Dear Annie: My friend “Brianna” and I recently got into a fight via text messaging. She was trying to plan a surprise girls trip for our friend’s 30th birthday. She was texting a couple of other friends and me suggestions of places we might go, with links to vacation rentals. The places she was suggesting were out of my price range, though, and I politely said so. We went back and forth on this point for a bit, and then she said, “Well, are you sure you should even go on this trip if it’s just not in your budget?”
I couldn’t believe she’d be so rude as to say something like that in front of our other friends (digitally, at least). At that point, I just went off and told her she was being selfish. Things devolved from there, and eventually the text conversation ended for the night.
The next day, I felt anxious and regretted the fight. I still wanted to go on this trip, and for the sake of smoothing things over, I sent her a private message apologizing. I expected she would apologize as soon as I did. But to my amazement, all she said was, “It’s OK.”
“It’s OK”? As if I had been in the wrong!
Everyone ended up settling on a local place to celebrate our friend’s birthday, and it turns out I can afford to go — but now I’m so angry with Brianna that I don’t even want to. Who was wrong, Annie? — Sorry Not Sorry
Dear Sorry Not Sorry: You’re both wrong for not picking up the phone and calling the second things got tense. Text fights are for people who don’t want to find solutions.
But your false apology takes you down another peg. “Sorry” is like “I love you”; you should never say it just to hear it back. It’s emotionally manipulative. It’s also prone to backfiring. Just look at your predicament. You’ve painted yourself into a corner, one you can’t get out of without looking like a fool and making an even bigger mess. I say swallow your pride on this one and digest the lesson.
Dear Annie: This is in response to the letter from “Unsure in Ithaca.” The loss of “Unsure’s” sister’s unborn child is very real. Yes, she wants to move on. However, the pain is real, and she is hurting.
My sister miscarried a child. From her experience, here’s what not to say (and were).
“It was a blessing the baby died.”
“You can try again and have another.” (They already had hopes, dreams and aspirations for the baby they lost. A new baby isn’t a replacement.)
“The baby was deformed.”
“There was something wrong with the baby, and it’s better off dead.”
“You didn’t deserve that baby, so God took it.”
As far as ways to cope, my sister bought a fairly large angel centerpiece for her dining room table. It’s her reminder that she has her own angel in heaven. It’s there for all the big celebrations. She also bought an angel Christmas tree ornament. It is hung every year, along with “baby’s first Christmas” ornaments. — Big Sister
Dear Big Sister: Thank you for sharing.
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