Friday, April 13, 2007

Long Time, No $ee

chele's recent post about a friend from high school reminded me of a story about a friend of mine from waybackwhen. It's not that long or complicated, but it's stayed with me over the past couple years.

"Vanessa" and I had been friends for a few years, but we'd kind of drifted apart. I think she might've gotten married or something and stopped returning my calls. Oh well. I've experienced that before - both from friends with new significant others and from friends who didn't want any drama from whomever I was dating. It can be unfortunate, but I've seen enough drama to understand why some folks decide to cut ties.

Vanessa and I weren't best friends or anything, but it would've been nice if she'd explained her disappearance.

Well, fast-forward a couple of years and I'm "shacking up" with my current girlfriend. She and I are chilling in the living room when the phone rings. Caller-ID said it was Vanessa.

I answered saying, "Hey, girl! What's wrong?"

"What, something's got to be wrong for me to call you?"

"Umm, yeah. I haven't heard from you in over two years."


"So, I figured that, if you were calling me after not returning my calls for so long, there must be something big going on."

"No. Everything's fine," she says, as she initiates smalltalk, for a while. Meanwhile, I'm still reeling from the shock of 1) hearing her voice and 2) the fact that she's acting like we just spoke yesterday.

I really don't remember the content of the smalltalk session, but it didn't take long for that to segue into, "So my daughter is selling these [food items, wrapping paper, or whatever] for her [insert kiddie organization here] so she can win [insert kiddie prize here]."

Realization dawns. Now, I see why she called. She must've been working her way down her phone list, including folks she'd previously skipped over or ignored for whatever reasons.

I'm not sure if she immediately started quoting prices or what, but the intent was clear. She wanted me to buy something. I wouldn't have bought that stuff in the store. I wouldn't have bought it from a stranger. And, at this point, she ranked just above "stranger," to me.

"Oh, I don't really need any whozits or whatzits, right now, but I sure do wish Vanessa, Jr. luck! And it was nice hearing from you. You guys take care!"

Her lack of sincerity was apparent, as was her ability to recognize a lost cause, then quickly get off the phone so she could hit up the next person on the list. The point is, her feelings weren't hurt. In fact, I probably took too long hanging up the phone, for her tastes. That probably cut into her efficiency rating for calling up suckers and squeezing them dry.

I could see if we were the kinds of friends who could just pick up after a long time of not talking, just because life works out that way sometimes. I probably would've even been cool with her trying to re-establish the friendship and share the latest goings-on in each others' lives.

But it was clear that the only depth she was interested in was in my wallet. No thanks. As far as I'm concerned, that's a step above telemarketing and I torture the hell out of those poor souls.

Was I wrong for that (the Vanessa thing, not the telemarketing thing)?


Miz JJ said...

She could not have really expected to you to buy something when she had not talked to you in over 2 years. That is ridiculous. You were only wrong for not hanging up the phone sooner.

B. Good said...

^^^what MizJJ said. How rude! And, the nerve!

Keith said...

Not only were you right to sever that tie once and for all, but I think you were too nice. I'm not saying that you should have gone all Don Imus on her, but you should have told her she was wack, rude, and a pathetic panhandler.

YouToldHarpoTaBeatMe said...

Nope. You weren't wrong at all. In fact, you were downright quick and cordial about getting her off your phone and out of your life.

Son of Blog-El said...

This is a good post for a person who posts sporadically to offer comment.

No you were not wrong. I think everyone has gone through that particular sequence of events.

It is actually more annoying from a former aquaintance becuase it feels especially sleazy.

Liz said...

What nerve! You were very civil and classy and that's always a good thing no matter what.

AND, she should let her daughter call people up or go door to door. Parents do too much of this kind of mess just to help their kids get a prize. The real joke is on Vanessa Jr.'s school/organization. Most schools/organizations only keep 10% of the profits. It's a huge scam.

Angie said...

Nope. Not wrong at all.

Michael May said...

I'll jump on the pile too. You weren't wrong. I would've been insulted as hell.

chele said...

Obviously I don't think you were wrong. I believe as we get older we learn the value of saying "no". Whatever her intention was you have the right to say no.