A woman who has been a co-worker and a very good friend in the past left me a happy birthday voicemail 5 ½ years ago. I never returned the call, and she lives in the same town! I've seen her walking down the street and just kept driving because I'm ashamed and unsure of how she'll react. The longer I wait, the more I feel paralyzed. What do I do?
Tardy to the Party
Dear Tardy to the Party,
You are definitely holding on to this if you remember you forgot to return a phone call that long ago! While 5 ½ years is a long time to hold on to guilt for something as seemingly innocent as an unreturned phone call, I am guilty of doing the same thing. I truly think most people don't worry about stuff like that. We all lead busy lives, and it is easy to space something like a return call. For your own piece of mind, next time you see her, just bring it up. Not only will she likely be impressed by your memory, it will be a giggle-worthy icebreaker to rekindle your friendship. What if she feels shook, triggered or offended, you ask? Well, if that is her reaction, at least you no longer need to feel paralyzed. I imagine all of us have been guilty of these little faux pas at one time or another, and most adults don't take it personally. Good luck, sweetness.