Manners Matter: College Reunion

Dear Mary Pat,

Some of my old college friends want to get together for our 30th reunion this summer. Normally I would think that’s a great idea but I’m a little apprehensive. I had a falling out with one of the women almost 20 years ago. There isn’t any bitterness left or anything, at least on my part. We just weren’t meant to be friends any longer. I won’t bother telling you the details since they don’t matter any longer. In fact, they are ridiculous. That being said, I think it will be awkward for everyone if she and I are both included. It will be the elephant in the room even if we are friendly and polite. I’ve contemplated different scenarios and my imagination has it anywhere from stilted conversation to a knock-down, drag-out scene from the Real Housewives. I’m not sure I want to use up vacation time for something that could end in disaster. I also don’t want to disappoint the rest of our group for old times’ sake. Help!


Peggy Sue

Fish Creek, Wis.


Dear Peggy Sue,

People come and go from our lives and we don’t have to be best friends with everyone forever, but we can always be polite. I appreciate that this situation could be potentially awkward, but isn’t it worth taking a chance anyway?

You are remembering something that happened two decades ago. You yourself said it was ridiculous. She most likely feels the same way. Maybe you’ll both laugh it off. Maybe you’ll hopefully say that you’re sorry it happened. Either way, rip the Band-Aid off and allow yourself and the others to move on.

There are a few ways you can help keep things civil:

  1. Act as though it’s a business function and don’t have more than two drinks.
  2. Don’t rehash the argument. Apologize that it happened. Or say you regret that it came to that.
  3. Forgive her. I know you said there isn’t any bitterness, but make sure you have honestly forgiven her with your whole heart.
  4. It doesn’t matter who was right. Even if she’s 99.999 percent to blame, take the high road. And if the discussion starts taking a turn for the worse, shut it down. It’s as simple as saying you need to move on from the topic, or walking away.

Take your photo albums out and remember the good times, especially with the rest of your friends.

Good luck,

Mary Pat

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