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My 50-year-old friend – let’s call her Susan – has recently started a new relationship after several years of singledom following a difficult divorce. I’m a little concerned about the dynamic I observed in Susan and this new person. Susan told me previously that she’s disappointed none of her friends voiced their concerns about her relationship with her ex-wife, and are only telling her a decade later that they’re not surprised the relationship was troubled. Should I voice my concerns about this new person in Susan’s life? I want her to be happy, and I don’t want to interfere, especially as I’ve only had one meeting with this person. On the other hand, I don’t want my friend to make a mistake that I could help prevent.
Dating Friends Anonymous
Many people have uttered the words “Why didn’t you tell me a long time ago that you thought ________ was a jerk!?!?!?” But my friend, trust me, none of them mean it! In the throes of a new relationship, we are all idiots, amplifying all our new crush’s wonderful qualities until they sound eligible for sainthood and selectively ignoring all the alarming flashing red lights like say, a criminal record or second family. That’s just the way it is. I mean, if your brain didn’t fool you into thinking that you had just found the single most wonderful person on the planet, I ask you, why would anyone ever get married? We all need that kind of deception to get us over the hump. Now, if you are really concerned that your friend’s new love is abusive in some way, that is different. Then you need to call an abuse hotline to find out the best way to approach Susan about your concerns. But if you just fear your basic mismatch, well, get in line! All you can do is be a supportive friend and listen with an open ear, a compassionate heart, and many kilos of chocolate.
My wife is wearing cheap hotel slippers around our house and refuses to pick up her feet as she walks.
Death by sandpaper noise
I hear you! My father used to shuffle around the house in his slippers, and I thought my mother may one day stuff them down his throat. Believe me, she came close. These are trying times with more togetherness than most human beings can tolerate. Just look at A-Rod and J. Lo! If they can’t make it, what hope do us mere mortals have? I suggest you surprise your beloved with a surprise gift: Sherpa socks! They are cute, warm, don’t make noise and are on sale at Walgreens on Dodge and Main for $1.74 a pair. Four dollars if you don’t have rewards – still a bargain! She’ll never know that these soft and adorable trinkets saved her from an early demise. Win-win!
My 87-year-old mother refuses to use technology – she doesn’t have an email address, computer, iPad, or smartphone, but then expects us to do all of technology-based things for her. How can we get her to join the 1990s?
Old dog, new tricks?
Dear Old dog,
If your mother has no interest in joining the 1990s, she ain’t gonna. At least if she’s anything like my mother, stubborn as a mule. And honestly, why should she? If she is happy in the 1970s, why not let her zone out to a little Gladys Knight? It was a good decade! I’m also wondering what help she expects if she has no computer, iPad, or smartphone? But, should she need help (ordering groceries or buying Metamucil gummies?) I highly recommend employing your most patient child, niece, or nephew to help her with her needs, all the while greasing their palm with a sizable cash payment per hour (keeping in mind that four or five smackers would be sizeabe to a 12 year old – one would hope). For the price of a decent bottle of wine, your problem is solved and your inebriant awaits. Cheers!
Dear Gabby appears in the RoundTable every Friday. Yes, Gabby is an advice columnist – but not just any advice columnist. Because that would be boring! Gabby combines wisdom with wit. And a pinch of snark. She is not a trained therapist by any means, but has seen and loved many in her day. Her aim is to make you think while she makes you laugh. Gabby welcomes all questions and queries and is only too happy to hear your opinion, no matter how much it may diverge from hers. Write to Gabby at email@example.com.