To readers: The following column was originally published in 2017
Dear Annie: I have an old close friend who I have known for 50 years. We live far from each other and the only way to talk is by phone.
Over the past few years, my friend started suddenly dropping our calls when there was a click on the line signaling another call. He will announce in the middle of a sentence that he has another call to take, then hang up abruptly. He interrupts himself as often as I do. This happens almost every time we speak, no matter what time it is.
I figured that a solution to this might be to ask him to call me when it suits him. It didn’t stop this rudeness; he does so even when he has made the call.
I’m at the end of my rope and can’t think of a solution unless I break the friendship. This behavior is very outside of its normal character, which makes it all the more frustrating.
Do you have any ideas on how to deal with this problem tactfully? – I had not finished
Dear, I was not finished: do not erase your friendship until you have told your friend how you feel. You should at least let him know that those abrupt goodbyes are bothering you and give him a chance to say his song. It’s a hunch, but is it possible that you haven’t received verbal cues, such as “Well, it’s getting late” or “I should let you go” – that he would like to end? the call ? He might be using call waiting as a quick fix. After all, with 50 years of history, I’m sure you could talk for hours.
Dear Annie, I have read in your column many letters from families who, for various reasons, do not have caring grandparents or other close relatives in their children’s lives (for example, the recent letter from “Protective Husband”). My husband and I had the same problem.
Rather than seeing our children miss out on the benefits of having grandparents, we carefully observed older friends and neighbors and adopted “chosen” grandparents for our children. Every time we moved, the process started again, benefiting both families. There was always a lot of work that each family could do for the other. And “grandparents” never felt that life was passing them by or that they had no one to turn to when they needed help with minor repairs, gardening, gardening. heavy lifting or technical issues that can confuse older minds.
Our chosen grandmother was a widow whose biological grandchildren lived in other states. I was finishing my bachelor’s degree at the time, and she was truly a wonderful blessing to our family. She would ask me what I was making for supper, then offer to cook and eat with us and watch my youngest do his homework, while I finished my homework. She was a true saint who gave me the time to study and graduate with honors. Then I became an award-winning teacher for 39 years, which I might not have been able to do without her help decades ago.
Please look around and choose carefully. And remember, not all family members have to be biological parents. – Blessed by the members of my “elected” family
Dear Blessed: Looks like she also loved having your children in her life. What a wonderful idea.
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