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Ask Amy: Pandemic brings out the boring

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I hate to sweat the small stuff during a pandemic, but I need to air something.

I have been friends with “Mimsy” for 30 years. Mimsy never was an interesting person, and the years haven’t improved her situation.

The last time I called to ask her how she was doing, all she did was complain in a monotone voice. She claims she is bored at home. She went out not too long ago and, “didn’t enjoy the day.” All she talks about is the pandemic.

I hear enough about that just by listening to the news. The last time I called Mimsy, she talked for almost an hour about nothing. I thought the phone call would never end.

I know, if Mimsy is so boring and depressing, why don’t I stop calling her? That would be easy enough.

If I don’t call her, I doubt if she would bother to call me. But I don’t feel 100 percent right doing that. She has been the innocent victim of a lot of cruel circumstances. She thinks that I’m her friend, and she is going to go on thinking that, no matter what.

 

In other words, if I don’t stay in touch with Mimsy, I feel guilty.

Any suggestions? — Loyal Friend

Dear Loyal: Balance and a sense of mutuality are important in friendships. Intimate relationships are rewarding because you feel seen and heard — and you see and hear the other person. An active friendship dynamic can be like a seesaw — each party endures and witnesses ups and downs, but no one hops off.

You don’t really have an intimate friendship with “Mimsy,” because there is no mutuality. Mimsy is simply someone you have known for a long time.

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