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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Weekend and friendships

Had a really nice visit with Matt for Family Day at WCU.  Got to see his new apt-style dorm and the chemistry lounge where he spends a great deal of his time.  Went to the "Solo Circus" performance sponsored by Student Activities, which was fun.  Stayed in a terrific hotel in KofP and even managed to have lunch with some Philadelphia friends on Sunday before we headed home.  A very good trip.

However, it was marred by a weird misunderstanding with an old friend of mine in Philadelphia, who got very angry at me when we changed our plans to visit her on this trip.  A few weeks before the trip, I emailed her about staying with her over the weekend, as we had done on some previous trips.  About a week before the trip, I sent her another email, because I had reconsidered the whole schedule and I was willing to bite the bullet and just pay for both nights in a hotel closer to Matt's campus (I found a somewhat better price online). Apparently she never got that second message, so she thought I had just "blown her off" at the last minute.  We had an unpleasant email exchange culminating in her saying "have a nice life."

I was rather stunned that she would end our almost 10 year friendship over such a minor misunderstanding, especially after 4 years of me living in NY and still visiting her and staying in touch very regularly. I tried to explain how the miscommunication happened, but all she did was insult me. I can't imagine why she would turn this into such a big deal. I would think that we could just move on from it - everyone gets frustrated by friends once in awhile, but what's a friendship worth? Worth letting go of your disappointment over one little incident?

Just recently, I had a similar missing-each-other incident with a local friend.  I was annoyed at being essentially stood up, but I would never consider such a minor frustration to be a complete deal breaker.  Everyone screws up occasionally.  I figure friends are allowed to be jerks at least 10% of the time (it's only when they get into 90% territory that I run out of steam!) 

I don't have so many friends in my life that I can afford to write people off for one incident of being inconsiderate or insensitive.  And I would hope that my friends would have the same standard when it comes to me and my mistakes.

It may still blow over.  I certainly hope so.  I value my friendship with this woman - she's a character and someone I enjoy talking to and staying in touch with.  I can't say that about everyone.



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