Thursday, October 29, 2009

Taking Sides

During my long life (67 years) I have encountered the situation of friends of mine having a falling out with each other. When this has happened, I have never taken one side over the other. Sometimes I felt as if I was expected to take sides. I just don't do it. Why should I?

Unless either one of the individuals give me cause to discontinue their friendship with me, I continue to be friends with both parties.

Recently I have encountered this situation with friends from different parts of my life. As regular readers of this blog will remember, recently I attended my 50th high school class reunion. The reunion was a wonderful success with much camaraderie and goodwill. Now in the aftermath of the reunion I find that one of the organizers of one of our previous reunions is feuding with the organizer of the last reunion. Harsh words were exchanged. Of course all this is about power and control. Politics.

Yesterday this former classmate of mine sent me an e-mail detailing her grievances with the current class reunion committee. She is looking for reinforcement from me what she sees as slights and disrespect to her. I am not playing this game. No thank you. I had a good time and the reunion and I am looking forward to the next reunion. I will not take time for the petty back and forth bickering.

Last night I had dinner with a friend of mine at a local eating establishment. We had a very enjoyable dinner. The food was excellent and the camaraderie of friendship better. My friend had originally wanted to go to new restaurant in town. Instead we went to the restaurant I suggested. Later I found out through a Facebook posting, that if we had gone to the new restaurant he suggested we would have ran into his former partner and his new love. That would probably have been an awkward situation.

Last night after I returned home I sent my friend an e-mail telling him of the "near miss." He was surprised that I was Friends on Facebook with his former partner and new love. He said it was "interesting." I don't think my friend expected me to take sides in his relationship. I think he knows me well enough to know that I won't take sides. Unless someone does me a wrong or does not want to be friends with me, I am friends to all. That is just my nature. I don't hold grudges. Not that I don't discontinue friendships, I do. If someone shows me that they don't respect me or appreciate my friendship, then I'm gone. But I hold no animosity towards them. It just takes too much work to hold that kind of hatred. I'm too lazy for that kind of activity.

So I will continue on my merry way making friends, losing friends and trying to avoid stepping on toes along the way. As they say "Every day is an adventure."


  1. Ron,

    It is wise not to take sides. It's wise to avoid even commenting if it can be helped, and if not, keep the comment neutral. We've probably all had friends here and there in life who were both friends with us, but no longer friends with each other. Never take sides and never bad mouth either party to the other. Sometimes such people make up their differences, then both end up hating you.

    It is ridiculous, isn't it, that something as inconsequential as a class reunion can have people fighting with each other and trying to draw up sides. Gee, it isn't a reunion at all. These people still are in high school.


  2. Lar,

    Again, you have amply demonstrated the wisdom of your advanced years. Your comment on my blog "Taking Sides" is correct on every count. Don't take sides, refrain from commenting as much as possible, and when commenting, make the comments as neutral as possible.

    You are also right in expressing that this whole kerfuffle is ridiculous. One would assume that at this age (there goes the "advanced age" example again) we would be past these petty grievances. Apparently not.

  3. Ron,

    Speaking of age. We became friend 58 years ago. My mother told me yesterday that my dad's best friend George died this week. They had been friends since high school, she said. My dad was a school dropout, so I'm going to guess these guys were about 16 when they became friends. George was 92, my dad is 91. They have been friends for 75 or 76 years then. Think we'll reach that milestone? If we make it to their ages, then we can rack up 81 or 82 years.


  4. Lar,

    I feel very confident that we will reach the 90's. I really do. Of course we're going to look like hell but and our bodies will be aching and creaking but out minds will be clear. This I know.



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