Ahhh, the Politics

What She Wore: blue jean capris (do I have any other pants?); purple and yellow polo shirt; brown, slip-on tennis shoes.

What She Ate: Went with mom, dad, and grandpa to a local pasta place. I had Piedini Milanese–basically, breaded pork medallions and pasta with Alfredo sauce. Pork was fabulous, Alfredo was fine, but not as good as I make at home (just my opinion). I brought home my mother’s Enchilada Pasta leftovers and I’ll probably have that for dinner.

Just when the keel gets slightly even. . .life throws a curve ball (doesn’t it always?).

My husband had three best friends in high school. One, his oldest friend, lives in the area and we see him and his girlfriend on a pretty regular basis. One has moved off to Atlanta. The third is a bit more complicated.

Long story, very short: He got in a fight with my husband’s oldest friend, married a girl that no one really knew, and somewhere along the way my husband lost touch with him. I don’t’ think we’ve seen or heard from him since our wedding over six years ago.
Well, he’s gone through a number of major life changes and through a little serendipity got my husband’s e-mail address and dropped him a line. He’s got two daughters of his own (we knew about one), and a step-daughter as well. He’s also got a new job, a new wife, and even a new name. He lives about 45 minutes away, and he suggested we get together for dinner with the kids, wives, etc.

Herein lies a multitude of issues.

First, the simple: Being friends with two people who don’t get along is a minefield. Do you mention the other person? Act like they died? It’s difficult. I’ve cried my share of tears over this issue myself and the Hub is nervous as hell to put himself in a similar situation.

The second is pretty simple as well, but it’s going to be coming up a lot quicker: if we do get together for dinner, we’re going to have to send some sort of warning e-mail about Charlie and his multitude of issues. Otherwise, dinner is going to be filled with some awkward explanations or uncomfortable silences. To the casual observer, there’s nothing wrong with Charlie, but a little bit of time and you might start to wonder why he doesn’t look at you. Plus, his issues are a part of our life and it seems dishonest to get together with old friends and gloss over the most important thing that’s happened to you in the last few years.

So, how to word the “warning” e-mail? I told the Hub to list very specifically what issues they would be seeing. Something along the lines of “he had a stroke; it affected his vision; he has delays as well.” Short and simple and if they want to know more than I’m more than willing to get into the nitty-gritty in person. The Hub wanted to say that he had a heart problems and a brain bleed, but he’s getting better now. I think that it would make me nervous if I was about to have dinner with a baby that had a brain bleed. I would want to know exactly what kind of issues we were talking about. Of course, most people assume the best, so maybe I’m worrying unneccessarily.

What do you think? If you had to have meal with someone’s child who had “issues” what would you want to know in advance? Let me know.
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  1. I’m with the Hub–I would want to know the background info….but with you–I would want to know what to expect. I think a quick “update on us” e-mail would be appropriate: “After the Hubs was out of the country for a year…he came home to Arkansas…We gave birth to our first child last year. We were very excited to welcome this new addition to our family. Charlie was born xx. He came earlier than expected, experienced some heart problems, and had a brain blled. He is doing much better today; however, you will notice he is a little delayed at times and has vision problems. We moved from Arkansas back home becuase…. We just wanted to let you know what has been happening in our lives since last we talked. We look forward to seeing you and learning what is new in your life as well.” That way it seems natural and relaxed ansd addresses both the background and the current situations…and I would want to know both going in…it would make dinner much more comfortable. Then, if they want details, they can dive in, and you can respond. On the other, I think you avoid talking about the other friend unless this one brings it up. Perhaps he is ready to make amends with the other friend and this is his first step. See how it goes, play it by ear, but certainly do not be unfaithful to the friend with whom you are still friends.

  2. Leucantha` says:

    As far as the two friend who don’t get along…. Just do the right thing by both of them and it will work out. From what you said hubby wasn’t involved. Recently two of my best friends started talking again on line in through me and it was a wonderful feeling. I didn’t push it or even suggest it but the fact that I had remained friends with both when the dispute didn’t involve me, allowed them the connection to reconcile.

    I think an update is in order regardless of Charlie’s issues. I know if it was me coming to dinner with you I wouldn’t want to ask too many questions if you didn’t say anything. I think your family discussing it would end any awkwardness of them wondering if they noticed anything other than how cute he is. : )

  3. If this was my best friend..i’d want to be told some things ahead of time..and i would probably ask for more info in person…so i could judge my friend’s comfort level about the situation better.

  4. Anonymous says:

    In my humble opinion, a simple update e-mail wouldn’t hurt anything. As for two friends not getting along and you getting along with both, life is too short. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

    You don’t even know how this person is going to be after six years, a new wife, a new name, and three new children. You and your hubby may not really like him that much anymore after all.
    If you do, that’s great.
    Charlie looks gorgeous. I love the pictures.
    Take care of yourself and enjoy this wonderful weekend.
    Billy Paul

  5. Don’t sweat the small stuff, tell the basics, and go from there. Life is too short for dwelling on all the what ifs.

    Hugs to you my friend,

  6. FreckledFireLily says:

    I think jenn said it perfectly! I hope you have a good time, despite your concerns.


  7. desperate housewife says:

    I would probably include both the general explanation of what happened- prematurity, stroke, brain bleed- (maybe not THAT cut and dried, but you know) and then the results of those incidents- lack of eye contact and developmental delays. Just my personal opinion- if I were to receive that email myself, I would be concerned/interested and would want to know the basic story. Just getting SOME of the information would make me feel extra curious, and also wonder if it was ALL RIGHT to ask for more info or if the short email was a way of letting me know that you didn’t really want to talk about it further. Does that make sense? So while you certainly don’t need to write a BOOK or anything, I would include all of the pertinent information.
    My own husband has had a similar problem with mutual friends not speaking lately- whoever said girls are the only ones that fight and bicker were WRONG!

  8. I like the way Jenn worded the e-mail about Charlie. You’d want to give them a little heads up without alarming anyone or making it sound like a totally negative situation. Just a real quick rundown…and then if they simply must know more they can ask and if you feel like it, you can answer. I hope the dinner goes well. As for the friend, Caleb and I have been there; we don’t bring up the other person voluntarily but if they did ask, we say, “Oh, yeah, they’re doing good, we see them from time to time.” And leave it at that–no gossiping, no trash talking…it’s happened before where we’ve had to say, “Now I know you guys hate each other for whatever reason, I don’t really care; we’re friends with both of you so let’s change the subject.” I hope you don’t have to worry about that scenario.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Heya chica just caught up. I was on vacation and trust me…I would’ve rather been home for a lot of it! Enjoy being home!!! Did Max show up yet?

    I’d tell them short and sweet just like you said. Then you both won’t be so uncomfortable.

    I’ll blog soon, really….but the unpacking, washing dirty clothes, catching up on sleep, baby not on schedule any more….sigh vacation, next time you go on mine I’ll come and house sit!!!


  10. I think Jenn said it best. Short and simple and to the point. Gives them a heads-up without going into too much detail. But ya I would want to be warned so that I didn’t have to wonder.

    As for the friend situation, it is awkward but I just wouldn’t make a big deal of it. Surely enough time has passed now that it shouldn’t be a huge issue, and this guy contacted your husband, not the other way around.

    I can’t wait to hear how the dinner goes. I think it’s great that the guy reached out to your husband, shows that the friendship really means something to him.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hey! I used to read your Spaces blog back when you taught in Arkansas. I teach in Arkansas too. Anyway, your baby is gorgeous…I’m sure a little update for your friends will be appreciated so that they won’t feel awkward asking questions. :)


  12. Small Town Girl says:

    I like the way Jenn worded it. Sounds good to me! Gives the information without too much information that they would be “scared off”.