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My Vacation With My Friend Was a Nightmare!

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Can this friendship be saved?

Karen writes:

I met Barbara two years ago when she came to work at the company I worked for. We became instant friends and have been doing social things together outside of work ever since. A few months ago we decided to plan a vacation together, a "single girl's wild time" in the Bahamas. We talked about it incessantly and seemed to be on the "same page." Well, we just got back and I have to tell you it was a disaster from the minute our plane landed. Barbara turned into a whiner and a complainer. The "transfer" from the airport was a group van, not a taxi, and that was no good. The hotel wasn't what she expected and she obsessed over whether she was "getting value for her money" the whole week. And a "wild time"? Barbara wouldn't know a wild time if it slapped her in the face. She didn't want to go to any clubs or bars at night, she wouldn't partake in any beach games, when guys tried to talk to us she acted like a jerk. Barbara ruined my vacation! Now we are back at work and I can't even look at her. Can this friendship be saved?

Two woman standing back to back

Leslie Adler: Karen, sometimes the more important question is whether you want the friendship to be saved ... and this is one of those times. It sounds like Barbara was not at her best in the Bahamas. Do you want to just chalk it up to the idea that you and she make good "work buddies" but are not "vacation-compatible"? Or, do you want to face the fact that this is a side of Barbara you just don't like and decide she is no longer worth the effort? Since you are asking me, I will tell you that I would lay low for a week or two and then I would resume the work friendship (simply because it worked in the past and the workplace is complicated enough) and never talk about vacationing with Barbara again.

Should Karen save this friendship? Tell us in our community!



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4 comments so far | Post a comment now
Eve May 22, 2009, 9:06 AM

I had the same problem, fortunately not with someone at work. Basically I laid low for a bit until I stopped being annoyed with her. Ultimately I decided she’s a good person, just really bad at travelling. She simply cannot handle change or culture shock. Now either I don’t go on vacation with her or I go as part of a group so I have a buffer. Buffers definitely help! :)

Anonymous May 22, 2009, 11:30 AM

Agree with Eve!

Leeza May 23, 2009, 12:25 AM

I had the same thing happen! She was my best friend for years.Then she moved across the country to be close to her family after a nasty divorce.Being she had 3 kids, she needed to be close to her family for the support.We missed each other painfully!Finally, she called to say she was coming to stay with me and my family for a week.I was esctatic!From the minute she arrived,she seemed so different than before. She complained so much about lack of money.So everywhere we went,I paid for EVERYTHING.She wasn’t even thankful. Entitled is more like it.I was starting to feel used after about 4 days of her picking the finest restaurants (for ME to pay for).The last straw was when I introduced her to an artist friend of mine.He showed us some of his paintings and she fell in love with one! For the first time that whole week, she whipped out her wallet and paid a pricey amount for this painting. She actually asked me if I would ship it across the country. I did, yet that was the last time I invited her to stay with her old best friend, that’s me! OUCH!!!That hurt bad.

Monica June 2, 2009, 7:23 PM

Like I told a co-work of mine. “You are my best friend in the whole wide world, at work.” And that is the way we kept it. Seems like she should do the same. I totally understand. That is why I vacation with my hubby and no one else. We know what we like and we do. I hate complainers.


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