If I’m having a rough day, and a friend who’s going through a rough time calls me, how can I respond in a way that gives them the rest they need to recover?
Dear Manners: I’m in my 50s and I’m having problems with my best friend of 35 years. Even though we don’t live in the same state anymore, we talk several times a week and try to visit every year.
We are both crafty people. Two years ago, I started making her a big, beautiful counted cross stitch and put it in a custom frame. This project took several months, but she knew I would get it done. I drove 6 hours each way to deliver her gift to her.
She offered to make me a quilt (though I didn’t ask) from T-shirts she had collected over the years from places I went. So I cut out the logo and graphics from the shirt and mailed it to her. It only takes her about a week to make the quilt, she said.
That was two years ago. My friend hasn’t made a quilt yet.
Since then, I’ve moved further away and I miss home so much that I really want that quilt. I asked her about it several times. It meant a lot to me – especially now that I’m over 1,000 miles away – but she only makes empty promises about going through with it. During that time, she found time to make other crochet and cross-stitch items for her large family and renovate the kitchen.
So now she has these t-shirts that I can’t replace, and I don’t have a kilt yet. I’m so hurt about this whole thing that she wants to ask me to send her pieces to me. At least that way you can hire someone to make your quilt for you.
Am I overdoing it? If she doesn’t plan on making my quilt, should I ask her to send me her parts?
“Ever since you said that I dreamed of displaying that quilt on my wall, containing all of my irreplaceable memories. However, I know you are busy, so if you can return the T-shirt, I will try my best to return it. “
And Miss Manners suggests sending an extra-large stamped return envelope so your friend doesn’t have any excuses and you don’t have to travel another 1,000 miles.