General Etiquette > Life...in general

"I do want to compete, but just not with you as my partner" - update p72

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Fleur:

--- Quote from: guihong on June 15, 2013, 02:59:25 PM ---I concur.  Peaches said it better than I ever could.  There will always be amateur tennis matches like this.  A good friend is hard to find (and keep).

--- End quote ---

I just can't wrap my head around this POV. It seems very odd that the accomodation should all be on Alan's side. I don't see that he is doing anything wrong in not wanting to play with Bob in this situation. And I say this as someone who is hopeless at tennis and at most other sports which involve hand/eye coordination (although I am athletic.)

If anything, the friendship is just as likely to suffer through Alan feeling resentful that he had to play with Bob, as Alan not playing with Bob. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if Bob acted hurt or put out by this, it would make him seem immature and in Alan's position, I would be the one reconisdering the friendship.

Firecat:

--- Quote from: Fleur on June 16, 2013, 10:30:05 AM ---
--- Quote from: guihong on June 15, 2013, 02:59:25 PM ---I concur.  Peaches said it better than I ever could.  There will always be amateur tennis matches like this.  A good friend is hard to find (and keep).

--- End quote ---

I just can't wrap my head around this POV. It seems very odd that the accomodation should all be on Alan's side. I don't see that he is doing anything wrong in not wanting to play with Bob in this situation. And I say this as someone who is hopeless at tennis and at most other sports which involve hand/eye coordination (although I am athletic.)

If anything, the friendship is just as likely to suffer through Alan feeling resentful that he had to play with Bob, as Alan not playing with Bob. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if Bob acted hurt or put out by this, it would make him seem immature and in Alan's position, I would be the one reconisdering the friendship.

--- End quote ---

I tend to agree with this. I think Alan needs to be polite and as kind as possible in explaining to Bob why he'd rather find another partner for the tournament. But I don't think Alan is wrong or a bad friend for wanting to win or at least place as well as his abilities allow. It could be that Bob is seeing the tournament as a more fun, social thing, whereas Alan wants to take the competitive side of it a bit more seriously. Neither of them is wrong, it's just that they're approaching it differently. I wouldn't suggest offering Bob the "ball boy" position. But I would suggest that Alan propose something else he and Bob can do together.

LifeOnPluto:
Update!

It turns out that Charles and Dan already had tennis partners. But Ed was free, and agreed to be Alan's tennis partner.

I asked Alan whether he told Bob in advance that he intended to pair up with someone else. Alan said no. He reckoned he "didn't feel he was obliged to". He also reckoned that since Bob hadn't raised the subject of the tennis competition since their initial discussion several weeks ago, Alan assumed that Bob was no longer interested, or had found someone else to pair up with.

However, Alan told me that in the locker room last week, some of the guys (including Alan, Bob and Ed) were standing around chatting. Ed made some joke about being "Alan's third choice" for the tennis competition, thus revealing to Bob that Alan and Ed were a team, AND that Alan had asked other people, too. Bob went really quiet. Alan acknowledged (to me) that that situation was slightly awkward.

On the way home (Bob was giving Alan a ride), Bob raised the issue. Apparently he said something like "Dude, I asked you ages ago if you wanted to go in the tennis competition and you told me you weren't interested. Now I hear you're asking all these other guys to be your tennis partner. What gives?" 

Alan reckoned that the "kindest thing to do" (his words) was to pretend he had forgotten about that conversation, so he said something like "Oh, did you ask me that? Sorry, I must have been a bit plastered at the time." (the conversation happened down the pub) "I don't remember that."

Apparently Bob still looked really put out, so to cheer him up, Alan said "You can be our ballboy if you like!"

Yup. That's right. Alan offered the positon of "ballboy" to Bob.

I tried to explain to Alan that this was probably insulting to Bob, but I don't think he really got it. I think Alan sincerely believes he was trying to be kind and inclusive by telling Bob he could be the ballboy. Anyway, apparently Bob just grunted "maybe" and said nothing for the rest of the car trip. He didn't even bother to say goodbye to Alan when he dropped him off.

Alan thinks that Bob is being a tad childish about all this. What do you guys think?

jedikaiti:
Alan's got the empathy of a doorknob.

GreenEyedHawk:
*facepalm*

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