Friday, May 01, 2009

Toxic Friends and Granny-cicles-Unwanted Advice (5/1/09)

DEAR ELLIE: A few years ago my friend began to bug me by making fun of how I do things. Then she compared things we have, hinting her house is cleaner, more organized etc. I don't feel like I'm her friend anymore, so I started to avoid her. She's fine in small doses, but annoying for more than an hour. I dislike her other friends; she and they act over the top.

She caught on that I never go with her anywhere, and now she's sulking. We've had such a long history together that I don't know how to tell her. I've tried, but she batted it away with sentimental words and I lost my nerve. I pride myself on loyalty to my friends, but I'm done with her. What should I do?



Sulking on top of gloating? Wow, how can you tear yourself away from such a prize friend?

I don’t see what the problem is. Just say, “Gee Jane, I’d love to hang around with you more, but you’re a real bitch now. And so are your other friends. Been real. See ya!”

As far as the “sentimental words,” get over ‘em. They are a commonly-used tool with fall-away friends: they try to keep you on the leash with old feelings because they can’t be bothered to spend any real time nurturing new ones. Lose her.

DEAR ABBY: My grandmother died while I was out of the country on a two-week vacation. My dad left when I was in second grade, and she raised me along with my mother. We were very close. I always took care of her and made time to spend with her.

Although she had been in poor health for two years, Grandma was not in critical condition when I left. She passed away three days before I was to return, and my family held her funeral the day before I arrived.

I had expressed my wishes that they wait if at all possible. They did not, and I feel betrayed. We have always been close, and now I am so hurt and angry that I don't even want to see them. Can you offer any advice?



Yes. Pull the stick out of your ass, dearie. When you heard that your grandmother had passed away, you should have made arrangements to IMMEDIATELY return home—THAT day—not ride your vacation out to its conclusion. That’s what we call an “emergency,” and I’m sure you could have found a plane to take you back that day.

Did you really expect the family to keep her in the freezer until you got home??

This probably sounds harsh, and I know you’re grieving right now, but your family is grieving, too, and they don’t need the extra drama. Save it for CBS—I hear “Guiding Light” is going off the air soon, and they can use it to plug the gap. Anyway, you’re going to need each other to get through this. Don’t shit where you eat.

DEAR AMY: I am 81, and my wife is 74 years old. We have been married for 29 years. This is our second marriage.

We own a home, and I maintain the house inside and outside. My wife does not do any housework or even clean her own bathroom or office.

She cooks me three suppers per week.

We have separate bank accounts and file separate income taxes.

For the last three years my wife has been baby-sitting for her son Thursday to Saturday.

This group has gone on three vacations each of the last three years. I was not invited.

My wife does not telephone me when she is baby-sitting or on vacation.

This year they went on three skiing vacations, and I was not told where they were staying.

Simple math indicates I only see or have contact with my wife two-thirds of the year.

I would appreciate your comments.



You’ve been married for 29 years and you’re complaining now? (And with a poem, no less?)

My only comment is that you should be thankful she’s not around much, because she doesn’t sound like someone worth spending all that much time with.

Clearly, you’re just a meal ticket to her. I don’t know how you can change that at this late date. But you should definitely quit cleaning her bathroom. If she refuses to take turns cleaning, the least she deserves is to shave her legs in squalor.

DEAR MARGO: I am a man in my mid-50s, happily married, with two college-age daughters. Some months ago I was traveling in an area where a woman who was once a big part of my life lives. She sent me a "Dear John" letter many years ago saying she was getting married, invited me to the wedding, and said he was a lot like me. I was devastated, but got on with my life. After my trip I sent her an innocuous birthday card. About a month later I wrote a letter saying I had been in her area, thought of calling, but held back. I explained that I was hurt by what happened, still had feelings for her, and told her a little of my life. I have been overcome with thoughts and feelings about her. Well, a week later I got a stinging certified letter. "Do not contact me! I made my choice years ago, and I have not looked back. I am VERY happy and married to a man I love. Don’t call, contact, etc. I am VERY HAPPY with my life!!!"

I was devastated all over again. Was I wrong to contact her? Obviously, I will not do that again, but I am really into healing wounds and leaving things in a good place. Her hysterical reaction made me wonder if she is OK.



Really? It made me wonder what you saw in her to begin with. She dumped you many years ago and paid you the additional insult of telling you that Schmuck #2 (assuming you were even #1) was “a lot like you.” In other words, everything about you was OK except that you were, you know, you.

You probably freaked her out by telling her you still had feelings for her (bad move and incomprehensible, frankly), but sending such a vehement letter in response (certified, no less) is over the top. Don’t be devastated, be relieved--they don’t call them “lucky escapes” for nothing. It may have been “her choice,” but it was your good fortune. Whether or not she’s happy (or even VERY HAPPY), is not your problem—she made her bed and she can lie it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Dear Ellie letter: A few years ago a person I thought was a friend started treaty me like dirt. She should have cut her ties back then but it is never too late.
The Dear Abby letter: Wasn't it rude for granny to die while you were basking in the sun drinking fruit drinks with little umbrellas?
The Dear Amy letter: Uh did I read that right? the 74 yar old grandma went on three skiing vacations? I'd tell her not to bother cooking me three meals a week. Oh and don't bother coming back to my house either. I'll cook and clean for myself thank you.
The Dear Margo letter: His old flame moved on get over it you've moved on she's moved on. C'est la Vie.
Damn, this weather, I have a splitting sinus headache. The grass is growing and too wet to mow. I wish I lived in a high rise in downtown Chicago. Want to trade? haha.

12:16 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Well, considering I don't live in a high-rise, it wouldn't REALLY be trading places. Now, if you'd said "I wish I lived next door to a bunch of drug addicts with the L train on the other side," THEN perhaps...

Actually, though, it would be nice to have a yard again! We have a courtyard, but that's not the same thing (nobody really picks up after their dogs, you know).

Hope your sinus feel better soon! We'll get warm weather for real one of these days...

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