UPDATE AND RESOLUTION, ALL IN ONE EMAIL! Scroll to end to see who wrote whom and what was said! News at 11.
A woman with whom I grew up recently moved back to Delaware. I happened to be in Wilmington the day after she and her husband moved down from Maine so I called her and asked if I could stop by for five minutes and say hello and see their new condo. I brought some plants as a housewarming gift, stayed no longer than ten minutes, then boogied home to New York.
The next day she emailed me with thanks for the plants and said her as soon as she unpacked more boxes she’d call my mother to take her out to lunch.
I told my mother and got a resounding OY. I said to mom that it would likely just be one call, one lunch, and done, that she was just being friendly as an old friend. Okay.
Then the phone calls began. Not daily, but three times a week.
Can I bring you some garden tomatoes?
May I stop by and bring you a casserole I made?
Shall we go to lunch tomorrow?
My mother was flattered but not interested in having a new friend, especially one who is my age, and who has been living in Maine for the last 30 years.
The lunch date finally came to fruition yesterday, at which time my mother tried very nicely to say she had a wide circle of friends and family who tend to her every need and that she really can buy her own tomatoes, and that a casserole would go bad since she’s one person, and a teeny one at that.
Hoping that her not so subtle hints would be heard, mom thanked my friend for a lovely lunch, where my mother treated by the way, called me when she got home and said, well, I think that should be it, but an hour later, my friend called my mother to thank her for the lunch AND ASK MOM TO COME DOWN TO HER NEW HOME AND BE TREATED TO A HOME COOKED MEAL. Oh my.
So, here’s the Emily Post question:
Do I intervene and email my friend, saying how much I truly appreciate her connection to my mother but really, stop calling?
I don’t want hurt feelings but I do think I honestly need to let my friend know that my mother is really socially so busy and well tended to that there’s barely time for her two daughters, let alone a well-meaning, but annoying person she really hasn’t known well since we were children.
UPDATE: So, lucky for me, and my mother, no intervention was necessary on my part. My friend* sent me a long email last night to say what a great time she had with my mother but that she heard my mother loud and clear that she’s independent, busy, and very busy and very independent. Way to go mom!! Saved.
[*I just want to clarify one thing. This woman is someone I grew up with but isn’t someone I stayed in touch with regularly. We’d see each other at high school reunions every ten years and emailed occasionally, so the use of the term friend is for lack of a better word. Not that I disliked her, not at all, but she was a long ago person in my life and that’s what made it more awkward for my mother. Had the calls to my mother come from one of my best friends, and yes, I still do have some left, my mother might not have felt uncomfortable].