The other day I saw a man walking his dog, and he did not clean up after his pooch. I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he ran out of bags or forgot one, but who knows? My question is, should I say something next time I see this happen? I want to be a good citizen, but I also don’t wanna get into any kind of altercation.
Chicken when it comes to dog poop
Can I just say that the Gabby questions that have triggered the most fervent responses have been about dogs and dog etiquette. We all have very strong feelings about the subject! To think that when I was growing up, no one cleaned up after their dogs, no one even thought about cleaning up after their dogs, the city was awash in poo and someone was always getting in the car, sniffing the air saying, “Do you smell that?”
How times have changed! For the better, of course.
To your question: these days, I don’t believe it is worth it to risk an altercation. You never know how people will react. Now, if you happen to have some bags on you and want to offer one to an offending dog owner with a smile and a “I forget sometimes too!,” that could work. Or, if you are across the street, at a safe distance, perhaps a gentle, “Hi neighbor! please clean up after your dog,” could do the trick.
There will always be people who think the rules don’t apply to them. I’m reminded of that every time I walk into a bathroom stall. But is it worth the risk to comment on a stranger’s behavior? Up to you! But I probably wouldn’t. Sad, but true. However, not as sad as the bathroom stalls.
I have a good friend whose daughter has a free apartment in NYC this summer. Unheard of! Her daughter has known my son since preschool. As it happens, my son will also be in NYC later this summer for a bit. My friend enthusiastically suggested my son call her daughter and stay at her apartment for free. I told my son and he reached out in a text. Her daughter never responded, and now my son is ticked at me for “making things awkward” between him and his friend. I don’t know what to say to my good friend who offered up the apartment in the first place. Any suggestions?
This sounds like a classic case of miscommunication that could (possibly) be resolved with a quick call to your friend. Perhaps your son forgot to hit send on his text, perhaps her daughter missed the text, perhaps the apartment has been spoken for, perhaps it was never available and the mom was a little too quick to offer. It’s hard to say.
Best not to assume. I would call your buddy and just say, “Hey! Did Bootsie ever find roommates for the summer because I think Chip will be in NYC in August, and I know he would love to see her – and stay there if possible,” and see what she says. My guess is that someone fell down on the job, communication-wise, and she will quickly get to the bottom of it.
I hope it works out for your son cause a free place in Manhattan? Can I come?
I am a 23-year-old volunteer at a crisis hotline. After answering calls for two years, I now train new volunteers. The crisis hotline is, understandably, very protective of the anonymity of the callers and the volunteers. I live with two other women who are very close friends of mine. While role-playing with the new trainees on the phone, I am often called upon to cry very loudly and generally sound like someone who is in a lot of distress. If I must say so myself, I believe I do it very convincingly (and thereby sometimes, loudly).
The problem is that one of my roommates has a new boyfriend who is over a lot and doesn’t know what I do (remember the anonymity). So, I’m in my room “sobbing” and he’s like, “what’s up with your roommate? She OK?”
At first my roommate just brushed it off and said, “she’s fine, she’s fine,” but now it seems like whenever he comes over, I’m involved in a training! And now he is really concerned about me and quite possibly thinking that his new girlfriend is really cold!
Too good an actor
Dear Too Good,
I love it when anyone is too good at anything! Warms the cockles of my rusty heart.
First, kudos to you for volunteering in such a high-stress, high-stakes job that is so vital and requires so much calm, empathy, and compassion. You are clearly very good at it! I’m sure you could train us all to be a little bit more solicitous of our fellow human beings.
If so, in all likelihood he has a good amount of compassion and telling him may be a risk worth taking (with the GIANT caveat that telling any one person something that is confidential is a HUGE leak risk).
Gabby loves you too!
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.