I have two sisters, “Muffy” and “Sissy.” We’re quite close, and we talk all the time. The other night, in the middle of the night, I thought of something I wanted to tell Muffy about our upcoming weekend plans. I know she keeps her phone off at night, so I texted her so I wouldn’t forget to bring it up later.
The next day, Sissy called me and said that Muffy was really pissed off because my text woke her up in the middle of the night. According to Sissy, Muffy went off about it and complained about me for a while. I saw Muffy later that morning, and I apologized and explained that I had no intention of waking her. Muffy said, “Oh, it’s no big deal, don’t worry about it.”
Now I’m confused and my feelings are hurt. Was Sissy making a big deal out of nothing just to make me feel bad? Was Muffy lying to me, and have I been upsetting her about a bunch of things that I don’t know about? Are Muffy and Sissy constantly talking behind my back? Do I ignore it and move on or should we all have a talk about it?
Let’s tackle this piece by piece.
1.) Muffy needs to grow a pair. Getting woken up by a text in the middle of the night is nothing. I’m sure she fell right back asleep. I’d like to invite Muffy to spend the night at my house, where I sleep in 30 second increments, due to the fact that I’m repeatedly woken by a child who needs a 400th cup of water, Mr. Snorey McSnorerton, or the squirrels who apparently run some kind of UFC-style fighting match on my roof every night. After two hours, Muffy will be begging for your forgiveness.
2.) Sissy is bad. Muffy called Sissy to vent, in confidence. After their phone call ended, Muffy probably went about her day, and by the time she saw you, your midnight text was probably a distant memory. Sissy made it into a big honking deal by telling you about their conversation. She was stirring up trouble! People who call and tell you sucky things that make no difference in your life except to make you upset are assholes who are just trying to wiggle their way in somewhere.
3.) No talking. Large, confrontational discussions with family members, no matter how good your intentions are at the outset, are a terrible idea. Ignore it. Move on. And the next time Sissy starts to fill your ear with something Muffy said about you, just say, “I don’t care. Don’t bother telling me because it really doesn’t matter.”