Q: I really don’t like my 3rd grade daughter’s best friend. She’s manipulative and, in my opinion, mean to my child. Is there any way I can break up their friendship?
A: Oh girl. There is nothing worse than the undesirable best friend. My daughter, too, chose The Omen as her “best friend” from school in the 3rd grade. My husband and I would paper-rock-scissors over who would have to deal with her tears and apocalyptic meltdowns every day after school when she became the emotional Titanic.
This “best friend” made her feel horrible about herself and isolated her from her other friends. She was truly the nastiest child I have ever met. I wanted to rub Purell all over her karma every time I saw her. Luckily she moved to another school district. She will likely grow up to be the go-to girl when the other convicts need a new prison shank.
Now, on to your problem friend — let’s call her Lizzie Borden. You cannot “break up” your daughter and Lizzie by normal means; you’ll have to do it covertly. If she gets one whiff of your dislike, Lizzie will become permanent wallpaper the likes of which David Blaine could not make disappear. No, no. This must be done sneakily. Subtle comments and massive redirection will take you a long way. Let’s practice.
“Mommy, Lizzie says she wants to sleep over tonight.”
Ahem, “Oh shoot, we’re going to Kennebunkport on the Concord tonight with Gladys Knight and the one remaining Pipp. Maybe she could attack your self-esteem another time, like when network television has substance or our house is paid off?”
The good news is, your daughter will figure it out just like you did. We all grow up to learn who the evil ones are and they are usually the ones that are the most fun to sit by but you’d never loan your good shoes to. Am I right?
Jeanne Martin is a freelance writer and graphic designer by day, one sarcastic mother of two by dusk and completely unqualified to write this advice column at any time.