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To tell my friend her behaviour was odd...?

(301 Posts)
pollymadetea Wed 23-Sep-20 07:36:02

I met a friend for a walk / picnic yesterday.
We’ve both got small babies (6 months)

It’s the first chance we’ve had to meet and I was really looking forward to it.

Turns out I found the afternoon quite stressful and didn’t enjoy it.

We started off having a walk but every few minutes she was reminding me to stay away from her and the baby and pointing out that I had broken the 2m “barrier”.

I hadn’t done this on purpose and I’m well aware of how to distance, but some paths were smaller than others so it wasn’t possible to be exactly two meters apart, although we weren’t far off!!
Yet she kept pointing out that I was less than 2m.

I’d taken a lunch bag with me and the basket in my pram was already quite full, she didn’t have anything in hers so I asked if I could put my lunch bag under her pram.

She told me it wasn’t safe for me to do that because it’s risking spreading Covid.
I didn’t say anything about this, I just carried my own bag.

We sat down and ate our picnic and I suggested we let the babies play together but she was really against this idea and said the babies should distance.

As we were leaving and packing up, her sons blanket fell from the pram, I picked it up and gave it to her and she told me she didn’t want to take that now and I shouldn’t have touched it as it’s not safe and it’s how Covid spreads.
I apologised and told her I’d sanitised my hands after we’d eaten.

She told me to just put it under the pram, which I did.

She then said she would walk back to the car alone as the path was too small for us to distance so we said our goodbyes and we left.

She’s messaged saying she had a lovely day and would I like to do it again.

But I didn’t really have a lovely day, I felt on edge around her and I think I’d feel the same if we were to meet again.

Should I tell her that she was being too extreme? Or is it that I’m too relaxed??

OP’s posts: |
bearlyactive Wed 23-Sep-20 07:37:31

She sounds very anxious. Maybe try asking her if she's okay, rather than accusing her of being too extreme?

Ffsnosexallowed Wed 23-Sep-20 07:38:08

Doesn't sound like a fun afternoon out whatever.

GreyishDays Wed 23-Sep-20 07:38:45

Research seems to be showing that transmission outdoors is much much less likely. Ditto by touch. But she’s just going by the letter of it I suppose. So just accept that she’s being very very careful.

CindersCatsSister Wed 23-Sep-20 07:38:57

It sounds as though she is anxious and following the rules to the letter. Why don’t you meet her in an environment that’s easier to social distance in next time?

attackedbycritters Wed 23-Sep-20 07:39:22

Sounds like she is struggling doesn't it ?

But it's easy to adjust to be guideline compliant the whole time, eg If the pavement is narrow one party should hold back to go single file

FenellaMaxwell Wed 23-Sep-20 07:40:04

I think it’s a bit of both - you aren’t being careful and she is clearly anxious. Maybe try and focus on helping her with her anxiety rather than the fact you didn’t have fun.

pollymadetea Wed 23-Sep-20 07:40:18


Research seems to be showing that transmission outdoors is much much less likely. Ditto by touch. But she’s just going by the letter of it I suppose. So just accept that she’s being very very careful.


Do you think so? I’m careful but I found her to be way too much.

OP’s posts: |
emmaluggs Wed 23-Sep-20 07:40:59

You’re both dealing with it in your own way, whilst you might feel she’s at the extreme but it’s her way of dealing with it. We are in the middle of a pandemic, and no one has been through this before.

At the end of the day the 2m rule is there, if you don’t want to adhere to it you don’t meet again until things are more relaxed.

PileofToss Wed 23-Sep-20 07:41:10

That sounds incredibly stressful. I’d probably mention it to her somehow, but not entirely sure how I’d approach it. Perhaps say it was lovely to see her and her DC but you found it quite stressful constantly being reminded of Covid and distancing so maybe you should wait until she feels more relaxed in public. Isn’t it 1m distancing now anyway?

TeddyTeddy Wed 23-Sep-20 07:42:01

I don’t think you’re too relaxed. I am much more relaxed than you and I have a younger baby (I also have an older toddler which is why I basically can’t socially distance). However your friend is obviously scared so I would try to be understanding and frame any discussion around asking her if she’s okay. I spend most of my time out and about in parks etc and I can tell you from the way I see other mothers behaving that she is definitely on the extreme side. Although I suppose there may be a lot of women I don’t see locked up indoors.

Mellonsprite Wed 23-Sep-20 07:42:33

You’ve both got a different risk / tolerance level. I wouldn’t say her behaviour is ‘odd’ to her, I think it’s you’re just more relaxed.
If you do say anything I would say something like you found keeping the 2m difficult due to where you went. Anything else she will interpret as you’re not prepared to stick to the rules, although personally I wouldn’t have a problem with what you did.

DrManhattan Wed 23-Sep-20 07:42:46

I wouldn't be meeting her again. Too much drama.

Fishfingersandwichplease Wed 23-Sep-20 07:43:17

I went on holiday with friends who were like this quite recently and decided on the first day l won't be going away with them again til this is over. Whilst am obedient of the rules and well aware there is a global pandemic going on, l still want to enjoy myself and someelse being that on edge spoils it l am afraid so l would gently say shall we leave it til things calm down a bit or say the weather is crap now so you didn't think she would want to meet inside or something.

Codexdivinchi Wed 23-Sep-20 07:45:22

I wouldn’t go again. If she is a really good friend I’d tell her the truth. That her anxiety over COVID made the afternoon quite stressful for you.

RedRec Wed 23-Sep-20 07:45:23

Sounds awkward but I would cut her some slack on this occasion as she sounds very anxious. I definitely wouldn't tell her she was being 'extreme' and would be a bit gentle with her.
I think only 'normal' times will tell if this is to be an enduring friendship.

lasangoles Wed 23-Sep-20 07:45:26

Absolutely don't tell her she's being odd. She's scared, and though it may be irrational, she's got a very young baby and whilst you may be coping OK, she may not be. (I'm not saying you definitely are, BTW). I would reach out to her and ask if she is OK, as she is obviously anxious.

Ughmaybenot Wed 23-Sep-20 07:46:05

I think it would be a bit mean to say anything to her. She’s clearly struggling with anxiety around the risk of Covid, it wouldn’t achieve anything telling her that.
I think possibly I’d phrase it that while it was lovely to see her and baby, you found it a little stressful trying to keep to the distancing rules and that, but whatever you say, it won’t change how she feels, so I certainly wouldn’t make a big thing of it.

NataliaOsipova Wed 23-Sep-20 07:47:06

I think I’d reply - “So lovely to see you and (baby’s name). Looking forward to seeing you again soon - maybe better to wait until things have calmed down a bit Covid wise?”.

What you describe would get right on my nerves, to be honest - I wouldn’t want to upset her (she sounds anxious enough about life as it is), but I wouldn’t want to spend any more time with her.

DramaDromedary Wed 23-Sep-20 07:48:04

She seems like she could be struggling, new babies and pandemics aren’t a great combination. For me, it would depend how good a friend she is. I would certainly say she’s being extreme, but I know everyone has their own level. If you can find it in you, rather than feeling criticised by her, could you reframe it for yourself as a sign of (maybe over the top) anxiety on her part, and try to support her through it?

VeraPink Wed 23-Sep-20 07:48:28

She sounds very anxious, I would find that stressful too.

Maybe you could find a different activity like meeting for a chat in one of your gardens or an open park? Without the food this time, just a shorter meeting. She might feel more comfortable and you could keep your distance more easily.

saraclara Wed 23-Sep-20 07:50:16

In England it's 1m+ so if you're there, she was being OTT

If you found it too stressful (and I would have felt that way too) then I'd say somatching, without sounding too critical. Maybe say that although it was lovely to see her, maybe you should both wait until she's more comfortable with the babies interacting, as it's something you feel your little one needs.

Scarcity20 Wed 23-Sep-20 07:50:36

Yes she's definitely anxious but I doubt anything you say will help and I wouldn't want to be around someone treating me like a lepper either!

ScrapThatThen Wed 23-Sep-20 07:52:06

I think it's unreasonable in a pandemic to expect to pass things to each other when not necessary (remember we are adjusting to higher numbers again, some people are ahead of the curve and some are three weeks behind and still reducing precautions not increasing them again.) Outdoor transmission risk is I think low, but OTOH you were spending time together so sensible to distance. I worry about people's level of anxiety, and she might be struggling, or she might just be highly adherent to the guidelines. She sent you a polite message, I would do the same.

GoodbyePorpoiseSpit Wed 23-Sep-20 07:54:02

I’d say something along the lines of ‘meeting up during COVID seems quite stressful - let’s wait until the babies can interact more freely’ then separate/later message: are you OK????
She sounds anxious and tense = no fun
Also sounds like she needs some extra love!

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