1. Friends,
    I definitely need your input for how I may have fouled up this evening.
    I am relatively new here, and don’t have many female friends. I have made one lovely friend, and periodically she invites me to her house for “wine night.” Because she provides the place (her child is asleep), I provide the wine. I stay for a couple of hours, then leave.
    The last two she has canceled, due to illness. She invited me over this evening, and even checked to make sure I was coming about half-way through the day. After work, I bought a bottle. About 1 hour out, she texted to say I could drop by 15 minutes ahead of schedule. I checked my phone again just before I left, no texts. I showed up bottle in hand, and it took her a bit to answer the door. Also, she looked tired. I left my phone in my purse by the door (so I wouldn’t be constantly checking it). She was quieter than usual, but we still had a nice conversation I thought. After an hour, I got up to check my phone, and noticed a text… from her. Apparently she had asked to cancel again, but I must have been in my car (the drive is brief, and I don’t text and drive). I brought it up, but she said she didn’t send it (it mentioned her child by name). I told her it was okay, I was so sorry, and I would leave. She said she didn’t send them and that I should stay. I did for another 25 minutes. Now I feel awful, as I think she was just being polite.
    How can I fix this? I clearly intruded on a sick single mother. I think a real friend would have immediately left, but I didn’t want to suggest that she was lying.
    Please help.

  2. Laura, please let yourself off the hook; you did nothing wrong. You had every reason to think that your plans for the evening were still on, and not checking for last minute texts as you are walking to the front door makes perfect sense. Personally, I think it is rather odd that she denied sending the text — who else would have done so? — but it was probably her way of attempting to smooth the matter over. You stayed a short amount of time, which allowed her the opportunity to “save face” and not feel as though she was kicking you out and making you feel guilty, but not for another hour or two, which would have been too much. Perhaps you might send her a nice note card, telling her you how much you enjoy your conversations and hope she is feeling better soon. Don’t keep apologizing — it will result in two people feeling badly. You might ask if you could drop by with a simple meal or soup for her; as a single mom, something as simple as not having to think about what’s for dinner can be a huge relief when you aren’t feeling well but still have to think about feeding your child. It sounds like you are a good friend!

    PS — Thank you for not texting and driving! A friend and her partner were seriously hurt while walking when hit by an SUV; the woman was texting as she drove. It’s something of a sore spot with me …

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