My best friend recently let me down badly.
I’d wanted to take my girlfriend on a special trip to Italy, and combined it with a visit to my friend, whom I hadn’t seen since University.
My girlfriend and I flew to Rome where he now lives. My friend had said that he’d pick us up from the airport. But he didn’t show, though we waited a long time.
Turned out he was playing tennis with some friends.
During the rest of our stay in his city, he blew me off several times because of his tennis games.
Let me clarify: He’s NOT a professional tennis player.
I was really hurt, and embarrassed in front of my girlfriend.
Why would someone who was my best friend pull that stunt?
You may’ve had some contact after your University days, but there’s obviously not been a meaningful connection between you, since.
Maybe the timing of your visit was all wrong for him. Or maybe he thought you were hitting him up for being your host.
Whatever the true reason, his behaviour was rude, thoughtless, and yes, embarrassing.
Unless you’re still interested enough to ask why he played you and disrespected your girlfriend, and unless his explanation (and apology) is acceptable to you, consider him a pal of the past.
A Reader’s Commentary “I want to share some tips for personal safety which I’ve learned from Women and Violence issues, having had personal experience of this from an ex-spouse:
“I lived rurally and started noticing things such as someone/people having been on the grounds in the middle of the night.
“There were also late-night phone calls and these continued when I relocated. I felt that I was being followed.
“Because of my need for safety, and because I was eventually diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, I've been given a transferable parking permit to park close to buildings in case of a panic attack, or sightings of my ex, and for safety reasons.
“I learned that women facing violence, such as stalking and threats, shouldn’t answer phone calls if they don't recognize the number.
“They should keep any evidence of the violence they’ve experienced, and copies of any reports written about them, including video tapes and photographs taken of injuries.
“They should know that they have the right, if they prefer, to speak only with female professionals such as a doctor, nurse, lawyer, counsellor, or police.
“They have the right to make any corrections on reports that are factually incorrect.
“Also, at any appointment, they have the right to have a support person/witness of choice to attend with them, and the right not to be separated from that person for any reason.
“This could be a medical exam, x-rays, legal, counselling, police interview, etc. This attending person can take notes, ask questions, support, and also witness what goes on.
“There's extra safety planning and tips available from the police, women's shelters, and also local VCARS offices (Victims Crisis and Referral Services).
“Most of my own evidence hasn't been before a judge, as I fear my former spouse, though I've been advised that I have every right to go back to court.
“But it's scary to get a protection or restraining order against men who threaten violence, and dangerous as this can often set them off and also they don't always honour the orders.”
Ellie – Yet keeping silent is the worst mistake of all. If you are threatened, stalked, harassed, fear violence, or have experienced it, notify police immediately.
FEEDBACK Regarding the aunt who’s upset about her niece’s manner of breastfeeding in public (May 2):
Reader – “I too, find it rude and disgusting for a mother to breastfeed a three-year-old in public.
“I don't believe that this is done to benefit the child; I think it’s a way to get attention by the mother.
“Of course, everyone will notice her bare breasts and men will find them to be a sexual attraction.
“Even a younger baby should be nursed discretely covered by a blanket.
“Why is it now, that individual rights come before the rights of the general public?
“Younger parents are sometimes so self-centred, they don't consider other people at all.
“I’ve nursed four babies, but would never bare my breasts publicly. It's time the silent majority spoke up.”
Ellie – You just did. And I’m sure others will follow on both sides of this debate.
Tip of the day:
Check that your long-ago “best friend” is as eager for your visit as you are.