DEAR HARRIETTE: During the quarantine and shutdown, I closed my small nail salon for 10 weeks. I had all the ups and downs, fears and frustrations people talk about. One huge one was based on the fact that we were told to close for two weeks to flatten the curve, but they only picked certain industries.
So while we small businesses complied 100% in the fervent hope of reopening as soon as possible, the big box stores packed in the customers. The garden centers, grocery chains and hardware stores were completely crowded with no regulations, leading to the 10-week shutdown for the rest of us.
Unfortunately, my frustration bubbled over onto a friend when I called to see how she was faring. We have been friends on and off for years. She lives a few towns away and has a similar small personal services business. She reported that she'd found a loophole and gotten her business deemed essential so she could stay open. She has a face-to-face business where she touches people's bare skin.
As carefully as I could, but through clenched teeth, I asked her how she could justify elevating her services above mammograms and dental exams and such, which were all suspended. I was incensed because I felt she put us all at risk of staying home longer when we all needed to work. I could hear that I highly offended her, and the rest of the call was strained. We haven't spoken since.
I am now sorry, even though I firmly believe what she did was the height of bad ethics. I'm afraid to initiate an apology that could devolve into explanations and make things worse. But I do want to try to apologize. -- Sorry in the South
DEAR SORRY IN THE SOUTH: Call her. Check to see if she is well. Tell her you are sorry that you blew up when you talked a while back. Don’t revisit the reason for your argument. You can maintain your belief about her choice and rekindle your relationship if you both want to do so.