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The Middle Ground: where frenemies frolic.

I think I first heard the word "frenemy" while watching Sex & The City with an ex. I remember we discussed the idea of 'friends in sheep's clothing' during and after the episode. I didn't think I had any. Naively, that is. I think my trust barrier was completely non-existent at that time. I had not had a bad relationship (friend or otherwise) in quite a few years and I think I had let my guard drop down to an all-time lowest level.

Then came the storm.

A bad break-up with all kinds of trust betrayed. The naive, trustful Jason laid battered, bloodied & bruised on the floor of an empty living room. How did this happen? How did I not see the lights or hear the sounds of the train as it came rocketing towards me? OK - melodramatic much? Well, yes, but I am trying to paint a picture here.

This event became ground zero for a life change. As the time marched on, the level of betrayal that had occurred slowly revealed itself. A jointly used computer still had remnants of the lies & deception stored on it's drive just awaiting their discovery. Like finding an unlocked 'Dear Diary' book laying on the counter. Should I have read it? Well, you can debate the ethics to your heart's content but you KNOW you would, if you were being honest with yourself.

The problem escalated beyond just finding out about romantic betrayal. Beyond the discovery of intimate communications and visual media. It ventured into the realm of business, as well. A shocking moment when you find out that you are also on the verge of being totally screwed over financially, as well as ethically. I was able to avert some of the possible fallout but was also too late to avoid some of the damage already done.

Still with me? I have a point to make but also needed to set-up the shot properly. So as that relationship reached it's end a lot of things came to light. Some of my closest friends heard the painful details, and in some cases, even saw some of the above-mentioned media, messages and somewhat mean-spirited intentions. They were shocked to see what someone was capable of doing behind the scenes. This person plays the victim, the advocate and the victor all equally and is quite successful at fooling a lot of people. Even to the point of fooling some people that I never would have thought would buy into it considering they bore witness to some of the deceptions to which I just alluded. Clearly, they have chosen a side but try to pretend they are on middle ground.

Ah, the middle ground.

This is where frenemies like to frolic. They do their best work there. They perform the obligatory friendship dance on occasion to try to remain invited to visit your yard but all the while are plotting a dance on the other gang's turf. I think they like to feel like they know something that other people don't know. Or maybe it's a sense of power they feel with having what they think is knowledge or leverage or whatever. I could wax philosophical about it for days on end. Back then I relied on my true friends to help me sort out the posers but that was a risky venture. Especially when trust issues were now a way-of-life for me. At least it felt that way.

Fortunately, technology has made the discovery of these deceptions and fakers much more easy and exposes those middle-ground, solid gold-plated dancers to much greater degree than what we had always had in the past.

The screenshot. The technology gods gift to the masses. So many things to see now. Conversations, Social Media Comments, Snaps, Chats, Rats. We. See. You. And you only see what we WANT you to see. You are no longer lurking in the shadows waiting for that nugget of knowledge to add to your collection.

This is not a negative blog post. It's more of a victory dance in response to their fake-friend two-step that they like to perform. The judges have seen your dance before. That tap on your shoulder is your cue to sit down. So enjoy watching the victory dance from the bleachers in the traditional fashion of the Hollywood dance-off that you lost.

Frenemies. Your days really are numbered. Speaking of numbers - I can count my real friends easily because that number is nice and small. And secure. Behind a locked door that you will never see the other side. Protected within a tight circle of friends among which you are not and never will be counted.

Frenemies. I. See. You.


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