Dear Amy: I have irritable bowel syndrome. About a year ago, I had breakfast with a friend of mine, “Pat,” who I’ve known for 40 years.
I picked her up, drove her to the restaurant and after the meal I brought her back home. I asked if I could use her bathroom before continuing to my house, which is about 15 miles away.
Pat said no.
I said I really couldn’t wait because of the IBS. I begged and was told absolutely nothing.
Well, I was furious all the way home and I was in bad shape. I made it, but I was not happy with the way my boyfriend treated me.
Pat called about a month later to ask why I hadn’t reached out.
I told Pat how I felt and reminded her of the many times I’ve thrown parties and she was always invited. I’ve seen the inside of Pat’s apartment, but I’ve never gotten so much as a cup of coffee.
I feel like I’ve been used. I really don’t feel the need to entertain Pat anymore. I have forgiven her, I just want nothing to do with her.
Am I petty?
Hardly got home
Best Barely Made: A friend who is there for you when you need it is a true friend.
I agree with you that Pat showed a total lack of respect for your basic needs in this case. It’s hard to take into account the flaws and shortcomings of someone you’ve known for a long time, but for you – this episode brought a reckoning, and once you get to that point, it’s hard to look back. come.
I’m glad you forgave Pat; I don’t blame you for keeping your distance now.
Dear Amy: I belong to a group of nine women who are all retired teachers of different ages. We have been meeting monthly for 35 years.
We started this group because even though we worked for the same school district, several moved to different schools, and this was a way for us to stay connected.
In the past, we have been respectful, loving, and supportive of each other. Lately I haven’t felt the love, and I’m devastated.
At our last meeting, I announced, very proudly, that my daughter (also an educator) had received a $52,000 loan forgiveness.
My daughter has two master’s degrees and has been working with children for 20 years. She has been paying off her loans on time for 10 years now, and this debt cancellation is truly a blessing.
When I broke this news – my goodness, you would have thought I told them she had robbed a bank!
All but one person (whom I had previously told and were very supportive) gave their thoughts on the loan forgiveness program and how they were against their tax dollars helping my daughter. I think I would have had a nicer response from a stranger at the grocery store.
It’s still raw. How do I heal?
Dear upset: This episode has revealed the unfortunate dynamic created for some people when they hear about someone else’s windfall.
It’s not pretty.
Respect, love and support are sometimes much more easily offered to someone who is in pain.
You’ve also come across first-hand knowledge of how some people are reacting to this life-changing debt forgiveness program.
People who enjoy their own retirement have not experienced the crushing debt many young people have fallen into to finance their education. (My own college debt, which took 10 years to pay off, was low interest compared to what more recent college graduates have had to deal with.)
In addition, relieving these young people of debt enables them to invest in their children’s education, as well as their own retirement.
Younger generations are unlikely to have occupational pension plans and cannot necessarily rely on Social Security as their safety net for retirement.
You can heal from this by accepting the limitations of the people in your group. You exposed an indelicate side to them, but this reaction was not personal – to you or your daughter. They probably would have said the same thing to a stranger at the supermarket.
You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or write a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.