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{Gothic Angel}
I used to have a very dear friend called Katie. We met in year 10 science, as our school houses hadn't mixed before then, so we'd never really seen each other before, but we clicked right away. We both had slightly dirty minds, bizzare senses of humour, massive inferiority complexes, and an interest inlanguages. I idolised her, and she, I think, did the same to me. I'd never really met her friendship group before, but I slowly started to kind of fit in with them, I think largely because Katie loved me and I loved her. It never really mattered that I was going through my uber-goth phase and she was more "pretty and fashionable", although she did used to say she admired me for being different.

We both had boyfriends in this time, but we never grew apart. She went out with a bloke she met over the internet (she used to spend all her time in chatrooms on aol talking to as many young men as possible, and cybering with a lot of them as one-off things, I think, but that was her business, not mine, so I didn't really care as long as she was careful about name and address and number, in the respect of NOT GIVING THEM OUT tongue.gif She met up with Andy after having spoken to him on the internet for 3 months, lost her virginity to him the first weekend she met him, and started going out with him a week later. He didn't live that far away, and they seemed happy, so I wasn't going to say anything, but she did become different after that - it was almost like she thought she was better than people because she wasn't virgin and they were, although she never acted like that with me. Also, she was getting a load of cr*p off of people in school because she was only 15 and he was 17, so I was just putting it down to being hurt by the lack of support. I supported her fully, but did the "responsible friend" thing, making sure she was being safe, taking her to Doctor's, even going up and asking for the morning after pill in a chemist and only revealing it was really her who needed it when we were in the consultations booth with the pharmacist and couldn't give precise details about the "incident" tongue.gif

We stayed friends after our GCSEs into year 12 (the first year of A levels in the UK), but we saw each other less because she tends towards humanities subjects, and I tend towards the sciences. But we still went out and things, and she had a few rough patches with Andy that I was her first port of call for support on. In our school, the lower school pupils have to stay outside at breaks and lunches, but the sixth form have rooms in school where they can stay at break and lunch and also in free periods. Me and Katie ended up in L10 - a room in the languages block where people who aren't geeks (this year I've thankfully gravitated to the computer room with them - far less bitching), but are definately not the popular crowd, so can't hang around in the sixth form space. In there were all the friends from the GCSE years who went on to A levels, and then a couple of other groups of people who we all knew vaguely but not everyone knew each other well. Amongst this new, larger group was Laura, who is now my closest friend and has been my friend for a very long time - I knew her in primary school. For some reason we cordially hated one another in year 11 - Katie kept telling me she'd said all these horrible things about me, and I couldn't understand why - all I ever wanted to do was be friends, and I was only ever polite and civil to her. Not just us two, but a lot of people in year 12 bitched and lied and backstabbed each other - L10 was not a nice place.

So, fast forward to the end of year 12, and me and Katie haven't seen each other for a while, but I have no indication that anything is wrong - we chat on msn fine and everything. She has been uncharacteristically bitchy and unreliable, to the extent a lot of people have noticed and become irritated with her, but I stick by her, and I'm practically the only person who does, although I maintain that she must be really upset in order to be doing this. On a Thursday we have - joy of joys - a "special assembly". A heavily christian boy in our year has arranged for a bunch of his friends (minister, minister, and a couple more devout faithful) to come in and discuss their religion with us. I got into a slightly heated debate with one of them, (largely because she wasn't answering my questions, I might add), but it's not as if we were screaming at each other - I check with many people who were there, including the bloke who organsed it, our head of year and, via Paul, the christians themselves, and no-one thinks I was out of line. Except, unfortunately, the one person I would have expected to support me.

I don't know what it was. She does RE so maybe she just didn't like that, given I tend to be good academically, I was threatening her intelligence by demonstrating a working knowledge of her subject (I lose a lot of friends just because they get frustrated that I'm disappointed by grades they would kill to acheive - one of the reasons I tend not to flash my grades around at school if I can help it). In any case, I didn't speak to her, even in passing, on the Friday, but I didn't think anything of it. I spoke to her on friday night, happy to see her, and she blew up at me. It started as a rant about how I was rude (I hadn't properly estrablished that everyone else thought it was fine at this point, so I was still worried I'd been out of line myself). She carried on attacking me, telling me I was thoughtless, selfish, attention-seeking ("you're all "Everyone hates me cos I'm goth", but you're one of the least tolerant people I know" - this is bullshit, and I'm not censoring that because it is.) She wne ton and on in this fashion, and I sat there and tried to be mature and reasonable, accepting that I can have temper tantrums, apologising, etc. Eventually she said soemthing which made me snap because of the pure hypocracy. I STILL kept calm, which is a huge effort for me, I really hate being accused of things and get defensive and angry at the least little thing, but I told her a few things which made me worry about the way she'd been acting lately. (Not least of which is she likes to talk to and about people who are having emotional crises to "support" them- there's no-one like Katie for surrounding herself with drama.) Long story short, it ended on a bad note. The weekend was agony.

I didn't feel able to go back into L10 after that so I ended up awkwardly with my lifelong friend Lisa in the sixthform space (Lisa and I have been friends since practically Birth -she's the one person I can always rely on and talk to and vice versa.) Katie and my friend Adam (the most incredibly camp gay bloke you will ever meet, but good at supporting people with and great at giving "get your ass in gear and do something about it "advice) ended up hearing the story from both sides, so I printed out and showed him - and only him - the conversation. Turns out, Katie had hated me for months - I don't know how she kept up the nice face all that time, but she'd been wanting to have that conversation for ages. Needless to say, I didn't really feel I could trust her after that, but just to add insult to injury, she not only put the conversation in L10 -left it on the fricken table, where anyone could read it, but she told everyone I had done it. Grr.

However, things started to go a bit wrong for her at that point. People read the conversation, which had references to a number of other issues and started to talk to each other - really talk, not just bitch. This was not good for Katie, as it turned out the reason Laura and I (and a whole load of other people) had hated each other? Guess who. She'd had the whole of L10 at each others throats for ages.

So, yeah. Over time, this has become water under the bridge, and she's sort of gradually started to gain favour again. To be honest, even I like her ( I'll never trust her, and we'll never have the friendship we did, but I do like her), because she's sweet and charming and very good at making you feel like the only person in the world she wants to see atthat point in time. And to be fair, the bitching seems to have stopped, or at least no-one believes it anymore. She denies it flat out to your face if you catch her bitching and say anything, but we don't have that long left, so it's really not worth fighting over. One of the things which seems to have changed her is her boyfriends - last year, she broke up with Andy (after 2 years), got together with Gareth (another net bloke), slept with him, dumped him, got back together with Andy, dumped him, got together with him again, left him again, and got together with net bloke number 3 - Craig. Andy was a self-styled "biker", Gareth was a big RnB fan dance fanatic, and Craig is a punk.

Katie is what Laura likes to call a "chameleon girlfriend" - atm, she thinks she's a goth because she dresses like Craig, and no power in the world, not even Craig himself can tell her she looks stupid dressing punk and calling herself a goth (I know this is all shallow - I really don't need a lecture about cliques and individuality atm, this is just the general feeling at school, where it does matter whatever the hell anyone might think about "who you are inside being what counts". If you think I'm exaggerating this, please go into a british secondary school and tell me I'm wrong. Also, looking like you've been punched in the eyes is not a good look for ANY clique, although she seems to be over that now). Since meeting Craig, she's declined all her university offers, started truanting, fighting with her mum all the time, doesn't work for her A levels anymore, is practically living with him and thinks they're going to stay together and he'll support her. She wants to make her part-time waitressing job full time and he works for Tescos.

Last week, she asked me how to spell "deleriously". I asked why and she revealed she was texting Craig because he'd just brought the ring - he's proposed to her, and they're planning to get married sometime in the next couple of years.

Now, I don't hate her. I actually like her. When she's not ringleading a huge drama, she's really nice and lovely and considerate. I don't hate him either, he's a lovely bloke. But she won't be happy. She wants things all the time- she wants to be pretty in expensive clothes of her style of the month, she wants a nice designer house, she wants to live in style, and she wants someone who she won't get bored with. I can see her maybe settling down at 25 when she's had the teen/early twenties wild years, but she either won't marry him, or it won't last, and I really don't know how to tell her this. I doubt she'll want to hear it from me,even though she seems to be desperately craving my approval, being as how she's being extra-nice to me, wanting to see me, wanting to talk to me lots again. I don't want to say "It won't last", but I honestly can't say "congratulations" and see her throwing her life away. She'll be bored and stuck in a dead-end job with no money and no qualifications - not that I'm saying lack of qualifications is a bad thing, but A levels/business management or hotel management degree would be the smartest thing for Katie, knowing her as I do. I could use some advice on how to handle this without ending my school life on a bad note.

Sorry this was such a long post, it just seemed more useful for you to know everything. This isn't actually even remotely the most terrible thing in my life, either, which is quite shocking tongue.gif
If you tell her that marrying this guy is wrong, I can almost guarantee that she'll jump right into his arms and stay there. And not only that, she'll avoid you like the plague from then on, especially when things start going wrong and she really needs support.

That's what I know for sure. I'm going to think a little more before giving you any more advice. I'll post back when I've poked my brain some more.

This sounds amazingly like what my friend "Ashley" has been doing. You know, it's pretty sad how many people around our age are doing this kind of thing.
I really don't have any advice here beyond the obvious of being there to support her if it all goes bad and trying to get closer to the other people away from whom Katie was driving you. If you can't trust Katie, then you might as well try to save other friendships with other people you can trust. She may still be your friend, but it's definitely worth the time to seek out the other great people and get to know them.
There's honestly no good answer about what to tell Katie, but it doesn't sound like she'll take honest advice very well.
Fair play, girls are silly. tongue.gif

Best thing you can do, imo, is just give the advice you've got to give and hope she accepts it.
I can see her maybe settling down at 25 when she's had the teen/early twenties wild years, but she either won't marry him, or it won't last, and I really don't know how to tell her this.

You really can't, to be honest. Not in a way that she'll take it well at all. She has to make her own mistakes. She really won't learn otherwise.

If she came to you and asked if you thought it was a good idea, then I'd say to give your opinion. But from the sound of it...I honestly think you should just back off and let her learn the hard way. Then she'll feel like she can come to you for support if/when it all starts to fall to pieces.

It's really not your place to judge her choices. They are hers to make. Unless she specifically asks for advice, you're just going to come off as preachy and nosey. She most likely won't bother to contact you again if/when things go wrong with him if you go that route. She sounds like she has her heart set on it right now. And they're saying in a few years....not right away. I'd say just stick with her and hope that it's either the right thing for her to do, or that she realizes it isn't before she's actually married.
Usurper MrTeapot
A very similar thing happened to a friend of mine. Things are going well for her now, but they did collapse around her for what seemed forever.

We knew what was going to happen if she turned her 18th birthday into an engagement party with a bloke that we would never have pictured her with, but she did it anyway. When she realised that she made a mistake then she turned it around (actually, she started to do it with another bloke first - then realised).

Sometimes it is best to let them make their own mistakes (assuming it is a mistake, I'm only going by your knowledge of her as a friend) and although it is frustrating to watch them go down, the best thing you can do is be there to help her back up.
{Gothic Angel}
Unless she specifically asks for advice, you're just going to come off as preachy and nosey.

she seems to be desperately craving my approval, being as how she's being extra-nice to me, wanting to see me, wanting to talk to me lots again.

*points to above* This includes repeatedly asking me my opinion and advice. I don't initiate conversations with her besides non-committal comments about the weather and TV anymore. If she hadn't asked, I wouldn't be giving. I also don't stick my nose into anyone's business unless asked anyway - note that I didn't criticise her or comment when she did stupid things before.

She may still be your friend, but it's definitely worth the time to seek out the other great people and get to know them.

... I do. I have many other friends. I just need help on how to deal with this specific one.

This sounds amazingly like what my friend "Ashley" has been doing. You know, it's pretty sad how many people around our age are doing this kind of thing.

That actually sprang to mind when I thought about posting this smile.gif And they've set the date for sometime in December already. She wants a pagan wedding, apparently.
If she's looking for your approval, then tell her the truth, but in a non-threatening way. Something like, "You know, I never thought you'd get married first. I always thought you'd have wild college days and lots of stories to tell, then that you'd settle down in your mid to late 20s with someone. Funny how things turn out, huh?" That tells her what you think, gets her thinking about it herself, and doesn't alienate you from her.
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