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  1. #1
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    How would you resolve this conflict?

    It's not that big a deal, well it is because I think my friend was way off base and extremely rude. Looking for some perspective.

    I worked out with a friend on Sunday. I left my gym bag in his car with my sweaty, wet workout clothes in a plastic bag inside. I went over to his house on Wednesday, we were going to have drinks, go out to dinner. I also wanted to get my gym bag. I saw that my gym clothes weren't in my bag, and I asked him where they were. Get this, he said they stunk so badly that he THREW THEM OUT. I saw that he had done laundry earlier and asked him why didn't he just put them in the wash? "Because I didn't want them to CONTAMINATE my clothes". I was dumbfounded. I never got a call "Alex, come get your gym bag, your clothes stink inside it" and he lives five minutes away from my house so he could have just dropped it off or I could have gotten them, no problem.

    Does anyone else find this inexcusable? If someone left something smelly in my car/house, I'd let them know they need to retrieve them, and probably put them in my laundry room or outside under my porch if they smelled that bad. Never would I just throw someone's belongings out without at least trying to get the owner to retrieve them.

    Oh also, these weren't just ratty ass gym clothes. The top and shorts were $120 and very nice. I loved the color, the cut, the way I looked in them, and the way I felt in them. Plus there is a sentimental component to that outfit also. Which is probably why I'm as upset as I am. But still, isn't it crazy for a friend to do that?

    I know that a gym outfit isn't worth ending a friendship over, but would it seem out of line for me to demand that he reimburse me for the clothes he threw out? Of course when he sees how much they were, he won't pay up because he probably can't afford to (it would be like me having to pony up like $500 our incomes are so disparate).

    Any opinions? Get over it? Move on, and just make sure I never leave anything with him again? Or hold a grudge that he would essentially 'steal' my clothes and do what he wanted with them which is what I feel.
    Last edited by Alex Forrest; 11-24-2012 at 11:52 AM.

  2. #2

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    Since you asked him "why didn't you just put them in the wash?" rather than "why didn't you call me to come get them?" it sounds like he thinks you were assuming that he was going to wash them for him and that pissed him off. I assume he does not regularly do laundry for you.

    If he is 5 minutes away, why didn't you call him and ask when you could pop over to get them?

  3. #3
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    Sun to Weds is essentially 3 days. When did you realize that you left the gym bag behind? I agree that a quick text message or phone call from you to say, "Oops, forgot my bag - can I swing by and get them" would have helped.

    However I do think that throwing the clothes out was not appropriate. Although I wouldn't have necessarily washed the clothing, if they really were stinking up the car I'd put the bag in the garage or on my porch and remind you to come get them.

    As for a resolution, given that you know your friend can't replace the clothing due to his finances, I think you need to let it go and secure your belongings from now on. The window of opportunity to talk to him about it and explain how he could have handled the clothing differently without throwing them out seems to have passed. Bringing it up now may seem like you're holding onto grudge. I don't know. I guess it depends on how much you want to continue the friendship.
    Last edited by Bostonfan; 11-24-2012 at 12:57 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by snoopysnake View Post
    Since you asked him "why didn't you just put them in the wash?" rather than "why didn't you call me to come get them?" it sounds like he thinks you were assuming that he was going to wash them for him and that pissed him off. I assume he does not regularly do laundry for you.

    If he is 5 minutes away, why didn't you call him and ask when you could pop over to get them?
    I agree. However, I only asked him that after he told me that he threw my clothes in the trash. I didn't assume ANYTHING, except a call if it was so bothersome to come get my clothes. What? Three days? We already had plans for Wednesday, and if he had such a problem between that time with my wet clothes already in a plastic bag, he should have contacted me.

    I don't know, in hetero speak, imagine if you were at a party and ended up leaving a pair of heels at your host, and your host KNOWS they belong to you. You call a couple of days later, and find out that she threw out your 120$ shoes, knowing full well who they belonged to, without even the courtesy of calling you and saying "Get your ass here now or else they are trash". Maybe on this board I thought I'd get more Carrie Bradshaw, who knows. It's rude. And it feels like your property is stolen from you.

  5. #5

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    It was thoughtless of your friend to do this. He wasn't correct to do it. And no, what he did was not nice. But if you want to preserve the friendship, you need to find a way to allow yourself to move past this.

    My suggestion is that you tell him how upset you were that he didn't even think to either put your bag outside or at least call you. Ask him why he thought the best thing to do was to throw your stuff away, and then listen to what he says in response. Then tell him you wish he hadn't done that. That you're disappointed. And then let it go, but from now on, do secure your stuff - don't leave your stuff with him.
    And so, dear Lord, it is with deep sadness that we turn over to you this young woman, whose dream to ride on a giant swan resulted in her death. Maybe it is your way of telling us... to buy American.

  6. #6
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    If the clothes were that important to you, and that expensive, why did you not do something about getting them back as soon as you realized you had left the bag in the car, rather than three days later?
    Who wants to watch rich people eat pizza? They must have loved that in Bangladesh. - Randy Newman on the 2014 Oscars broadcast

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    If the clothes were that important to you, and that expensive, why did you not do something about getting them back as soon as you realized you had left the bag in the car, rather than three days later?
    That is the thing, the clothes are not THAT important to me. It is the idea that someone would throw away my (expensive) clothes without even a two second text message. Who treats people this way? Should I change how I treat people? sort of "**** You, I do want I want, when I want, and don't care about friends or family" way?

  8. #8

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    Alex, if I were in your shoes, I would have been very upset that my friend just threw away my clothes without asking me to pick them up. Of course you could have called about the missing bag, but I think your friend should have called you if you did not. It was very rude of him to throw away your clothes without contacting you to pick them up by a certain day/time (or else they will be thrown away). Something like that would sour a friendship. It is totally up to you how you want to interact with this person. If you feel angry and hurt, which you obviously do, you could share your feelings with your friend, and let him know how much you loved those clothes, how much you had paid for them, and how much his actions hurt your feelings. Ask if there is a way for him to retrieve those for you. See what the response is. If it is rude or unsympathetic, I would not want to continue being a friend with this person. However, if he is genuinely sorry, it may be worthwhile to continue being friends, even if he cannot retrieve those clothes. If you don't feel comfortable confronting your friend, I think you may be better off walking away from it all. That's my two cents.

  9. #9

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    Word!

    Whoops! Double post. Mods, please delete this - thanks!
    Last edited by nubka; 11-24-2012 at 05:42 AM.
    Nubka - Unpaid Slave Laborer...

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    Alex, if I were in your shoes, I would have been very upset that my friend just threw away my clothes without asking me to pick them up. Of course you could have called about the missing bag, but I think your friend should have called you if you did not. It was very rude of him to throw away your clothes without contacting you to pick them up by a certain day/time (or else they will be thrown away). Something like that would sour a friendship. It is totally up to you how you want to interact with this person. If you feel angry and hurt, which you obviously do, you could share your feelings with your friend, and let him know how much you loved those clothes, how much you had paid for them, and how much his actions hurt your feelings. Ask if there is a way for him to retrieve those for you. See what the response is. If it is rude or unsympathetic, I would not want to continue being a friend with this person. However, if he is genuinely sorry, it may be worthwhile to continue being friends, even if he cannot retrieve those clothes. If you don't feel comfortable confronting your friend, I think you may be better off walking away from it all. That's my two cents.
    Word!
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  11. #11
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    Vash01 hit the nail on the head, but I will add in a few thoughts of my own.

    It is an unfortunate fact of our society that many people fail to see the need to make an apology when, in fact, they should. One unfortunate consequence of this is that a good many friendships come to an end when one friend is unthinkingly rude to another and then fails to apologize.

    That first point brings me to some questions: Why did you leave your gym clothes in the car in the first place? Did it slip your mind, or what? And when did you realize that you'd left them there? If, as it seems, it simply slipped your mind, it might help if you led things off by apologizing for leaving your (sweaty) gym clothes in his car in the first place and not calling him about them as soon as you realized what you had done. You're more likely to get at least an apology (if not reimbursement) if you take the first step.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    Vash01 hit the nail on the head, but I will add in a few thoughts of my own.

    It is an unfortunate fact of our society that many people fail to see the need to make an apology when, in fact, they should. One unfortunate consequence of this is that a good many friendships come to an end when one friend is unthinkingly rude to another and then fails to apologize.

    That first point brings me to some questions: Why did you leave your gym clothes in the car in the first place? Did it slip your mind, or what? And when did you realize that you'd left them there? If, as it seems, it simply slipped your mind, it might help if you led things off by apologizing for leaving your (sweaty) gym clothes in his car in the first place and not calling him about them as soon as you realized what you had done. You're more likely to get at least an apology (if not reimbursement) if you take the first step.
    ITA with Vagabond. If you start by apologizing first, it could open the door for you to get an apology (or better) from your friend. Don't let ego get in your way. In reality it does not matter who apologizes first. I still believe that your friend was rude and very wrong in this matter, but if the intent is to make peace, Vagabond's approach will help.

  13. #13
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    Thank you to those who commented. I would have taken it to FB instead of here, but I'm friends with this person and everyone would know who I was talking about, since we always work out together. To add more detail, the reason why I left my bag in his trunk, we went to dinner after the gym (he picked me up since we are five minutes away and parking downtown is a bitch). We ran into friends at dinner, took it back to a friend's house, started watching a movie and at 9pm my friend said he had to leave and someone offered to take me home later. I forgot my gym bag was in his trunk, but we made Thanksgiving plans already that I'd come over Wednesday, spend the night and spend Thanksgiving together. That's why the bag was left. I had no idea my property would be in jeopardy.

    I feel somewhat better. He called earlier, I told him the least he could do was reimburse me $100 (so he could feel the pinch) cash and bring it over immediately. He did. We talked for half an hour outside, since I wouldn't let him in my home. I think we straightened it out. Frankly, it had nothing to do with money, but what I perceived as a callousness, and basically stealing my property. The friendship is changed. Who throws a friend's possessions out, without even a quick text msg?

    I guess now that I have financial compensation, I'm still struggling with emotional compensation. Should I remain friends with this person? If I have to be on guard over little/simple things, what would happen over big things? I'm going on an extensive six week cruise this winter and thought he could come by, spend a nigtht here or there so no one would know I'm out of town. And now, goddammit, I don't trust him. And like a sociopath, he never said "I'm sorry". For some people they seem to have in their DNA this inability to just say "I'm sorry". Those two words go a long way, especially to someone like me.
    Last edited by Alex Forrest; 11-24-2012 at 01:06 PM.

  14. #14
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    Do you speak in hyperbole in real life, too? I mean, 'like a sociopath'? I totally agree that what he did was wrong, but if you're even half as melodramatic and divisive in real life... and, I mean, this is a friend of yours, who made a big mistake, yes, but he agrees to give you $100 (that you even stated he cannot afford) and your response is to prevent him from even entering your house, take the $100, and contemplate cutting him out of your life even after you said you 'straightened it out'? I mean, if your honest response is to seriously contemplate cutting him out of your life, then you didn't straighten things out.

  15. #15

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    "How would you resolve this conflict?"

    I wouldn't leave a bag with $120 worth of gym clothes in someone else's car.

    If neccessity meant I had to, I would take it home with me that night.

    If I could not take it home that night, I would call by the next day.

    They are MY clothes; it is not my friend's responsibility to remind me of them, nor is it his responsibility to put up with their stench. Maybe throwing them out was a step too far. If he didn't know how much they were worth, he might have taken it in fun. If I were your friend, I would certainly not have realised that they were worth so much fiscally or emotionally, since you couldn't be bothered to come get them for over THREE days.

    Also, I don't care what this person has done, but to demand $100 upfront there and then when you KNOW they can't afford it has one description only: as$hole. Especially when you're not desperate for money.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by michiruwater View Post
    Do you speak in hyperbole in real life, too? I mean, 'like a sociopath'? I totally agree that what he did was wrong, but if you're even half as melodramatic and divisive in real life... and, I mean, this is a friend of yours, who made a big mistake, yes, but he agrees to give you $100 (that you even stated he cannot afford) and your response is to prevent him from even entering your house, take the $100, and contemplate cutting him out of your life even after you said you 'straightened it out'? I mean, if your honest response is to seriously contemplate cutting him out of your life, then you didn't straighten things out.
    Michi, "hyperbole", "melodramatic"? I've reread my posts and see nothing like that. If he couldn't afford 100 dollars then he shouldn't have thrown my property away without my notice. And it was NOT about the money but respect. And calling him a sociopath might seem extreme, but someone who has an inability to recognize what he did was wrong and apologize shows a lack of compassion and empathy and awareness. Hence, a sociopath. It's not that extreme a word, it is a definition, and I would not be surprised if most CEO's could be classified as sociopaths. Romney for one showed those proclivities.

    Anyway, it's done. It is in my court to see how much I can trust this person. I've been put on notice. Of course I can remain 'friends', but then again as a friend I would never just throw someone's possessions away without at least making an attempt to have them retrieve their possessions. You see things differently I suppose. And call it hyperbole and melodramatic. Huh.

  17. #17
    Uncle Dick's Beyotch!
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    Not apologizing doesn't make someone a sociopath. It makes them ignorant and insensitive. Since clearly it's not "done", how about letting some time pass and keep your distance from this individual while you're trying to decide how much you want to invest (or not) in continuing the friendship.

  18. #18
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    A very small percentage of the population are sociopaths, somewhere between 1-4 percent. By your definition, well over half the people I have ever met are sociopaths. Thus, hyperbole and melodrama.

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    If you wanted an apology from your friend, I think you should have said straight out, "I would like an apology." Now you have his money that you know he couldn't afford, and you don't have the apology that you wanted. So everybody loses.
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club

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    I'm wondering why, Alex, have you not answered to questions when you realized that you left your clothes and why you left them. Because I'm wondering that, too. It's kind of hard to believe for me that you just forget a gym bag especially when you're coming from the gym. Sorry.

    That said, it is wrong as a principle to throw out someone else's stuff, whether they are clothes or something else.

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