “you’re not being fair to me!” tears streaming down my face fight about it! But the thing is, I don’t even know what the fights are about, because I don’t even know what I want out of it. I just wish she didn’t exist, honestly. But he pretty much does everything I “don’t” ask of him. He doesn’t even talk to her, so what more can I ask? I guess I just don’t want him to think that I’m a crazy bitch for feeling that way about it, and to understand where I’m coming from.

I’ve had a tendency in the past (and actually still, in other relationships in my life) to be very un-confrontational. I don’t stand up for myself all the time (I’ve been much better about it the older I get), and I’m always the “understanding” and “balanced” one who apologizes after an argument and admits to being wrong. So when we get in these big fights about someone who is realistically not even a problem, I’m at least putting my foot down and standing up for the way that I feel and what I believe in. I might be acting like That Girlfriend (totally am) but SORRY, I’m not sorry! It’s a fight that’s going to keep happening over and over again without ever being “solved” (probably because there is not really anything to solve, or if there is, I don’t know what it is) but that’s OK. Because with pretty much every other issue there is, I’m the logical, non-stubborn one. Also because every time this fight happens, it ends with “Baby, I love you so much.”

Sorry for the novel-comment, but I was so excited when I read this post. Not excited for your misery but excited to know that even logical, balanced, well-minded girls can also be That Girlfriend, just like me! Also, writing that all out for the first time really kinda helped, I think. Thanks!


80 Erin December 9, 2010 at 9:27 pm

For the first time in my life I have been That Girlfriend with my boyfriend. I also am crazy in love with him. It’s nice to know other well balanced women may lose it occasionally. I never cried, I was always a very rational girlfriend until this relationship. It seems to have taken me time to adjust to the whole process–whatever that means. I guess it took me acknowledging that I was turning into That Girlfriend and figure it out. I’m impressed you did it in a matter of four days. It’s taken me quite a bit longer!


81 Nicole @ Giraffelegs July 14, 2011 at 10:05 am

just creeped on this (can you tell I’m at work?)….so funny. I think I would have thrown back a few shots and gone to town on her, and then blamed it on being drunk
if it works in sororities it works in real life..right?
you are too funny


82 Hannah November 8, 2011 at 9:00 pm

I can honestly say that this is my FAVORITE blog post of all time.

And I mean that as seriously as possible. I just bookmarked it … how lame am I?

Sorry you had a shitty weekend though :/


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