Dear Julie

Dear Julie: Advice About Fighting with a Friend and Unpunctual Pals


DAME’s Friendkeeper guides a woman through post-fallout reconciliation, and helps another save herself from a perpetually late companion.



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Dear Julie,

Two years ago, a close friend and I had a huge falling out, and essentially broke up. It was awful. It wasn’t over a guy or anything like that. It was a culmination of petty grievances that had been building up—misunderstandings that led to hurt feelings, on both sides, and it just blew up. I ran into her at a party recently, and she barely even acknowledged me. I thought she’d at least be civilized. I miss her. I miss us. I don’t know what to do, I’ve been so wrecked over this, more wrecked than I’ve felt over romantic breakups. I worry if I call, she’ll just hang up. I don’t know if this is salvageable. Do I let this go, or can I make an overture to mend fences? And, um, how do I do that?

Signed,

Don’t Wanna Be Ex-Friended No More

 

Dear Don’t,

This is a really rough situation, and unfortunately people respond differently. Some people take longer to heal, and just like when you break up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, suddenly the person you knew best in the world is a virtual stranger and you don’t know how they’ll react. My suggestion is to write a letter. Get your thoughts out, apologize for whatever you can, and let her know how much you miss her and maybe that you wish you could laugh with her again like the time you were in that movie and the guy in front of you farted really loud…. Whatever, just get the dialogue going. Don’t even suggest getting together, just start. You can put yourself out there and let her respond. I think if she’s a person you miss that much, chances are she is missing you, too. 

xx

Julie

 

Dear Julie,

I’m a pretty punctual person, but I don’t mind waiting for a friend who missed her train, or got held up by an important phone call, and I’ve been known to send frantic “I’m sorry!” texts myself as I run out the door a few minutes behind schedule. But I have a friend who is consistently late. Like, ALWAYS LATE. And not just a few minutes—we’re talking 30 minutes or more. She’s a lovely person: attentive, hilarious, thoughtful … that is, once she shows up. And she’s always apologetic. But that won’t stop her from being late the next time we hang out (or the time after that…or…you get the idea). It’s one thing if she’s coming over to my house to hang out, I don’t mind tootling around my apartment while I wait. But if I’m sitting alone, hungry, in a crowded restaurant with only my phone to keep me company, it gets seriously annoying. I’ve teased her good-naturedly about it thinking that might make a difference, but to no avail. I wonder if she’s even capable of changing? Is it me that needs to chill? Please advise!


Friend of the Late Great

 

Dear Friend,

What if you put a zap collar on your friend that delivered electric shocks? A mild shock for a few minutes late, knock her off her feet if she’s 15 minutes late, 30 minutes her hair sizzles. No? Okay. You see I too had a dear friend who was always late, in fact my bestie used to be total late-y bird. The problem was hers; it became mine. I had reminded her, begged her, talked psychology with her. (What in her past was she trying to work out? Did she realize that she made me feel like my time was less important than hers? Etc.) She would promise to change and would maybe be on time once before she was back to her old ways again. I finally realized I could not change her, I could only change what position I put myself in. If we went to the movies and I was meeting her, I would get there at the agreed upon time. If she wasn’t there I would buy my ticket and go in and not be freaking out that I wouldn’t find a seat. If she got there really late, she’d be in a crappy seat alone. At a restaurant I would say, Someone may be joining me but I’m ordering now. She got mad at me one time—she thought I was being ridiculous—and I explained my point and we stopped seeing each other for a while. A few years later, she changed her life in many ways and one of the results was that she stopped being late. I actually couldn’t even remember that I used to use the expression Linda time—as in, 10:00 a.m. Julie time or Linda time? Hopefully your friend will eventually get it, but in the meantime you deserve to not be waiting.

xx

Julie

 

Got a platonic problem of your own that could use the Friendkeeper’s advice? Fire away: [email protected]. No situation is too uncomfortable or too small and all details are kept confidential.

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