Friendships Tested by Time, by Annie Lane

Dear Annie: When I was a teenager, I had a big dilemma and I would like to know how you would have solved it. My best friend, ‘Joanne’, lived just a few minutes away, but was terribly punctual when it came to meeting up. She often arrived at my house a few hours late, which sometimes resulted in me having to cancel our plans.

Sometimes she would get a last minute call from a neighbor to babysit and not show up at my house at all. I told her I didn’t mind if she canceled for that reason, but just call me and tell me so I know.

Anyway, one day I had tickets for the two of us to see an event together (I can’t remember what it was), and as usual she arrived at my house very late. I waited as long as I could before finally calling her. This was in the ’90s, long before we all had cell phones. Her sister replied and told me that Joanne had taken a babysitting job and was not home. Frustrated and short on time, I called my friend “Katie” and asked if she wanted to go to the event with me. She said yes, and I was just on my way out when Joanne called. Her sister had lied to me just for fun, and Joanne was ready to go. I didn’t know what to do at this point, so I told Joanne that I had already invited someone else as I didn’t think she could go. I left and went to the event with Katie. I felt bad, and I know Joanne felt that way too. I’m pretty sure she was beyond mad at her sister.

Over the years, I have occasionally thought about that incident and wondered if I had done the right thing. My husband said I could have offered to let Joanne and Katie go together, something I didn’t even think about at the time. Anyway, what would you have done in that situation? — Two tickets, three friends

Dear Two Tickets, Three Friends: You did the right thing. Please release yourself from something that happened over 20 years ago. I disagree with your husband. I’m not sure why he would make you question something that happened so long ago.

Joanne was very late and disrespectful to you. Hopefully she learned a valuable lesson that evening about the importance of punctuality. Also, I hope she investigated why her sister was so mean to her and to you.

“How can I forgive my cheating partner?” is out now! Annie Lane’s second anthology – featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation – is available in paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to (email protected).

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