Dear Annie: My fiancee, "Catherine," has told me that I am overly sensitive. As you might expect, I disagree with her, so I am asking you.
Catherine is friends with "John and Geraldine," whose company I do not particularly care to keep. This couple was married two years ago -- immediately after John divorced his first wife. Prior to pursuing Geraldine, however, John expressed a strong interest in Catherine. This doesn't surprise me, as Catherine is a very attractive woman.
What bothers me is that over dinner one recent evening, Catherine lamented about having not married John herself, so that she could have traveled with him to Hawaii, Cancun, etc., as John and Geraldine have done since their wedding.
Am I being overly sensitive to object to Catherine's continued relationship with John? Should I consider asking her for an apology? Dazed and Confused
Dear Dazed: Sorry to tell you, but you are a little over-sensitive on this issue. Catherine is not carrying a torch for John. She is carrying one for Hawaii. She envies the traveling that John and his wife have been able to afford. We will say, however, that she expressed it rather insensitively, considering that you take these things to heart.
Tell her, gently, that it hurts when she makes it sound as if she would rather be engaged to John instead of you. Then let her make it up to you.
Dear Annie: Our office staff often hosts meetings for small groups in our conference room. This past week, we were the hosts for a meeting, and a young woman who was attending offered to bring refreshments for the participants. We were very grateful to her, as we usually provide only coffee and water.
The young woman in question brought cookies, and after the meeting, she took the remaining cookies with her. Is this appropriate behavior, or should she have left the cookies for the hosts?
Some of our staff has likened this to bringing a bottle of wine to a dinner party and asking that the unused portion be returned to you. Another group feels she is entitled to the leftover cookies, since she brought them. What do you say? Wondering in Wyoming
Dear Wondering: This was not a social event, like a dinner party. She was bringing the cookies for the participants. Although it would have been nice for her to share the extra calories with your office staff, she no doubt assumed she had to clean up after the meeting and took the cookies with her. No faux pas intended.
Dear Annie: I usually walk my children to school, but yesterday, it was pouring rain, so I picked them up in the car. Our school, like most elementary schools, has a traffic pattern that parents are asked to follow for efficiency and safety. However, I watched parent after parent ignore the rules. They would try to sneak around the line or go the wrong way. One person parked in the middle of a lane and blocked traffic.
Annie, I understand that parents are in a hurry, but please remind them that when they behave in this manner, it puts children in danger. Also, what lesson do these parents teach their children by being rude and selfish? Please remind parents to think about their actions. Concerned in Texas
Dear Texas: It is incredibly dangerous to zip around school parking lots. Kids dart out looking for Mom or Dad without considering the traffic. Young children are shorter than the back end of most cars, and they become invisible to the driver who shifts into reverse. Please, if this is happening at your school, talk to the principal and insist that someone be outside enforcing the traffic rules before a child is hurt.
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