Pin It One of my best friends is (was?) a gal named Terri.
We met when we were about nineteen and hung out together for the next few years - sharing an apartment, a circle of friends, and a crush on the same guy. As we got older we drifted into different social circles and circumstances and gradually drifted apart, but we would still talk on the phone now and then and keep in touch. She was a bridesmaid in my wedding and drove all the way from another state to attend my baby shower.
We were the kind of friends who didn’t have to talk every month, but when we DID get around to talking, it was as if no time had passed at all, and we would laugh and giggle and feel nineteen again.
A while back she called and left me a message. It was a bad week for me. I was in the middle of two hundred things at once so I didn't call her back. It wasn’t a big deal. Sometimes we would play phone tag for weeks before actually getting in touch with each other, and it was almost never urgent.
The next week, she called me again. I was in a non-social kind of mood that day, so I didn’t call her back, but made a mental note to call her the next day. I didn’t get around to calling though, because mental notes are pretty much useless when your brain is a sieve.
The next week, she called me again. I didn’t call her back, but thought, MAN, I really need to call her back.
The next week she called me AGAIN, sounding understandably peeved. This time I thought, MAN, I really need to call her back, with a side order of wait, before I call I have to think of a good excuse for why I didn’t call her back the first three times. So I made a note to call her RIGHT AFTER I thought of a good reason.
The next week she called me again and left a message saying, “I guess you’re never gonna call me back. I don’t understand what’s going on. Are you mad at me or something?”
Ashamed of myself, I finally called her back and apologized.
Oh, except I DIDN’T. I felt dumb, because I’d created this big dramatic thing out of thin air, simply by not calling back. I was too embarrassed to call and tell her the truth - HEY, I’m sorry, I’m a lazy and THOUGHTLESS JERK. I thought she would just be mad if I called her, and I hate drama, and because I’m a cowardly coward who cowards I thought, ah, well, we never talked all that often anyway. So basically I threw our friendship away. Swish-swish-swish, into the trash. Over NOTHING.
Because I’m a self-involved idiot with the emotional maturity of a gnat.
I ask you, who DOES that??!
When I told my sisters about this on Saturday they sat and stared at me for a minute, speechless, shaking their heads at my complete and total social idiocy and dorkitude. I know they were wondering what was missing in my SOUL that I would do that to somebody. So yes, I know. I KNOW. I KNOW!!! (Don’t tell me in the comments – I KNOW! I KNOW!!!)
Why didn’t I call her? Why did I put my own feelings of embarrassment ahead of our friendship? ACK!
I know what the answer to the question is of course. I didn’t call her because I’m a JERK.
I kept thinking, you know, if I had her email address, I could just post about it and send her the link to my blog instead of calling her to apologize (like an actual grown-up). Because heaven forbid I should have to feel awkward for two-and-a-half minutes or actually ask for forgiveness for something I did to hurt someone. But that would kind of be a jerk move. Also, I don't have her email address.
So today? TWO YEARS LATER? (I KNOW - SHUT UP.) I'm going to call her.
Wish me luck. On the phone call, and on perhaps someday achieving emotional maturity.