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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?

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).

HeadfirstForHalos Thu 17-Jan-13 09:59:23

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

PureQuintessence Thu 17-Jan-13 09:59:30

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.

dreamingbohemian Thu 17-Jan-13 10:04:25

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.


PureQuintessence Thu 17-Jan-13 10:06:03

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.

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

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.

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