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My coworker gave everyone in our office holiday gifts except me. I get along well and have no major issues with this person. At first I thought because I am Jewish she didn’t want to offend me, but she gave the other Jewish person in our office a gift as well. I was never expecting a gift from her, but now I feel left out, and I’m worried I somehow offended her to the point that she is shutting me out.
Am I supposed to say something?
Dear Am I,
Aren’t petty office politics delightful?
If it was me, instead of addressing it head on like a mature adult (saying “Hi Betty, I just wanted to say, in the spirit of welcoming in a new year, that I hope I haven’t done anything to upset you”), I would choose the passive-aggressive approach and buy her a little trinket or make her a few curried pecans to see if it guilts her into fessing up. When it comes to guilt, I was trained by the best! Maturity isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.
But the choice is yours. I don’t blame you for feeling left out. I would too. Betty may have a beef with you, it could be a big misunderstanding, or could easily have been an innocent oversight or something that unfortunately fell through the cracks. One thing you may want to think about is, if you have no idea why she may be holding a grudge, do you care enough to bother. Having said that, If it happens again next year, Betty’s goin’ down.
My husband was diagnosed with cancer earlier this fall. His prognosis is good but his treatment is complicated and intense. We have two teenagers, I have a full-time job and of course there is all the shopping, cooking, cleaning, and let’s not forget Covid. While taking a brief break to see one of my own doctors who promptly told me I was in danger of having a stroke in my eye, I told her about my husband and she said that it was my job to be optimistic and “cheery!” because cancer patients who live with optimistic, cheery people do better.
So now, on top of everything else, I’m supposed to be cheery because my husband’s longevity may depend on it? What the hell? Not feeling at all cheery now! Feeling kinda pissed!
Where do I go from here?
Dear Where Do I Go,
First let me say, I am so sorry that you are going through this. It sounds like a nightmare. Also, you are carrying a very heavy load and heavy loads sometimes require the efforts of more than one person. I would highly suggest looking for a therapist who specializes in the effects of cancer on a family. Then it’s time to line up all your friends and let them know that you may need them in the coming months. And then absolutely, positively, call them into service! It’s A-OK to collect some of the good karma you’ve put out into the world in the past. Plus, people really want to help out and would prefer raking your leaves to feeling helpless.
Until then, however, I would buy a pair of boxing gloves. You may think I say this in jest, but I am as serious as a one-two punch. There are loads of free online workouts that don’t take up much space or require any equipment (you can punch and kick the air or invest in a bag). Personally, I love kicking and punching, which makes me feel like a badass and leaves me drained of all stress. You can pretend the bag is your doctor, your husband, your child or your frenemy. No one knows the difference and you don’t go to jail.
If sweating isn’t your thing, try speed walking, meditating, Pilates, or anything else that sets you aglow. Reading, knitting and coloring books are great too, but there is nothing like getting the blood moving. It’s a little obnoxious on my part to say that exercising cures all ills. It doesn’t. But, it goes a long way and I wished I’d embraced it a lot earlier in my life.
Good luck my friend! I hope your husband flies through his treatment and you find cheer in knocking someone’s block off, metaphorically speaking, of course.
What do I do if I’m on a date and see my date open his phone and answer dating app messages? I know he has dating apps, but can’t he have the common courtesy not to check them while on a date?!
Now I’ve seen it all
Dear Now, Apparently not! This guy isn’t worth the cardboard sleeve on your Chai Latte. He was raised in a barn and, fittingly, has all the aplomb of a bale of hay. Only he probably doesn’t smell as good. In this case I would absolutely say something. You could keep it simple, “You are being incredibly rude.” Or you could twist the knife, “Hey, could you check that app for a match for me since you have the charm of a cafeteria tray.” Or, you could keep it hostile and just walk the hell away without saying a thing. I vote for the latter.
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 email@example.com.