Blake’s Advice Column
I’ve been friends with “Brenda” for nearly 40 years. We’ve had our share of tough times, but I’ve always been a good friend to her even though it felt one-sided. The last straw for me was a few months ago, when I had major surgery. I didn’t hear from her for three weeks, and when she did call, she talked about her life the whole time and showed no interest in how I was doing. Brenda has now had major surgery. Two weeks have gone by, and I haven’t called her. I want her to have a taste of her own selfish medicine. I have been upfront with her in the past that she hasn’t always been there for me. She apologizes but nothing changes. Am I being too sensitive about her lack of caring about anyone but herself?
From Anderson, Indiana
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Forty years is a long time for a friendship. It’s also a long time to endure insensitivity that you should now pay back… with a vengeance. So, here are some of my ideas. Tell the nurse that Brenda is considering harming herself, then she’ll be placed in either a padded room, or a wing of the hospital where other patients wander the halls all day, talking to invisible friends and creatures. If she tries to take some pain killers, slap the pills out of her hand and encourage her to stop acting like a wimp. If she’s hooked up to life support, tell her to cut the selfishness treatment she gives you, or you’ll cut the cord. But if you really value the friendship, pour your heart out and tell her how you feel, giving her an opportunity to apologize for all the hurt she has caused you over the past four decades. If she refuses to do that, when she falls asleep, switch her medical chart with a patient that is scheduled to undergo a lobotomy. I hope this helps.