DEAR AMY: I have had a close friend for 16 years. We worked together, and she and I both went through nasty divorces, which was a bonding experience. We have sons similar in age. We both got lucky and found love again.
However, over the last several years, things have shifted. She is a chronic last-minute canceler, always with a good excuse: Her family, her car, or something else she forgot about. She’s missed birthdays and other important things. She keeps calling us “BFF’s,” but I don’t see it.
Last year, she sent out a text invite for a fun-themed dinner, confirming last-minute details for everyone on the text chain.
A few minutes later, she admitted that she had sent the invitation to me accidentally.
The kicker was that someone backed out at the last minute, and then I got an actual invite and was told that if I wanted to attend, I’d better be wearing a theme costume like everyone else. I declined.
Am I wrong to feel insulted? I’ve never brought this up to her, but think it was rude.
I think it is way past the appropriate time to bring this up now. — Slighted BFF
Dear Slighted: It is completely legitimate to feel insulted when someone insults you. Absolutely.
I suspect the reason you’ve ruminated on this for over a year is: either you somehow believe your feelings are not to be trusted, or, even if your feelings are trustworthy, you don’t have the right to “have” them.
Despite the fact that she tells you that you two are “best friends forever,” she seems to have demoted you.
Regardless of your place in her friendship pecking order, if she wanted to spend time with you — best friend or not — she would find a way to do that.
Yes, it is probably too late to bring up an incident that happened over a year ago. Bringing this up wouldn’t change anything.
All you need to do now is to believe in your instincts, trust your own feelings, and behave the way YOU want to behave.
This person has earned a demotion in your friendship pecking order. I’d suggest the category of: “Someone I used to be close to.”
DEAR AMY: I had a friend for 49 years. We went to college together and have maintained a very sisterly relationship.
Last summer I told her that I couldn’t host her and her husband during the time they’d been planning to visit, due to the risk from COVID. They were traveling from a high infection area.
She dropped me like a hot potato. I’ve sent a few notes, but no response.
She didn’t seem to understand that I was uncomfortable having them in our house both for our health and for theirs.
There has been no contact since then. This has made me very unhappy.
I so want to know why. Is she so self-centered that their vacation was more important than others’ health during this crazy time?
I’m brokenhearted. I wonder if other people have had similar experiences.
Dear Brokenhearted: Many people have had experiences similar to yours over the past year.
Assuming (hoping) that the pandemic that has changed the world will be receding along its own chaotic course within the next few months, many of us will be spending that time trying to repair relationships that have been bent or broken because of differences with how we have perceived our risks.
On the face of it, your friend’s behavior is selfish and indefensible.
If her behavior last year was completely uncharacteristic, then you can attempt to move forward by reaching out again to say, “I’ve been thinking so much about you over these last months. I hope you are healthy and were able to get your vaccine. Given all this pandemic has stolen from so many of us, I hope you won’t let it take our friendship, too.”
If she denies or dismisses you, then you will have to face this extremely challenging truth: The pandemic may have actually revealed your friend’s deeper character.
DEAR AMY: I enjoyed reading your “best of” columns from 10 years ago.
I keep wondering how things might have turned out for the people who wrote to you. Do you ever hear from them? — Wondering
Dear Wondering: I wish people contacted me more often to let me know how things turned out for them. Consider this a shout-out to encourage anyone who has written to me to provide an update!