i have been laying out money for tix and lodging for the international leg of my facebook new year’s resolution. i am very nearly broke but i believe i can do this. still, i have spent a lot of nights worried about money and logistics.
i have been sending out messages to the phillippines, mumbai, korea, taiwan, uae, and other places confirming that people will be where they say they are. then i received a message from one facebook friend whom i have not seen in a quarter century. we have been facebook friends for about two years.
in two separate messages, she indicated she wanted me to buy and bring to her a computer. she is an american working at a university in a country that would be seven stops into the trip. i had two concerns: a) money because i am on such a tight budget, and b) transporting this computer. as to the latter, i was concerned about dropping it, having it stolen, having it get lost at on of the seven airports, or–after my experience with the canadians, i really freaked–having a border or customs official ask me why i was carrying my own computer and a brand spanking new computer. was i transporting something for somebody else? off to guantanamo!
i considered that if i could solve (a) money i could ship the computer. i also wondered if this meant that if i got into the country where she was living (an eight hour flight from the previous stop together with a nine hour train ride) and i DIDNT have the computer, would she refuse to see me.
and this is where facebook (and all virtual and epistolary) relations get into trouble. i posted about the dilemma yesterday, including a video of murphy my friend with a car who said “don’t do the computer, let me drive you to arkansas to visit one of your facebook friends” within hours had an angry message from the friend. well, ex-friend–she has defriended me and blocked me so that i can’t even send her an apology and i owe her one: i was wrong.
she wanted me to purchase the computer, yes, and to transport it, true. but she intended to pay me back for the cost of the computer. i didn’t get that last part. she is quite rightly offended and she made some attendant comments about my project, my personality, and the unforgivable nature of what i had done.
sometimes i think amy winehouse got exactly what she was aiming for, which is what i felt like aiming for–oblivion. just so i don’t have to be me anymore. just so i don’t have to feel the self-loathing anymore. i didn’t do it, although i know i have to watch myself for a few days to make sure the memory doesn’t trigger a trip to the grocery store liquor aisle.
and so i shoot out into the internet, knowing that i can’t do it through facebook, an unrestrained apology that i know will not be accepted and i will be unforgiven.
September 17th, 2011 at 6:28 pm
It never occurred to me that she wouldn’t pay for it however I am with you – I would not have done it – computers cause so many problems at all entry and exit points. Plus when you get to her country of residence you would probably have to pay the VAT that she is trying to avoid. I say ok maybe apologise for thinking that she wasn´t going to pay for it – but be grateful she is no longer an fb friend…. wasn’t a good one me thinks!
I love your project and the fact that you are doing this for YOU! It is getting you out of your comfort zone and me thinks that you are really really enjoying it as well. ! Keep it up and let the losers be what they are.
September 18th, 2011 at 12:38 pm
sigridur, you are telling me i hadn’t even thought of which is vats and weird taxes and customs obligations. but thank you also for the support!!! some days i really need it, although you’re right that i am really really enjoying the process as well. i’m trying to shoehorn a iceland stopover somehow into this trip–
September 17th, 2011 at 7:38 pm
The whole thing rings a lot of alarms for me. Your friend asked a large favor, considering she isn’t close to you. And why did she not make clear that she intended to pay you back at the time that she asked? Surely, someone asking such a large favor would be at pains to explain exactly what she was asking.
Nor should she be surprised that you should write about what happened, unless you specifically promised not to. You don’t make any secret of what you are doing, after all.
In other words, I don’t think you’ve done anything that you need to apologize for. If anything, your ex-friend should apologize for asking for an unrealistic favor and not making herself clear.
September 17th, 2011 at 7:40 pm
Just one glass of wine?
September 17th, 2011 at 7:47 pm
Hmmm. Here, at least with the people I revolve around with, we don’t do favors for people who we hardly know. Sure it’s a facebook friend, but that’s a facebook friend you haven’t even met and had a social interaction with. Out of courtesy I won’t tell you to buy me a mac because it’s cheaper there, even if there’s a Black Friday sale or Steve Jobs is giving it for free. People might not understand it, but there such a thing as being mindful and considerate. The Tagalog term for that is konsiderasyon. For one thing, she could have explained herself to you being that you misunderstood her. Yet, she blocked you and de-friended you. That for me is a shady character. Think of it this way: what if you got her that computer and she didn’t pay you at all, instead leaves and never looks back. That happened to me before. Fortunately it was only a book. The world nowadays is full of cynics and hypocrites and people would take advantage of people. I admire your courage and believe in what you’re doing. You DON’T deserve her friendship. Godbless.
September 18th, 2011 at 12:40 pm
mark, you were the first person who emailed me on january first to say “come on over!” and the first thing you said was “we’re having a party!” i believe i crawl into manila airport on the twentieth! and i will remember konsiderasyn. THAT is a good term!
September 17th, 2011 at 8:28 pm
You don’t deserve the self-loathing you seem to be subjecting yourself to. If you make a mistake, own up to it and move on. If you’ve lost one FB friend cuz she overreacted, that is her problem not yours!
September 17th, 2011 at 9:52 pm
Arlynn, I think it was all a misunderstanding. Maybe she didn’t understand how many stops you would have to make with the computer in hand before you got to her. The chance of breakage in transit goes up every time you move those things, esp when it’s one more item to keep track of. If that had happened, she would have had to pay you for a broken computer — something you wouldn’t have wanted to give her (in a broken state) and something no one I know would want to pay for (in a broken state). She may get over her anger. Give ittime. In the meantime, don’t hate yourself. It is a fact that money is tight. It is a fact that you would have done it without question if there weren’t so many stumbling blocks in your way. You misunderstood the totality of her intention and she misunderstood the spirit of your response. Bless you, sweetie.
September 18th, 2011 at 12:43 pm
derrellyn, one of the highlights of this year was coming in from mexico city to see you and your family! i remember that will gave up his bed for me too! it was a huge misunderstanding, made worse because there’s no face to face contact. i couldn’t read her intentions and she couldn’t read mine. and now there’s no chance to repair it, but i will hope and pray that she will allow me to reconnect and repair. . .
September 17th, 2011 at 10:16 pm
Consider this. YOU, out of the kindness of your heart were willing to, a) purchase a computer for someone you have not seen in 25 years; and b) take that computer thousands of miles, through customs, and who knows how many other entanglements, just so that you wouldn’t disappoint a friend.
That’s MORE than friendship, at least on your part.
I mean, this isn’t, “Hey, while you’re down at the 7-11, will you pick me up a Monster and a Twix?”…
PLUS, friendship is a two-way street. Even making such a request of a person should carry with it the clear indication, up front, that she would cover the cost of the computer. Not to mention, any other expenses that might arise out of such an ordeal.
The fact that you were de-friended and denounced, your goals and project trampled on, and all ties were severed simply because you were weighing the difficulty of delivering upon such an awkward request, indicates a shallow friendship on her end. Perhaps even, a friendship that never really was.
Take heart in the fact that you have winnowed out an imposter! And if you’re going to drink, drink only to the thought that one less stop in a foreign country, minus the out-of-pocket of a computer which most assuredly would not have been covered, means that you can reallocate those funds into more rewarding prospects.
On to tomorrow!
September 18th, 2011 at 1:11 am
sweetpea, brian, you are the most supportive friend in this project!! and you showed me a great surprise–i got out to san diego thinking it would be three long tables and all that at the town and country. you were so most wonderful. i will always think of san diego as your town!!! and i am grateful most particularly for you seeing me safely to the town and country — i am putting together a northwest territory trip i hope you’ll persuade your dollface and we’ll meet up again!
September 18th, 2011 at 1:22 am
p.s. i’ll get you twix and a monster!!
September 18th, 2011 at 2:45 am
I agree with Brian and several of the other responses. Seven stops into the trip is A LOT!! Not knowing the legalities of everything, there could even be duty or VAT (I don’t know what that is) at EACH country! While probably intended as an innocent request, the actual carrying out of that request was definitely not thought out. And, as Brian said, one less stop, one less visa to purchase, one less flight to pay for, one person closer to fulfilling your project!!!!