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Todd Parker Todd Parker
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Dear Todd Parker - (07/29/15)

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I've noticed as I get older that my stable of friends tends to shift as time passes. People drift away, new people take their places. It is part of making a permanent home in a place that most treat as a transition. And that's fine. I like making new friends, meeting new people.

But one of my old friends is returning to the area and I don't know what to do. He and I were buddies during a very different time in my life, a time that I've tried very hard (and mostly successfully) to put behind me. I'm just not that guy anymore.

He, on the other hand, doesn't seem to have changed a bit. He called me up out of the blue last week and said he was coming back to town 'for a while.' He told me that he was planning on crashing at my place and getting into some trouble.

I don't want him to stay with me. I don't even really want to see him. Honestly, I'm a little embarrassed that we were ever friends in the first place. That might sound harsh, but it's how I feel.

So how do I handle this? Is there any way to steer clear of this guy that won't result in either a) his feelings being hurt or b) me getting my ass kicked? How do you tell someone that you're no longer their friend?

Worried in Bangor

Dear Worried,

Short answer? 'Dude, we're not friends anymore. You suck and I never really liked you.'

That's probably the best way to do it, chief. All this soft-hearted tiptoeing just makes the process worse. Plus, you come off as a punk. Which won't help you avoid Option B.

Sounds like your boy is stuck in the past. That's okay; everybody knows somebody who can't quite let go of the glory days. If you insist on sensitivity, then that's the route you need to travel. Find ways to remind your buddy that the glory days weren't necessarily that glorious; ways that show now to be even more awesome than then.

Or you could just turn out the lights, shut the curtains and cower inside like a punk when he shows up. Treat him like a vacuum salesman or a missionary - just don't answer the door. The coward's way out, sure, but you don't seem like you'd have much of a problem with that.

Look, just tell the guy where you're at. Who knows? Maybe he's putting up a front because he thinks you're the one still holding it down old-school. Probably not, but you never know.

However you choose to do it, be a man about it. Sometimes in life, we have to say and do things we don't want to. Tough it out - your ex-buddy will appreciate it. Well, someday he will. Probably after he Option Bs you.

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