No Good Deed Goes Unpunished – Christmas Edition

Dear Ms. Mix & Bitch,

So I have this really good friend, who also happens to be an ex-boyfriend from a million years ago (okay, about two, and we were friends for a really long time before that).  We split pretty amicably, and there was never really any drama when we made the “Just Friends” switch.  He lives all the way across the country now, but we keep up via email and the occasional IM session.  We’re not as close as we used to be, but we still exchange gifts at birthdays and Christmas and… well, maybe you’ve noticed that Christmas is coming up kind of quickly.  I’ve already got this year’s gift (it’s a really cool book), and I’m ready to send it off, but here’s the problem: He has a brand new live in girlfriend who apparently gets very jealous. Plus, you know, she lives with him.  What’s the protocol here?  Should I send her a present, too?  I don’t really know her, so that seems kind of weird, but she’s really sensitive so maybe I should send her a book or something, too?  Should I pick up a dvd or bake some cookies or something and put both of their names on it?  Should I just send the solo present?  Not send a present at all to avoid causing potential drama for my friend?  Most of the people who have met his girlfriend think just sending that book might cause drama because I’m a female friend and he and I have a prior history.  I just think it kind of sucks that all of a sudden I have to worry about whether or not I should give a friend a Christmas present. I don’t want to cause any problems, though, and I certainly don’t want to hurt the girlfriend’s feelings.  I don’t want to Grinch out on my friend, either.  I usually LOVE picking out and sending gifts to my friends, but this is kind of turning into a great big “AUGH, I have no idea what the best thing to do is and my head hurts and I’m just going to go and drink eggnog until I explode and then I won’t have to worry about it because I’ll just be a giant eggnog splatter in the living room and eggnog splatters can’t mail presents anyway” kind of situation.

Also, what music would you recommend for an overthinker dealing with good friends who are exes, Christmas, and very sensitive live in girlfriends?

Sincerely,

Dude, Christmas used to be easier

Dear Christmas Dudette,

Oh how well acquainted am I with this pickle of a situation.  So let me cut to the quick here: I think you send the book AND some cookies addressed to both of them.  That way, you respect the seriousness of your friend’s new relationship without spending too much extra cash. Since they live together, not acknowledging her in some way would def add unnecessary tension.  And address the card to both of them.  If after that, she has issues with you, then, well, she just has ISSUES.

A fair warning my good intended friend…if your guy friend continues on with this girl, don’t be surprised if you lose the friendship along the way.  Unless you get to meet her and become friends with her too.  And you STILL may lose him if she still thinks you’re a threat. And remember, the one who fucks the guy always wins.

Why do I say this?  Because I used to have a few ex-boyfriends who became really good friends of mine.  And while my husband never had an issue (because he rocks), the girlfriends/wives of my friends sure did.  Slowly but surely, I lost every single one of them (the guy friends of mine who remain were always platonic).  Usually because the gals are the ones who control the social schedule and they made sure to be “too busy.”

But here’s the kicker…friendship is a two-way tango. These ex-boyfriends-turned-friends didn’t insist on keeping the friendship either (at least not that I saw).  So you can do everything right here, and you still may lose him. I hope not.  Remember this too – it is too easy to demonize the current girlfriend, saying if she wasn’t such an insecure mess, you wouldn’t have to worry about all this. And while this is very true, don’t forget your friend chose her – TO LIVE WITH no less – so what does it say about him that he picked a girl threatened so easily?

Anyway, I sincerely wish you the best of luck this holiday. And a drama-free year to come.

ATTENTION MIX TAPERS: This is where I would usually post a mix via the Mixwit system, but they’ve informed me that they’re “going out of business.” So if anyone can share with me a music playing mechanism that actually works on wordpress, please email me. 

10. “Friends of Mine,” (Duran Duran)

 9. “The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance,” (Vampire Weekend)

  8. “Sometimes You Can’t Make It on Your Own,” (U2)

  7. “Jealous Girl,” (Sarah Dashew)

  6. “Tiger, My Friend,” (Psapp)

  5. “The Boy in the Bubble,” (Patti Smith)

  4. “This Woman’s Work,” (Kate Bush)

  3. “Accidental Man,” (The Damnwells)

  2. “Rehearsals for Departures,” (Damien Jurado)

  1. “Ex-Girlfriend,” (American Music Club)

See you in 2009!

6 responses to “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished – Christmas Edition

  1. Hmmm… I honestly thnk you give great advice here, but I’m thinking about what you said about the “insecure” girlfriend and I can’t help but point out that every situation is different. While on the one side the exgirlfriend may say that there is just a friendship between her and the exboyfriend, nothing wrong is going on, and the new girlfriend is just an “insecure mess,” there still might be something inappropriate about this friendship. Not every new girlfriend who stops a friendship between former lovers is insecure. Sometimes she is right (for one reason or another). Also, it’s not fair to judge the new girlfriend on what other people have said. I’ve found that people like to talk and they are mostly wrong about a new-comer to a group, when the gossip is negative. It’s great advice to make the present about both of them. And, what about just to asking your exboyfriend what the situation is with his girlfriend? I find that just being open about a delicate situation does wonders.

  2. An excellent point…I may have overpersonalized on this one…because I assume that my feelings were purely platonic doesn’t mean the guy friends were coming from the same place. And that may be the case in this example.

  3. Hey Mixie,

    I too have been somewhat scuppered with the demise of mixwit, which is why I’ve come here to see you. However, I quickly picked up a tip from one of my Twitter followers. He refered me to this website, called Grooveshark, where you can stream any song for free. The business model is a bit more robust than Mixwit (I knew the Man would find out and shut them down… I hate it when I’m right!), as all of the songs can be bought, and a piece of it goes to the artist, as well as to the person who initially uploaded the song. Try it out! I don’t know if entire mixes can be embedded, as you’d probably like. But, a widget can be directly uploaded as a draft which allows visitors to hear songs without leaving your site. Try it out and tell me what you think.

    Cheers!

  4. Christmas Dudette

    Actually, you were pretty spot on — it doesn’t get much more platonic than myself and my ex. Thanks so much for the advice, I baked some pretty tasty looking cookies yesterday night and I’m sending everything off tomorrow. I’m glad I don’t have to eggnog-spatter myself now.

    And yeah, I’m kind of preparing myself for the friendship to maybe fade away… I hope it doesn’t happen, but I know it’s a possibility.

    At least I have a new mix to assemble and listen to. :)

    Olla, as far as the new girlfriend goes — no one is really villifying her or gossiping about her extensively. However, she has openly expressed jealousy and insecurity regarding other girls (myself included), and it has caused drama between the two of them. We all know she’s pretty sensitive. The way I see it, he wouldn’t have picked her if she weren’t largely awesome otherwise (and I’m well aware that girlfriend is > friend who is girl any day of the week), so I’m just trying to be as respectful and nice to her as I can be. We’ve had a few conversations, and I really hope she’s starting to see that I’m not someone to worry about.

    The reason I didn’t just email my friend or pick up the phone is because I didn’t want to make an overly big deal about sending Christmas presents, or look like I was whining about his girlfriend — it seemed like that would be kind of uncool. “Well I WANTED to send you a Christmas present, but I just wasn’t sure how Girlfriend X would respond…” It seemed like that could come across as possibly being kind of passive aggressive about her — and I also assumed that he would tell her about the conversation, which would make her view anything that she received in the Christmas package less as something nice, and more as something given grudgingly. That didn’t seem particularly Christmassy.

    I’m on a lot of theraflu here, so I hope I’m being coherent. I swear, while I do overthink everything, I usually sound less whiny about it… :)

  5. I am also upset at the demise of Mixit! I just discovered them through your site & started using them for possible wedding mixes. If you find a new location to use, please share the word!

  6. I think that even if I got the cookies, I still would not like my bf’s ex sending him a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g. (just me!) :)

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