I sent a Christmas card to a man who is a business associate and somewhere between acquaintance and friend. We're both consultants so we've shared financial information -- like what we charge for different things -- and we like each other but that's about as far as it's gone.
Today I got an email from him with Merry Christmas as the subject line that says:
What? A little too late for greetings of the season? I've had your very nice Christmas Card sitting on my desk for two months, while I built up enough guilt over not having responded to finally write to say thanks.
Heck, sometimes, I've let guilt build up for years.
How you doin'?
I was thinking about how foolish that is that he worried about my Christmas card, but then had to admit that I specifically remembered his card because I accidentally signed it "Love, Pat" -- and it was the love part I worried about -- we're not really in the "love" neighborhood, even as friends. At the time, I decided to just send it as is --that Christmas is the season of love, so why not love this guy?
I replied to his email and told him that story -- so much guilt about one silly card. I felt I was being quite brave in confessing this to him and even, as a joke, signed today's email "Love, Pat."
Here's his response which made me chuckle:
Now, if you had signed it, "All my hot monkey love, Pat" that would have been a different story.