Author Topic: Seriously Offended By A Friend  (Read 5054 times)

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SamiHami

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Seriously Offended By A Friend
« on: March 02, 2013, 05:20:22 PM »
A little b/g: I have a very strong group of friends. There are probably thirty or so of us that get together every Friday night at our favorite pub (not always everyone, but usually at least a dozen show up). Some of the friendships go back 25+ years. We are a close knit group and I value these friendships very much. end b/g.

One of the guys in the group, "Charlie," is a divorced man in his mid-fifties. He's usually quiet, very nice and very well liked by everyone. DH and I haven't socialized with him outside of the group, but I did help him get some art work that he'd done put in the gift shop I used to work in part time. Charlie's mother died recently and he has not been coping well with it at all. I'd expressed to my DH that I was a little concerned because Charlie hasn't been working much since her passing; another in the group works for him and has been hurting for money since Charlie is blowing off all the jobs they are supposed to be doing.

Last night we were hanging out at the pub as usual, and I brought in some of my homemade pepperoni for folks to try (my best effort yet!). When I offered some to Charlie, he said "I really want to fornicate with you." Yeah, he actually used that exact wording. Thinking he'd had one too  many and was trying to make a joke that went awry, I sort of laughed it off and reminded him of Mr. Samihami. He then said "I wish I could marry you." Someone else (that I don't know) heard what he said and said forcefully, "Hey, that's not cool, man!" I walked away, stunned.

I didn't know how to react. I was so offended, but I didn't say anything to DH at the time; he was having a good time and I didn't want to ruin his night. We left shortly thereafter and I told him this morning. Needless to say he was not amused. We both agreed that it was probably the beer talking but we also agreed it was inexcusable. DH went back to the pub a little while ago and sure enough, Charlie was there. DH confronted him and Charlie says he doesn't remember anything about it that he must have been drunk. He was falling all over himself apologizing. DH told him that he needs to apologize to me and he said that he would next time he saw me. Embarrassed, Charlie finished his beer and left.

What do you think? Did we over react? Under react? I really don't want to make a huge thing of it and cause a bunch of tension among my social group. And I really do think he was just drunk and stupid and didn't mean it, but come on, that was really crossing a line.

I know. I am incapable of writing a short post apparently. This is probably way too much detail. But, well, what do you think?


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WillyNilly

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Re: Seriously Offended By A Friend
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2013, 05:30:02 PM »
He did cross a line and he dos owe you an apology.  But honestly, he can't go back in time and unsay it. So I think, considering his current emotional state, and that there was alcohol involved, I think your best course of action is to simply accept his apology and vaguely avoid him (not a direct cut, but you know, stay to the other side of the room, etc from him generally.)

SamiHami

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Re: Seriously Offended By A Friend
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2013, 05:30:57 PM »
That's pretty much what I was planning to do.

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doodlemor

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Re: Seriously Offended By A Friend
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2013, 06:15:17 PM »
I POD WillyNilly.

I want to add that Charlie may have a real problem with alcohol, and not actually remember that he did this.  Perhaps he's been drinking heavily since his mother died.  If these sort of incidents continue, whether with you or others, maybe the group could persuade him to get some help for himself.

I think that you and DH handled this very well.

m2kbug

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Re: Seriously Offended By A Friend
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2013, 08:01:18 PM »
He crossed a line and he was wrong, just how much you need to worry about it, I guess it's up to you and your feeling for the situation.  I've had someone make a pass at me and I have just simply refused the advance, let it pass, and life goes on without telling anyone about it and it hasn't been a problem again.  It certainly would not go over well with the husband/boyfriend if I told him and didn't really see the need.  I don't know if I was wrong or right to not say anything to him, I certainly didn't want it to turn into a bigger issue than it already was.  I don't think you or your husband were wrong, however, in handling the situation.  You may just want to avoid being alone with this person and avoid any direct communication or contact for awhile (stay further away or always have someone with you if you do talk).  I would give his behavior a little bit of a pass right now, people make mistakes, and hopefully nothing more will come of it.

TootsNYC

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Re: Seriously Offended By A Friend
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2013, 10:04:48 PM »
He then said "I wish I could marry you." Someone else (that I don't know) heard what he said and said forcefully, "Hey, that's not cool, man!"

Can I just say? This person absolutely rocks!

The world needs many more people like that.

gramma dishes

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Re: Seriously Offended By A Friend
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2013, 10:07:59 PM »
His unexpected words to you combined with his blowing off his actual job/work make me think there's much more going on here than an etiquette issue.  Sounds like alcohol is taking over his life.

Sometimes people do that for a short time after an emotional event and then get back to 'normal'.  Sometimes they don't.  But I think rather than dwell on his totally inappropriate statements to you (which he in all honesty probably really does NOT remember) at this point, I'd take a wait and see attitude.  It he never repeats this behavior, I'd let it go.

I wouldn't push for an apology, but if things don't improve, then maybe you and all his other friends need to let him know that you all see that he may need some help in getting past this death and finding more productive ways to cope.   Let him know you miss him.  The real him.

cicero

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Re: Seriously Offended By A Friend
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2013, 11:15:23 PM »
I tend to agree with willynilly. Sorry this happened to you, it's debilitating when you get such unexpected behavior from a friend.

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Zilla

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Re: Seriously Offended By A Friend
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2013, 06:14:40 AM »
Did he say this to you after tasting the pepperoni?  I can see someone saying I want to marry you if something is good.  And if drunk, fornicate/sex/screw etc. 

However it doesn't make it right but maybe easier to deal with him if that's the case, just a poorly disguised compliment.

Redsoil

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Re: Seriously Offended By A Friend
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2013, 06:27:13 AM »
I wonder if it's worth accepting his apology, but also to let him know you're seriously concerned about him?  Be honest and forthright in letting him know his behaviour was extremely offensive, but ask him if he's okay, if he needs help given that it's obviously a tough time for him.  Have your DH with you, so nothing can be misinterpreted.

If this was a friend of mine, I'd take the time to be there and listen to his worries.  It may be just what's needed for him to face up to any problems and get help before he does something even worse, possibly alienating more people and adding to what may become a vicious cycle of self-loathing and stupid acts.  (This is supposition only, but not out of the realms of possibility in real life.)  Sometimes, a friend taking time to help can mean the world to someone in a bad place.
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TurtleDove

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Re: Seriously Offended By A Friend
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2013, 07:25:29 AM »
If it were me, I would never mention his inappropriate statements to you ever again.  He is embarrassed and does not even remember saying them.  He didn't mean them. He didn't escalate at the time or at any time thereafter.  He is not a threat to you or your marriage. I didn't see this as him actively hitting on you at all.

If you care about him, address his drinking and other behavior with him without making it about you.  It sounds like he needs a friend and while he did something creepy it was out of character and he is not simply a creep.

sweetonsno

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Re: Seriously Offended By A Friend
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2013, 10:54:24 AM »
I think it's a slight overreaction. As Zilla said, the "I want to fornicate with you" was possibly a very badly-delivered attempt at a compliment. On the other hand, maybe he actually was trying to proposition you. Being grossed out and creeped out are definitely appropriate reactions, but I really don't think you should take it as an insult. Also, as TurtleDove said, it really sounds like he's a generally nice guy who said something off. He's not "off" as a rule.

You absolutely have a right to your feelings, but it sounds like this was a one-off. He's apologized to your DH. He'll likely apologize to you. When he does, accept his apology graciously. Your instinct to not make this a big drama in the group is a good one. If anyone brings it up, shut down the conversation as quickly as you can. "Yes, that was an inappropriate comment, but he has apologized to me."

Given his current situation (divorced, just lost his mother, and drinking too much), the "I wish I could marry you" really sounds more depressing than anything. He sounds lonely and depressed. Scratch that. He sounds despondent. I POD grammadishes about having someone approach him regarding the drinking and not working. It sounds like he needs help.

Yvaine

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Re: Seriously Offended By A Friend
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2013, 10:55:56 AM »
Did he say this to you after tasting the pepperoni?  I can see someone saying I want to marry you if something is good.  And if drunk, fornicate/sex/screw etc. 

However it doesn't make it right but maybe easier to deal with him if that's the case, just a poorly disguised compliment.

Yes, this. I've sometimes proposed marriage to my friends of both genders if they made some amazing food or said something particularly clever, and both the friend and I knew very well I meant nothing by it.

SamiHami

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Re: Seriously Offended By A Friend
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2013, 12:59:32 PM »
I think you guys are very insightful. I intend to accept his apology and just move on with no hard feelings. He has always been a nice guy and I see no reason to turn this into more than it is. If anyone tries to get gossipy with me about it I'm going to just blow it off. I do think it's good that DH said something to him, though, so he is aware that his drinking is making him act out of character. Maybe this is what he needs to realize he needs to pull it together.

I don't think I'm the one to talk to him about his current state of mind, but one of the guys in the group is a much closer friend to him. Maybe he could approach him and give him a shoulder to lean on.

And Zilla, I honestly don't remember if he had tried the pepperoni yet, but it was really, really good! ;D

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gellchom

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Re: Seriously Offended By A Friend
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2013, 11:00:17 PM »
If it were me, I would never mention his inappropriate statements to you ever again.  He is embarrassed and does not even remember saying them.  He didn't mean them. He didn't escalate at the time or at any time thereafter.  He is not a threat to you or your marriage. I didn't see this as him actively hitting on you at all.

If you care about him, address his drinking and other behavior with him without making it about you.  It sounds like he needs a friend and while he did something creepy it was out of character and he is not simply a creep.
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