I’d like to introduce a new segment here on Mysteries of Life called Getting It Off Your Chest. The ideas is to write a short post about some past slight, trespass or other injustice committed on the behalf of a Friend-Who-Really-Wasn’t.
It could be that time your roommate chose to go to a movie instead of help you celebrate your milestone birthday; it could be the friend who made you leave a cool party before you scored someone’s phone number because they had to leave now; it could be someone promised to help you move and then didn’t answer their phone all weekend.
The mitigating criteria being that the statute of limitations for bringing it up to said friend has very likely long since expired but you are still traumatized by it for some reason. The purpose isn’t to bitch, whine and moan but to move on by gaining some closure.
I invite readers to share their experiences as well.
Once upon a time I was supposed to pick up Jema from the airport. Well not the airport actually but from an El stop. Jema is the friend who, in a roundabout way, introduced me to my wife.
Jema was coming into town and we worked out that she would take the El from Midway Airport to the Belmont Redline/BrownLine Station. I had a chiropractor appointment around the corner and we determined that the timing would work out peachy.
So here’s the thing. I left my home in a hurry to get to the appointment and I forgot my cell phone. This should not have been a big deal because if she called I should in theory be able to borrow someone’s phone to call my voicemail and get any frantic messages from Jema asking where the hell I am. In fact, some VM systems even let you press a button and call the person back using whatever phone you use to access your VM.
Except no one uses phones to talk anymore. Or leaves voicemails. It’s all text, text, text. I can access my text messages on my iPad, if they are sent from an iPhone. But guess where my iPad was? That’s right, at home next to my iPhone.
And Jema of course didn’t stay put at the station. Why would she when she has her phone and I have my phone and it would never occur to this Kellogg G-school “everyone needs to be accountable for themselves no government handouts” Republican that maybe if someone isn’t responding they might not have their phone.
I had to drive back home, fetch my phone to learn that she was just a block away at the Starbucks and then drive back again to fetch her.
I’m annoyed because back in the day if we were meeting a friend somewhere, we waited at that spot. And if you left for any reason, even if just to kill time window shopping because you got there early, you circled back to make sure you didn’t miss each other. It never occurred to Jema to do this! I may have to see if my Employee Assistance Program will pay for the therapy from this one.
And talk about ownership and personal responsibility. I felt bad about keeping her waiting so I drove back the 6 miles to the Starbucks. No apologies for leaving the spot we agreed to meet at! I should have made her take a cab.
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