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My BFF Says I Need a Makeover!

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My friend told me a little makeup and a change of the hairstyle I have had since high school would do me good. OMG!

two friends disagreeing on fashion

Donna from Denver, CO, writes: Dear Friendship Court: Judy and I have been friends since high school. Neither one of us was ever particularly trendy, nor could we afford to be. Now, 15 years later, we are each married, and each live fairly comfortable lives, and Judy likes "nice stuff." She wears all the latest and greatest clothes and has her hair done. I am still not interested in fashion and trends. Last week, we were out for lunch, and I said, "You got another new handbag?" and she went off on me. She said I should stop worrying about her stuff and get myself a complete makeover. She said a little makeup and a change of the hairstyle "[I] have had since high school would do me good." She also said she still recognizes things I wear from over ten years ago and doesn't say anything to me, so I should not comment on her new things. When she was done, I asked for the check and haven't spoken to her since. Can this friendship be saved?

Leslie Adler: Dear Donna: Yes, if you acknowledge that you were not exactly an innocent bystander in this argument. This may not sound like a very judicious term, but "you started." By commenting on Judy's handbag the way you did, you made the fact that she buys new things an issue. Your comment sounded judgmental, and maybe even projected jealousy. Judy didn't need to go on the attack, but obviously this was building up. My advice is that you should call Judy and apologize for your comment. Be clear that your friendship was never based on material things and you don't want it to be now. Tell her you love her even though she likes nice new things, and you hope she can love you even though you are comfortable in your "old things."

What do you think? Should stuff like this matter in a good friendship?

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4 comments so far | Post a comment now
Loralynn July 17, 2009, 11:51 AM


I think her question was innocent enough. I am very much a purse shopaholic and people ask me that question all the time. For her to take offense and go off on a tirade like that was inexcusable.

Her friend should apologize for over reacting and causing a scene in public. How embarrassing…I wouldn’t want to be friends with someone that irrational.

HeeHee July 17, 2009, 6:16 PM

I love big hair.

Anonymous July 17, 2009, 7:20 PM

It all depends on the tone of how the question was asked. She might’ve just been asking if it was new, or she might’ve been saying it like “you got ANOTHER new handbag?!” If it’s the former, Judy overreacted, but if it’s the latter, Donna needs to step up. Either way, a phone call and apology can likely EASILY save a friendship that has lasted this long. I sure wouldn’t want one little fight like this to get in the way of a friendship that long… obviously there’s more to it than just the surface friendships many of us have with “newer” friends, and that’s worth saving!

Rachelle July 18, 2009, 12:30 AM

It sounds to me like what the author said, that maybe things had already been brewing, and that was just the comment to cause the “explosion.” I had a friend whom I went through something like this with. Unfortunately, our friendship did not survive. She became way too competitive, and jealous of things, that for the most part were just nonscense. If they sit down and really talk it out, and it’s not something that has festered in one or both of them for too long (it could have been years leading up to this), then maybe they’ll be okay.

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