Social Q’s: Lowly Housewarming Dinner Clashes With V.I.P. Affair. Who Wins?

by admin January 19, 2017 at 10:17 pm


Note to proverb statisticians: Time (of some period longer than 12 years) heals all wounds. I’m sorry this invitation upset you. Perhaps there was a mailing list error, or your nephew, having grown up with your former wife, harbors some (obviously ill-advised) affection for her. The only way to know, for sure, is to ask your brother.

It would have been thoughtful of him and his wife to discuss the invitation with you. You are a close family member, and your strong feelings about your ex have probably not escaped them. But practically, they can’t disinvite her now. So ratchet down your outrage (even if you still feel it) before you contact anyone. Say: “John, why did you invite my ex-wife to Tucker’s wedding? It’s going to be awkward for me.” But remember: This is their happy occasion; hosts are entitled to invite whom they like; and presumably you still have time to find a smoking-hot date to make your ex seethe with envy.

A Relationship Sours

Every morning, I stop at a neighborhood cafe to buy coffee and a muffin to go. It is not a chain, and I like supporting small local businesses. But a week ago, the milk in the pitcher on the condiments table had spoiled. It came out like loose cottage cheese that mostly floated on top of my coffee. The staff was very apologetic. But since then, I have been reluctant to add milk to their coffee, which is how I like it. Any thoughts?


My overwhelming thought is that you have a stronger gag reflex than I do. It will probably take time for this cafe to win back your trust. Until then, ask the workers behind the counter to add warm milk from their cappuccino operation to your coffee. (It is delicious that way, and the milk is probably fresher.) You may also ask for new milk from the refrigerator. The workers may think you’re a pain in the neck, but they will probably oblige you. After that, I leave it to you whether you can move on from your dairy trauma. It only happened once, after all. (But that would be enough for me.)

Money and Class

I have a well-to-do friend who inherited a large sum of money recently. My spouse and I are comfortable, but our lifestyle will be quite modest compared to his. More than once, he has mentioned how fun it is to be financially carefree now that his inheritance has come through. Should I say something or let it go?


I take it you think it’s rude for him to say, out loud, something that everyone on earth knows is true: Extra cash is fun. The next time he mentions the wonders of his magnificent wealth, say: “Is that an offer to share? If so, I accept.” That should wise him up to your discomfort.

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