Sunday, April 5, 2009

Close Friends and those at Arms Length

Modern technology helps keep our friends close, even when they are thousands of miles away. As the laptop brought our friends along for our Florida journey, so now texting keeps me updated on important moments in friends' lives. For instance, while Pat is states away in San Antonio, I still know she had a fried hotdog for lunch. The wonders of the 21st Century!

However, sometimes our lives become a little messy when they become entangled with people who want to be our friend, but we want to run screaming. Technology can not save us (although caller id helps). This recently happened to me as a couple wanted to take me out to dinner. While I'm flattered that they seek my company, one afternoon of dealing with them was plenty. The smell of desperation was heavy upon them.

After politely refusing one invitation by explaining I'd be going out of town, I was back no more than a few days when they called me (news travels fast in a small town). Realizing I must eventually return their call, I wondered just how I would be declining their invitation. And this time, I knew it had to be decisive and final. Hinting and politeness was not going to work.

Here are some of the lines considered: (with a little input from my fellow blogger - guess which are hers)

1) I'm reopening my business and can't commit to any more engagements
2) The medication I am taking for the Clap interferes with food digestion
3) I used up all my material on our first visit and have nothing more to say
4) I don't want to get sucked into your weird and twisted vortex
5) My energy level and monastic life doesn't permit much socializing
6) I'd like to make an appointment with Mr. Zolotas

The call was placed. The wife answered. She skillfully parried all the thrusts of reasoned arguments. But, I, and my anti-social stance, prevailed. For this round anyway.

Really, I can't say enough about email.

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