If two or more people are walking together on a sidewalk, is it too much to expect for them to move over a bit – or go single file – when a person comes from the other direction?
Today, I had to move off the sidewalk not once, but several times, as different-sized groups walked by without making room for me to pass. Although I try to make eye contact and smile as I pass people, I don’t always expect this level of friendliness from others. (Many people are on their phones!)
But I do think everyone walking in pairs or groups should at least share the sidewalk by moving over to allow others to pass. Is this expectation of sidewalk etiquette too much to ask? If not, any suggestions for how to politely encourage others to be more considerate?
If you want polite, you’ve come to the wrong place! The sidewalks used to be places where people made eye contact, said hello and maybe even, believe it or not, stopped to chat! But now they’re extensions of people’s offices and living rooms where they are talking on the phone – loudly – or plugged into their headphones. They exude the confidence of someone who is master of their own domain – but it’s not their domain, it’s a sidewalk!
I’m no expert on sidewalk etiquette, but I think common human decency should be the very minimum one can expect. So, I’m with you 100%. As for encouraging others to be more considerate, I would stand your ground, make eye contact, smile and say EXCUSE ME in a friendly but firm voice. I may be tempted to follow up with a forceful “HEL-LO!” if I get bumped off the sidewalk, but I don’t want to encourage obstinance (even though I love obstinance!) in public places, given how violent people can get. As in, the sidewalk version of road rage.
Better to step aside, stew in your resentment and climb up Mount Trashmore to shake it off.
My partner and I are on a strict diet to lose some weight. We are doing this for health reasons as we are not getting any younger. My car was in the shop, so I borrowed my partner’s car and found a lot of fast food wrappers in the back seat. I don’t think that my partner has been giving rides to teenage boys who need to eat a lot. I’m pretty sure he’s cheating on me.
How do I confront him, especially when I’m so disappointed, I want to eat more, and I’m angry he is hiding his fast food fetish.
Too many Ho-Hos for the Ding Dong
Dear Too many,
As anyone who has ever tried to lose weight will tell you, it’s hard enough to accomplish on your own, let alone trying to lose weight to please someone else. Recipe for disaster, pun intended. None of us can make someone else follow a diet, lose weight, eat better, save money, call their mother, etc. Unfortunately, for those of us who would LOVE to control others (hello, me!), it never works and never will.
It’s great that you guys started this effort together. That can often be very motivating. But there has to be a guilt-free “out” for everyone. Rather than shame your partner, try to think about how you would feel if they shamed you when you fell off the wagon.
Don’t look at the wrappers, don’t watch what they eat, don’t sulk. Just ask them if they want out of your agreement. Talking about it may open up a real convo about your partner’s feelings. And yours. And as much as I hate being a grown-up, that’s what this situation calls for, darn it.
There is this guy at my school, his name is G… He likes me, and I like him back, but at the same time I also like this other boy. I heard that G is planning on asking me out. What should I say if he does? Do I reject him or say yes???
Reject or not?
You are young, you are single, you are free as a bird. One date does not a commitment make. Go out with G, give him a chance, and see what you think. You may lose interest in Bachelor Number Two, or you may decide to pursue him with gusto. You never know until you try. Be open, throw caution to the wind and have a great time!
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.