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This one's for Paul


... but maybe someone else can help me, too.

In high school, I had a friend to whom I was quite mean.

We were friends for a long while, in a few classes together, spent time after school. She wasn't in my main circle of friends, but she was still a friend, one of the few people who were.

One day, I decided (and no, I have absolutely no idea why I decided this, how I decided this, or what I was thinking at the time) that I didn't want to be her friend any more. There was no gradual loss of interest. There was no particular incident that I recall that triggered this decision. I just decided I was done.

And that was it.

I didn't say much to her after that. I didn't avoid her, but I stopped approaching her to talk, stopped the usual friendship offerings of give and take, stopped talking with her. She was quite understandably confused. One day, I'm her friend. The next day, I'm not. I, and just about anyone else on the planet, would have been just as confused.

I wish I could explain why I made that decision, but I can't. It was the right decision at the time. I just don't know why, it just was.

Thankfully, I haven't been mean to anyone like that since. Now days, I wish I hadn't been so mean then. There are a lot of things I wish I had done differently in high school, that's just one of those many things. Megan and I talked about another incident from high school that I regretted. She laughed with me at the stupidity of that moment, and let me know that, you know, we like to think of ourselves as mature at that age, but we're really still just kids, and we don't always know right from wrong, or are able to do what's right.

Megan is a lot more forgiving of me that I am of me. I should take lessons from Megan.

So, back to this high school friend I was mean to.

She contacted me the modern way: via Facebook. I could have said myspace there, but hey, no myspace. Which is sad, my brother is on myspace, and it would be nice to be in his "social network."

So, this high school friend I was mean to.

Help me out here, Paul. Do I respond to her facebook post?


Hi you. We can talk more about this tomorrow - how weird is that?

Of course you answer her. Just like you answered me.

Which means, you have no idea whether or not she's bitter or mean or angry or spiteful or forgiving. You respond to her because, regardless of who she is now, you aren't the person you were in high school. The person that might have ignored her or blown her off. You don't do that now. Even if there's the risk of pain because of it.

You answer her because it's the decent thing to do.