Q: One of my close friends may be “ghosting” me. “Sarah” and I have known each other since middle school. We went to high school together and roomed together during our freshman year of college. We both transferred to different schools after that freshman year, but we made it a point to keep in touch. I was the first person she came out to. I helped her move into her new apartment the summer before grad school. In general, I think I’ve been a good friend to her.
Last summer we both moved back to our hometown, she for med school and I for a new job. I was excited that after five years we were living in the same city again. I have reached out to her on multiple occasions, but my texts and calls usually go unanswered. When I do get a response, it’s typically, “Sorry! I’m just too swamped!”
I don’t doubt that med school is incredibly difficult, and I completely understand that that’s where her focus should be, but over the holidays I reached out once again and was given the same answer. I know she made time to see another friend — her best, who ranks higher than I do in the “who to see” list. It still hurt.
Am I being too sensitive? Too self-centered? I’m worried that this is Sarah’s way of breaking ties with me and I’m just not taking the hint. An outsider’s point of view would really help, even if it’s a harsh truth. — Left Hanging in Miami
A: When people are in med school, they must carefully organize their time because the curriculum is demanding. Things that are not essential are often postponed, and that includes social relationships.
As you said, you and Sarah are not as close as Sarah and her best friend are. While it may sting, look at it as a mature adult and don’t let it drag you down. If Sarah says she’s “swamped,” have faith that when she’s under less pressure, there will be time to re-establish the friendship.
Q: My husband does not seem to be able to “hit the toilet,” if you know what I mean. I am tired of wiping up the bottom of the toilet seat and the floor. We have talked about this and he always says he’s sorry and promises to be more careful. Today I told him that I am no longer cleaning up the toilet seat or the floor. He misses, he cleans.
What advice do you have to solve this problem? — Better Things to Do in New York
A: Keep a roll of paper towels or an extra roll of toilet paper on top of the toilet. When you see your husband’s aim has been sloppy, call him in and have him mop up his mess. If that doesn’t get him to pay more attention, and there is a second bathroom in your home, have him use the other one until he is housebroken.