by Madeline Laughs
There are folks in this life that can weave a web of deceit for their own agenda that is intricate, beautiful and deadly, all at the same time. I have been fortunate to watch this process from beginning to sticky end and have marveled at the energy spent in order to reach the ultimate climax.
And yet, I am still perplexed at exactly what has been accomplished.
I’m sitting at the kitchen table with Connie and she’s busy chain smoking and relating yet another tragic event that’s going on in her life. It seems all of her events involve the same players, so five minutes into it my eyes start to glaze over. It’s always the same theme too, but everytime I stand in awe at how she handles these people in her life. It always seems to work in her favor. Or, at the very least, she always seems to get what she needs from it.
Today she’s whining about how her mother loves her sister Donna way more than she’s ever loved Connie. Her sister, Donna, has the perfect children (in between puffs Connie takes a deep breathe to scream at her own children who are playing upstairs “Shut the fuck up or I’m going to come up there and beat the shit out of you both!!”) and Donna is the smartest, the prettiest, etc. But in reality, according to Connie, Donna’s children are spoiled rotten brats and Donna is a clueless bitch with a cheating husband.
After providing the backdrop of horrible Donna, she finishes the new story that’s causing her angst on this day and I listen.
The one common thread that I always zero in on during these tales is the fact that Connie has told me this story and she’s told her mother a version and she’s told someone else another different version. She weaves this intricate web all in hopes of catching the big, fat fly. She figures if she spins the story enough times, the fly will have to come and see what’s happening in her web. And all of the people she’s told these versions to, won’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call Donna to tell her that Connie is upset with her. But Connie won’t call Donna herself.
And so that is always my first question to her; “why don’t you just tell Donna all of this?”
We’re sitting at the table and she’s still busy spinning her spider’s web and the phone rings. Guess who it is! Well, it’s Donna! How about that? The fly has finally made an appearance.
I listen to Connie’s side of the conversation and I am paralyzed with amazement. I hear; “no Donna, I never said that.” and “I know you love me.” and “okay, it’s no problem.” and then Connie hangs up the phone with a smile of victory on her face and says to me “I don’t really care what she says or does cause I’ve made up my mind!”
After hearing how upset Connie is, Donna has decided that the best thing to do in order to mend fences is to fly out to Connie’s house for a few days so they can spend some time together. Connie has gotten what she wanted. She has Donna’s undivided attention and sisterly devotion, but even that is not enough for her. “You see? Donna knows she’s wrong and she knows she needs to suck up to me or I won’t speak to her anymore.”
I am floored!
I didn’t recall hearing her tell Donna to “suck up” while they were chatting on the phone. Connie never told Donna that her children were brats, or any of the other awful comments she made while she was spinning the web with me and everyone else.
Donna arrived the next morning and I was there. Surprisingly, it was a real lovefest. “Oh we’re sisters, thick and thin, you know I love you Donna, blah, blah, blah.”
It was a nice albeit short visit.
Once Donna left it was time for the clean-up and this involved numerous telephone calls to everyone she had spun the original web to. There was remodeling of the web design and a lot of “she knew I was right and that’s why she jumped on a plane and got her ass out here so fast.” and grunts of arrogance laced with smirks that shined with “I got what I wanted.“It appeared everyone, except me, had picked up the phone to call Donna and pressed her to make things right with her sister.
True mastery at work here and I got to witness the whole thing unfold. If I had decades of rehearsals, I could not have pulled that off as flawlessly as she did.
Yes, I do find this comical and a bit diabolical. I was totally amazed with how she was able to get so many people to fall all over themselves trying to make her happy. I wondered how wonderful it would feel to be so “loved and adored”, almost like a movie star.
But now I can see this for what it truly is. It’s deceit, manipulation and it’s lies. All glitter and paste and nothing real, healthy or loving about it.
I was happy to untangle myself from that spider web and this fly has never flown anywhere near it again. I wonder if Donna knows that Black Widows kill and eat you once they’ve had their fun?
Well, she’s definitely no Charlotte, is she?
Here’s what that experience taught me:
1. Don’t whine about stuff you can’t control.
2. Realize that you can’t control anything in life, except yourself.
3. Don’t manipulate a situation just to draw attention to yourself.
4. Look within and realize what is missing in your life that you have to make other people miserable in order to make yourself happy.
These are all very important lessons to be learned, however the most important lesson here is knowing and loving yourself enough to take your issues with another person directly to that person, or group of persons. Man up! If you have a problem with someone, tell them. Especially if they’re family and especially if you love them.
This is where Connie truly misses out because Donna really does care about her and she just does not get that. The real eye opener will be that day when no one responds to her cries for love, no matter how twisted she is about getting the message delivered.
And fear not, if you are brave enough to approach someone about your issues with them and they attack you for it, or they don’t respond to you at all, then you really haven’t lost anything. You see, there wasn’t any love there for you to start with. The attack or the silent treatment will give you the momentum you need in order to move on and past this person.
There are plenty of sunny windowsills in your short lifespan. Don’t spend another moment of your time stuck in a spider’s web.
Now please excuse me, but I see a box of open donuts that I need to land on. Until the next tale spins out, I will be flying through this life in search of sugar and shit and writing about it here.
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