Over three years ago, Carol A. Bond of Lansdale, Pennsylvania found out that her best friend Myrlinda Haynes was pregnant. She was delighted at first, as most good friends would be, but then she found out that her husband was the father. She warned her BFF turned husband-poacher, “I am going to make your life a living hell.” And that’s what she did. Like an episode of Desperate Housewives, Bond, a microbiologist, proceeded to spread lethal chemicals on her friend’s car, mailbox and doorknob about two dozen times. In fact, according to a report in The New York Times, federal postal inspectors videotaped Bond stealing mail and putting poison in the muffler of Hayne’s car. Now Bond’s been indicted, not only for stealing mail, but like a terrorist, she’s been charged under the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993. She got six years. She’s served three and of course, she’s appealing.
Although the revenge murder scenario is a little extreme, stealing your best friend’s husband seems like an obvious friendship buster. But I’ve witnessed friendships between single women snap from warm fuzzy to off in the time it takes for one woman to tell another one she doesn’t like her new boyfriend - imaginary or not. Last week on Oprah, Martha Stewart talked about the overwhelming betrayal she felt when her best friend of 30 years turned and spoke against her on the witness stand. I grew up reading Anne of Green Gables and Jane Austen and I naively thought that friendships between women were forged between kindred spirits and lasted forever. I also thought it meant trusting someone enough to tell them when they pissed you off. More often I witness women complaining bitterly about one friend to another one, while smiling sweetly or not so sweetly, to her face?
I don’t buy the whole, I-don’t-like-confrontation argument. If you really don't like conflict, why wouldn't you chose to resolve it by having a conversation about your feelings face-to-face. Do you really think she can't feel your anger brewing under the surface? Now before you get all snotty, guys don’t like it either. In an episode of Inner Man, the guys say one of their biggest turn-offs is women who put down other women.
Despite a long history experiencing this crap, I’m sometimes slow to see the signs of a friendship going wrong. Help me out. What are some of the things a gal pal might do, that should make you turn and run? And - gasp - do you think this behavior is more or less common among single women?