My friend asked to spend one night at my place when she came to town for someone else’s birthday. I said yes. She said they would pick her up from the airport and bring her to my house. She asked for my address right before she left. I didn’t text her back because I didn’t think it made sense to come to my house late on a work night if the person she came to see picked her up. It was an unnecessary trip. I expected her to call once she landed so I could understand what was going on. Am I wrong? —Anonymous
Ma’am, you are completely and unequivocally wrong.
It sounds as if, although you said yes to your friend’s request to stay at your home, you didn’t really want her there. While it’s nice to accommodate friends so they don’t have to pay for a hotel, it’s better to be straight up about not wanting to put yourself out than to put your friend in a bind this way. Your girl flew into another city and landed without a place to stay because you refused to give her your address. That’s not OK.
If you said yes and then changed your mind, you were supposed to tell your friend in advance so that she could make other plans—or else just be a friend, suck it up and let her stay at the house. Work night or not, it was only one night, and a minor sacrifice to make for someone you call a friend.
It’s pretty obvious to me—and should have been to you, too—that she asked to stay with you because, while she wanted to see whoever it was for his or her birthday, she was more comfortable at your place than anyone else’s in the city. And she didn’t want to pay for a hotel.
Maybe the person she was coming to celebrate was a guy she was dating, and while she’s enjoying getting to know him, she’s not ready to know him in the biblical sense, so she asked to stay with you. Maybe the friend is a girlfriend who lives with her significant other, and crashing with them isn’t convenient. Or maybe it’s a woman who lives alone but her home doesn’t meet your friend’s cleanliness habits. Who knows? What I do know is that she asked you, her friend, for a place to crash and you said yes. You were supposed to hold up your end of the bargain.
I’m going to assume that you are upset with your friend about something and that’s why you’ve pulled this very passive-aggressive move on her. There’s no justifying how, at the final hour, you decided that the trip to your house was “unnecessary” after you’d already told a person you call a friend that it was OK to crash with you. What’s worse is, at no point did you even pick up the phone or text or say, “This isn’t going to work.” You ignored her.
The “It was late on a work night” excuse doesn’t add up, either. It was late. So? You open the door, hand her the extra key and go back to bed. It’s that simple.
What’s also simple is the arrangements your friend made. I don’t know anyone who likes driving to the airport, always a necessary but inconvenient journey. It doesn’t make sense for you to be upset or confused because another person was going to pick up your friend at the airport and then drop her off at your home. It was actually considerate on your friend’s part, since she’d asked you for one favor already and was being mindful of asking you to do more.
Let’s get to what this is really about: Did you bail on her because your feelings were hurt that she was coming into town for an event and didn’t invite you? Has she never flown in to celebrate your birthday? Has her communication with you waned because of her interest in the friend she was celebrating? Are you jealous that she has an active social life? Something else? Whatever it was, your punishment didn’t fit the social crime.
Assuming that you still want this friendship—which isn’t likely—and that your friend hasn’t blocked your number or texts, get in contact with her, preferably by phone, and apologize profusely. “I was wrong. I was mad about XYZ and should have said that instead of what I did. I am sorry” might win you another chance with this friendship.
Demetria Lucas D’Oyley is a contributing editor at The Root, a life coach and the author of Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love as well as A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. She answers your dating and relationship questions on The Root each week. Feel free to ask anything at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously in Ask Demetria: “My Boyfriend Hates How Much Time I Spend Doing a Thing That I Love”