BG: My friend Annie moved out of town for a good job opportunity. She is trying to sell her place in Hometown. She came back to town for a few days recently. I was out of town for the first three days she was here; she didn't call, email, or text to say, "Hey, I'm in town" and I only knew she was in town because a mutual friend mentioned he was painting her place (the one up for sale) and because I saw her daughter post something on Facebook. I was busy, she was busy....I didn't think much about it.
Annie has her issues which tend to drive friends away (ie she complains about everyone behind their backs and nobody is immune) but it should be noted, she has also proven herself a kind person on more than one occasion, and she did offer to help me out a couple of times when I was in need (specifically, moving). I thanked her and almost took her up on her offer but in the end the timing didn't work out and I had enough help from others anyway. Also, I've done things for her, ie pro bono work that is something I do for a living, so it's not as though I just take.[/end BG]
On one of the last days she was here, Mutual Friend called up and asked if I wanted to meet him and Annie for a quick bite somewhere as they were going to take a break from painting. I said, "Sure, I'd like to see Annie while she's here." This call came through at 6 PM and I met them at 8 PM.
After we'd finished eating (9 PM), everyone seemed ready to leave and I was ready to call it a night (and I still had obligations at home). I asked something like, "So, everyone just going home now?" Mutual Friend said, "Ya, unless you wanna come help paint!!" It was said in a jovial kind of way so I laughed it off and said, "No thanks, I hate painting!!" And we all parted company.
Later I wondered if that was kind of thoughtless of me, given that Annie had offered her help when I was stressed out with my own move, but honestly, at the time it never occurred to me to offer. I had not really considered it a serious request for help, given that it was 9 PM, last minute, and I do have other obligations.
But weeks later I found out second hand that Annie had been kind of offended at my "I hate painting" comment as "helping friends isn't about doing what you like."
I had already been wondering if my comment was rude....was it?