Good news, bad news….my boyfriend introduced me to his parents recently, which I appreciate. But he subsequently told me that his mother didn’t like me, which I didn’t appreciate. Thoughts?
Many, many thoughts! The most predominant among them, what’s up with your boyfriend? This seems like gratuitous bluntness that is both insensitive and tone deaf. His mother is his mother and who knows what is going on there (and after this, really, who cares?) but the question for you to ponder is, after this most lovely experience, do you want to stay with this guy? Only you can answer that but don’t let said boyfriend do a number on your confidence. As my mother likes to say, he can’t live in your head, rent-free!
I didn’t get into my first choice, second choice, third choice, or even fourth choice college, and feel like a total loser…the whole process sucks.
I couldn’t agree with you more! The college application process would turn anyone stark raving mad, and we sic it on poor 17-year-olds who have barely finished their constitution test. It is completely insane. Where I disagree with you is that this experience has been a black mark on your personal narrative, as illustrated by the fact that you are using the word “loser” to describe yourself. Quite the contrary. I think you have, albeit painfully, already learned something that will take your peers many years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to find out: it really doesn’t matter where you go to college. Wherever you are, you will find good friends, good teachers and in all likelihood, an all-round good experience (if not, transferring is always an option – it took me six years and credits from three schools to get my degree, and I never grew three heads). At the “best” schools there are crappy classes, and at the “worst” schools there are great classes. Once you get out into the working world, no one cares where you went to college. If you want to reassess your options over the next year, that is also a fine choice (made even better if you have a job to build up some savings). Otherwise, grab the schools you did get into with gusto and hold your head up high. At your 10-year high school reunion, you’ll all be on the same page – the only difference will be that some of you will be bald.
Now that more and more people are vaccinated and things are starting to open, I find myself at a little bit of a crossroads. On the one hand, I am so happy that I have been able to see more and more friends on walks and even coffee dates. On the other hand, during COVID, I started to enjoy the slower pace of working at home, shopping less, seeing fewer people, and generally having a lot more down time. I think in order to maintain this less frenetic pace, I can’t see people as often as I did pre-pandemic. How do I tell these people that I love them but don’t want to see them as regularly, without insulting them?
Sick of juggling
When you see a picture at a museum or a gallery, it is not jammed up against other paintings. There is lots of wall space in between. Negative space. You, my new friend, are trying to preserve your negative space! And kudos to you for recognizing that you need it. Now let’s find a way for you to get it. First of all, you don’t have to explain to people why you can’t see them on any given day. But if you feel obligated, how about sticking to the truth? Maybe something like, “I’m trying to preserve a little of my COVID calm by maintaining a less hectic schedule.” If I heard that, I would think, “Wow, s/he/they are so together! I’m gonna take a page from their playbook!” In time, you may crave more social engagement, or you may not. But I think a lot of people are feeling the way you do, a little betwixt and between. Slowly, we will all find our footing again, hopefully without putting that footing right into our mouthing.
Dear Gabby appears in the RoundTable every Monday. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.