There's quite a big local cafe society here in leafy northwest london. There's nothing better than having a latte whilst watching the world go by. And that's what I like, just sitting with my latte, watching the world go by. Time to think. The problem arises when the "members" of our local cafe society engage in gossip. And as I've discovered some not only engage in gossip, but love to create "insiders" and "outsiders". Bitching among friends is one thing, when people can keep confidences. But when "gossip" becomes "currency" that's something else.
Take one person -X-, whom I became friendly with over a period of time. Just as I was getting "comfortable", they begin to snipe at some of the other locals. Telling me things that I didn't want to know about other people; and me being me, I told him so. And then one day, as gossip does, - what comes around, goes around - from another I hear a bit of gossip about myself. And there is only one place it could have come from.
You see, there's three cafes on my high street, and I don't always go to the same one; and the bit of gossip that got back to me, was that I had ceased going to the cafe that X goes to, "because my husband was jealous of our friendship".
Indeed, I was surprised on one occasion when I stopped at X's favoured cafe for a latte, that I was greeted by X, with a string of silly zappy comments, fit only for the playground. I greeted all of these, with humour, thinking that X would "come to their senses", "grow up", and stop sulking, because that basically is what it is, grown-up passive aggressive sulking...... gosh did you see that pink pig fly by....
So I enquired of a mutual acquaintance why X was behaving in this way? "Well", she said, "he thought you were "his" friend, and when he saw you at one of the other cafes, he felt you had deserted him". How disappointed I feel in X whom I trusted and thought of as a friend, to discover that beneath his shell he was hiding a very controlling and territorial streak.
Ah..... but now I wonder if there isn't another element to this that mutual acquaintance is not aware of.... X had gossiped to me about so many people, that now he probably thinks that I have passed that on... no wonder I'm on the receiving end of a massive Arctic Sulk, ...how little does he know me. Which makes me wonder if he actually ever listened to a word I said, especially the one where I said that I didn't want to engage in gossip about people!!