My husband keeps cheating at Battleship, and refuses to own up to it. Is our marriage doomed?
Sink the Bismark!
Dear Sink the Bismark!
It’s pretty hard to cheat at Battleship. So either you are a sore loser, or perhaps he is an extremely clever winner. I know I don’t like to lose at Battleship. Or Monopoly. Or Yahtzee.
In the case of the former, perhaps you may want to go a few rounds of Chutes and Ladders to thicken your skin. Lots of ups and downs there. In the case of the latter (not ladder), you married a smart guy! Which means you’re doing better than most women.
What’s to complain about?
A friend recently gave me a sweet collection of little gifts. One was a nice lip balm in a new “flavor.” But when I opened the lip balm box, there was nothing in it. I debated whether to tell her, but figured she’d be embarrassed. I thought WWGD (what would Gabby do?), and decided you would suggest I just go buy a new one in the same flavor, so I could report back to her honestly how I liked it.
BUT it reminded me that a couple of years ago, a relative gave me a $100 gift card to a store, and when I went to use it, discovered it had a zero balance. I don’t know whether employee theft or incompetence was behind the problem. But again, I wasn’t sure whether to tell my relative. She certainly wanted me to enjoy a gift, but I didn’t want her to feel bad or make her have to do battle with the store – or worse, spend another $100.
I won’t tell you what decision I made. I’ll just wait to see what you would have done!
You bring up excellent points all the way around. It is, indeed, hard to know what to do in these situations. My rule of thumb here is to think about what I would want to know if I was the giver. Honestly, I would be mortified if I gave someone a $100 gift card and nothing was on it.
Even though gift cards can be very hard to get refunds for – and you may, in fact, be relegating the giver to a gigantic headache to right the situation – I think I would still tell your friend that a mistake had been made. Your friend may not be able to get another gift card, but it will be up to them to decide how to fight it.
If this makes you feel itchy in any way, you can always suggest that in lieu of the gift card, you two spend an afternoon together, maybe making something delicious, like orange shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate and then eat them all. Valued time together, delicious treats, overeating with a friend. Win-win-win!
I am making a baby blanket for a therapist I see regularly – who is pregnant. Is that overstepping a boundary?
Taking a Chance
Dear Taking a Chance,
Here’s the great thing about doing something nice for your therapist: if you are overstepping a boundary, you are in the exact right spot to process it! I think about it this way…if I give my kid’s teachers gifts, and I tip my letter carrier, why not give a gift to someone who has helped me a great deal. Because even though they are professionals that you are basically paying for a service (listening to you gripe), they are, on balance, often more than that.
So knit away – just be prepared to spend 50 minutes talking about it.
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.