to be absolutely staggered by my friend's total utter selfishness and re-considering our friendship?!

(281 Posts)
EmmyMaz Thu 17-Jan-13 08:57:53

Friend X's brother has a terminal illness and has not got long to live. Friend X is doing lots of fundraising / campaigning to raise awareness of this illness. I said I would support Friend X with his efforts.

I therefore (very politely) asked a few of my closest friends (including friend Y) if they would be willing to do a couple of very very small things to assist with the awareness-raising campaign. What I asked them to do is something that will literally take 5 or 10 minutes of their time and will not cost them anything financially. I have not asked for their money, just 5 or 10 minutes of their time.

Friend Y responded to me in an email saying "I do not have time for this". When I read her response I was absolutely stunned, I cannot believe she could be so selfish not to spare ten minutes of her time to help a really really important cause and also to help me, her friend.

Also, it is worth adding that Friend Y is not a very busy person, she only works part time and has lots of support with her DD from her Mum who looks after her, so I know for a fact she does have the time! She is always getting her nails done and getting her fake tan done so she is hardly too busy to spare 5 minutes for a really important cause.

I won't bore you with the details, but over the last few years I have spent hours upon hours of my time helping Friend Y with various things. I cannot believe her selfishness and quite frankly do not feel like speaking to her at the moment.

She is normally quite a sweet and kind person (although can be a bit self-absorbed in some ways) and has been there for me though some difficult times, so I am totally shocked by this.

AIBU to be really angered by this and actually to be re-considering our friendship?

Misunderstanding somewhere? Also you sound quite judgey about how unbusy she is. I have days where nothing else important will fit in my brain, maybe she was having one of those

ENormaSnob Thu 17-Jan-13 09:14:03


And judgy.

You asked her to do something, she said no. I can't see the big deal tbh.

What was it you asked them to do?

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 17-Jan-13 09:15:15

It's an eye opener sometimes, finding out about people you class as friends.She's been there for you in the past so sad as it is, maybe this isn't something she cares about or underestimates how committed you are to helping X.

Losing a friend from disease or accident is terrible. You have some choice in casting off Y. She might redeem herself later but your confidence in her won't be what it was. Yanbu to be upset.

Sorry about Friend X.

PenisColada Thu 17-Jan-13 09:15:24

YABU there could be lots if reasons why she said no.

What is important to you is not important to everyone. It's called choice.

Nancy66 Thu 17-Jan-13 09:17:50

From her point of view it's a friend of a friend's brother - not a particularly strong link.

What did you ask her to do ?

wigglesrock Thu 17-Jan-13 09:19:28

I think you are way over-reacting - she is not helping a friend of a friends brother - have I got that right? It depends what you've asked them to do - is it contacting other people to fundraise?/sell ballots etc?, man an information stall/phone people? I wouldn't be doing any of these - no matter how little time it took me.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 17-Jan-13 09:19:52

I am sorry, posted in haste, it is X's brother who is ill. It is still upsetting about Y and tbh if you now view her differently it is not BU to re-evaluate your friendship. People can choose how to spend their time and she may not grasp how important you feel this effort is.

LineRunner Thu 17-Jan-13 09:20:38

It could matter what is was you asked her to do (some people really don't like doing facebooky stuff or delivering fliers for example); and I suppose she might have thought that it would take much more than ten minutes and was having a really crappy day.

KhallDrogo Thu 17-Jan-13 09:22:09

Does friend X know friend Y?

I do think UAB....she is not obliged to help you. It is not your brother who is ill, so I don't even think she is being insensitive.

You sound quite horrid about her

KhallDrogo Thu 17-Jan-13 09:24:30

Yes...what did you ask her to do

People generally don't have time, to campaign for friends of friends relatives...that is quite a wide net and would catch a lot of sick people

valiumredhead Thu 17-Jan-13 09:26:02

What did you ask her to do?

HeyHoHereWeGo Thu 17-Jan-13 09:29:54

What did you ask her to do?
I dont ever sign condolence books, I would not put anything depressing up on facebook, I would be too embarrassed to pack bags at supermarket etc

Maybe its the THING she didnt want to do?

EarlyInTheMorning Thu 17-Jan-13 09:33:04

It really does depend on what you asked her to do
I do understand you being upset but you might also BU on this one

You asked for a favour and she said no, so you plan on ending the friendship. She'll be better off. It doesn't matter what this "little small thing" was, she doesn't want to do it. Why should she? You can't demand favours and help from people, you have to ask, and they can refuse. That's how favours work. Do you cut off everyone who doesn't leap to do exactly what you demand of them? If it's such a small thing, do it yourself hmm

It really depends on what you asked her to do.

If it simply was to share Facebook status regarding the cause to spread awareness, then I cant see why she would decline.

Letsmakecookies Thu 17-Jan-13 09:37:17


EmmyMaz Thu 17-Jan-13 09:37:52

I asked her to release a balloon (a bio-degradable balloon that is) with a message attached. The message could be anonymous if she didn't want to identify herself.

Fair enough if she doesn't feel comfortable doing it (for whatever reason) but she could have just responded to me to say she doesn't feel comfortable doing it but good luck with the campaign (or something nice, rather than I don't have time for this).

Yes I appreciate it is her choice how to spend her time, but I am upset she is not willing to spend five minutes helping me when I have spent hours helping her over with various things over the years. If it was her borther who was dying, no doubt she would want people to support her.

Nancy66 Thu 17-Jan-13 09:39:36

Maybe she thinks that releasing a load of balloons isn't really very helpful and is a waste of money and is too polite to say?

FellatioNels0n Thu 17-Jan-13 09:39:44

We need to know what you asked her to do before we can judge. It may not be a time issue - it may be something that she just feels a bit uncomfortable doing - for example going around her office asking people for money, or giving out her friends' email addresses or spamming people's facebook pages.

she may be pretending it's all about the 'time'. Also things that people say 'only take ten minutes' rarely only take ten minutes.

FellatioNels0n Thu 17-Jan-13 09:39:58

Crossed posts!

What did you ask her to do?

I think yabu there could be a million reasons why she said no, but she can't be that much of a friend if you are going to end the friendship over this.

LadyMargolotta Thu 17-Jan-13 09:41:55

Perhaps she supports charities/fundrising in other ways, and just doesn't want to get involved in this one.

Yeah let's kill some wildlife and pollute the place to raise awareness - biodegradable or not, balloons are litter and dangerous to birds and animals. If the string and the message itself and its ink biodegradable too? How long do they take to biodegrade? Does bioaccumulation mean anything to you?
Sounds like your friend is the sensible one of the two of you.

EmmyMaz Thu 17-Jan-13 09:42:37

Not really going to end friendship ... That was a bit OTT!
Just disappointed that's all

ActuLly yanbu about the way she responded

NoTeaForMe Thu 17-Jan-13 09:45:15

Why is releasing a balloon helpful? Why is it a big deal that she doesn't want to do it? I think whatever reason she had given you for not doing it you would think she was rude and selfish-so she can't win!

BillyBollyBrandy Thu 17-Jan-13 09:45:23

I asked for donations to charity when I got married. I was astonished by the amount of people who didn't donate and it really changed my opinion of some of them.

I think when you have given someone a lot of support and when you need some, however small, they aren't there for you it does alter the dynamicsof the relationship.


X post. I would also say no to doing that. Its littering, and tbh can be harmful (even if it is biodegradable animals can still choke on it). Maybe she is too polite to tell you its a well meaning but bad idea.

TBH I wouldn't release a balloon either. Even if they are bio-degradable, they can still cause issues with animals trying to eat them.

I understand you feel hurt but you can't take it personally if she doesn't want to do this.

LadyMargolotta Thu 17-Jan-13 09:47:15

BillyBollyBrandy - but what makes you assume that just becaseu they didn't want to support your particular charity of choice, that they don't support another charity?

Giving/helping to charity is a very personal thing, people make their own decisions, and guess what, they might not shout about it.

HoneyDragon Thu 17-Jan-13 09:47:31

Are you sure everything's ok with her?
Perhaps you should respond, oh sorry to hear that. How are things with you? Everything ok?

She might have problems of her own at the moment but feel its crass to mention them in response to your request.

x posted with others!

valiumredhead Thu 17-Jan-13 09:48:09

Why is releasing a balloon helpful? confused

I wouldn't do it either.

LadyMargolotta Thu 17-Jan-13 09:49:55

Does this balloon release happen on a certain day?

TroublesomeEx Thu 17-Jan-13 09:50:24

I wouldn't agree to release a balloon. What's that going to achieve exactly? Other than to become litter until it bio-degrades.

I wouldn't consider someone selfish if they said they didn't have the time or the inclination to do this. She probably said she didn't have time because she didn't want to hurt your feelings by giving you the real reason but felt it was such a ridiculous idea that it didn't warrant a more thoughtful excuse.

If only someone had told me that releasing a message attached to a balloon was effective, I could have cured my dad's cancer. Who knew!

I wouldn't do it either TBH. Balloon string and balloons can be a danger to animals just like Chinese lanterns.

There's so many people asking for help for charity and a single person can't help them all.

Just because she has support with her DD it doesn't mean she's in a great place emotionally.

slipshodsibyl Thu 17-Jan-13 09:52:12

No balloons. Bad for the environment and animals who eat them or get tangled. Silly request. Give people a sensible option as well and they might help.

LadyMargolotta Thu 17-Jan-13 09:52:22

I assume that information about the illness is put on the message on the balloon. These things are usually done in big groups, with the local newspaper present, to maximise publicity about the cause.

I am wondering if that is why she couldn't come, because it's a certain day.

Hullygully Thu 17-Jan-13 09:52:54

how very very odd

I too would be taken aback if someone said I'm too busy to let go of a piece of string...

Altho releasing balloons (bio or not) is a terrible idea

Hullygully Thu 17-Jan-13 09:53:40

Why is everyone so keen to defend the odd friend??

libelulle Thu 17-Jan-13 09:54:01

I get asked all the time by friends to make donations to all sorts of extremely worthy charitable causes. I try to say yes to as much as I can especially if they are doing something particularly arduous in return (running a marathon for something for instance), but sometimes life gets in the way.

But that is monetary donations! If someone asked me to release a balloon for a friend of a friend's brother, I would think 'what the fuck'? It sounds like something you'd do for someone you were directly linked to in some way - otherwise it's just mawkish, sorry. The only practical consequence seems to be killing some wildlife and littering the countryside until it eventually biodegrades.

You sound horrifically judgemental of your supposed friend. If someone was so frankly nasty about me for not responding to a request like that, I'd think myself better off without them - sorry.

You are mixing two things.

You want her to release a piece of plastic into the air with a message to a stranger, to raise awareness of some condition? And she should do this nonsense because you have helped in the past?

Who is going to read the message? The birds that get entwined in the piece of balloon remains entangled in a tree?

How long does it take for a "biodegradable balloon" to decompose fully? Any evidence that wayward balloons cause any harm in the environment?

libelulle Thu 17-Jan-13 09:55:11

And I'm not particularly busy either, but due to various awful things going on in my life right now I still don't have the mental space to respond to a lot of stuff, most of it way more important than this.

Probably because the OP was so nasty about her hully over such a small thing.

TurkeyDino Thu 17-Jan-13 09:57:24

If it's a big release surely it will be more than 10 minutes by the time she has travelled there and back and waited around for photos and what not.

I wouldn't do it either for a friend of a friends brother. I'd probably feel a bit of a fraud being there when i didn't know the guy. You say it's an important cause, you mean it's important to you.

Hullygully Thu 17-Jan-13 09:57:35

Where? I didn't see nastiness, will rtft again

everlong Thu 17-Jan-13 09:57:38

I think what you've asked of her is a bit odd.

Releasing a balloon for someone is fairly personal.

Maybe she feels uneasy?

Blimey! Some of the responses on here are really arsey.

No i don't think yabu. It would take her max 3 mins to do.
I'd not be too cheery either. Much like when i did Race For Life and someone told me they were not going to sponsor me because they had far too many people to sponsor all year. Made me look at her in an entirely diffrent way as she knew i'd just lost my MIL but there you go!

Hullygully Thu 17-Jan-13 09:58:37

Nope, no nastiness, just justifiable surprise and upset.

CheeseStrawWars Thu 17-Jan-13 09:58:54

I, too, do not understand how releasing a balloon is in any way helpful?

Alternatives to balloon release?

carabos Thu 17-Jan-13 09:59:12

Is it a case of"step outside her home into garden or street and let go if string" or is "come along to gathering of crowd in public place on set day and time to let go of balloons together"?

If the former, YANBU, if the latter, YABU. The latter isn't 10 min of someone's time, it's a commitment (leaving aside whether the balloon thing is a good idea per se).

I think when she said she didn't have time she meant she didn't have time to waste on such a pointless exercise.

As far as fund raising ideas go, rather than releasing X amounts of pieces of rubbish into nature, why dont you do a sponsored balloon jump?

I would pay for a friend to jump out of a plane. That would raise more awareness than littering the planet does.

StrawberryMojito Thu 17-Jan-13 09:59:34

OP asked her friend for a favour. Friend should have done it or if she didn't agree with it, pretended to do it or said I'd rather not but will make a donation instead or something like that. Her response was blunt and tactless. I wouldn't be impressed either.

Morloth Thu 17-Jan-13 09:59:52

How does releasing a balloon help?

If you had asked me to cook a meal, to run errands, to do any number of useful things I would have been happy to help.

I also would not have time to release a balloon.

Not really understanding.

WorraLiberty Thu 17-Jan-13 10:01:01

I'm not seeing the connection to the balloon and raising money unless the price of the balloon goes towards the cause maybe?

If that's the case, you could have asked her to donate and then released the balloon yourself.

Or just not bought one with the money she donated as she's not bothered about balloons?

Hullygully Thu 17-Jan-13 10:01:06

Oh ffs.

If I asked a very good friend to spend ten minutes helping me out on behalf of someone with a terminal illness, and they said they "didn't have time for this"

I'd think they were a right selfish cunt.

You lot would all say yeah fuck off mate, too busy, to a good friend, would you?


specialsubject Thu 17-Jan-13 10:01:58

friend should have said the truth which is: 'sorry about your friend, but I'm afraid that littering the countryside and possibly choking a wild animal is not going to help her, and is not going to make any difference to 'awareness' as anyone finding it will just bin it'.

tricky one to put politely though.

TidyDancer Thu 17-Jan-13 10:02:15

Maybe she just didn't want to do it and didn't want to tell you that specifically. She might be concerned about the environment (balloon releases are considered bad for good reason) or see this as pointless.

Tbh if I was her I would've phrased it more politely, but I wouldn't go along with it either.

Hullygully Thu 17-Jan-13 10:03:15

What I asked them to do is something that will literally take 5 or 10 minutes of their time and will not cost them anything financially. I have not asked for their money, just 5 or 10 minutes of their time.


Catsdontcare Thu 17-Jan-13 10:03:28

Maybe she just thought it was a bad idea but didn't want to say? I wouldn't do a balloon release either.

Was it to be released whenever she wanted, or was it to be at a specific time? If the latter, maybe she just didn't have time that day?

I see why you're upset but I think you're overreacting. She probably doesn't see it as a favour to you but to someone she doesn't even know.

Was this the only thing you asked her to do? You said you asked people to do a couple small things.

Hullygully Thu 17-Jan-13 10:04:31

Oh maybe she just found out her cat has alopecia and doesn't want to say and maybe she ran out of teabags, yeah?

Morloth Thu 17-Jan-13 10:04:38

But HOW does it help?

everlong Thu 17-Jan-13 10:04:54

It does seem strange hully I agree.

There must be more to this story because I can't see how a friend would say no outright.

PenisColada Thu 17-Jan-13 10:05:08

Oh dear balloon release. No way. I would not do that either.

You obviously don't care about farmers / animals / wildlife / littering then.

Hullygully Thu 17-Jan-13 10:05:28

None of this is the point.

She asked a friend to help.

The friend was rude and dismissive.

That is the point.


Everlong and Hully, you dont both need to play Devils Advocate. wink

DeepRedBetty Thu 17-Jan-13 10:06:31

Sorry but balloon releases, biodegradeable or not, are just plain silly. I'd probably have found a slightly more tactful way of telling you that though.

Not red herrings, red strings, with plastic attached, littering nature. Not herring. Sorry.

snowybrrr Thu 17-Jan-13 10:06:49

I get really annoyed by people presuming I want to support 'their' charity too.I'll choose which charities I want to support thank you very much!

Hullygully Thu 17-Jan-13 10:06:55

I'm not playing devil's bloody anything, Quint.

One of the things that drives me maddest on MN is people MISSING THE POINT AND GETTING HUNG UP ON IRRELEVANT DETAIL.

wigglesrock Thu 17-Jan-13 10:07:27

No the balloons are not a red herring - maybe she thinks as others have said the ballons are a piss poor idea but didn't want to say that so she said she didn't have time. Quickest fib she could think of.

Nancy66 Thu 17-Jan-13 10:07:56

At least she didn't agree and then not actually do it - which, I imagine, a lot of people would do.

Yes. Let's just blame OP for destroying the environment single handedly here. Evil thoughless woman.
Cos that's really the main issue. Innit.

Hullygully Thu 17-Jan-13 10:08:41

The OP didn't say, "My friend was horrid for not releasing a balloon to kill wildlife"

She said, "I am hurt that my friend was rude and dismissive when I asked for help"


BabsAndTheRu Thu 17-Jan-13 10:09:05

YANBU, as you say it would only take 5 mins. I would be disappointed as well if a friend said that to me. It really annoys me when people say they don't have time, I know its all relative but I have always found that the people who say that, like your friend, are the ones with lots of help. My SIL could be like this, never any time, but had a nanny, cleaner, gardener and always at the gym, skiing lessons, hairdresser etc. Where as DP and I have 3 DC's under 5, no back up, help look after DM with cancer and MIL with dementia but we find time to help out a friend.

scrumpkin Thu 17-Jan-13 10:09:21

Fwiw I would have helped you and let off a balloon.

Your friend was rude and thoughtless!

Kalisi Thu 17-Jan-13 10:09:32

Yabu, and the tone of your first post makes you sound like quite a shitty and judgemental friend.
Depending on what was going on in my life at the time, I may or may not have chosen to help out a friend of a friends brother. She does not 'owe' you anything.

Actually ignore my other post. I was answering from the POV of a stranger. If one of my friends asked me to do it I'd still think it was pointless but would, of course, do it for them. It's what friends do.

Releasing a balloon is not really helping anyone out though, maybe if it was something that actually raised money or awareness she would be more inclined to help. I don't think the friend has been rude, I would think if she said 'sorry your idea is crap and i don't agree with it' would be rude, sounds to me like she was being diplomatic.

I sometimes have to say no to sponsoring people, usually I know 20 or 30 people doing things like the race for life, I can't possibly sponsor them all. I would hate to think that people would think less of me because I don't have a couple of hundred quid to spend on sponsoring everyone I know. Do people really judge others for not having the money to sponsor them?

Hullygully Thu 17-Jan-13 10:10:24

<shoots self>

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Thu 17-Jan-13 10:10:35

I wouldn't want to do a balloon release either. I might say I didn't have time because I wouldn't know how to say, politely, that I thought it was wrong from an environmental pov, more than slightly pointless and mawkish. I don't want to let go of a piece of string for someone I don't know under the pretence that it is raising awareness because it probably isn't. I understand releasing balloons in some contexts, bereavement counselling for example but I'm baffled by this.

I don't sign condolence book or leave flowers by the side of the road where strangers have been killed because I don't like to hijack or trespass on the grief of others and balloon fall into that category for me.

Hullygully Thu 17-Jan-13 10:10:52

I am so glad you lot are not my friends.


With friends like that...

TroublesomeEx Thu 17-Jan-13 10:10:57

I'm surprised that there are people who think it's a good idea tbh!

There are many things that can be done to raise awareness but I don't see how releasing a balloon achieves this.

It's lovely that the OP wants to do something and a blanket and arbitrary "I'm too busy to give 5/10 minutes of my time to support a worthwhile cause" would seem a bit churlish to say the least, but I'm still not sure what releasing a balloon would achieve.

Catsdontcare Thu 17-Jan-13 10:11:14

If her email was just one line saying "I do not have time for this" then I agree it was a fairly shitty and dismissive response the least she could do is give a good explanation.

everlong Thu 17-Jan-13 10:11:49

Devils advocate? Nope, I don't think so.

I just feel that a normal friend would consider helping out.

Even if she had said to the OP that she feels uncomfortable releasing the balloons but could she do something else.

Hullygully Thu 17-Jan-13 10:12:22

yes everlong

dear lord

FergusSingsTheBlues Thu 17-Jan-13 10:13:02

A facebook share would have been more effective anyway than releasing a bit of inflated rubber into the world. I wouldnt sweat it, tbh.

Fenton Thu 17-Jan-13 10:14:01

I agree, the response 'I don't have time for this' is exceedingly blunt and suggests you are asking far too much of her, when actually you haven't asked a lot.

I would be upset and confused too, - but perhaps if she is normally very sweet and kind I would be more confused than upset and want to find out more about the reason for her response rather than just writing it off as selfish.

Don't fall out with her, talk to her about it.

ENormaSnob Thu 17-Jan-13 10:14:32

So is it an organised mass balloon release or does she just have to shove one out of her window or door or whatever?

KhallDrogo Thu 17-Jan-13 10:14:58

I wouldn't release balloons either (not because of the environmental issue) because its pointless. I may offer some lame excuse about not having time because it is mire sensitive and mums than the truth. It's over sentimental self indulgent exercise that is of no benefit at all. If i were dying is be embarrassed and cross if people started that kind of nonsense

KhallDrogo Thu 17-Jan-13 10:15:49

And if she doesn't know the person, its an empty gesture anyway

Bonsoir Thu 17-Jan-13 10:16:25

People are allowed to say no when asked for favours.

Fenton Thu 17-Jan-13 10:16:49

The balloon release is presumably about raising awareness about the illness rather than fund raising.

I know many do Race For Life. I wouldn't dream of forcing someone to contribute. But when it's a good friend and we are talking about £2 not hundreds of pounds then it does make me think, yes.

Of course she doesn't owe you anything but she could have made a more tactful dismissal.

Hullygully Thu 17-Jan-13 10:18:54

So Bonsoir, a really close friend of yours asks for ten minutes of your time to help a dying person, and you would happily reply, "I don't have time for this"

How nice.

If the entire and complete response was 'I do not have time for this' then yes that's pretty rude.

But I suspect the OP is paraphrasing.

I do think the balloon aspect is relevant, in that I don't think we are required to support our friends in absolutely everything they do, if we think what they're doing is actually counterproductive or harmful in other ways.

BabsAndTheRu Thu 17-Jan-13 10:19:29

Hullygully, I'm with you, it's not the balloons that are the issue, its being let down by a friend. Stop going on about the balloons. Her friends response was pretty abrupt and quite hurtful. If she really didn't want to help her friend out there are nicer ways of putting it and that is what this thread is about, not helping your friend out.

Hullygully Thu 17-Jan-13 10:21:50

Why do you suspect dreaming??

The response is THE WHOLE POINT

ThatBintAgain Thu 17-Jan-13 10:22:09

grin Hully.

Does friend X know friend Y?

Even if not - the point of friends is to be supportive, no? hmm

Hullygully Thu 17-Jan-13 10:22:48

Anyway, sorry op, it's all about the balloons apparently.

I'm orf, my blood pressure can't take any more.

Maybe it was the way you asked her OP , perhaps she feels at your beck and call or senses that you " expect" certain things of her since you helped her before. I'd be happy to help a friend with something like this, but if they asked me in a way that I knew I couldn't refuse I'd likely feel that they were demanding of me and dig my heels in.

ethelb Thu 17-Jan-13 10:24:17

I can't stand the worthyness of people when somehting bad happens to them or someone they know. Like they hadn't realised bad things happen to other people before.

Maybe she is more aware than you and has always been supporting causes to raise people's awareness and doesn't feel she has to do this one just becuase you have had an epiphany over this particular terminal illness.

MummyPigsFatTummy Thu 17-Jan-13 10:24:31

I am with Fenton here. If the response was really as blunt as that with no explanation, and is out of character for her, I would try to find out more and make sure she is ok.

Otherwise, I think she is being rude and even if she didn't want to do what you asked, should have recognised it was important to you and responded in a more considered way.

everlong Thu 17-Jan-13 10:26:42

Some of you sound pretty obnoxious actually.

KhallDrogo Thu 17-Jan-13 10:27:34

But it really could be about the balloons hully

Like I said, I would decline to release balloons...I would be more open to a request for my time to do something wothwhile or for money. I don't do token sentimentality

I agree ethel

Hullygully Thu 17-Jan-13 10:29:33

It is about the response to a request

Not what the request was

Last post on this I SWEAR

TroublesomeEx Thu 17-Jan-13 10:30:11

I think people are looking at this from very different perspectives.

There are people who think that the OP's friend should have done what she asked purely because she asked and it would be supportive. Which I understand.

But then there are others (me included) who think that the friend probably only said "no" because she'd made a value judgement about what she'd been asked to do.

There are many things I would be prepared to do to raise awareness, and I have done so. Things that have taken up much more of my time, or taken a greater effort.

But I would never release a balloon and consider it such a trite and pointless effort that I wouldn't really give too much thought to the excuse I made because I wouldn't consider that the person who had asked me would have put so much stock in to it.

I doubt the friend was thinking about whether it was going to let down the OP or how it would look to her, or how important it might feel to her. And yes, I'm speculating, but I doubt there are many people who would just outright refuse to help someone in this situation (especially if they had needed support themselves at some point) but she was saying she didn't have time for a balloon release. And frankly, neither would I.

KhallDrogo Thu 17-Jan-13 10:30:17

AND...I don't think it makes me obnoxious wink My friends get lots of support from me in many other ways, practical and emotional

Nancy66 Thu 17-Jan-13 10:31:48

releasing a balloon ain't helping a dying friend - or the disease he is dying of -in any way. It's just pandering to the needs of someone who probably has the best of intentions but hasn't really thought things through.

TroublesomeEx Thu 17-Jan-13 10:32:24

Exactly Nancy.

KhallDrogo Thu 17-Jan-13 10:33:06

I agree folk

Hully -- because what's more likely, based on what we've read from the OP?

A) The OP politely, and with no guilt tripping whatsoever about this very important cause, asked the friend to do something that would literally only take 10 minutes and could be done at any time, and this heretofore very sweet good friend with oodles of spare time said nothing more than 'I don't have time for this'


B) The OP asked the friend to do something that would in fact take more than ten minutes, perhaps on a specific day when the friend has commitments, and it's something that the friend really does not think is a good idea anyway, but rather than say so directly she says, 'Sorry, I'm afraid I don't have time to do this'

I think B) is probably more like what happened, but apologies if I'm wrong.

KhallDrogo Thu 17-Jan-13 10:34:00

I agree nancy

Hullygully Thu 17-Jan-13 10:34:40

I don't care

I've lost the will to live

None of that is the point


Now I really am going

WhateverTrevor Thu 17-Jan-13 10:35:18

I would feel a twat releasing a balloon for someone I didn't know, so I may reply I was too busy as didn't want to point out it was a rubbish idea.

WhateverTrevor Thu 17-Jan-13 10:35:49

The friend wasn't rude so just made an excuse not to do it.
Fair enough

Fenton Thu 17-Jan-13 10:36:09

But what about the BALLOONS?

HoneyDragon Thu 17-Jan-13 10:36:35

But this is only a speculative issue

Op feels she has asked something reasonable

Friend responds in a not terribly nice fashion

Op can still talk to friend surely and establish why?

If I said to Hully "what's the weather like your way?"

And she responded

"Go fuck yourself Honey"

I could either say "Sorry Hully have I upset in some way?"

Or I could start a thread about it asking every bugger else why Hully just
told me to fuck off.

One would probably solve the issue
One would probably run to 17 pages of sniping and speculation

RunnerHasbeen Thu 17-Jan-13 10:37:11

Did you ask her in a way that was personal to her or could it have looked like forwarded spam? I would react very differently to a personal request that affected a friend than to some worthy-doing-the-rounds appeal about someone I didn't know in any way, sad though it is. I would count someone my friend knew loosely as a link, btw, just that she might not realise you did.

Catsdontcare Thu 17-Jan-13 10:37:45

I agree dreaming I think the OP may have edited the friends email response and was fairly vague about what the balon release entailed.

Balloon releases are generally an event where everyone comes together and let's them off all at once as part of an event. I doubt very much the op said I will buy ou a balloon fill it w itch helium and bring it round to you so you can let it go.

atthewelles Thu 17-Jan-13 10:38:10

It wasn't a lot to ask and, even if the friend couldn't see the point of it, she could have just gone along with it anyway to keep a friend who had helped her out a lot happy.
If she really felt uncomfortable doing it there are nicer ways of declining than saying 'I don't have the time for this'. Rude and blunt.

WhateverTrevor Thu 17-Jan-13 10:39:14

hully read the op again, it was the fact that her friend wouldn't spend 5 minutes of her time to help and the op thought that was selfish, not the way she replied!

everlong Thu 17-Jan-13 10:39:25

Releasing balloons can be poignant but also very cathartic for people that have lost a child or loved one. It's symbolic and a way of a group of friends or your family to say ' happy birthday ' or ' we love you ' or whatever.

I'm not totally sure why the OP asked her friend to release the balloon and as I said earlier maybe the friend felt uneasy? I don't know.

What I do know is that I feel given the circumstances the friend was BU by saying she was busy! That seems selfish imo.

I mean how many of you would really say ' no I don't have the time ' when asked to help a friend whose brother is dying?

irishchic Thu 17-Jan-13 10:39:29

OP Yanbu.

I do think that sometimes on MN people really take delight in deliberately missing the point!

TroublesomeEx Thu 17-Jan-13 10:39:54

I don't think it was rude, per se. What reason would have been acceptable? "I'm sorry, I won't be doing that. It's pointless"?

The fact is, the OP wanted her to do it and no reason/excuse would have been satisfactory because the truth is no one is so busy that they can't spare 5 minutes (if that really is all it would have taken).

What would be ruder.

OP sends email asking friend to do something she doesn't want to do.

1) Friend responds that she doesn't have time.

2) Friend responds telling OP that the event she is putting time and effort into organising is a bad idea and goes on for a few paragraphs detailing why.

I think the friend chose the lesser of two evils. There is no nice way to decline the request.

MummyPigsFatTummy Thu 17-Jan-13 10:40:28

This is mad. How can anyone possibly know why the OP's friend responded like she did? I mean supposing the only issue the friend had was that she thought releasing balloons is a bad idea - who in their right mind would respond simply "I don't have time for this", a response which is guaranteed to upset the OP and makes the friend look mean?

The OP is not being unreasonable being upset by that blunt response but would be unreasonable to re-evaluate the friendship without finding out why she responded that way by ASKING HER FRIEND not polling complete strangers (which, by the way, I am not suggesting the OP was doing - people have just chosen to make wild guesses as to the friend's motives for some reason).

everlong Thu 17-Jan-13 10:42:03

No it won't help the dying friend Nancy but that wasn't the point of the balloon release, was it?

It was to fundraise and campaign to raise awareness of the disease he is dying of!

KhallDrogo Thu 17-Jan-13 10:42:30


People round these parts have very strange notions about what constitutes a friend IMO

there's another thread about OP not wanting to give 'friend's a lift to an exercise class, even though she drives past her door on the way; because she had the audacity to ask for the favour and doesn't display enough gratitude

The 'rudeness' of these people Palestine into complete insignificance when compared with bitching on an internet forum to the world at large! Seriously if you can't talk to each other about these issues, you ain't friends in the first place

KhallDrogo Thu 17-Jan-13 10:45:15

Everlong, it is a friends friends brother....if it was OPs brother, it would be different

TroublesomeEx Thu 17-Jan-13 10:45:34

But if the balloon ended up landing in a tree, or in a lake or in the middle of the road, exactly whose awareness would be raised?

If I saw a balloon land in the garden I'd just throw it away without even reading/realising there was a message. If I passed one in the street/park/wherever I'd ignore it or pick it up and throw it away. I wouldn't read a soggy attached message, if it were even legible by that point.

And if I did read it, I'd still throw it away and it wouldn't have achieved anything.

There's no way I'd respond to something I read tied to a balloon.

But perhaps I'm just odd that way confused

ThatBintAgain Thu 17-Jan-13 10:46:01

Palestine grin

EuroShagmore Thu 17-Jan-13 10:46:37

YABU. It's your cause. Your friend's brother.

And perhaps she doesn't like baloon releases - I don't/

YANBU, shes meant to be your friend, I would be really upset, she was rude and I would keep my distance from her for a while.

KhallDrogo Thu 17-Jan-13 10:48:38

Balloons, Palestine...whatever next grin


everlong Thu 17-Jan-13 10:50:47

I know who it's for. That's not the point. You do stuff to help your pals.

Jayzus Khall don't bring Palestine into this wink

TroublesomeEx Thu 17-Jan-13 10:51:57

I suppose I just don't really get why it's 'helping' anyone.

Paiviaso Thu 17-Jan-13 10:51:57


You have asked her to do something for someone she doesn't know, which sounds completely pointless (how does releasing a balloon do anything except create litter and possibly kill animals?) I would have said no too!

But this particular issue aside, if she is often unhelpful, she is probably a "taker." You can remain friends, but stop helping her with things as you will not be repaid.

Cherriesarelovely Thu 17-Jan-13 10:52:14

I would be sad at that response too. Whether the gesture of releasing balloons is something she does or doesn't agree with she should have responded more sensitively. I can't imagjne any of my friends being so dismissive. Not sure if I would end the friendship, it would depend on how she behaved generally.

WhateverTrevor Thu 17-Jan-13 10:53:21

I don't think I would release a balloon for somebody I didn't know.

Cats see, that's what I thought

These things are always presented as it will only take 10 minutes

They never do.

KatoPotato Thu 17-Jan-13 10:53:51

Perhaps she's ran out of helium? My tank is currently empty.

AlienReflux Thu 17-Jan-13 10:56:33

She could have taken more time to write a decent response, what ever her actual reasons for not helping out, don't throw away the friendship over this though.

KhallDrogo Thu 17-Jan-13 10:57:52

It must be tedious and exhausting to have your friendships so precariously balanced....

ENormaSnob Thu 17-Jan-13 10:59:12

My friends brother has multiple special needs and she does a lot of fundraising/ raising awareness stuff.

Although I support her and have attended events etc, I certainly wouldn't expect my friends that don't know her or him to join in.

And I personally find it very odd when random people, ie not friends or family, join in things like balloon releases. To me it seems insincere.

TheSecondComing Thu 17-Jan-13 11:00:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fatfinger Thu 17-Jan-13 11:02:35

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Charleymouse Thu 17-Jan-13 11:02:55

Maybe she would rather helium was used in hospital machine to help save lives rather than in balloons!

helium shortage

Kalisi Thu 17-Jan-13 11:05:16

A small number of people close to me have been effected by a terminal illness, a larger number of people close to people close to me have been effected by terminal illness. But without sounding like a complete heartless bitch, the amount of people close to people close to people close to me who have suffered a terminal illness is a fair amount. Although I would ofcourse as a human being try to help where I could, my commitment should not be expected automatically by others and in this situation, the task IS important. If I felt it wouldn't help for someone so far removed from me, I may have infact declined also. >> dons hard hat <<

KhallDrogo Thu 17-Jan-13 11:07:16

Ahh kalisi my sun and my stars grin

I was going to mention the helium shortage Charley but didn't want to get hit with another it's not about the balloons

OP, this thread must be upsetting, but if you are still reading I would really urge you to look more into social media strategies for raising awareness. Facebook and Twitter will raise far more awareness and connect you to all sorts of people with experience in this area.

KhallDrogo Thu 17-Jan-13 11:08:40

Actually, you may have no idea what I am talking about, as I believe you would be Khaleezi if you did blush

AppearingDignified Thu 17-Jan-13 11:10:53

I'd definitely reconsider friendships over issues like this and have done. Everyone has a right to make a choice but also accept that you are judged by your choice too.

I hope your friend's brother is as comfortable and as content as possible considering.

ThatBintAgain Thu 17-Jan-13 11:11:37

Forgetting the balloons for a second, let's view it as a gesture. For example I have friends who have lost children and on certain dates we change profile pics on FB or light a certain coloured candle. It's a fairly small gesture but I know for a fact that it helps them to feel better that other people are thinking of them and are there for them. I'm more than happy to do that, because it helps someone else.

maddening Thu 17-Jan-13 11:15:13


That is how asking for favours works - you ask and they either say yes or no - no one is obliged to give a reason for that response either.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 17-Jan-13 11:16:22

Balloon release = bad
Jumping out of a plane = good

LineRunner Thu 17-Jan-13 11:17:21

If the entirety of her response to you was 'I do not have time for this', then that sounds like exasperation.

ThatBint that's very sweet

But that's why I think the details (i.e. balloons) do matter, because changing a profile pic is literally just 30 seconds whereas other requests do ask for more time/effort.

This is also why social media campaigns are a good idea, in the time it takes you to write 'I don't have time' you can re-tweet or share something.

Kalisi Thu 17-Jan-13 11:21:23

Haha oh Khall, we are finally together again!
I am the one who should blush It is indeed an incorrect spelling but as I can't figure out how to namechange on my phone it has stuck for the last year. Whoops!

Maybe she's reconsidering her friendship with someone who's asking her to do pointless "awareness" raising crap for someone she doesn't know then judges her entire life when she says no.

If she really was as blunt as in OP that's pretty rude but there are a couple of charities/causes that I wouldn't want to give time or money to and wouldn't want to hurt a friend's feelings at a sensitive time by explaining why so may try to get out of by saying that I didn't have time. I might try to be much more polite than a snappy "don't have time" though.

everlong Thu 17-Jan-13 11:27:45

pointless awareness raising crap hmm


pigletmania Thu 17-Jan-13 11:32:21

YANBU at all. Your frend sounds quite rude tbh, even if she did not have te time she could have said, I am very sorry Emmy but I am very busy at the moment, Mabey in a couple weeks. Her reply was rude and insensitive. Tat would really put me off, I don't blame you if you are reconsidering the frienship

Branleuse Thu 17-Jan-13 11:33:14

i wouldnt do a balloon release either. I dont see the point. 1, its really bad for the environment and wildlife. There are many campaigns against balloon releases by environmental organisations. 2, its not actually helpful.

Its about the equivalent of getting pissed off with someone for not clicking share on some morbid facebook awareness campaign. What you are doing to "help" your friends brother is useless and silly.
She should have probably told you that instead of I dont have time. Maybe you caught her at a bad time.

valiumredhead Thu 17-Jan-13 11:36:24

<shoots self>

I'll release a balloon for you Hully grin

Tbh when people say "I don't have time for this" and they clearly do, I take it as an indication that they mean they can't emotionally deal with anything else in their lives atm. They might have their own things going on that they are dealing with after all.

pigletmania Thu 17-Jan-13 11:37:26

Fgs it's just one fecking balloon not a whole arrange of them, will hardly kill the environment hmm. If she did not want to for whatever reason, good manners and politeness dies not hurt! Why is it on Mumsnet recently good manners seems to be looked down upon hmm

pigletmania Thu 17-Jan-13 11:39:20

If she could not emotionally do it, just say I am sorry Emmy but I really can't do this, good luck with the fundraising. There that's better more polite

ethelb Thu 17-Jan-13 11:41:16

@everlong why is it horrible?

Why aren't peole allowed to conform to their own narrative, rather than someone elses, when something bad happens?

its as bad an enforced one minute silences tbh

Branleuse Thu 17-Jan-13 11:41:19

also isnt balloon releasing something thats generally done when someones actually died.

FloatyBeatie Thu 17-Jan-13 11:41:55

I often stumble across the remains of those balloons in fields where I walk. They are horrible litter and there are cases where cows (and perhaps wildlife?) have died from chomping on them. I hope the fashion for them soon passes, and I wouldn't release one if requested.

Another trend that I dislike is all the flurry of high-profile sentiment-display that accompanies charitable action, and which sometimes seems to be the whole content of the charitable action -- its a bit of an extension into rl of the kind of sentiment display that constitutes a lot of what we post on FB or twitter. I'm afraid that releasing balloons does seem to be more about display than actual constructive work and I would find an excuse (perhaps rather irritably I would deliberately choose a weak excuse) not to participate.

scarletforya Thu 17-Jan-13 11:58:44

No offence OP but do you do things like this often? Are you a bit of a 'cause' mentioned you've spent hours helping your friend. Are you a very helpful person in general? I'm just wondering if it could be a bit of compassion fatigue on your friends part?

As for the balloon, I would probably find your request a bit irritating. I would never bother reading a message on a balloon I found. So I'm not sure how releasing a balloon would 'raise awareness'. I'm afraid I'm also very sceptical about the whole concept of 'raising awareness' -people only have so much attention to devote to causes which do not affect them.

I don't do Facebook because amongst other reasons I can't stand those stupid gimmicks to 'raise awareness' for things. Collect money by all means or donate something or volunteer but releasing balloons is just kind of pointless pollution really. I would be irritated to be asked this. I'd rath

DeWe Thu 17-Jan-13 11:59:03

A lot of people won't release balloons due to the enviromental impact.

Tbh I wouldn't see that as supporting someone. I'd rather be asked to cook a meal for them, or sponsor you or do something practical which will be much more help.

Also I have a lot of friends who have personal reasons for supporting different charities. I'm often asked to sponsor/go/watch/post on fb. I've reached my own decisions as to what I do, and am consistant on it. That way it doesn't cause agro when I do it for one, and not for another. I support my own charities too in my own ways.

scarletforya Thu 17-Jan-13 11:59:45

Oops posted too soon, I'd rather donate money or actually do something useful, rather than sentimental gestures.

Manictigger Thu 17-Jan-13 12:00:55

So your friend has stuck with you through some difficult times but you are considering ditching her because she refused to release a balloon for someone that she doesn't know!? If the reply was as brief as you've said I (like a few people have suggested) would ask if everything was ok rather than slagging her off on here. Tbh it would never occur to me to ask a friend to release a balloon for someone they do not know - it just seems slightly odd. And you still haven't really explained whether it was just a 'release a balloon whenever you want out your window' thing or a more time consuming mass release event.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 17-Jan-13 12:06:30

Am starting to wonder if we should organise sponsorship for OP's friend who must be traumatised at having been asked to do such a heinous thing by her "shitty" mate.

^pointless awareness raising crap hmm


Actually Everlong, it may have seemed harsh but I was making a point. I do find it quite oppressive that well-meaning people insist that everyone participate in awareness raising or charity events that may mean a lot to them. We all have causes that are close to our own hearts but there is a growing tendency to treat people badly when they don't immediately and automatically take part in every awareness raising campaign or fundraising activity. People have got the right to say no to any particular cause they like without being treated like crap.

Mrsrobertduvall Thu 17-Jan-13 12:19:05

I would not release a balloon , or pass on a ROund Robin or whatever.
I would however, do something proactive instead of a gesture.

At Christmas, FIL wanted us all to send up massive Chinese lanterns in memory of MIL. I refused.

PartTimeModel Thu 17-Jan-13 12:20:19

releasing a balloon ain't helping a dying friend - or the disease he is dying of -in any way. It's just pandering to the needs of someone who probably has the best of intentions but hasn't really thought things through.

^ this.

Plus it does sound like the friend Y, doesn't know the dying person, possibly doesn't know anything about the disease the person is dying from. Yes this is VERY important to the OP and has touched her life, because she has been affected by it in a personal way. But Friend Y hasn't - so releasing balloons etc is meaningless to her.

I would probably, in similar circumstances also decline. I'd be happy to get involved, raise awareness etc if I had involvement/knowledge/connection with a charity/person/disease and had the time. But I wouldn't want to do something that was really quite meaningless to me, even if it ment a lot to a friend. I can't imagine any of my friends would ask me to do some random act like this, if I didn't have any other involvement or connection with the act/person/illness.

perhaps the OP has actually asked too little of her friend? If Friend Y knew more about what has happened, how it has affected OP, how OP was getting involved etc and was asked if she would like to get involved/help out, it might seem more sincere and more worthwhile & she's be more likely to respond positively to requests for help. As it is asking someone to spend "just 10 minutes" doing something that seems pointless to Friend Y is just odd.

Manictigger Thu 17-Jan-13 12:23:23

Lurked, I agree. Whenever I do a Raceforlife I never ask people for sponsorship (parents, family, close friends who know I'm doing it etc give me donations and I top it up) because I would hate to put people in the position of having to say no for whatever reason or even worse sponsoring me money that they really can't afford.

Abitwobblynow Thu 17-Jan-13 12:26:47

YABU because in this one instance you have the right to make a request and she has the right to say no.

But I suspect that this has come on top of a lot of other things where she has 'not been there for you whilst you have always been there for her, maybe the conversation is always about her and she shows little interest in you, so maybe you are going to start rethinking the friendship?

Pigsmummy Thu 17-Jan-13 12:26:57

Depends totally on what you asked her do?

As others have said the environmental impact of releasing balloons in now known, so many wish it would stop.

I am staggerd by anyone's selfishness of killing off wildlife for what is a pointless exercise.

SaladIsMyFriend Thu 17-Jan-13 12:34:28

YABU to be absolutely staggered by her refusal, although it sounds like she was a little abrupt in her reply. Releasing a balloon will not help friend X's brother, sorry, and as others have pointed out it's potentially dangerous to wildlife even if it is biodegradable.

If she knows friend X's brother I think it is up to her how she wishes to let him know she cares.

I was diagnosed with cancer last year and a couple of friends announced support for various causes/posted "awareness raising" stuff on Facebook and tbh I just felt very annoyed about it. It wasn't for me, it didn't help me, it was for them. And they weren't even that helpful to me when I was really ill with chemo etc.!

Manictigger Thu 17-Jan-13 12:34:50

But Abit the OP says that the friend is generally sweet and kind and has been there for her through difficult times - in fact the OP's shock seems to be because the response was out of character, which is why ditching a generally good friendship over something so relatively minor seems to me very ...... childish immature.

FloatyBeatie Thu 17-Jan-13 12:37:52

Salad, sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I hope things are going well for you -- and that you aren't still having to have the awful sickness-making chemo.

Yfronts Thu 17-Jan-13 12:39:22

I'm on the fence. It would actually be quite a nice thing for her to do with her DD. However maybe your friend does charitable stuff already and feels she is doing her share.

MadBusLady Thu 17-Jan-13 12:40:13

None of us can really answer this question unless we know whether this was a scheduled event or not. "I don't have time for this" is a totally normal statement of fact if in response to a specific, scheduled activity, and rude and dismissive if not.


SaladIsMyFriend Thu 17-Jan-13 12:41:23

Thanks Floaty, I am in remission atm and chemo finished last year, hurrah!

FloatyBeatie Thu 17-Jan-13 12:46:03


THERhubarb Thu 17-Jan-13 12:51:03

grin @ Hully

Ok look the issue here is that not only did she decline to help but she didn't respond in a nice way or give a reason for her refusal to help.

Now she might have said no because it happens on a certain date when she is busy;
Or she might not see the point in releasing balloons;
Or she might have an objection to the particular charity you are raising funds for;
Or she might not see the importance as she doesn't know the friend in question or his brother.

That being said, she could have at least given an explanation.

I think you might be best replying saying something about what it is you are raising awareness of, what you have planned to do in terms of raising both funds and awareness and asking if she does feel she could help at some point in the future to let you know. Leave it at that. She might reply further, she might not.

Some people just don't 'do' charity. I know this having organised several charity events myself.

Upon ringing schools to ask if we could send them leaflets to give to children advertising a competition for the British Red Cross I was told by one Headmistress that she wouldn't allow it because we didn't do anything for this country. That comment was wrong on so many counts it's not worth going into.

My 10yr old dd was doing a publicised 10 mile bike ride with her dad to raise funds for the Pakistan floods. A motorist actually cut in between them both, so cutting her off from her dad and leaving her in front and then BEEPED AT HER to get out of the way.

Just a few weeks ago we did another fundraising, a 10 mile walk along a well used cycle and footpath to raise funds for Malala. We were wearing t-shirts to highlight the fact that we were raising funds and I had my 8yr son on his bike, my 12yr old dd and her friend, another mum and 2 tots, one in a pram and one in a buggy. We kept to one side but several cyclists hurled abuse at us as they passed because they deemed us in the way, thus causing them to slow down in order to pass us.

I'm sure as individuals each of these people are nice and kind enough, but when faced with a charity or people asking them to show a little patience and they become idiots.

Give your friend another chance to explain why she doesn't want to get involved and if you feel that strongly about it, tell her. You are second-guessing at her reasons on her without just asking her yourself.

oldebaglady Thu 17-Jan-13 12:57:24

I wouldn't either

just because the friend has physical time to do this (in your opinion) doesn't mean she has the mental/emotional time, you may not know what else she has going on and if your request hit a personal nerve for some reason

fromparistoberlin Thu 17-Jan-13 12:58:37

releasing a balloon ain't helping a dying friend - or the disease he is dying of -in any way.

hear hear

OP I am SO sorry for your friends brother, but releasing a ballaoon wont acheive jack shit. I would also not do this, remeber that charities are BIG business and people get bloody bombarded these days anyway

I wouldn't release a balloon, it is littering. I am sick of clearing them from the hedgerows. As for those lantern things, don't get me started. The wire is dangerous, and can kill livestock. Don't people THINK.

Perhaps she feels the same and her reply was terse because she has just had enough of well meaning but antisocial gestures.

ShephardsDelight Thu 17-Jan-13 13:14:38


her tone seemed quite abrupt and rude tbh, although you do seem a bit judgy about how 'unbusy' she is, so YANBU/YABU?

oldebaglady Thu 17-Jan-13 13:16:43

and it won't raise awareness

if I saw a deflated/burst balloon with something attached to it stuck in the hedge on a walk I wouldn't go "hmm I wonder what informative message is on there" - I'd just be miffed about the litter!

ShephardsDelight Thu 17-Jan-13 13:16:50

Sorry double post, but I do understand your POV , its hard when someone doesn't want to help or put themselves out there.

ApocalypseThen Thu 17-Jan-13 13:18:11

Actually, this is a really interesting issue - are your friends under some obligation to do whatever you ask if you think it's a good cause? Now I always suspected that Goodcausers were judging friends and colleagues based on what they were prepared to do and how much they were prepared to contribute to others' hobby horses, it's interesting the number of people who are prepared to state it explicitly.

Personally, I now do not contribute to any charity or sponsor any individual who asks me. I don't really care if it's a good cause, if you're running a marathon or jumping out of a plane or doing a slow walk or want me to release a balloon. It's a NO. An emphatic no.

I support the charities I choose in private, and I don't approve of sponsored stuff/awareness stuff which I consider self aggrandizing self promotion projects. And when you see the bleating about how your friend could have done that small thing/if you don't give me two pounds to sponsor me I'm going to rethink our friendship/I'm brilliant doing a run and you're so rubbish you won't even give me money for it attitude here, I think my judgement is fully proven.

OP, your friend owes you nothing. Just because you asked doesn't mean she has to do.

EarlyInTheMorning Thu 17-Jan-13 13:19:01

BillyBollyBrandy Thu 17-Jan-13 09:45:23
I asked for donations to charity when I got married. I was astonished by the amount of people who didn't donate and it really changed my opinion of some of them.

In my own personal humble opinion, whilst your intentions might be honorable, it is really poor etiquette to tell guests how to spend their money, even if it's for charity For you to then go ahead and judge your friends (I assume they were your friends as you invited them to you wedding) on the basis of whether they donated to the charity that you instructed, well, some judgmental self righteous friend you are...

atthewelles Thu 17-Jan-13 13:20:49

Bit of a sweeping statement there Apocalypse. If everyone took that attitude, the old established charities would do fine but newer ones or campaigns trying to raise awareness of new issues or illnesses would be completely ignored.

PartTimeModel Thu 17-Jan-13 13:26:11

JUST £2 Apocalypse, how can you not give JUST £2/JUST 10 minutes/etc <<violin music/pictures of tortured animals/sick children>>?? repeat over and over and over ..............

I was bed bound with tonsilitis recently and I found daytime TV completely ruined by all this total emotive blackmail bullshit appeals - charities should frankly be ashamed. I guess it works overall for them, even though it propels some of us in entirely the other direction.

Maryz Thu 17-Jan-13 13:26:35

YANBU to be a bit upset (especially if she didn't explain - she might have valid reasons for not wanting to do it, but she could have said that).

You are, however, a tad OTT to be "staggered by <her> total utter selfishness and re-considering our friendship?!"

piprabbit Thu 17-Jan-13 13:27:06

I'm not sure how releasing balloons helps raise awareness of illnesses. I've witnessed many balloon releases over the years, but have never actually found a balloon, or met anyone who has.

Surely you could just release two balloons yourself (if you still think it is a good idea) and have the same effect?

ApocalypseThen Thu 17-Jan-13 13:27:10

Yeah, I accept that it is, atthewelles. However, it's quite tiresome when people can't accept that everyone has things they're personally interested in and their own commitments.

I stopped with all the charity stuff at work, for example, when there were four or five different events where people were seeking sponsorship at the same time. I overheard two people talking about how they thought someone was their friend but they had given x amount in sponsorship to them and x+1 to someone who wasn't even their friend and blah blah blah. It all ended up causing quite a deal of bad feeling. Saying no to it all is the only sane course of action - that way, people can call you any kind of a curmudgeon they like, but they can't argue that you're playing favourites with it.

But I do find people who belive that they can treat others badly in persuit of their own goodness are possibly the worst kinds of people to be involved with.

Maryz Thu 17-Jan-13 13:28:27

And ApocalypseThen has a really good point - all those "just £1, just ten minutes, just like this on FB" can get really annoying.

Naturally I'm supportive of most things. At them moment, I'm overdosed, and I think I would probably say no to anything anyone asked me [grumpy]

Bonsoir Thu 17-Jan-13 13:28:36

"Actually, this is a really interesting issue - are your friends under some obligation to do whatever you ask if you think it's a good cause?"

I am very clear with both myself and my friends/acquaintances as to what "good causes" I will and will not support, and I can always explain why I am saying no if asked to support a cause that (a) I don't think is worthwhile or (b) is not a priority for me.

BillyBollyBrandy Thu 17-Jan-13 13:30:04

No Early people asked what to buy us, I asked for donations to charity. It was a local charity that my late MIL was involved helping SN children. I didn't send out anything in the invites, I did it all according to MN etiquette.

Yep, I did judge people who asked and then didn't bother to donate <shrug> Well some people. I didn't judge my BIL who has health problems and is skint. I did judge my BIL who has no problems with money and didn't donate. No he didn't have to, but his kid brother had asked for a donation in memory of his DM. That's pretty shitty imo.

And these are people who would I assume would have bought us something from John Lewis or a bottle of plonk had we not asked for the donations.

So if I am self righteous and judgemental well shoot me

mindosa Thu 17-Jan-13 13:33:27

Your friend is under absolutely no obligation to help with your other friends charity.
If you asked for a personal favour and she did not help then that is different but whereas I can understand why you are peeved, I would let this go

ApocalypseThen Thu 17-Jan-13 13:34:04

No he didn't have to, but his kid brother had asked for a donation in memory of his DM. That's pretty shitty imo.

So one brother gets to decide how the other brother commemorates their mother?

"if I saw a deflated/burst balloon with something attached to it stuck in the hedge on a walk I wouldn't go "hmm I wonder what informative message is on there" - I'd just be miffed about the litter!"

I would not just be miffed about the litter, if the charity's name was still visible, this would not exactly be endearing, it would literally litter the charitys name!

KhallDrogo Thu 17-Jan-13 13:34:43

WRT the friend being short and 'rude'...whatever happened to the MN mantra 'No is a complete sentence'?

oldebaglady Thu 17-Jan-13 13:35:11

"I asked for donations to charity when I got married. I was astonished by the amount of people who didn't donate and it really changed my opinion of some of them"

I have had friends seem miffed that I didn't support their fund raising for a mental health charity, what they do not know is that I have saught help from said charity and found them worse than useless.

So before you judge, remind yourself that you do not know other people's motives for supporting or not supporting the charity you choose!

MooncupGoddess Thu 17-Jan-13 13:35:18

I don't quite see the point of raising awareness of a particular illness per se.

Raising funds for a specific charity related to that illness - yes, by all means.
Raising awareness amongst the medical profession to improve diagnosis - absolutely but by its nature a specialised operation
Raising awareness of a social/political evil (e.g. the environmental risks of balloon release) - yes definitely.

But what's the point of raising awareness of a disease per se? I know lots of people who have had rare horrible illnesses and sometimes died of them and am very happy to sponsor people raising money for the relevant support/research charity. But what's a balloon release going to achieve? Am I missing something?

FiercePanda Thu 17-Jan-13 13:36:53

If it was a fundraising thing (bake sale, face painting, sponsored walk/run) that she had been so rude about, I could sort of see your point, although fundraising would take a lot longer than 5-10 mins, so her saying no wouldn't have been such an issue.


Balloon/Chinese lantern releases, lighting candles, clicking "like" on a Failbook status to save the kids in Africa etc do absolutely nothing to help anyone in need. Not a thing. They might make the "releaser" feel a bit smug better, but they don't do anything to directly help any cause. Maybe your friend already donates to charity? Maybe she doesn't, but just genuinely thinks the balloon release would be a colossal waste of time? Either way, YANBU to be miffed at her abrupt response (although I'd quickly build a bridge and get over it, unless you plan on ditching her as a friend), but YABU to be annoyed that she said no.

THERhubarb Thu 17-Jan-13 13:37:19

Apocalypse, whilst I agree with you on the one hand I disagree on the other.

I do not publicise what I give to charity. I do not feel the need to go onto the MN secret santa thread and tell everyone that I've donated. I don't even contribute to threads asking for donations even if I have donated.

On the other hand, because of my background in fundraising I know that certain ploys will help raise more money. If I went on a 10 mile cycle ride or bike ride, I would raise jack-shit. If my dd does it, because she is a child the local press are interested and before you know it, she's raised over £500, something I could not do and she has people talking about the charity she is raising funds for.

On the Pakistan flooding issue, she was interviewed by Newsround and it was lovely. Some of the messages she got on the JustGiving site were heart-warming, from people who didn't know her.

For Malala the Press were interested in how much dd knew about current affairs, how a girl from Pakistan could affect dd, etc. It led to people talking about the issue and again sent out the message that although we live in the UK we still care enough about what is going on in the world to want to do something. I hope it also made people think that not all young people are selfish and spoilt, some DO actually care and are willing to go out of their way to help others, even if they are people they've never met before.

On a personal level, it also showed dd how just one person can make a difference, can raise money and awareness and can achieve something. So for me, it was a win-win situation.

Yes I did ask for sponsors on Facebook and yes I did hassle on my own timeline. Friends could ignore if they wished or they could contribute. I did not judge anyone who failed to share my status or who failed to donate. I did not defriend them nor ask them why. Just because my dd had chosen to do something for charity does not mean to say that they have to join in. Some of them might have donated directly to the hospital for all I know.

So I can see both sides and I hope that now you can too.

BillyBollyBrandy Thu 17-Jan-13 13:39:23

Oh my goodness!! It was his wedding day Apocalyse! Yes, on that day he is allowed to decide how he wishes to commemerate his mother. It would have been nice if for that one day my BIL could have gone along with it.

So you ask someone what they would like as a gift, you say "ooo a donation that has a cause which is very close to my heart", and someone then decides you are spending their money for them (after they ask you what you want) and decide not to do anything instead

I think I have woken in a parallel universe.

ApocalypseThen Thu 17-Jan-13 13:39:45

So I can see both sides and I hope that now you can too.

Lovely. Thanks for explaining it all to me so clearly.

However, I don't agree.

ApocalypseThen Thu 17-Jan-13 13:43:13

Yes, on that day he is allowed to decide how he wishes to commemerate his mother.

Their mother. I don't see how having a wedding means that someone has to commemorate their own mother as their siblings see fit. It's a very personal thing to take ownership of, even if your wedding is literally the most important event that has ever happened in the history of humankind and makes you the universal commemorator in cheif.

neriberi Thu 17-Jan-13 13:44:03

cancer can be a scary issue for some / most people, I have a friend who refused to attend a funeral for a close friend because they had died of cancer and she had only just lost her mum to the disease, she said it dragged up a lot of emotion she wasn't ready to deal with. Maybe your friend just feels uncomfortable with what you've asked her to do but doesn't know how to vocalise it so she said a flat no to helping you.

BillyBollyBrandy Thu 17-Jan-13 13:44:19

Yes good point Olde. I would be surprised if that were the case with this charity but you are absolutely right. We picked one each, DH the one I mentioned, I picked a website where you can buy a treatment (from about a fiver) for children in Africa. I had one lovely BIL donate to both, everyone else to DH's which I totally get.

And I am being judgey, I admit that. I just thought it odd when the majority who didn't donate would have bought something anyway iyswim?

ethelb Thu 17-Jan-13 13:44:45

I therefore (very politely) asked a few of my closest friends (including friend Y) if they would be willing to do a couple of very very small things to assist with the awareness-raising campaign.

^ No you didn't, you told them.

TandB Thu 17-Jan-13 13:45:16

I'm not sure about this.

Was the totallity of her response literally "I do not have time for this"? Or is that a bit of a larger response, or a summary of what she said?

If she said it exactly like that then I think it would be reasonable to reply saying that you find that a bit hurtful and is there a reason why she feels so strongly that she has to be so abrupt.

But if she said it more politely then it may well be that she just disagrees with the whole concept and is trying to say so without being judgy about your intentions.

I don't think, in either event, that you can reasonably be angry with her for not agreeing to take part -I probably wouldn't do it either. I would prefer to find a more directly helpful way of contributing.

BillyBollyBrandy Thu 17-Jan-13 13:45:18

<backs away from apocalypse slowly>

atthewelles Thu 17-Jan-13 13:45:18

I do agree that sometimes we seem to be bombarded with requests from charities - many of whom seem to be competing against each other for funds. My own pet hate is the bag packers in supermarkets who, in my experience anyway, are usually collecting for a trip abroad for the boy scouts, or for a gang of schoolgirls to go on a personal development trip to the 3rd world. These are not charities in my opinion, but young people who are working in the supermarket to earn the money for their trip. Fair enough, but that should be made clear and unsuspecting people should not be duped or guilt tripped into thinking they're donating to a charity by the vague wording used on the collection boxes.

Sorry, bit OT there.

Manictigger Thu 17-Jan-13 13:51:03

But Rhubarb, you may not mind if people ignore your requests on Facebook but some people (like the OP) clearly do and will judge you for it. As it happens these days I tell people that I'm not on Facebook very often purely to excuse the fact that I am not reposting 'important information' or 'being one of the people that a 'friend' knows will respond to some piece of bollocks. And yes I 'do know who I am' thanks.

THERhubarb Thu 17-Jan-13 13:53:19

Apocalypse I did not mean to patronise so there is no need for the sarky reply. I hoped that you would come to see that not everyone who donates to charity is some kind of annoying do-gooder who only supports charity in order to self promote.

Those people are around and my mother is one of them. Everyone knows about her good causes and how much she goes out of her way to help others. She's had her reward tenfold already.

But there are other reasons which make such promotion so useful and that is the awareness of serious issues like Malala Yousufzai and also to spread the word for more donations.

If you don't tell people about fundraisers then those who would gladly donate don't get the chance to.

It's a fine-line between self promotion and honestly doing all you can to raise both funds and awareness.

I'm sure you still don't agree, just do me the courtesy of not being quite so sarcastic in your reply.

KhallDrogo Thu 17-Jan-13 13:55:58

I agree with apocolypse

THERhubarb Thu 17-Jan-13 13:57:58

atthewelles yes yes. I don't often carry change with me and when doing a food shop I pay by card. I could see the boy scout was offering to pack bags and I could see he was getting disheartened by the refusals. So I decided that I would say yes and I would get the cashier to change the fiver I had into pound coins so that I could drop one into his pot.

He packed a few things, I paid by card and when the till popped open as it always does I asked the cashier if she could change my fiver, explaining that I wanted to give him a couple of quid. She refused, saying it wasn't policy. I explained again, asking very nicely and telling her that I only had a fiver and it would make for an expensive bag packer if I gave him that. She just stared at me blankly, as did the people behind who were listening. He had shuffled off looking embarrassed so what else could I do? He got a fiver and I left feeling pissed off.

oldebaglady Thu 17-Jan-13 14:05:45

"So you ask someone what they would like as a gift, you say "ooo a donation that has a cause which is very close to my heart", and someone then decides you are spending their money for them (after they ask you what you want) and decide not to do anything instead"

it is DIFFERENT when it is a charity request, because just as someone can feel passionately about a charity for personal reasons, someone else can feel passionately AGAINST that charity for personal reasons too. I know someone who had really negative experiences of a local hospice that a lot of people fund raise for for example, so being asked to contribute to that is going to provoke a stronger reaction and desire not to than a couple saying that they prefer homebase to john lewis vouchers if asked what gift they want!

merlincat Thu 17-Jan-13 14:09:46

I can only assume from these indignant replies that 'releasing a balloon' has become a euphemism for something quite filthy and possibly illegal while my back was turned.

If a mate asks for help, you help. Er, that's it.

BillyBollyBrandy Thu 17-Jan-13 14:10:00

I did agree with you olde further on... grin

atthewelles Thu 17-Jan-13 14:15:09

I have to agree merlin. If a friend asked me to release a balloon I might be a bit confused but if it was obviously important to them and they were a good friend I'd just do it.
If, for some reason, it wasn't practical I would explain why I couldn't do it and wouldn't just give a peremptory refusal.

If a mate asks you to help by doing something that doesn't actually help anyone and you disagree with for enviromental reasons and isn't even for the person who asked, its for the brother of the friend of a friend then you should do it anyway because someone asked? Really

THERhubarb Thu 17-Jan-13 14:21:18

Oh yes, people can have bad experiences of charities. I know I read some reasearch about a sudden death charity doing experiments on babies to discover what happens when they stop breathing. I was very shocked and so when someone asked me to support something they were doing for that charity, although they had very good personal reasons for supporting them I just couldn't and it was very difficult to explain why, as you can imagine.

I think the moral of this thread is not to judge but to actually grow some balls and just ask her why she doesn't feel she can help with this issue.

As demonstrated in these posts, she may have very valid reasons for not responding to you in the way you would like.

Just because you have put yourself on a pedestal it does not mean that you should expect others to now drop everything and bow down to you. For all you know, your friend could actually be very generous with her donations and just doesn't feel the need to publicise her charitable side.

This thread has made a little sad now about those who do try and raise money. I find it interesting that Apocalypse has called the OP judgey when she herself judges those who raise money.

Do we all really just go around judging one another without realising how hypocritical we are being?

scarletforya Thu 17-Jan-13 14:22:39

If a mate asks for help, you help. Er, that's it

No, I disagree. I use my own conscience to decidde what I do. I don't just blindly agree to and obey every request a 'mate' makes. It's unwise to unquestioningly follow orders from others, just because they are 'a mate'.

ApocalypseThen Thu 17-Jan-13 14:27:14

I hoped that you would come to see that not everyone who donates to charity is some kind of annoying do-gooder who only supports charity in order to self promote.

You say you're not trying to be patronising, but you're assuming that I don't know what people who do charity think of themselves. In reality, you've got to know that we all do know why you're doing what you do in your eyes, and while people can see that on one level, on another you feel free to speak to adults as though we were dim four year olds and then get all huffy when we don't appreciate it. It's exactly that kind of attitude - that you know best and if others just understood they'd agree with you because it's so obvious that you're right and good - that drives people insane.

oldebaglady Thu 17-Jan-13 14:31:44

if it was a good friend wouldn't the OP reply with some concern about why the friend sounded so addled/overwhelmed?

merlincat Thu 17-Jan-13 14:33:10

Got many mates, Scarlet?

ethelb Thu 17-Jan-13 14:37:03

@merlin probably more than the number of friends the OP will have if she throws a stop everytime her friends fail to jump every time she tells them to.

AmberLeaf Thu 17-Jan-13 14:39:55

I hate 'raising awareness' type stuff.

I don't think it raises awareness at all.

I would find releasing a balloon pretty pointless.

Merlin if your friend told you they were chucking crisp packets and coke cans all over britain to raise awareness for an illness that a friend of theirs brother suffered and asked you to do it from would you?

atthewelles Thu 17-Jan-13 14:41:30

I think the OP is getting a very hard time. If I asked a good friend to do something that was important to me and they said 'Sorry, no, because x,y or z' then that would be fair enough.
But if they just said 'No, I haven't time' I would be taken aback.

ethelb Thu 17-Jan-13 14:45:56

I havne't got time is a reason though.

THERhubarb Thu 17-Jan-13 14:48:21

"You say you're not trying to be patronising, but you're assuming that I don't know what people who do charity think of themselves. In reality, you've got to know that we all do know why you're doing what you do in your eyes, and while people can see that on one level, on another you feel free to speak to adults as though we were dim four year olds and then get all huffy when we don't appreciate it. It's exactly that kind of attitude - that you know best and if others just understood they'd agree with you because it's so obvious that you're right and good - that drives people insane. "

I have no idea what you are talking about now. You clearly are reading something in my posts that is not there. I don't think I have spoken to you like a 4 year old, I don't know best and I certainly never thought you would just agree with me. I don't think I am right and good at all and I don't believe I have said this.

That was not the point of my posts at all. I have a feeling that no matter what I post, you will read into that what you will. I am seriously not a self-promoter and actually left my role as fundraiser for the British Red Cross because I just wasn't cut out for it. It also opened my eyes to the way money was spent in charities (on expenses, hire cars, pointless meetings, huge salaries for bosses) and I disagreed with it.

I did say that I agreed with you on some points and not on others. I still do but I reckon (hope) you've got my posts all wrong. For all I know, you could have secretly donated thousands to local charities and for all you know, I could be a raving hypocrite who loves to force her dd into fundraising against her will just to get into the papers. See I'm not blind to what people might think. But then most people love being judgemental and most are just wrong.

everlong Thu 17-Jan-13 14:48:43


Some of you sound a bit heartless. Imagine if it were child with cancer and people had that ' hate raising awareness ' attitude.

ApocalypseThen Thu 17-Jan-13 14:50:32

But if they just said 'No, I haven't time' I would be taken aback.

Why, though? Isn't 'No, I haven't time' a good enough reason? Asking someone to do something is just that - a request. They aren't obliged to comply for any reason at all, and they don't owe an explantion that you would consider adequate.

They certainly don't deserve to be called totally and utterly selfish and to be defriended for not toeing the line.

HeyHoHereWeGo Thu 17-Jan-13 15:05:53

I'm whispering this but in my opinion -
middleclass teenagers going to 3rd world countries to "work" for a week - tasteless in the extreme
awareness raising campaigns - pointless, only for the emotional, not the rational
cancer research - paying the wage of a surgical registrar who wants to add research to his cv so he can get a better job
sponsored marathons - only for those fitness freaks who would be doing it anyway

I do contribute to some of the above, but I also see through them.

I also never ever sign condolence books. Explain to me why one death is worse than any other?

scarletforya Thu 17-Jan-13 15:08:12

Got many mates, Scarlet?

Yeh, plenty thanks. Question for you;

Do you think having mates depends on doing everything they ask you?

ethelb Thu 17-Jan-13 15:09:29

@everlong but there are children with cancer all the time. Presumably adults will have decided whether or not that is a cause that they want to support.

Why should a friend's friend's brother's suffering affect how much you were going to do for a particular cause? Most adults have considered the possibility that there is suffering, injustice, illness and death in the world.

There are a million worthy causes in the world, lots of injustice, you can't emotionally blackmail people into agreeing with you on the worth of every single cause.

AllYoursBabooshka Thu 17-Jan-13 15:12:36

I don't think people should "blindly follow orders" but what's so hard about being nice about it?

"No sorry, I don't think I'll be able to do that but I hope it goes well and let me know if I can help with anything else."

fuckadoodlepoopoo Thu 17-Jan-13 15:18:10

Yanbu. You didn't ask for much!

merlincat Thu 17-Jan-13 15:25:38

No, Scarlet, it doesn't. But I see where you're going with that question you sarky minx.

Mollydoggerson Thu 17-Jan-13 15:32:41

I agree with Scarlett, and also would feel uncomfortable about the balloon release. It seems pointless to me and a little attention seeking tbh.

KhallDrogo Thu 17-Jan-13 15:39:19

babooshka but friend clearly doesn't want to 'help with anything else'.....she has already clearly said that she doesn't have time

THERhubarb Thu 17-Jan-13 15:39:40

HeyHoHereWeGo I agree. You have to see through them. Charities are big business. Having said that there are some issues that need awareness raised of them, such as the symptoms of breast cancer, how to prevent cot death and so on. If people didn't bang on about them then we'd largely ignore the warnings about not putting your baby to sleep on its stomach and perhaps more babies would have suffered cot death.

Natural disasters and famines also need to be discussed and talked about if people are to receive any aid.

Human rights atrocities need to be highlighted.

Luckily in this country we are free to turn off the TV, ignore FB statuses, avoid people in the street and pack our own bags at the supermarket. There is nothing forcing people to contribute or get involved. Many choose to do so in their own way, in private and I think more people should respect that and not judge just because someone has ignored their status or refused an email request. Public events are not everyone's cup of tea and it certainly doesn't make them bad people.

And you have to remain cynical about a lot of these big charities, including the cancer ones. If every illness was cured, if famine was a thing of the past and if corruption didn't exist, a lot of people would be out of a job.

scarletforya Thu 17-Jan-13 15:55:19

merlincat wink moi, a minx? <aw shucks>

fuckadoodlepoopoo Thu 17-Jan-13 15:59:20

Im really shocked at some of the responses on here. Someone is about to die and his loved ones left devastated! Some of the reasons for not bothering to go to all the trouble of releasing a balloon are pathetic.

AllYoursBabooshka Thu 17-Jan-13 15:59:35

It's just a pleasantry KhallDrogo, most people would pick up on that

Are you lot always as blunt as a bag of wet mice when talking to your friends?

THERhubarb Thu 17-Jan-13 15:59:47

Anyways, the point of the OP's original thread has kinda been lost.

Her friend could have answered her email a little more sensitively. The OP feels that this is an issue close to her heart, she knows the guy in question and she just wanted to do something to help. The psychology of that, whilst interesting, is probably best left for another thread.

The OP also needs to realise that not everyone shares her emotions or passion and rather than second guessing her friend's reluctance to join in, she could just ask her.

And yes some people who devote their lives to charity and doing good are just self promoting, annoying bastards who only really care about their reputation as a do-gooder.

Others play the system and remain cynical.

Others give in private and stay out of the limelight.

Others actively hate charitable doings and think they probably do more harm than good and are just there to keep people in jobs.

One thing we all have in common is the ability to judge our fellow countrymen and look down our noses at them whilst claiming they are doing the same and honestly not seeing the hypocrisy there.

I include myself in that too.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Thu 17-Jan-13 16:02:20

I think the key is her tone of voice when she said she didn't have time and none of us were there, so we don't know.

I wouldn't release a balloon because it's dangerous for birds etc I fail to see how a balloon release helps anyone raise awareness that couldn't be raised just as easily by doing something that doesn't risk killing birds etc. The awareness comes from the 'event' being publicised, not the actual balloons themselves, so why not do something else instead?

If there was something I could do to help your friend x (even if I don't know her) or her brother, I'd do it in a heart beat. Raising money to promote awareness - that would depend, everyone has limited time and money to support various charities and sometimes you (sadly) have to make choices about which ones you are going to spend your time and money supporting.

HeyHoHereWeGo Thu 17-Jan-13 16:14:48

fuckadoodlepoopoo said Someone is about to die and his loved ones left devastated!
But this releasing balloon malarky is not going to change that in the slightest bit is it?
Thats exactly the sentimental pointless stuff that a lot of us object to!
Maybe OP's friend is one of them.

ApocalypseThen Thu 17-Jan-13 16:17:44

Thats exactly the sentimental pointless stuff that a lot of us object to!

And also, the emotional blackmail.

KhallDrogo Thu 17-Jan-13 16:18:44

Can't stand empty platitudes. Find them quite rude as it goes. Much prefer straight talking

But then my friends are neither delicate flowers or Hyacinrh Bucket

fuckadoodlepoopoo Thu 17-Jan-13 16:25:08

The point at which someone is about to die isn't the time to objecting to things which you consider to be "sentimental" and "pointless".

ApocalypseThen Thu 17-Jan-13 16:28:02

So we should all be doing sentimental and pointless things every time anyone is about to die? Well, I'd describe that as ambitious, but I fear it's acutally impossible, nobody has that many balloons, fun runs, facebook updates, candles, flowers and books of condolence.

oldebaglady Thu 17-Jan-13 16:29:51

really does noone else think the OP should be a little concerned about the friend, a response like "I don't have time for this" to me would indicate that something was going on, not necessarily in terms of physical time, and I'ld reply showing concern like "you sound stressed, is everything okay?"
- just me then??

fuckadoodlepoopoo Thu 17-Jan-13 16:30:18

Don't be ridiculous apocalypse hmm

fuckadoodlepoopoo Thu 17-Jan-13 16:34:08

Baglady. No not just you, but i think some on here would object to the notion of showing concern for some wanky reason. To busy being consumed by their own pretentious wankery!

AndABigBirdInaPearTree Thu 17-Jan-13 16:34:31

I wouldn't do it because helium is a very limited resource that is wasted on balloons, regardless of how important the issue is.

Very good point about the Helium. The planets natural Helium supply will be depleted soon, and it is needed for medical purposes. Ridiculous to put it in balloons then.

darthsillius Thu 17-Jan-13 18:39:14

I agree with hullygully many pages ago.

I'm amused by the fact that someone criticised an awareness campaign as being a little attention seeking, eer surely that's the point??

Mollydoggerson Fri 18-Jan-13 15:29:21

Attention seeking in a 'I'm the queen of the grievers' way, or 'my feelings are deeper than everyone elses'.

Before I am lambasted for being so heartless, let me say I lost my father 3 weeks ago. We all grieve at some tiimes in our lives, we do not need to emotionally blackmail others to publically support any causes.

PurpleStorm Fri 18-Jan-13 21:19:01

I don't see how releasing a balloon raises awareness of anything at all, unless there's hundreds of people all doing it together - and that would take longer than 5 or 10 minutes of someone's time.

I wouldn't release a balloon, partly because I don't believe it would increase awareness, and partly because of the environmental implications, and I'd say that to anyone asking me.

OP, if your friend only said "I do not have time for this" and nothing more, then that does sound a bit abrupt, but does she realise it's a cause that you really do care strongly about? She may think that you're just forwarding on charity requests from your acquaintances? Or have her own reasons for not wanting to support that particular charity that you're not aware of. Either way, it's a bit extreme to be shocked, angry, and labelling her as selfish without talking to her about why she's not willing to help out.

PigletJohn Fri 18-Jan-13 22:54:21

If somebody asked me to release a balloon, for someone I didn't know, I might think

- what good will a balloon do?

- what will this biodegradable ballon cost?

- what's it got to do with me?

- how long will it take me to get this balloon, travel to the release site, and hang around for the ceremony?

I might say "I haven't got time (to argue with you)"


thezebrawearspurple Fri 18-Jan-13 23:45:16

I hate gimmicks and would refuse to do something so stupid if somebody asked me. Sending a balloon in the air with a silly message won't help your friends brother or anybody else with his illness. The only point of this is to make people who are doing nothing feel like they are doing something. Pointless for those suffering.

catloony Fri 18-Jan-13 23:47:59

Sorry OP, i have to say exactly the same as pigletjohn.

LineRunner Fri 18-Jan-13 23:52:38

OP's gone by the looks of it, but I'm with pigletjohn as well.

KhallDrogo Sat 19-Jan-13 09:16:01

Sorry for your loss molly

MardyArsedMidlander Sat 19-Jan-13 10:14:34

'Some of you sound a bit heartless. Imagine if it were child with cancer and people had that ' hate raising awareness ' attitude.'

When it comes to childhood cancers_ I don't think that 'raising awareness' is the issue. I wouldn't ,for example, give money or time to raise funds to send a seriously ill child abroad for unproven and possibly fraudulent therapies.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now