she’s just not that into me

I just finished reading Bossypants. Devoured, I should say; I have no idea what took me so long. Why, Tina Fey and I have a ton in common! We live in the same neighborhood, on the same street, we’re both moms in New York City, we both got our start in improv and sketch comedy, we both have worked hard to be perceived as “funny” (period) and not just “funny (for a chick).”

We both have dark hair that’s just ehh. Um, and I know her manager.

Sure, there are a half dozen Golden Globes and Emmys that we don’t have in common, but after reading her book I’m more certain than ever that we’d be best friends. If, that is, we only actually knew each other. I passed Tina and her daughter on the street a couple years ago (this was back when she still wore glasses all the time, but she wasn’t on the street. Only I saw through her Clark-Kent-in-reverse disguise.) It took every ounce of resolve I had not to turn and chase her and say “Here’s my number! We’re seriously EXACTLY ALIKE! Uh ha ha ha!” But deep down I know: She’s got plenty-a mom stalkers. She’d just not be that into me.

Right now one of my friends has an eleven-year-old daughter already learning the heartbreak of an unrequited female crush. “I watched her trailing up the block after these two girls,” my friend said (mad enough to spit nails), “these two little… JERKS… who have no time for my daughter, and it kills her. And I want to say, ‘You have terrible taste in friends! They don’t like you, and GREAT! Who cares!’ But since everything I say these days is suddenly wrong…” My friend’s voice trailed off here. She shook her head. The only way for her daughter to learn that lesson is the hard way.

Admittedly, Tina Fey’s cutting rejection of me is entirely in my head, but there is this one mom at my kids’ school that just… doesn’t like me. Actually, I think she might be sitting home making voodoo dolls of me, based on the looks she casts my way at dropoff. This particular mom is very attractive, very put together at all times, but she’s still always sizing everyone else up, making sure she’s the fairest 1st grade mom of all.

And I mean, she IS. All of us would readily cede the crown to her. Her hair is ironed; her JEANS are ironed. But there’s something about me she doesn’t like. I can tell.  Why should I care? I’ve done nothing. Everyone knows she’s not the friendliest. But when I say “hi” and smile my warmest smile and she just looks back at me with her dead eyes, like I don’t make SENSE, like I’m a poster on the subway platform for a movie that came out eighteen months ago, it’s just- weird! It’s freaking weird. And it ruins many a walk home for me, I’m a little freaked out, and obsessed with WHY she’s just not that into me, and then obsessed by why I CARE so much about why she’s not that into me… you see how it goes.

So I wonder: in a hallway full of nice, upfront, friendly women, why is my attention magnetized to the single person who isn’t? Why do we, as women, give other women that power? Is there a woman like this in your life? How do you make yourself stop chasing the woman who’s just not that into  you?

Also, if you know Tina Fey, tell her I totally said hi.

 

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

holly fink March 20, 2012 at 11:58 pm

How could someone not like you, my friend? I actually am not liked so by so many women at school and in my neighborhood that there is a line of women who share this common thread standing outside my house right now.  Sometimes I wonder if I’m paranoid.  But I don’t think so.

And I love Tina Fey, too.

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amywlsn March 21, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Tina Fey talks a lot in the book, more than I expected actually, about the importance of female support and the destructiveness of female competition. 

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elissafreeman March 21, 2012 at 2:35 am

I think it’s one of those latent high school things where it was just important to be liked…maybe we just never outgrow it as adults.  Maybe she senses your inherent confidence and that drives her crazy!  And honestly?  Someone who’s so ‘pressed’? I can’t imagine what having coffee with her would be like (unless of course, it was french pressed!)  She”s not worth dwelling on… 

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The Mommy Psychologist March 21, 2012 at 2:56 am

I’ve really never understood this about women. Thankfully, I can honestly say that I don’t really get it.  I want to be clear that I have PLENTY of other issues, but I really don’t worry too much about other women liking me. I don’t know why. I just don’t. I never have. Even in high school I never understood all of the drama. 

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Kpiccini March 21, 2012 at 11:32 am

I do have women like this in my life…and since I have a compulsive need to please people it’s even worse. I try too hard, and I care too much. The thing is that I don’t give myself enough credit for the things I do..do.

When I think of you..I think I feel like you do with that woman. If that explains it any better.

If she were smart..she’d know that you were just as phenomenal.

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Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom March 21, 2012 at 12:40 pm

One of the lessons I want to teach my daughter is that not everyone will like her. I think the sooner she learns that and accepts it, the better off she will be. I think I wasted a lot of time trying to get everyone to like me and I think that was how, as a girl, I was raised to be. But men aren’t like that and I think they’ve got it right!

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The Tired Mother March 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm

The woman who wrote Bridget Jones’ Diary also wrote a book where she said something to the effect of :  Nobody’s looking at you, they’re worried that you are looking at them.  Totally botching the quote, but the sentiment is there.  People who seem to be, on the surface, perfect, are usually a total mess inside (except for me…of course).  You don’t know what is going on in her life, and what is on her mind, and that may mean that she gives everyone the cold shoulder except those that are in her inner sanctum. You never know: Maybe her straying husband has had the gall to point out that he found you attractive?  But the trick is, don’t let it change the way YOU are as a person.  Most people that we try and change for are rarely worth it.  

And as for Tina Fey, she’s definitely someone to look up to, and if you keep doing as you are doing, I’m sure when you meet her, you’ll be great buds.

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Gooddayregularpeople March 21, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Gosh. What a post.

What a post.

Love this kind of blogging: relatable, from a page in my life.

Yes, there is a woman online that doesn’t respond to my tweets, my RT’s, my comments on her blog, and barely spoke to me at BlogHer.

Still, I am as faithful as a dog to her.

But, lately: I have to tell myself to be a grown up and not get hurt that I tweet to her and no response, someone else tweets to her and she’s LOL I LOVE YOU THANKS FOR THE TWEET.

I have to tell myself that I go to her blog b/c I love her stuff. She owes me nothing. I can’t take it personally. I am a nobody, and she only talks to somebodies.

I have to be OK with that. I have to tell myself it’s not personal.

But it hurts…and makes you question Adult Child of an Alcoholic style questions…

Great post. THANK YOU.

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SheilaGregoire March 21, 2012 at 5:09 pm

 I am so like that, too! In real life people who don’t like me don’t bother me, because I can usually sense the reason, and it’s often reciprocated. But people’s comments on my blog, or people ignoring me when they pay attention to other bloggers, hurts. Or negative comments on Amazon by people who are obviously just trying to be mean. I feel like I’m 12 again! And it’s so silly.

Last night I went into my 17-year-old’s bedroom and said to her, “tell me all the advice I told you when girls were treating you badly.” She parroted it back to me, and I felt much better!

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Abby March 21, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Loved Bossypants! I have to agree with The Tired Mom here. I’m willing to bet it’s more about her than you. There was a similar mom at my kids’ preschool and it did bug me that she was friendly with everyone else but me. Then on the very last day of school, I struck up a conversation with her and learned some things I didn’t know about her, like she’d had a tough childhood and was insecure about her mothering skills. This blew me away because she always came across so confident and poised. Anyway, now she reads my blog and says she loves it & we’re friends on Facebook. Crazy. 🙂

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Tracy March 21, 2012 at 1:48 pm

great post.  it is weird that we do that, isn’t it?  but i think we all do.  she is probably just insecure…that is what i have found about most women like that…they are overcompensating.  just keep smiling.  i am sure it drives her crazy!

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amywlsn March 21, 2012 at 2:00 pm

and also I highly doubt you are “not liked by so many.” 

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amywlsn March 21, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Love that this is touching a nerve with you guys. @509c458c13adcd46542b4f8631730e0b:disqus I sincerely hope my sweet smile does bother her, it’s all I got. @3f4c4775394df426b3f565a4a0a953c9:disqus thanks for the shot in the arm. @elissafreeman:disqus this person’s perfection probably does indicate some furious paddling beneath the surface… I shall not speculate further.  @61eef91f876efeaf47558c38b7c66852:disqus I think the woman-heavy blogosphere can sometimes be the worst high school cafeteria of all. It’s my favorite new arena in which to underachieve. And have you read Bossypants?! Fey TOTALLY talks about the ACOA ability to be hurt by others.  @7bf8faeb761774b94c464a5009cb3a5e:disqus you give me hope- I don’t think I want to be friends with this person anyway. But it’s important to remember that the reasons she doesn’t like me, or doesn’t want to befriend me, may not have much to do with me- or are at least totally out of my control. @ce14daacfb0090e11955e7e92c3fc36f:disqus  you are right: it’s not worth the effort to make this work. @24fe81830bb7fc0228c422101b9ed553:disqus -about this, you sound quite healthy. And like a guy. As @Experienced_Bad_Mom:disqus points out. (You’re right Katy, I’d love to teach my daughter how to free herself from this nonsense. Guess I’d better start by setting a better example). 

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@pluslily March 21, 2012 at 2:29 pm

I hear ya! Why IS it that in a room full of supportive friendly faces it’s the one grump that effects your psyche! Bleh! 

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sharisim March 21, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Oh yes. Yes yes yes. But you like me, don’t you? ‘Cause I like you. (said in pathetic voice). Um… put me out of my misery. 

Seriously great, Amy.

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amywlsn March 24, 2012 at 5:57 pm

I like you. You have pretty hair. 

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Tracey March 21, 2012 at 2:42 pm

I haven’t had a woman like this in my life for a long time, but I still remember what it feels like. The thing that made me give them up is that they usually weren’t even people I WANTED AS A FRIEND!

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amywlsn March 24, 2012 at 5:57 pm

YES! I don’t want to be besties with this person… I just want that to be up to me, not her. Which is the dumbest.

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Leigh Ann March 21, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Is it our need to be liked? Even by the women who don’t like us? I know that’s one of my problems. Even if I can’t stand you, I can’t be too rude because I don’t want you to not be able to stand me. That’s the power I want. Horrible, right? And no, I’m not one of those snotty, put together moms who’s always in the in crowd. I just want people to like me, even if I don’t like them.

There’s a mom at my preschool that I have a girl crush on. We drive the same car, but that’s where it ends, as I spill out with my 3 kids versus her one, my frizzy hair versus her smooth do, and my frumpy, lumpy appearance versus her magnificent ass in her workout pants. She’s friends with ALL the other preschool moms, including the  hot dads, and I know no one!

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amywlsn March 24, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Girl crushes are a whole other form of heartbreak. maybe we should discuss that next.

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Mrs. Jen B March 21, 2012 at 3:22 pm

This is so painful.  I was always that girl, trailing after the other girls who only had time for me when they had nothing better to do.  Now that I’m a adult and supposed to be past that stage, I find myself deliberately avoiding people who even give a hint that they may not be into me.  I might even come off as snobby or standoffish sometimes – because I refuse to be hurt, and I don’t ever want to be that unwanted girl again.

But still.  There’s one woman who jumps to the front of my mind when I consider my need to please.  Why do I care so much whether or not she likes me???

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amywlsn March 24, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Yes Jen that’s the risk I think- I take ten steps back rather than risk being hurt. Which can come off as aloof, not insecure, and perpetuate the whole cycle. 

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Ann Imig March 21, 2012 at 3:26 pm

I’m with The Empress. I experience this online more than IRL. There are some people that I simply cannot force to fall in love with me (gag) and when I start putting way too much energy in their direction it’s a cue that I’m burned out and need to take stock. Usually I can redirect, but I always get a little eye-tic when I see them on Twitter. 🙂

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amywlsn March 24, 2012 at 5:53 pm

That’s what keeps me at arm’s length from the blogosphere sometimes: I feel like I’ll never catch up to the really cool kids, so why bother? 

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Angeladigaetano March 21, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Women can be one another’s worst enemy. Story of my life. And, sorry, but Tina Fey is totally MY bestie because she has the same name as my sister, lives on my street, likes to bust chops, etc. etc. 

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amywlsn March 24, 2012 at 5:52 pm

You’re in that hallway with me Angela, you know it’s not exactly swimming with the sharks. But I can always find someone to make me feel insecure.

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Wanda March 21, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Why do we do this to ourselves? I can fall flat by one blank face in a room full of friendly ones! Darn it female hormones!!!

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Nutrimommyblog March 21, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Have you ever read the Four Agreements? When people ignore you it is nothing about you at all …I grew up being the follower and now surround myself by people who actually like me (or pretend they do LOL) and I am happy…yes, the Occasional preschool mom still ignores me but I do not wish I were friends with them because then I would feel even worse about my unbrushed hair, my children’s clothes from Target, my unwillingness to spend the day shopping for designer clothes….I like us better than the moms who ignore us even if admittedly once in a while it gets my goat. I also feel certain they have their own hardships which nowin our hardship other people dish to me more…

I remember thinking you were so way cool and then realizing you too have so normal mothering insecurities (unless you just make them up fornyour blog) like I have social insecurities…I still get all insecure at W in Florida which makes me laugh at myself among all the jet set, hah. Glance at the Four Agreements and set yrself free. must say, sick child puts all immediately in perspective, who gives a fuck about anyone who ignores me? I am pretty wonderful and so are you.

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amywlsn March 24, 2012 at 5:51 pm

LOVE THIS. Love this: “I am pretty wonderful and so are you.” If there’s anyone who I knew could put this in perspective, it’s you. Off to buy The Four Agreements!

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Stephanie Precourt March 21, 2012 at 5:18 pm

I came across a couple women like this at our last church- which is so weird because it’s CHURCH and aren’t you supposed to be nice to everyone or at least pretend to like them there? But anyway, I didn’t get it. It was like I was invisible and I just wanted to be friendly. I figured they weren’t worth it. They were the ones missing out. There was 1 other time when we went on a trip for my husband’s work and one of the people on the trip clearly didn’t like me for some reason. I caught her rolling her eyes to her friend when I was talking and that SUCKED but also made me realize I totally didn’t need that type of person’s approval. Natural selection of good riddance right there.
Steph

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amywlsn March 24, 2012 at 5:55 pm

It’s the let’s-bond-by-being-rude-to-this-third-person stuff that really needs to phase out once a gal has underarm hair.

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tracie March 21, 2012 at 6:58 pm

this post is full of awesomeness!

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mpbonaroti March 22, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Amy, I’ve been stalking your blog for a new post. Missed them! You always get it right. I’m convinced WE’D be besties! The PTG at my son’s school is a breeding ground for these types of women. I’m convinced they were either insecure in high school and never got over it, or are just nasty by nature. Whatevs. Why can’t more people just agree we’re all trying to do the best we can?

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Adkeif March 23, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Could it be that she is shy or insecure as well.  Socially awkward?  You never really know.  There is a woman that lives in my neighborhood that I feel the same way about.  She’s the first one with a tan in the summer, outfits look wonderful on her and she runs because she enjoys it.  Her 3 boys always look like something from a Gap add and she’s about to adopt a baby from India.  On the one hand, I feel like she’s a bit of a snob towards me, but then on the other hand, I question why I care what she thinks of me.  I don’t know why women do this to themselves.  I wonder if there a woman in my nneighbor’s live that makes her feel this way?

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amywlsn March 24, 2012 at 5:54 pm

well that’s the interesting question. I wouldn’t say this particular person is insecure at all, due to the circumstances of her life (which I won’t get into) she walks proud and doesn’t care. But appearances can be deceiving. 

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Yuliya March 25, 2012 at 9:28 pm

You should listen to Bossypants on audio, then it will be just like Tina Fey is leaving you a nice long voicemail.
And great post, I so get this. 

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Butt Sameen March 26, 2012 at 2:46 am

I think it’s called a platonic crush. We all get it. It’s nothing sexual. We just admire someone’s strengths and our admiration turns into adoration. 

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Estelle Sobel Erasmus May 3, 2012 at 7:19 pm

OMG. Amy, I LOVE this post. As you can see, I’m catching up on your blog. Wow! You’re so very…human! Imagine that? I see your professionalism and polish; but you’re also very, very, very real and, dare I say, earthy. Maybe that’s what makes you a great director, writer, person, etc. I  have to admit that if I see someone who is not that into me, I give it a college try, and then move on. I was never part of the in crowd growing up; so it didn’t matter too much to me later on, if that makes any sense. Funny enough most of the “in” crowd peaked in high school:)

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