General Question

Soubresaut's avatar

How should I respond to this seemingly harmless text?

Asked by Soubresaut (13714points) January 7th, 2010

Ok, so seriously the text is nothing—wishing me an early happy bday, wondering if I want to get together with her the sender for a coffee to celebrate it. No big deal, right?
Well, it gets a little complicated… So let’s call her Jill! Jill’s a teacher at my dance studio, and use to be really close to my best friend, who also dances there. We’ll call my friend Anna.
Anna and Jill got really close a few years ago when Anna was going through a rather difficult time, and Jill reached out as a friend/mentor and helped her gain back her confidence and happiness.
So when I was acting a bit different than usual, and feeling rather lonely, Anna picked up on it, and we started going for lunch and over to her house. And then she told me one day she was worried about me, cared about me, wanted me to know she would always be there for me. She told me about how Jill was there for her, how much it helped her, she wanted to be my Jill.
About that time, Jill started acting strange… And a few months later, started ignoring Anna in class, between classes… During the summer Anna stopped coming to dance.
I found out later, only because Anna was desperately lost, and needed someone to talk to, me, that Jill had sent her an email putting Anna down, telling Anna that Jill needed space from her, she didn’t want Anna at the studio, or in Jill’s life.
Well, Anna missed the studio, missed dancing, and I told her everyone else missed her. But Anna was still worried about returning in the fall…
Jill was teaching one class, and Anna (and me, and the other ‘advanced dancers,’ older girls, at the studio) were in it. Jill gave it to someone else.
So we haven’t seen much of Jill. No one else knows what was going on between her and Anna, last they know is the two of them are still tight.
Jill has kinda come back to Anna, then pushed her away again off and on this year. Then pushed her away again hard recently. So far as to defriend Anna on fb. She defriended me, too, but no one else. Anna’s still hurt, but fine. She’s picked up from others around Jill, and by the way Jill’s been acting, that Jill’s going through some things right now… some issues.

Ok, that sounds like a lot, but I feel like that’s the bare minimum to give you an idea of my dilema. I could make it a lot more complicated…

Anyway, I’m not sure how much I’m overreacting or not to all of this. During the summer I had a private with Jill because no one showed up to a class of hers, and she asked me then if I wanted to dance or talk about life. I had kinda picked up on the whole deal with her and Anna, so I told her I was great, I wanted to dance….

In the very back of my mind, I was beginning to worry that she was pulling away from Anna, because she “fixed” Anna, and now was turning toward the next person to “fix,” me. Also, Anna’s always been in the spotlight for her dancing. Me, I started getting serious later so am just beginning to, am “new.” I worried that had something to do with it too.

The timing of the whole thing was just weird… when Anna turned to me, Jill pushed Anna away. Then later, Jill very subtly asking me about how I was more than that one private… But then nothing, for months.

And now, suddenly, randomly, this text: Do I want to go to coffee with her? Just based on how Anna approached me, I have a feeling that was how Jill approached her. I’m worried that’s how Jill’s now approaching me. I don’t want to replace Anna!!!
But maybe I’m overreacting, because of all the drama that’s happened. Anna did catch wind that Jill goes through something similar to now every couple-few years… so what if I’m completely misunderstanding it, and Jill’s looking at me as a way to get back to the way things were, with Anna? I still don’t know about that, but it would be completely different.

Usually I would turn to Anna about things, but Anna’s right in the middle of this one. So the only thing I have left is fluther… was hoping you guys could give me some insight on how to take this text? And what to say to it??
Thanks… especially for reading all of that. Geez, I didn’t mean to make it so long! I hope it makes at least a little sense…

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27 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

Ok…and my head hurts, sorry I was going to try to answer the question until I read this huge ‘Wall O’ text’. But I think I’ll just say that it was just a text and whether to go get coffee or not, only you and the people involved can turn it into a big deal. Maybe Jill (or whoever sent you the text) just wants to talk about stuff to clear the air.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Too much drama. You don’t need it. Thank her for the birthday wishes, and tell her that you would love to get together for coffee with her and Anna…when things aren’t quite so hectic for you.

which will be sometime after the 12th of never, but she doen’t need to know that

marinelife's avatar

If I am reading this complicated scenario correctly, Jill is now asking you to coffee? Why on Earth would you want anything to do with someone who acts like that? Who did those things to your friend? And to you?

Soubresaut's avatar

@Marina—that’s where I’m coming from, but I don’t know how to go about telling her “um, NO” without making more drama. I hate the very existence of drama

marinelife's avatar

@DancingMind Then just tell her thanks for the birthday wishes, but your schedule is really full and you don’t think you can make time for coffee in the next couple of weeks.

rhodes54's avatar

OK, I play piano for ballet classes, so I’m something of an expert….wait, what KIND of coffee?

trailsillustrated's avatar

are these grown women?

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@PandoraBoxx gave you a wise recommendation. I can’t imagine you getting involved with Jill and hurting Anna, can you? You know Jill will end up hurting you and humiliating Anna.

And my head hurts from all that detail! :-}

trailsillustrated's avatar

I couldn’t be bothered with either of them. I’d say later on the coffee and find another studio.

wonderingwhy's avatar

wow. since my amount of tact is inversely proportional to the amount of drama in any given situation I would probably not even bother responding. But if you want to be polite about it you can always go with the “thanks for the b-day wishes, sure I’d like to have coffee sometime” then on the day, be sure to have something conveniently come up >.> mature, not so much, but apparently neither is she. or if you can handle divorcing yourself from the situation have coffee and if it gets to be too much say so.

Soubresaut's avatar

Ok, that’s what I was thinking I should do @PandoraBoxx, @Marina, @Dr_Lawrence

nope's avatar

I agree with @wonderingwhy…I’m “wondering why” you would even consider going. From what I can decipher from your novel, you’re not really friends with Jill, she’s just an instructor. Be friends with YOUR friend, and if you’re comfortable doing so, just ignore the text. If you’re not comfortable ignoring it, then take one of the suggestions above, like your schedule is too busy, but thanks for the b-day wishes.

Soubresaut's avatar

Thank you all!!

saraaaaaa's avatar

I don’t think I can capably answer this question, but I just wanted to say I’m with you on the drama thing.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

You don’t HAVE to answer the text.

Soubresaut's avatar

Ok, sorry, I know this isn’t the most exciting question
... I’m feeling very young right now, because I’m just not sure what to do.
I sent:
“Hey jill, thank you! : ) And thanks for the invite, but i’m not seeing a way to fit it in… life’s a little hectic right now for me!”
her response:
“Same here! But consider it an open-ended invitation! Our paths will cross again :-)”

I have a tendency to read into things too much… Am I right now? But if she comes at me again, do I say I’m busy again, or that I’d rather not… ?

saraaaaaa's avatar

She does sound a little pushy in that text but that may be my over interpretation.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

@DancingMind Wow, she sounds very persistent and quite hopeful. Then again, what you said would give her hope that you may accept her offer sometime in the future. It’d be so much easier if you didn’t like coffee. Do you by any chance not like it? If so, you could say “I don’t like coffee” or something like that.

LeotCol's avatar

This “Jill” doesn’t sound too nice to me personally. I don’t think I would reply to her text to be honest. There is just too much history going on there for it to be a simple coffee. Its going to make things complicated again or worse than they ever were.

So ditch her.

john65pennington's avatar

I feel as though i have just finished a chapter of Gone With The Wind. you are looking for a serious answer and here is mine: two is company and three is a crowd. someone is going to have to go and someone is going to be hurt in the process. only you can make this decision. concerning the text message… was sent to you for a reason. only you know that reason.

Supacase's avatar

Just leave it at that – someday may never come.

Unless you have an interest in coffee with Jill for your own friendship with her then I would not go. If she wants to make nice with Anna then I am sure she knows where to find her – you are not required to be the go between.

Darwin's avatar

I think I would just pretend I never got the text. It sounds too much like people having affairs to me. Have you considered finding another dance instructor? Maybe one that is more professional?

I knew a woman who was like this Jill person – she just loved the sense of power she got from playing head games on people.

YARNLADY's avatar

Exercise your Power of Ignore! It sounds like you need to bulk it up a bit.

Fernspider's avatar

Jill sounds like she has jealousy issues. It appeared she got close to Anna and when she saw signs that you and Anna were confiding in one another or were close and she wasn’t apart of that bond, she became cold almost as a punishment.

Now that she and Anna have drifted, she wants to get close to you instead. Anything to avoid being out of the circle.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I should add that if Jill is a teacher at the dance studio, and you and Anna are high school students (I’m assuming this by the epic nature of the drama),

I think it weird that Jill is so involved in the personal lives of her students, and to tell a student that she needs space from her is unconscionable. The owner of the studio needs to know that Jill is telling students to stay away because she can’t handle it. That makes me think that Jill and Anna were involved in an inappropriate manner for a teacher-student relationship, whether it’s same-sex or not.

marinelife's avatar

@DancingMind Good job on the text reply. Now, sinply ignore Jill and the possibility of coffee or anything else unless and until you hear from her pushing it again.

Then make another excuse.

She will catch on eventually and leave you alone.

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