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On Contacting an Old Friend?

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Aug 12, 2020 - 9:14:18 AM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

12475 posts since 5/24/2005

I am sure Ann Landers would have said: "No. Absolutely Not!" Regarding what I am considering.

I am 68 YO, happily married for 48 years.

Since the pandemic hit, my wife and I have been cleaning out, eliminating, and organizing our stuff. (Our kids are so grateful for this!)
In a box were many, many, many letters my wife sent me during our time apart back in college. But, also in that box, was a stack of letters I received from a girl I met when I was 15, and on the road for the summer. The contents of the letters were not romantic, but more "pen pal" stuff. Later, in high school, I just quit responding to her letters, and all that ended. I did not ever explain to her why quit writing to her, but my life was becoming complicated with all the things of the late 1960's. I always felt bad for how I just quit writing to her.
My wife of 48 years, an expert with online genealogy and ancestry research, took some of the information I gleaned from those letters of 1967 and 1968, and located her. She appears to be happily married and has a good life-from what I can see on the internet.

I have composed a brief letter to send her (with wife's blessing), trying not to have it read "creepy" or detailed. In it, I included an apology, an attempt at humor, and how much those letters and photos were appreciated back in the day-50+ years ago. And finally wishing her a happy life (in different words). I also noted that I did not expect a reply, but needed to absolve my inconsideration to her in my days of reflection and introspect.

Should I send this letter? Brad

Aug 12, 2020 - 9:20:58 AM
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Owen

Canada

6117 posts since 6/5/2011

I generally try to "leave well enough alone,"  especially if it's coupled with "do as I say, not as I do."  wink

Aug 12, 2020 - 9:45:30 AM

10678 posts since 1/15/2005

quote:
Originally posted by rinemb

I am sure Ann Landers would have said: "No. Absolutely Not!" Regarding what I am considering.

I am 68 YO, happily married for 48 years.

Since the pandemic hit, my wife and I have been cleaning out, eliminating, and organizing our stuff. (Our kids are so grateful for this!)
In a box were many, many, many letters my wife sent me during our time apart back in college. But, also in that box, was a stack of letters I received from a girl I met when I was 15, and on the road for the summer. The contents of the letters were not romantic, but more "pen pal" stuff. Later, in high school, I just quit responding to her letters, and all that ended. I did not ever explain to her why quit writing to her, but my life was becoming complicated with all the things of the late 1960's. I always felt bad for how I just quit writing to her.
My wife of 48 years, an expert with online genealogy and ancestry research, took some of the information I gleaned from those letters of 1967 and 1968, and located her. She appears to be happily married and has a good life-from what I can see on the internet.

I have composed a brief letter to send her (with wife's blessing), trying not to have it read "creepy" or detailed. In it, I included an apology, an attempt at humor, and how much those letters and photos were appreciated back in the day-50+ years ago. And finally wishing her a happy life (in different words). I also noted that I did not expect a reply, but needed to absolve my inconsideration to her in my days of reflection and introspect.

Should I send this letter? Brad


I think that is terrific Brad.  Send it.  It is always fun to find out what old friends are doing!

If I were to do that, it would take me many moons to send out all of the apologies that I should have made 50 years ago .... especially to some of the girls I dated in college.  

Aug 12, 2020 - 9:52:47 AM

55422 posts since 12/14/2005

Have your wife co-sign it, and address it to her AND her husband.

Aug 12, 2020 - 11:21:25 AM
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Texasbanjo (Moderator)

USA

24839 posts since 8/3/2003

When you get our age, former friendships shouldn't bother either spouse and if it does, then there's probably other trouble in the marriage. We all have baggage from our youth, some good, some not so good.

I'd send the letter and if you wife wants to co-sign it, more power to her. It will let the recipient know that you are happily married but regret just dropping a friend many years ago.

Aug 12, 2020 - 11:40:46 AM

rcc56

USA

3103 posts since 2/20/2016

I think Mike is making sense today. But he'll probably mess it up by responding with a quip . . .  cheeky

Edited by - rcc56 on 08/12/2020 11:42:54

Aug 12, 2020 - 12:33:46 PM

chuckv97

Canada

51997 posts since 10/5/2013
Online Now

Just don’t do what I did in my drinking days when I phoned an old flame (20 years after we dated) at midnight to see how she was doing and her husband answered.....!

Edited by - chuckv97 on 08/12/2020 12:34:19

Aug 12, 2020 - 12:36:04 PM
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Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

12475 posts since 5/24/2005

quote:
Originally posted by chuckv97

Just don’t do what I did in my drinking days when I phoned an old flame (20 years after we dated) at midnight to see how she was doing and her husband answered.....!


Yea, I could see a potential problem there.  Brad

Aug 12, 2020 - 12:37:20 PM
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J e f f

USA

3348 posts since 12/16/2009

quote:
Originally posted by chuckv97

Just don’t do what I did in my drinking days when I phoned an old flame (20 years after we dated) at midnight to see how she was doing and her husband answered.....!


Sorry, wrong number.

Aug 12, 2020 - 12:56:28 PM
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Players Union Member

Brian T

Canada

16944 posts since 6/5/2008

No, I wouldn't send the letter. Remember the good times and let it set forever.
I can't think of a better way to make a heart ache even worse
than to learn stuff you don't need to know.

I would have, in the context of my 50th year high school reunion. Face to face.
Every last one of them on my list was already dead.

Aug 12, 2020 - 1:26:06 PM
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nakigreengrass

New Zealand

5181 posts since 5/16/2012

I'm voting no....sending that letter smacks a bit of regret...you made your decision back in the 60s and have forgotten why...but trust your younger self for making a good call at the time....no matter what your wife say's...it wont sit well in the years ahead....,don't do it.

Aug 12, 2020 - 8:05:48 PM

55422 posts since 12/14/2005

quote:
Originally posted by rcc56

I think Mike is making sense today. But he'll probably mess it up by responding with a quip . . .  cheeky


BULLQUIP!

Aug 13, 2020 - 3:54:29 AM
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Players Union Member

Nels

USA

5916 posts since 12/10/2012

"Let sleeping dogs lay."

Aug 13, 2020 - 6:38:12 AM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

12475 posts since 5/24/2005

I would love to get a letter like the one I drafted. The extent of our connection was no more than pen pals, with only a couple of evenings together- of just having fun. Our letters were never romantic or sexy.
My wife, more tuned into social media, has enjoyed her contact with old HS friends/buddies that were boys. And we even dined with them at her 50th HS reunion last year.

I have become way to lazy to think about new relationships. ;-)
Brad

Aug 13, 2020 - 7:17:17 AM
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banjoy

USA

9139 posts since 7/1/2006

I guess this had all been forgotten by you until you found that old box of stuff? You don't know where her head is at and are hoping you get the reply you wish for. Who knows, maybe she's ready to jump ship and your letter will push her over the edge.

As someone with first-hand experience at old things from the past being dug up, I too suggest you leave this where it lay. It's good you wrote the letter, I suggest you sleep on it for 30 days and then maybe you'll have more clarity on it, which you don't have now, or else you wouldn't have asked. That clarity and answer needs to come from you and nowhere else.

My 2 cents worth, which I unfortunately must bill you for $2 now since this is a pre-existing condition...

Edited by - banjoy on 08/13/2020 07:19:14

Aug 13, 2020 - 4:14:04 PM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

12475 posts since 5/24/2005

Thanks Frank. I have been sitting on it a week so far. Still open minded. My wife still says send it. Btw...if I were to send it, it would be by USPS, not an email.

Any other girls care to weigh in?
Brad

Aug 13, 2020 - 5:08:37 PM

mander

USA

4346 posts since 10/7/2007

I felt remorseful for something I said to someone for about forty years. I finally apologized to her and she laughed. She didn't even remember it, and could not care less. It was a huge relief for me.

I think, since your wife helped you write it, there is a good chance it might make your friend feel better, and you as well. Do it.

Aug 14, 2020 - 3:55:52 PM
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3611 posts since 12/6/2009

(G) It's so nice to meet an old friend and (C) pass the time of (Am) day
And (D) talk about the home town a million miles a(G)way
Is the ice still in the river, are the (C) old folks still the (Am) same
And by the (D) way, did she mention my (G) name

Did she (C) mention my (D) name just in (G) passing
And when the morning (Em) came
Do you re(A7)member if she dropped a name or (D) two
Is the (G) home team still on fire, do they (C) still win all their (Am) games
And by the (D) way, did she mention my (G) name

not a good idea. IMHO

 

ooops almost forgot,  song written by Gorden Lightfoot

Edited by - overhere on 08/14/2020 15:59:46

Aug 14, 2020 - 5:59:10 PM

figmo59

USA

31810 posts since 3/5/2008

Personaly...
I would send it...

But that's just me...

Aug 14, 2020 - 7:38:17 PM

9575 posts since 8/22/2006

I would not send any note but that's just my personal opinion. There's a reason for the old saying 'Let sleeping dogs lie'

trade places with your wife and be honest. Would you really want her to connect with an old flame? I wouldn't want my wife rekindled an old flame. 

Edited by - 5B-Ranch on 08/14/2020 19:41:55

Aug 14, 2020 - 7:47:37 PM
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2212 posts since 10/17/2013

The last time I connected with a flame, my index finger got burned!

wink

Aug 15, 2020 - 4:24:37 AM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

12475 posts since 5/24/2005

quote:
Originally posted by 5B-Ranch

I would not send any note but that's just my personal opinion. There's a reason for the old saying 'Let sleeping dogs lie'

trade places with your wife and be honest. Would you really want her to connect with an old flame? I wouldn't want my wife rekindled an old flame. 


She was never a flame.  Nor was there any deep romance.  Just a two year pen pal relationship. Never a mention of romance nor sex. 

My wife maintains a couple very casual online pen pals originating in high school days fifty years ago.  Rekindled with the access to email and Facebook.

Aug 15, 2020 - 4:28:44 AM
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Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

12475 posts since 5/24/2005

quote:
Originally posted by okbluegrassbanjopicker

The last time I connected with a flame, my index finger got burned!

wink


No flame burning to get burned by.  It would be an actual paper letter via usps.   No reply.  Well, disappointed, sure.  But, I will survive.  Brad

Aug 15, 2020 - 4:46:01 AM

O.D.

USA

3504 posts since 10/29/2003

Consider 4teaching out via social media
Seems to be the thing g to do these days
You might not get the impact of your snail mail option,bit .maybe that would be a good thing

Everett

Aug 15, 2020 - 1:07:43 PM
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621 posts since 8/9/2008

My clarinet teacher in high school was an utterly inspirational guy and was one of the main reasons I love music so much today. He realised that I didn't like the dowdy 'grading' system taught in the UK, and took me off it altogether and so for years, I played Gerschwin, rock n roll and other great tunes instead of exam pieces. I never got a certificate, but I played well and loved the music, and that is more valuable in the long run. 

I always thought about the impact he had, so when I read in the old school magazine that he was leaving to become Head if Music elsewhere, I realised that I would lose his contact details. So, 20 years after last clarinet lesson, I wrote him a letter telling him how much his lessons inspired me to love music, and how it had stayed with me my whole life. 

Six months later, I was at his funeral in a church so packed that they had to open an overflow area. Unbeknownst to me, he had been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer around the time I wrote my letter, and it overcame him quickly. He was in his late 50s. I introduced myself to his widow, and she recognised my name - replying to my letter had been on his to-do list but he never got round to it; I told her I could forgive him of that. 

So, send your letter. I like Mike's idea of addressing to her husband too, and your wife signing also. If your relationship was innocent then and your intentions innocent now, then the worst that will happen is you'll raise a smile a long way away, and the best is the four of you share a few bottles of wine if they pass through your town. RIght now, people need contact more than ever. 

Marc

Edited by - daytripper on 08/15/2020 13:09:00

Aug 15, 2020 - 5:37:01 PM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

12475 posts since 5/24/2005

quote:
Originally posted by daytripper

My clarinet teacher in high school was an utterly inspirational guy and was one of the main reasons I love music so much today. He realised that I didn't like the dowdy 'grading' system taught in the UK, and took me off it altogether and so for years, I played Gerschwin, rock n roll and other great tunes instead of exam pieces. I never got a certificate, but I played well and loved the music, and that is more valuable in the long run. 

I always thought about the impact he had, so when I read in the old school magazine that he was leaving to become Head if Music elsewhere, I realised that I would lose his contact details. So, 20 years after last clarinet lesson, I wrote him a letter telling him how much his lessons inspired me to love music, and how it had stayed with me my whole life. 

Six months later, I was at his funeral in a church so packed that they had to open an overflow area. Unbeknownst to me, he had been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer around the time I wrote my letter, and it overcame him quickly. He was in his late 50s. I introduced myself to his widow, and she recognised my name - replying to my letter had been on his to-do list but he never got round to it; I told her I could forgive him of that. 

So, send your letter. I like Mike's idea of addressing to her husband too, and your wife signing also. If your relationship was innocent then and your intentions innocent now, then the worst that will happen is you'll raise a smile a long way away, and the best is the four of you share a few bottles of wine if they pass through your town. RIght now, people need contact more than ever. 

Marc


Nice but sad story.  And, I will consider your remarks.   

Thx, brad

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