Is That A Friend Or A Parasite?
We all have that “friend” or hopefully “ex-friend” who just seems to mooch off of everyone. These folks are often the ones who not only come late to your party but manage to throw a pity party for themselves while they’re at it too. Usually, we try our best to avoid these people or cut them out of our lives when we discover their true intent, but sometimes they just find a way to burrow back into your business.
You can call them whatever you want; bums, prima donnas, beggars, gas lighters, etc. But these folks always manage to have the same narcissistic behavior in common. If you’ve had the great fortune to have never found yourself in the company of such people, then congrats! It sounds like you keep a good coterie of people in your life. But if not, then oh boy, this story is going to sound all too familiar.
Enter the aggravating saga of “Garrett,” a well-intentioned guy who is plagued by the likes of “Megan” the entitled mooch. But don’t worry, Garrett isn’t a pushover these days, he’s learned his lessons with Megan the hard way and has since distanced himself from her. But like that creepy uncle or a salesman trying to ask you about your car warranty, she manages to somehow claw her way back into his life.
Months after his father passed away, Megan treats Garrett with a phone call. Not for condolences, but for a favor of all things. But this time Garrett is going to set the record straight and for good this time! This is a satisfying story of not only getting the last laugh, but hitting that one conniving person where it hurts.
Megan The Mooch
Though she is practically a professional beggar, that is the last thing listed in Megan’s deceivingly padded resume. Megan’s narcissist credentials wouldn’t be complete without a failed acting career, a history of mooching, and a family that wants nothing to do with her. So unfortunately that leaves Garrett to mop up her bad behavior. We’ll stop explaining though, and let Garrett give his side of the story himself.
“Megan,” he defines, “A useless waste of space who would rob my corpse if I dropped dead in front of her. It’s sort of like when the wicked stepmother marries the good father and the mask comes off after the ring is on her finger. That’s what Megan was like.”
“As long as I can remember, Megan was always down on her luck and on extended ‘breaks’ between jobs. She would drift out of my life and only resurface when it was convenient for her; the only time she ever popped back up was when she needed money. If she didn’t get it from me, she would’ve gotten it from someone else,” Garrett says.
So what we have here is a grade-A, garden variety narcissist looking for a handout who, according to Garrett, considered herself “too good” for wage labor. Okay, princess.
Megan was also “a self-proclaimed ‘actress’ with ‘20 years experience.’ Despite a fake, padded résumé and an overly filtered camera phone photo she tried to pass off as a professional headshot, she claimed she’d be ‘famous’ someday.”
Now you’re probably thinking, “Wow, Megan must be some stuck-up college kid,” but no. She is in fact in her 50s, a mother of two disinterested adult children, and a loveless wife trapped in a pointless marriage which she refuses to do anything about. Bottom line, this woman was not just a burnout, but an old burnout who was not only a beggar, but a gaslighting chooser as well. Can’t get better friends than that!
So now we have some background on Megan, we can get to her latest disappointment with Garrett. This particular instance occurred about nine years ago, some months after Garrett’s father tragically passed away from stage four lung cancer. As one might imagine, the loss hit Garrett especially hard, even though he and his father had a strained relationship.
Along Came A Phone Call
A regular would think a friend in mourning needs space, nuance, and compassion but hey we aren’t talking about a regular person here though. We’re talking about the infamous Megan. Three weeks had passed since the passing and Garrett was starting a new job and juggling classes as well. His time and emotions are obviously strained. He was at work one day when he got a call from Megan. He instantly declined the call, but then the phone rang again…and again, and again, and again.
Annoyed, he finally relented and picked up the phone. That was his first mistake.
Garrett took a deep breath and sighed.
“Hello?” he said.
“How’s it going?” said Megan.
Garrett’s teeth clenched at just the sound of her nasally-droning voice.
“I’m studying,” he snapped. “That’s why I didn’t answer.”
“Oh no,” she lamented, “I’m sorry, but I was-”
“But nothing,” Garrett said, cutting her off. “If you’re sorry, then excuse yourself and say goodbye because I need to get back to work.”
“Wait!” she pleaded. “I have just one thing, it’ll be really quick! I have just a favor to ask!”
Yep! There it was. The catch. Megan is a persistent bugger, isn’t she?
Garrett instantly felt a wave of regret wash over him for picking up.
A Beggar Asking For A Favor
“A favor?” he snapped sarcastically. “You mean another favor to add to the stack? Do you need money? Did you get fired again and now you’re panicking because the rent is due? You know what? Don’t tell me. I don’t care.”
In fact, Megan was the one who owed Garrett money for countless favors. Keep in mind, this is also a 50-year-old woman with a history of needing help with rent. By now, Garrett was just airing his resentment and for good reason too.
A stunned silence hushed over the phone line.
“What’s gotten into you? You don’t need to yell at me. I know you’re still upset because your dad died, but you don’t get to take it out on me,” she pouted, trying to self-victimize herself.
“Don’t you dare talk about my father! Did you think that I forgot about what you said the day he died?” Garrett shouted, now livid.
“What are you talking about?” Megan asked obliviously.
Garrett’s eyes rolled into the back of his head. The reason he and Megan hadn’t spoken was because she tried to make light of his father’s passing. Garrett had asked Megan for some space to grieve and in her infinite wisdom, she said it shouldn’t be such a big deal because Garrett wasn’t too close to his father anyway. Yep, that’s exactly how NOT to console a friend.
Once again, more silence.
“I’m sorry,” Megan said.
“You’re just saying that because you want something. Stop kissing my butt. I shouldn’t even let you tell me what it is,” he sighed. “I’m hanging up.”
“NO!” Megan shouted. “You’re right! You’re so right! I was wrong! I-I just need some money, Garrett! I just need to borrow some cash, okay? I lost my job because my sitter quit on me and no one wants to hire me because of my irregular schedule, but I need to do my auditions!”
“Auditions?” Garrett thought. “What a joke! 20 years later and she’s still trying to ‘act.’”
This is the moment Garrett decided to drop some truths on Megan about the definition of “friendship.”
Saving The Worst For Last
“I should be more clear,” Garrett reinforced, “Absolutely not. I just started a new job because I wasn’t making enough money at my old one. After all the times you’ve hit me up and didn’t pay me back, especially after I helped you get your home out of foreclosure, what makes you think I would want to ‘help’ you again?”
“Because we’re friends right?” said Megan, grasping at straws, “Friends help each other.”
It took everything in Garrett not to laugh in her face.
“No,” he replied sternly. “Friendship is more than one person constantly doing favors for another. You only come around when you want something. This is not a friendship. This is an emotionally draining and parasitic relationship, Megan. You ask me for things but what do I get in return? Nothing. And where am I supposed to get this money, huh? This is the reason why-”
And just as Megan couldn’t get any more sniveling she interrupted Garrett with the lowest of the low.
“You could ask your mom,” she interjected. “Next of kin always inherit, right? See no big deal! Your dad had to have had life insurance, I’m sure of it!”
Garrett’s jaw dropped. His head was spinning at Megan’s obliviousness.
“I was stunned into speechlessness that she had the audacity to even go there,” he recalled. “Her nonchalant bordering on smug tone was enough to make me want to reach through the phone and slap the heck out of her. This was low even for her.”
“Megan,” Garrett said slowly, “What is wrong with you?! Don’t you have any class?! Here you are asking me if you could have some of my dead dad’s money?! Who even does that? I can’t even begin to-”
“It was just a question! Geez!” she huffed, followed by more silence. By now, Garrett was more than angry and wondering what he was still doing on this phone call.
“Hey doesn’t that husband you hate have a pretty hefty life insurance policy?” he questioned.
“Yes, why?” she asked annoyedly.
Garrett chuckled a bit at how MEgan didn’t even correct him on the word “hated.”
“Well, all you’ve ever wanted to be was a lovely widow. Throw some banana peels on the floor, ungrateful trash,” Garrett snapped before slamming the phone. Garrett was seeing red at this point. He looked down at the receiver in his hand and turned off the ringer. He picked up his flip phone and saw three prior missed calls from Megan the mooch.
He let out an angry shout then snapped his flip phone in half without even thinking, then yelled again. He threw the two discarded pieces on the floor. Heck, he needed to get a new phone anyway. It was the last concern on his mind after that torturous conversation.
Cutting The Cord For Good
Though you would think that would be the end of Megan she still managed to pop up in Garrett’s life here and there but less and less as the years went by. Megan is unfortunately not the kind of person who can take no as an answer, which is a telltale sign of narcissism and entitlement. The last straw for Garrett, however, was when Megna plagiarized a screenplay he wrote and tried to pass it off as her own.
After that Garrett clandestinely changed phone numbers and banned Megan on all of his social media accounts and devices. Conveniently, Megan eventually moved out of state to follow some other far-flung pipe dream which worked out perfectly for Garrett; now that she no longer lived up the road from him, she couldn’t bother him for favors as much. It’s hard to mooch off someone when you live halfway across the country from them.
Though Garrett wishes to no longer make any contact with Megan, he does have one mutual friend that still hears about her from time to time. She is without a doubt still up to her old ways, scheming, and playing the victim somewhere else. New town, same old trick. It’s been many years since Garrett last heard from his former friend, but he has but one regret.
“Of course, in true Megan fashion, she didn’t notice I excommunicated her until she tried to contact me for yet another ‘favor.’ My only regret is I wish I could have seen the epic tantrum she, no doubt, threw once she realized I had taken away the one thing she wanted the most: my attention.”
By cutting one toxic friend out of his life, Garrett has seemed to have saved a lot more than just his finances, but his dignity and sanity as well. They say if you teach a man to fish you’ll feed him for life; well, if you give a mooch your attention, they might one day horribly embarrass themselves over the phone and narcissistically beg for your dead father’s inheritance. You live and learn.