Tag Archives: Old Friends

Dear John: Family Would Turn Vacation Into Trip From Hell

“Charlotte” and I have been friends for 16 years, ever since we met in college. She lives several states away, so we see each other only once a year when she and her family come to town for a long weekend. Beyond this annual get-together, we never chat on the phone, and communication is pretty much limited to social media.

I have known Charlotte’s (now) husband for 16 years as well, and never cared for him. When they became engaged, none of our friends thought she would actually marry him. He seems to get worse every time I see him, and it has reached the point that I can barely stand to be in the same room with him.

Unfortunately, Charlotte’s kids take after their dad. They are spoiled, nasty, mean children and a bad influence on my young son. Charlotte and her family were in town for their annual visit recently. Afterward I told my husband I didn’t enjoy it and dread the next one.

Charlotte’s husband has now suggested they tag along on our next family vacation! It would ruin our trip. I don’t want to go on vacation if they come with us. Charlotte is still as sweet and lovely as ever, but I do not want to see her husband or children again. What should I do? — HANGING ON FOR NOW

Dear Hanging On,

“What should I do?”??? You tell them “No.”

It’s your vacation. Your time. Your trip. You decide if you want someone else there with you. You rarely see these people so it wouldn’t hurt if you said that this was your vacation and not theirs.

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“Jaw With John” – Don’t Overthink After-Work Drinks

I recently ran into an old friend (and former colleague), and we set up a date to have after-work drinks in a few weeks to catch up.

Three years ago I asked her out on a date, but she declined because she was in a relationship.

Last year we were scheduled to do drinks (as friends) and her boyfriend vetoed it at the last minute, saying he felt uncomfortable.

I had forgotten that. How should I ask if he’s now comfortable with it, if he’s even still in the picture? — Ethically Conflicted

Dear Conflicted:

You’re an adult. She’s an adult. You don’t need to ask if she is still with that boyfriend. She is capable of making her own decisions and that should tell you that it’s OK for the two of you to meet up.

The purpose of said after-work drinks is to find out what each of you has been up to since you last saw each other. Don’t overthink it. Said boyfriend might be out of the picture. You won’t know until you see and talk to her. And if he isn’t, then this rendezvous might be canceled again.

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“Jaw With John” – Jack & Jill Went Up The Hill And Jill Kicked Him In The Nuts And Stole His Money And Ran Away, Possibly

My friend “Jack” recently got engaged to “Jill.” Jack and I have been friends literally since before we could walk.

Jill is 26, and this will be her third marriage. Both previous marriages ended with her having affairs. She also has a history of doing drugs and stealing. She has stolen from me, my family and Jack’s family. She has stolen medication, money, you name it.

Jack insists that she is “doing better,” that she has recovered from her mistakes and would never do things like that now. Jill has never apologized for her actions and blames everything she did on her previous husbands.

I worry for Jack but he brushes off my concerns. Jill has made it clear she won’t let me be around Jack unless I allow her to be present. Recently she has started mocking and insulting me.

Should I keep trying to express my worries that this will only end in tears for my friend, or should I back off, let him do as he wants and prepare to help him clean up the mess? — Worried and Wounded

Dear Worried:

You know what they say: Third time’s a charm!

Jack is a Grown Ass Man. He can handle himself juuuuuuuust fine. As for Jill, time will tell if she has learned the error of her ways or if she is just a sociopathic leech. You need to step back and let Jack figure this one out on his own. If he gets burned, then so be it.

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“Jaw With John” – Smug Alert!

I have a friend of about 40 years who has an expensive electric sports car. When he visits me, he parks it in the driveway blocking my wife and son from moving their cars and, most annoying, he insists on plugging into our electricity to recharge his car.

I did some research and it appears that a recharge costs about $5 or $6 in electricity. I find it very annoying. Would he expect to pay for the gas that I consume to drive to his house? Why should I pay for the electricity for his drive to my house?

Can you suggest a nice way to tell him to park his car in the street and to pay for the electricity to run his car? I have tried to tell him to park on the street, but he doesn’t seem to get the message. — All Charged Up

Dear Charged:

People who drive electric or hybrid cars tend to think they are sooooooo much better than the rest of us. It’s awful.

There’s a simple solution here that you’re not seeing: just put one car at the very end of your driveway, just before you hit the sidewalk or street. That will effectively tell him to stop parking in your driveway … in a passive aggressive way.

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