Please bear with me, because there's a lot of background here. The simple question: My dad gave my phone number to someone I'm not interested in talking to. I need a list of my options and a plan.
posted by mudpuppie to human relations (36 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Kay lived next-door to me growing up. We grew up in a rural area, with houses far apart, so she and her brother were my de facto playmates. When she got her driver's license two years ahead of me, my mom paid her a nominal amount to drive me to school. We went to the same church.
Last time I saw Kay was in 1996 or 1997. She was visiting the city I lived for her cousin's wedding. She called me (this was pre-cell days, and she found me in the phone book) and asked if I wanted to have lunch while she was in town. Sure, why not!
When we met for lunch, after catching up on small talk and such, she told me that she had come across this really great business opportunity. I asked her what it was. She couldn't really tell me -- she'd have to sit down and explain it to me. Maybe she could come to my apartment tomorrow?
Okay, so hell no. She looked me up in the phone book and called me so she could get me involved in some get-rich-quick or pyramid scheme. (At this point I remembered that her dad always had one of those going as well; he sold Amway and a variety of other things.) I politely told her I wasn't interested and that I had plans the next day anyway, and that was that.
Reflecting on all of that at the time, I realized that I never really even liked Kay. We were 'friends,' yes, but we were the kind of 'friends' that you are in a small town where everyone knows everyone and you're roughly the same age and you go to the same church and have the same high school teachers. She was an obnoxious partier in high school and I don't even know how many times she asked me to lie to her parents for her. She was just kind of annoying. After the pyramid scheme thing, I had an adult moment where I realized that it's okay not to like everyone, even people who have been a part of your life for ALL of your life. It's a lesson I try to remember to this day -- it's okay.
Fast forward. Since that incident in '96 or '97, Kay has seen my parents a handful of times. Her family has long since moved out of the house next door, but she'll drop by their house if she's in town. She feels fondly towards them, and that's great. I appreciate that about her. But, every time she's seen them, she's asked them for my phone number. (I moved out of state, to California, 13 years ago.) My mom has always been under strict instructions not to give my number out without asking me, and she's always successfully dodged with Kay.
Until last week, when they saw each other at a funeral. Kay cornered my dad, and he gave my number to her. When I talked to my mom this weekend, she relayed this story in passing, and said "Oh, by the way, she has your number." (In the background, I could hear my dad loudly say "She's not selling anything this time!")
Here's where I maybe sound like an asshole: I don't want to talk to Kay. I am not interested in catching up. I don't do Facebook because, for a variety of reasons, I don't have the need or desire that some people have to stay in contact with the people I knew during that era of my life. I am in a different era now, and I have different people (and a different life), and I am happy with that. I am happy where I am. I don't need to like everyone.
I know that a lot of people really enjoy connecting with people from their past. That's great! I like that people like that! I am not one of those people. There's no trauma involved. There's no awful past. It's just that I am a card-carrying introvert, and I don't like to have conversations just for the sake of having a conversation, especially with people I have no desire to converse with. I don't like talking on the phone. The only people I ever talk to are my parents and my partner. Maybe that makes me an awful person (Mom: "How can you just write people off like that???"), but that is who I am. As a 40-year-old, I don't need to catch up with everyone who remembers me from their childhood. I am okay with who I am.
So, I assume Kay will be calling me. I know that Plan A is obviously don't answer the phone. I'm fine with that. I assume, though, that she'll keep calling. She's been trying for over 15 years to get my number, and I don't expect that she'll stop at one call.
But where do I go from there? I'm sure my silence is baffling to her. She probably just wants to "catch up." There's nothing malicious about it, and I get that. But I am not a "catch up" person.
Am I somehow obligated to talk to her? Am I somehow obligated to tell her that I don't WANT to talk to her? (I mean, that seems kind of rude.) Am I somehow obligated to explain my introversion and aversion to playing the catch-up game? Because that in itself would require a conversation. And then one conversation obligates you to further conversations, and so on.
I don't want any drama out of this. I don't want a conversation. I just want it to go away.
How do I make that happen?
(And on preview, I realize that a lot of what I wrote -- which was meant by way of explanation -- might sound kind of defensive. It might be, but it's because I'm trying to head off any responses of "Oh, just talk to her! It might be fun!" To be very clear, that is not the answer I'm looking for.)