Atheist Scruples: “You’ve got a friend in me”.. or do you?

Today’s question:

Visiting your native city, you won’t have time to see a good friend who will be disappointed. If you don’t phone, your friend won’t know you were in town. Do you phone?

This question is hard for me to answer because I’m not typically a friend-maker — at least, not the type of long-term relationships that last from kindergarten to the grave. In school I had kids I played with while classes were on but over the summers I’d be completely without contact and wouldn’t see any of them again until the next school year. I was fine with that; my summer was filled with visiting relatives typically. Who I’d never talk to or visit any other part of the year. I managed to see friends in the summer a few times once I was older but life didn’t depend on it. Same for university.

I guess this partly depends on how long the visit is and how often I usually manage to see or talk to this friend. The Scruples edition providing the question predates texting and Facebook. A lot of classmates I lost touch with are on there. A few live in my home town.

Story one:

One just returned to our hometown after years of living abroad in Scotland. I have known her since kindergarten although I don’t recall playing a lot with her. She posts a lot on Facebook though and sometimes I comment or like.

I did consider sending her a private message to let her know I’d be in town for the Fair and maybe try to get in touch while there but in the end I didn’t. I don’t really have a decent answer as to why. A quick phone call would have been easy but we aren’t super close and I was there to see family. I never told anyone on Facebook that I was heading home, actually, and only posted a picture of the Man and me on the ferris wheel because we looked cute.

Story two:

While at the Fair waiting for the Little Man to make his way through a carnival fun house, another little kid sailed past on the slide and landed on the mat near where I was standing. The person who collected the kid looked familiar but rather than call out his name, I let him go past without saying anything. Turned out it was who I thought it was. He walked his grandchild over to where his wife was standing (I know her, too) but again I didn’t call out to them and at least wave hello.

Mostly because they were far enough away to not notice and partly because (this will not make me look good) I didn’t invite them or their kids to my wedding last October even though my mother wanted me to. Not that they would have said anything at the Fair or ever about it but still…

Story three:

The next weekend we went visiting the Man’s side in a different city. I have a cousin living there with her family (who I did invite to the wedding but they never came and they never sent a card or anything – but I’m not bitter) and a friend I’ve known since university. I didn’t contact either family to let them know I was in town. I was there to meet more in-laws.

I don’t tend to broadcast my movements to friends or family unless those movements actively involve those friends or family.

What sort of friend-maker are you? Do I sound like an alien? Share a story.

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