I'm sorry about the confusion - this was first posted with the latter half missing, so I've gone back in and added it.
Has anyone else read the recent Annie's Mailbox column "Friendship Means Never Having To Say 'I'm Moving'
The column reminded me of something I did 30+ years ago. It's all water under the bridge now, but for the first time, after reading the column, I'm wondering if my behavior 30+ years ago was hurtful.
Back then I quit my job and went back to school for a year to earn a teaching certificate. As soon as my student teaching was finished, I set out across country to my "dream city" where I hoped to find a teaching job. I had some savings left, and I quickly got a part-time retail job to have some cash coming in while I looked for a teaching post. I stayed with an old college friend, "Rex", for exactly one week before finding a room for rent in a young couple's home.
(The point I am trying to make is that I was not at all a moocher! I was very careful to NOT presume upon my college friends who lived in my dream city.)
Well, another old college friend of mine, "Sam," and his wife also lived in "dream city". When I was getting ready to move out there, I wrote Sam a letter telling him of my plans and asking if he would please look on the bulletin board in the break room at his office to see if there were any listings of people who were looking for housemates.
I didn't hear back from Sam. When he didn't respond promptly to my letter I just assumed that he might be afraid that I might try to be a moocher, so I did not contact him when I first moved. I waited until after I had a part-time job and a place to live, and then I wrote him again, inviting him and his wife to be my
guests for supper at a moderately-priced restaurant.
We had a pleasant enough meal together. A month later Sam contacted me and invited me to come to their house for supper. I did, and again we had a pleasant meal, but somehow it seemed a little awkward, unlike the camaraderie we had shared as college students.
So, although I wrote a nice thank you letter to Sam and his wife, I did not contact them again right away... and a month later I ended up applying for teaching positions in another state across the continent. I got one and I moved away that August without saying good-bye to Sam.
I planned to write Sam and his wife at Christmastime - but I was surprised a couple of days before Thanksgiving when Sam called me, long distance, at my new home out of state, to invite me to have Thanksgiving Dinner at their place. (He had called the telephone at the house I had shared in his city, and my former housemates had given him my new phone number.)
I remember that Sam sounded sort-of hurt and confused to learn that I had moved away so abruptly. I apologized, and then never thought of it again until I read the Annies' column.
Yes, we've stayed in touch through Christmas cards and, when the Internet became available, e-mails since then, so I guess Sam "forgave" me.
The question I have for people who've read this far is, how "rude" or "hurtful" was I to have moved away without calling Sam?