I know they always teach us not to allow ourselves to get upset if someone – especially a love interest – doesn’t call us back after we’ve tried them a couple of times. O course, when I was young if you were  “pretty girl” you didn’t ever call them!

I have to admit I did feel let down if a guy I met said he’d call me and then I didn’t hear from him.  Have you ever felt let down when a guy/gal didn’t call back?

I had this feeling of “less than” a few times in my life and if you add in all kinds of unfulfilled love promises and promised business call-backs that didn’t happen, I’ve felt that way more than a few times. I’m sorry that it took a tragedy to allow me to be able to let go of these feelings when they came up again.  It involved a dear friend. You all know the person to whom I refer. He’s a wonderful man and I love him dearly and I know you do too – so he shall remain nameless.  The tragedy occurred to the other friend that was involved.   I’m sorry it ever had to happen and I’m sorry our friend needed to feel bad for even a moment. But I really “got it” – I mean the truth  – as a result of this experience.

It happened eight or nine years ago. I’d produced a fundraiser, for a not for profit arts-in-education company, in the romantic Boathouse in Central Park.  Everyone would agree that the evening went fabulously.  A wonderful vocal group called Spiritus was among the featured entertainers.  Our friend found one of the performers very attractive and interesting. He believed the attraction was mutual that evening. I’m quite sure it was. I didn’t have much time to be with each private conversation in the room, as I was the producer. I think everyone I knew thought that this talented singer, who was also a terrific person, was interested in our friend and that they were really “hitting it off” as they used to say when I was in my twenties.

I can’t remember now whether or not they left the Boathouse together. We had busses picking up our guests and driving them to an entrance to Central Park so they wouldn’t have to walk through the deserted park very late at night in the winter.

I was so pleased when our friend told me that he’d been in contact with the singer. Some weeks went by and I was working hard and I guess that for some unknown reason I didn’t give too much thought to the development of the relationship that began at the Boathouse event and I didn’t realize quite how much our friend cared for the singer. Our singer’s friends already knew he was plagued with a major illness. The evening of the event, I wasn’t aware of the severity of his illness.  A few weeks after the party I heard that the illness had taken a turn for the worse.  His close friends and I joined in prayer for him.  All our prayers couldn’t fight the disease he’d contracted and, in not too long a time, pulled through him rather than him pulling through it.

I mourned his passing and, after a about a month I stopped dwelling on his death.  Then, one day our friend came up to me, almost crying, and said, “Bobbie, I don’t know what it is with me!  But, I tried to contact that seemingly lovely person I met at your party. I called more than once.  I could feel his attraction that night. I thought he liked me as much as I liked him! He never called me back!  I should never leave a message.  It seems to be “the kiss of death!”  Why is it that when a person let’s another person know they’re interested by calling them – after being asked to   – its over!  I don’t know what’s wrong! I don’t think I did anything wrong!”

For a moment I could feel my breathing stop. As is often said, Truth can be so much stranger than fiction. I could feel the hurt I saw in our friend’s eyes and told him to sit down.  With my arms around his shoulder I said to him, “I thought you knew.  I was sure he must have told you.  He had AIDS. He is no longer with us. He passed on six weeks ago.”

You never know what’s happening to the person on the other end of the phone. Don’t assume they didn’t call you back because they weren’t interested; because you weren’t attractive or appealing. I notice that people have a habit of looking at the things they may be failing in. It usually has nothing to do with you. You don’t have to question why they didn’t call you back. You’re good! It’s not about you.  “Ya neva know” what’s happening to the other team.