Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Missing Persons

I have a friend, someone that I've known for over 10 years now, who sort-of disappeared. I'd call, send the occasional email -- and wouldn't get anything back. I sort of wrote it off as her having a very busy job and going through some personal stuff -- both of which are true -- but I pretty much got radio silence for the last year.

And, no, it's not distance-related -- she lives in the area. The funny thing is that I actually talk to her less now that she lives nearby.

So, even though I had not gotten anything more than a cursory e-mail from her last May, I tried to call her when my mom died. I got her voicemail. And it wasn't the sort of thing that I wanted to say in a message, so I just asked her to call me back, that it was important. She never did.

Anyway, two weeks or so ago, I got a card from her. I initially thought that one of our mutual friends had told her about my mom and it was a sympathy card, but it was just a note card, apologizing for being out of touch, promising to be better, and asking me to give her a call.

Here's the dilemma: I really want to give her a call, but I am (1) slightly annoyed that she punted to me; and (2) not entirely convinced that she means it. So what do I do now?


Paige Jennifer said...

She obviously knows how to reach you because, um, she did. So though she tried to put the burden on you, the ball is still in her court. As in it really is up to her to make anything happen.

I'm not sure if this makes you feel any better but I'll totally be your friend. It appears I have an opening.

DSL said...

Why don't you pointblank ask her why she's getting in touch with you now after ignoring your own efforts to get in touch with her.

dara said...

PJ: She's always known how to get in touch with me -- I've lived in the same place and had the same email for six years -- and the same phone numbers for 8. Plus, we sort of work for the same people, so, in a worst-case scenario, she could always have found my name/office phone number in the directory.

I'm willing to cut her a lot of slack because she was going through some really difficult personal stuff. (At least it seems to me as if it would be difficult.) Most of my calling & emailing was really to make sure she was doing okay. She ignored my overtures -- and then ignored me when I was going through my own personal hell. So I'm a little wary.

And yeah, you can totally be my friend.

DSL: That is so straightforward -- and unlike me. I'll probably just let it go after a smart-aleck comment or two.

violindan said...

One option would be to take the card as an icebreaker from someone who feels too guilty to call. If that means the ball is back in your court, then oh well.

I'd give her a call. If you get her voicemail and ask her to call you back, there's your test.

mad said...

All my so-called friends are like that heh. Give her a call, what's the harm. If she doesn't answer or return the call, then she confirmed what you already suspect -- that she's not much of a friend.

marie said...

hi, first time blogger. i totally relate to your dilemma. i had a really good friend in another country and i wrote to her a letter each yr for several yrs with no reply. but i kept writing. kept updating her on where i was living, my marriage etc. turns out she lost both her parents within a few years and had to fend for herself and siblings. she wrote me finally and said my letters meant so much and she appreciated that i kept in touch, she just couldn't deal with it. but she knew i would be there and she was glad. i was relieved. after all, she was a close friend, known each other since 10th grade and her still best friends. i was never upset with her, just wondered if she was even getting my letters.
another friend lost his dad a couple of yrs ago and couldn't snap out of it. he was very close to his dad and sort of just kept to himself. i would write and email but not much response. i felt like he stopped being there for me. but as i get older, i realize there are moments i want to be a hermit myself and just live my own life. that i can only keep in touch with a couple of good friends for life, the rest are just acquaintances, you see when you see them.
then there are the friends who only wait for you to keep in touch.
my advise is to be the good person you are, continue to remember people when they are down, give something, human beings all you got but not expect anything in return! good luck, hope this helps.

Justin S. said...

I'm with Dan on this one. At the very least, the card is a nice gesture. I wouldn't be confrontational, that's not going to get you anywhere. I think the ball is in your court. I don't know how much the friendship means to you so I don't know how much effort you should put into it, but I think I'd call at least one more time. Sometimes old friendships don't last. Sometimes people are just flaky, maybe even annoying, but doesn't mean their heart isn't in the right place.