Dear Annie

Friendships tested by time

Annie Lane, syndicated columnist

Dear Annie: When I was a teenager, I had a big dilemma, and I would like to know how you would have solved it. My closest friend, “Joanne,” lived just a few minutes away but had terrible punctuality when it came to getting together. She would often be up to a few hours late getting to my house, which sometimes led to me having to cancel our plans.

Sometimes she would get a call from a neighbor to babysit at the last minute and she wouldn’t show up at my house at all. I told her I didn’t mind if she cancelled for that reason, but just call and tell me so I know.

Anyway, one day I had tickets for the two of us to see some event together (I don’t remember what it was), and as usual, she was very late getting to my house. I waited as long as I could before I finally called her.

This was in the ’90s, long before we all had cellphones. Her sister answered and told me Joanne had taken a babysitting job and was not home. Frustrated but short on time, I called up my friend “Katie” and asked if she wanted to go to the event with me. She said yes, and I was just on the way out the door when Joanne called. Her sister had lied to me just for fun, and Joanne was ready to go. I didn’t know what to do at this point, so I told Joanne I had already invited someone else because I thought she couldn’t go. I left and went to the event with Katie. I felt bad, and I know Joanne did, too. I’m pretty sure she was beyond mad at her sister.

Over the years, I’ve occasionally thought about that incident and wondered if I did the right thing. My husband said I could have offered to let Joanne and Katie go together, something that didn’t even cross my mind at the time. Anyway, what would you have done in that situation? — Two Tickets, Three Friends

Dear Two Tickets, Three Friends: You did the right thing. Please let yourself off the hook for something that occurred over 20 years ago.

I disagree with your husband. I’m not really sure why he would make you second-guess yourself over something that happened so long ago.

Joanne was really late and being disrespectful to you. Hopefully, she learned a valuable lesson that night about the importance of punctuality.

In addition, I hope she investigated why her sister was being so mean to her and to you.

EDITOR’S NOTE: “How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?” is out now! Annie Lane’s second anthology — featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions to dearannie@creators.com.


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