This girl “Rebecca” started coming into the bar I work at about a year ago; she was 24, obviously lonely, getting divorced, just moved from California, looking for new friends…she became a regular at my bar, and even though I don’t normally ever hang out with regulars outside of work (there’s always a line there) I felt sorry for her and invited her out a couple of times when I was going out with my girlfriends.
Thus I guess it’s my fault that she has kind of cabbaged onto me like a drowning man in the intervening year. She’s one of those people who assumes that if you’re off, of course you want to hang out with her, to the point that if I’m off and I want to hang out with other friends it’s like I have to lie to her about my plans or she’ll assume she’s invited…and she can’t understand why there might be times when she isn’t invited, and it’s not personal, it’s just that she’s not the only friend I have! She’s taken to going to my regular bar even when I’m not there, to the point that if I want to go there with other friends, it becomes awkward. (Not where I bartend, but the bar I always hang out at.) Not that it’s “my” bar or anything…like I determine who can go there or something…but she lives a good half hour away from it so it never occurred to me that she would claim it as “her” bar also.
Plus she knows that I live right up the road, so she’ll go there and get toasted and just assume she can crash at my house. Because her own house is “too far to drive.” This is definitely not kosher when I didn’t even go with her, and I’ve made that clear, but on the occasions where I’ve met her there, it’s like she purposely gets drunk just for the “fun” of hanging at my house afterwards. Like it’s just assumed that Saturday nights are sleepover night at Audrey’s pad, and of course I don’t want the fun to end at last call! Of course I want her to come home with me! And of course I’ll drive, too! Plus she’s always trying to buy me stuff…she’ll show up with cigarettes, and then try to buy my bar tab, and show up at my house with fresh-baked bread, or random stuff she thought I’d like while she was out and about…and I think it’s sweet that she’s thinking of me, but it makes me a bit uncomfortable to be the recipient of gifts all the time, and she brushes off all my objections.
Don’t get me wrong…she’s a nice girl and I do like her, and I know she’s lonely and newly divorced and kind of “getting out of her shell” for the first time (she has had a very screwed up dysfunctional life so far) and I understand that…and I know that my “lifestyle,” or my scene, or whatever you want to call it, is something that appeals to her that she’d like to be a part of. (Carefree girl bartender with cool friends and “connections” and a party every week, etc.) IOW, I don’t think it’s just me she’s reaching out to…it’s kind of what I represent.
Still, sometimes I feel like I married her. You know? Like on the Friendship Scale we went from “just starting seeing each other” to “friends for life” within like two seconds. She’s smothering me to death, and I don’t really know how to tell her to back off a bit without really hurting her feelings.
That’s the first problem.
The other problem…how do I put this?
She smells. Really bad.
I should note that she’s morbidly obese; she’s about 5’5" and I’ve never asked her what she weighs, but she told me the other day that she’s excited b/c she “just dropped below 300.”
I have no idea if her weight has anything to do with her smell, but I’ve heard that larger people have a tendency to sweat more, which may be a contributing factor.
When I first met her, and got into her car for the first time, it was completely trashed (garbage, papers, old food, old carton of milk in the back, you name it) and I assumed the smell originated in her car…because the smell in the car was gag-inducing. You know, like her car was rank, and she drives around all day so she just smells like her car.
So I told her to come over and we’d clean out her car…and we did. For three hours. Upholstery cleaner, deodorizer, Febreze, the works.
The smell is still there. And now I realize it isn’t the car. It’s her. Everyone notices it; friends of mine have asked about it. It’s even come up at the bar we go to; the bartenders noticed it and wondered where on earth it was coming from. They finally noticed that they only smell it when Rebecca’s at the bar.
Honestly, the smell is hard to describe. Like mildew, feet, sour milk, and old sweat. It’s awful. If she crashes on my couch, the whole livingroom smells like that til I air it out.
She already knows I thought her car was rank, and she thought it was very sweet of me to help her clean it out.
But now I know it wasn’t her car. It’s her. How the hell am I supposed to tell her this? What do you SAY? Do you say anything at all? But how on earth can I put up with it otherwise?
What the hell do I do?