Ask Amy: Scheduling snafu leads to silence, and worry
Dear Amy: I recently reached out to a former manager/mentor to schedule some time to catch up.
The night before the scheduled call, I was invited to participate in a golf outing, so I texted her to see if we could reschedule.
She responded right away that it was no problem, and that she was excited for me. (We had played in golf outings together in the past, so I knew that was a shared interest.)
We traded messages looking for times to reschedule, and then suddenly I stopped getting any response.
That was eight weeks ago. I’ve reached out via text and LinkedIn since then, but still nothing.
I respect this person very much. Our relationship was always professional, but we did trade Christmas cards, and I would consider her a friend.
I’m also slightly concerned that something may have happened with her or her family related to COVID, so I’m not sure how to find out and reconnect without badgering. — Ghosted & Concerned
Dear Concerned: You initiated this catch-up session, and then you postponed it. There is nothing at all wrong with doing that, but I do think it affects the dynamic between two people when it comes to rescheduling.
It sounds as if you went back and forth a few times regarding a new date, so it’s possible that your former mentor said to herself, “I didn’t initiate this in the first place, and now it has taken on a life of its own. I’m going to take a breather.”
At this point, you might assume that if something serious had happened to her, you would have found out about it, if not through her, then through social media. If something has happened to a family member and you haven’t been notified, then you are not close enough to her to have been told about it.
People get busy. Things come up.
I think you should let things lie for now. Send her a Christmas card this year, saying: “So sorry for our scheduling snafu back in the fall! I look forward to catching up in 2021.”
Dear Amy: My longtime friend has asked me to be a bridesmaid at her upcoming wedding. Unfortunately, we recently experienced a falling out that we are not openly acknowledging. We are carrying on, pretending that we have a friendship that we seem to have outgrown.
Given the circumstances, I feel somewhat uncomfortable playing this role on her special day. She has voiced her dissatisfaction with me to her fiance, friends (who are part of the wedding party), and family members.
I’m sensitive to the humiliation I may experience going through with this, but I know she’ll be terribly offended if I acknowledge the rift between us.
What do I do, Amy? — Bewildered Bridesmaid
Dear Bewildered: You should acknowledge the current dynamic, judiciously and respectfully, and give her the option of having you step down from your bridesmaid status if she would like.
Say to her: “There has been tension between us lately, and I want you to know that I will step down as a bridesmaid if you want. I want you to have the best day possible. I will stand up with you with a smile, or quietly withdraw with no hard feelings.”
Dear Amy: “Closet Case” was worried about the highly personal content of her journals.
My journals are also a specter hiding in my closet, worrying me about who might someday read them. Every time I get the courage to burn them, I think, “But that’s my LIFE!” and I can’t do it.
Several years ago, I created Shutterfly memory books for my three grown kids. Along with their childhood photos, I added funny things they said when they were tiny and told the stories of their lives, using my journals to remind myself of little details.
This past Mother’s Day, my kids gave me a subscription to StoryWorth. Every week my kids choose or create a question for me to answer about my life. My journals have been invaluable in helping me to tell my story.
In another six months, my StoryWorth story will be complete and my kids will have all of the good stuff from my journals and none of the “icky bits.”
I’ll finally be able to burn the notebooks and reclaim that closet shelf. — Maryland Journaler
Dear Journaler: StoryWorth (StoryWorth.com) offers an ingenious way of compiling stories to share, and you need only include the “icky bits,” if you want to.