DEAR ABBY: May I say something about people who call "friends" or others they haven't talked to recently while they're driving to an appointment or other errand, only to abruptly end the conversation when the destination is reached? Two people have done this to me recently. One was an old friend I hadn't seen in 13 years. As soon as the destination was reached, I heard an abrupt, "Well, I'm here ... talk to ya later!" Click!
I think it's incredibly rude. It's as if the recipient of the call is merely an afterthought to alleviate boredom while driving. No matter what the recipient feels or wants to say, the conversation is ended.
To be clear: I do not have a reputation of talking too much or extending phone conversations. Talkativeness on my part was not a reason for this behavior. I feel if someone wants to talk to me and respects me as an individual, the conversation should be a mutual interaction -- not something crammed into the caller's schedule. I'd rather the person not call than treat me like a second-class citizen. -- WANTING TO CATCH UP
DEAR WANTING: My mother used to complain to me about the same thing when another relative did it with her. ("I'm home now, gotta go!") I don't think people who do this mean to be rude; they may simply be overscheduled. However, I agree that it's insensitive and, because it bothered you, I hope you made your feelings known. I'm glad you wrote because it happens often, I suspect, and not just to you.
DEAR ABBY: Life hasn't been easy for me. I taught in inner-city schools for 35 years and lost three life partners who were addicted to alcohol and drugs before they died of AIDS. Out of necessity, I had to carry on with my professional life while struggling with my unfortunate personal life.
I'm happily retired now and living a wonderful life in Palm Springs, California. But sometimes I find myself starting to dwell on unhappy memories from my past. When it happens, I have found an effective coping method. It came from a simple mantra a former student of mine posted online: "There's a reason the rearview mirror is so small and the windshield is so large. It's because where you're headed is much more important than where you've been."
Now, when a sad memory comes to mind, I say to myself, "big windshield; small rearview mirror," let go of the unwanted thought and move on. This has been beneficial for my well-being, and I hope it will be for others. -- DESERT JACK
DEAR JACK: I'm glad you shared this. Clinging to loss and sadness isn't healthy for anyone. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves to keep the past behind us rather than let it clutter up our present. Thank you for sharing your coping method. I, too, hope it will help readers.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)