Thursday, October 27, 2011
Occasionally, something falls.
A while back, a fellow writer (we'll call her Betty Lou) asked me to give her my opinion about something she'd written. Now let me say two things right off the bat: A) I always try to be unflinchingly honest when you ask me for my opinion. After all, why would you ask, otherwise? B) I do my very best to never give my opinion in a hurtful or belittling manner.
So. The story was a cute story. There was nothing wrong with it. It was simply less than the type of story Betty Lou usually wrote. Fluffy and light. I wrote to her with this observation. Immediately she wrote back siting stressful issues in her home life and commented she needed something light to balance those stresses out. I agreed. After all, I've utilized my own writing in the same way.To my way of thinking, I had fulfilled my part.
Fast forward to the next few months. Betty Lou gradually drew away, moved on to other friends, grew cooler when e-mailing, etc. While I couldn't figure out why, I also know we all go through ebbs and flows in our friendships. With a mental shrug I, too, moved on.
Then a little while ago another friend (we'll call her Irma!) mentioned in a casual conversation that I had really hurt Betty Lou's feelings when I stated my opinion about her story. I was a little dumbfounded. And taken-aback.
I've been thinking about this since my conversation with Irma. My friendship with Betty Lou has moved on. The past is the past. But it occurs to me that there are no doubt other people who may feel slighted or ignored--especially in the past year or so. I want to say to you, it was not intentional on my part. I should be a better friend. Really. Sometimes I just can't keep everything juggling at one time. And for that, I am sorry.