Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
When I lived in LA, a long time ago, I had a friend who was a very needy person.
At the time I was a single parent, and we were neighbors in an apartment
complex. So even though we did not really have a lot in common, we spent lots
of time together because she was lonely and often invited my son and me for
dinner. Eventually I moved away, got married, and have had a happy and
successful life. We drifted apart, but once every few years when she passes
through the area on a trip we have her for dinner. Frankly she has become more
and more unsettled, moving from drinking far too much to living on a medley of
pills that would fell a horse. We are officially friends on Face Book but we haven’t
spoken in a year. I tried to connect to say we’d be in LA for a long layover on our
way to a vacation, but she never returned the calls. When I posted how happy I
was that I would be seeing a different friend, she launched a vicious tirade
against me about what a cold person I was and a bad friend. I was shocked. Do I
reply, or let it go?
Because she posted something publically, for all your real friends to see, I think
you need to answer there. But avoid escalating a tit-for-tat posting war with
someone who is neither a current friend not particularly stable-seeming. Just
reply with a mild, I’m so sorry. I left you several messages to try and connect, but
by the time you replied here our time was filled. I’ll let you know the next time we
pass through. Please message me your current phone so we can catch up.
You don’t need to be in any rush to actually contact her beyond a first try, which
you should attempt within a week or so of getting her number, assuming she
actually sends it. But if your life is successful and happy, and you have even less
in common than you did so very long ago, you can close the door on this chapter
of your life whenever you feel done with it. Just avoid slamming it or she may
haunt your posts.