Monday, October 5

Lost Friends


Let no man pull you low enough to hate him.
Martin Luther King, Jr., civil-rights leader (1929-1968)


Writing once before about losing an email buddy because of politics, I told you how he simply couldn't manage not to send stuff that is derogatory of the current administration. I asked him more than once to stop sending anything that was divisive or nasty, and he quit sending anything at all. I tried to coax him back with jokes and fun emails I had received, but he stayed away for a while.

About six weeks ago, his wife sent an email saying he was in the hospital for back surgery and asked me to pray for him. I was happy to do so, and she sent updating email every few days. He came back home, and the next night he had a heart attack and went back to the hospital for more surgery.

When he recovered from that, he started emailing me again. At first, it was jokes and funny stories and then he began to creep back to old habits; sending negative comments and passing on the email he had received from his conservative Republican friends. They didn't mince words about Obama and most made me cringe at best and were racist at worst.

A few days ago, he sent one that I deleted as fast as I could, without answering. The next day, he sent one saying he had no regrets sending the previous one and wouldn't "take it back". I replied simply....."Did I ask you to (take it back)?" and Saturday, I received this email from him:

"You said in an earlier email that you did not want any emails regarding any of the people you support. This one surely didn't support any of them. In the future, I will stop sending any emails on any subject. Too bad that our friendship is at an end."

And here is my reply:

Yes, it is. I could agree to disagree if you didn't want to rub it in my face - but you seem not to be able to do anything but that. It's really too bad.

I seldom, if ever, sent you anything negative about people you support. It's just common courtesy.

I have friends who can't stand Obama, but they are nice enough not to bring it up to me, and I appreciate that. I don't send them anything that I receive that's negative about Republicans (which I hardly ever get because apparently Democrats have more to do than sit around making up stuff to send in email.)

Mainly, I don't want to think about all the negative stuff in the world. There is so much of it on TV, in newspapers and on the web. I don't want to be a part of the group that spreads hate and racism, no matter who the president is.

I am taking a wait and see what happens attitude about this administration, just as I did about Bush 's until it was obvious that he was a blustering puppet. I would hope you would do the same.

I regret that we can't overlook our differences and be friends on another level."

Isn't it sad? We have known each other since I was 15 and he was a few years older. All those nice memories down the drain because of a difference of opinion. I never tried to get him to change or even consider my side; all I did was ask him (yet again) to stop sending those emails. Isn't it sad?!


You have my gratitude and appreciation for all the nice comments yesterday, about my birth mother's death.


gs batty said...

loved the dear abby post. Sory about your birth mother.
your post on negative email hi-lights
my pet peeve these days. I am conservative and get all the anti Obama crap. I get very frustrated because most of it is not true. I began to check out the facts and reply to "all" that the sender was sending false information. I have lost several "email friends" because they do not like being challenged. I love a good debate on political issues but lets keep the facts real.
Passing lies and hate mail is being very stupid and certainly not a good way to try and convince someone to take a second look at something.
I have quit trying to change people, I just delete, delete, delete

joared said...

I think your reply was excellent, but did I detect a few digs with some possibly inflammatory wordings? I can see where that might 'cause him to want to fire back -- just to have the last word.

Like you, I'm amazed at the people who are unable to enjoy the friendship of those with whom they disagree politically. But some people just seem compelled to think they must evangelize and convert friends with different views.

That's really rude, inconsiderate and obnoxious to keep sending you such literature, just as it would be of you to do the same to him, if either of you expressed the wish to not receive such materials.

That's also very childish and immature (beneath the intelligence of even the 15 yr old you first met) to not write at all if he can't send all his literature. Maybe that's all he knows to do, and can't think of anything else to write about otherwise, but that's no excuse. He may even think it's funny and derive sick pleasure knowing he's upsetting you. Doesn't sound like a true friend to me.

Gilly said...

I'm going down to stay with my sister next week. She and her husband have violently opposed political views to me, but we usually remain friends! We try not to talk politics, but if we do I let her say things once, and once only. I don't reply, and we gracefully change the subject!

Tabor said...

I realize that you cannot change the political minds of people once they reach our age. I had a classmate that had gotten in touch with me and eventually began to send those not-so-funny political emails. I finally responded with the statement that I am a flaming liberal and perhaps do not find them as funny as he. He stopped sending them.

sage said...

It's sad... There is enough meanness in the world. Early on in blogging, I did a lot of blogs about the Bush administration--then it got where it seemed I was kicking a dead horse and I stopped. We need a little more civility in the world (and I need to remmeber that when I trade jabs with my brother who hangs out on the far fringes of the right!)

Shiny Rod said...

It's a shame that some people are so locked in their own self hatred that they would ignore the hand of friendship and take on the hand of rhetoric. Personally, I keep my political views to myself unless someone whats to know my stand. I knew Bush was no good from the get but that was my opinion. I gave him the respect of office and left it alone. It seems a large number of people have the same feelings to the current administration and like you, I have a wait and see policy. I like the fact that he is pushing and not sitting around waiting for it to happen. But again, that's my opinion. If all that anger and hate were put into fighting homelessness, abuse and hunger, we could solve a whole lot of issues.

Star said...

I would think that after two close occurrences of a second chance at a good life, he would choose to respect the feelings of a person he called a friend. But he chose not to.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I recently lost a friend over similar circumstances, but the difference is that in our over 20 year friendship, politics were never, ever discussed. At all. I think my ex friend threw that out there because that's the only thing he could think of and there's more to the story (of why he decided he didn't want to communicate with me anymore). I'm sorry about your friend situation, but I am chalking mine up to his loss....

Arkansas Patti said...

I am so sorry for what you are facing. I recently went through the same thing with a friend of 30 years. In those 30 years, I had no idea he was a complete racist. Political correctness has hidden a bunch of these I fear.
I do not have to agree with a person totally to be a friend. That would be a bit boring. But I agree with you, don't hammer me daily when I ask you nicely not to.
Now days people seem to think anything is acceptable when done by mouse click. Bit scary.

Pearl said...

sorry to hear about the loss of your birth mother.

unfortunate that penchant to speak one's truth in and out of season as some kind of honour...I had a family member doing that and I just blocked the emails. he doesn't get into face to face the same.

lucylocket said...

I have a similar problem with vile, nasty, hate-filled email. I hesitate to ask that the sender stop sending these messages. The person sending it is my son's mother-in-law, and I really don't want to start a war. I just delete them without reading them. I know of no other way to handle it.

Incidentally, I think this person knows how I feel because I'm sure she reads my blog and I recently wrote a post about Hate. Apparently she doesn't care that she may be offending me.

tiff said...

His loss, completely.

Pat said...

what more can you do? Some people get more entrenched as they get older and it is a waste of time to get involved in what can only end badly. Don't feel upset about it.

robin andrea said...

I'm just catching up here, sorry to hear about your birth mom. Also sorry to read that old friends who can't seem to maintain communication without being offensive. It's one of the reasons I hardly ever forward emails to anyone. I don't have a mailing list, and I mostly delete forwarded emails without reading them. Life is much simpler that way.

sonia a. mascaro said...

First of all I am sorry to hear about the loss of your birth Mother. My condolences.

Second, I also think that to send to people anything negative about people we support, is not polite at all.

LL Cool Joe said...

It's amazing how people we've been friends with for years can just gradually become too unpleasant to deal with anymore. I have a friend who talks badly about his wife all the time, and I'm sick of it. I should have told him years ago how I felt, but didn't. Last week I finally did, and I think that's the end of friendship.

Sometimes we have to take a stand on things that offend us. I'm glad you did with your friend.

amarkonmywall said...

You've had a couple of losses in the past few days that I'm sure have had you thinking about what makes for true bonds and lasting relationships. I know it's all quite complicated and I'm hoping that as you sort things out you can maintain a sense of calm.

I have several blog friends who are quite conservative but we don't really discuss politics and that's a GOOD thing. Because we like each other. There seems to be a core group of rigidly hateful right wing conservatives who care less about the common good and more about tearing apart the current administration. It's maddening to hear/read the distortion and lies and sad, too, that there is so much wasted energy when the country needs hope and optimism.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

What is really so very sad is his insability to stop himself from sending these things you have aaked him not to send....It is amazing how people insist on what THEY want--never even considering the other person---in this case you. So sorry you have lost a friend, and worse yet--it is really his loss. But if he cannot see that...Well, maybe it wasn't such a wonderful friendship any more.

colleen said...

I feel for you. A black and white/ all or nothing person can't handle any gray. Something similiar once happened to me when Bush got reelected and a family member rubbed it in my face. I was so devastated by another Bush term that I did not handle the comment well and made a remark and then called a baby. Thankfully we made up.

I now have a person whose emails I always delete. Some are funny and some are politically offensive to me.

Shephard said...

Judy, you are so right. It is indeed common courtesy. I've had to ask people in the past not to send me overly religious things as well. Same side of a different coin. So I get it.