The Wounds of a Friend

Don’t you hate it when someone talks about how busy they are?  Me, too.  It’s really obnoxious.

So … I’ve been really busy lately.  I have been out of town twice in the last two weeks — my globe-trotting sister would laugh at me, but that’s not my norm, so it throws me.  One of those jaunts was to a writer’s conference, which required extensive preparation beforehand, and (happily!) even more extensive preparation afterward, since two agents asked to see the entire manuscript for my novel.

I’ve also been scrambling to keep up with the end of the school year, both at the school where I teach, and in home schooling.  And I’ve been trying to prepare a short story for the Glimmer Train new writers competition, which happens to be my Holy Grail.

In the midst of all of this, I have dropped the ball quite dramatically in keeping up with friends.  I have not been calling people back, I have been short in my emails.  There’s been an added complication in the fact that our new answering machine is a joke and has not been recording incoming messages.

So, a few days ago, when I emailed a dear friend to see if we could get together for coffee, it didn’t turn out so well.  I realize that emails are notoriously hard to read and can seem terse when they aren’t.  But in this case, she was notably brief and cold.  After a few days of trying to figure out what was going on, I finally squeezed an answer out of her.

She has decided, based on my neglect, that I am not interested in a friendship with her.  I am stunned.  And hurt.  And I feel like defending myself, but I can’t because I have pretty much disappeared from her life lately.  And, to be honest, I haven’t ever been that great in the keeping-up department.

It’s apparently too late for this friendship, based on the finality of her last contact with me.  I am grieving that loss.  And I want to make sure this doesn’t happen again with my other friendships.  How do you, dear readers, make sure you make time for friends, in the midst of all your family, work, church, and dream-chasing obligations?

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2 thoughts on “The Wounds of a Friend

  1. It’s not easy, and I am afraid I am not too good at it either. One road block for me is that at the end of a long day, I really don’t want to be on the phone that much. Some of my friends are really phone people. It gets tricky.

  2. Jane,

    Oh, yes, the phone people! I am not one either. Perhaps you and I should be friends. Sounds like we’d at least have similar expectations.

    My main problem with the phone is that I am really not good at multi-tasking. Take cooking as an example. While attempting to cook and chat simultaneously, I have: lost count of cups of flour; used olive oil instead of vegetable oil in pancake batter; burned risotto, burned cookies, burned myself; and cut a large gash in my thumb that left an actual scar. That’s a partial list.

    I don’t know what the answer is. Perhaps there is some kind of disclosure statement I should offer new friends up front so they can make an early exit if they so choose.

    In all seriousness, I do appreciate your comment and I hope you’ll pop in again.

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