In the late ’90s, I’d been having a rough time, so my friends Dia and Nikol planned a whole day to spoil me. They gave me a lovely lunch and a couple of CDs. Dia had started making jewelry, so they took me to a bead store, where I picked out beads for a necklace for me. We had a wonderful time. Shortly after, the necklace arrived in the mail. I was getting ready to visit my family in New Mexico, so I didn’t have time to write a thank-you note, figuring I would when I got back.
This was when the Internet was really taking hold, and of course we all had shiny new e-mail addresses. At my parents’ house, I discovered a great e-card site, and decided I’d be hip and modern, and send an e-card thank-you note. I chose a pretty “card,” complete with music, wrote a couple of paragraphs of thanks, and sent it off. I didn’t hear anything from them, but that wasn’t unusual, since it was often many months between contacts.
After a while, I e-mailed them to say hi, and Nikol wrote back saying that Dia had been very hurt by my not acknowledging their kindness at all. I protested that I’d sent an e-card, but the damage was done, and the relationship never recovered. I learned that if you use new technology to contact someone and they don’t respond, use old technology and call.
New Query: Tell us about a time when you faced your fears.
The Washington Post is partnering with the Public Insight Network (PIN) to hear more of your 100 percent true stories taken from your own experience. Submit your answer to the query above online at wapo.st/ed-query. By sharing your story, you become part of PIN — a network of more than 130,000 people who contribute to high-quality journalism. Editors will choose an entry to run in the Magazine, but we will also share more of your stories online. You can also submit to The Washington Post Magazine, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Include your daytime phone number. Recount your story in 250 words or fewer.