“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#1 Jul 1, 2014
Dear Amy: I recently found a photo of my wife posing with an old boyfriend. She was 19 years old and very beautiful. They were walking arm in arm.

Though we have been together for 30 years and the photo was taken two years before she even met me, this picture has made me jealous for over a week. Why is this? Is it that I see her with him? Is it that she was thinner and prettier than she is now?(I know I have aged and put on weight, too.)

I can't get this picture out of my head. Is it because as a man I can't stand to see my wife with another man, or that I see her with him looking so beautiful?

Any suggestions for how I can shake this feeling? I don't want something out of my control to ruin my marriage. Jealous Husband

Dear Jealous: This is not out of your control. And it will only "ruin" your marriage if you let it.

Your reaction to seeing this photo is both common and complex that's why you find it so confusing. As we age, many of us find it difficult to look at younger versions of ourselves or our partners some parents even develop irrational jealousy toward their own children, for the sole reason that they possess the dew of youth that is now a mere memory for the parent.

Jealousy thrives on secrecy and rumination. Take your feelings out for a spin and share them with your wife. Be completely candid with her, using "I" statements: "When I see this picture I feel jealous, but I don't really know why." Do not put her on the defensive.

There is a strong likelihood that your wife can understand your emotional reaction to this. This episode could spark a new, deeper and intimate understanding that you are in fact growing old together. And that's a truly beautiful thing.

Dear Amy: A group of six co-workers decided to have lunch at a popular restaurant. "Betty" said she would arrive early to secure a table. Well, she arrived early, secured a table and waved us all over to join her in the bar area at one of the high-top tables.

Good going, right? Well, there's just one problem: Due to the fact that I have MS, I am in a wheelchair.

I was totally dumbfounded by this. When I questioned her choice, her response was, "Well, I never thought about your being in a wheelchair." By now, the restaurant had a long waiting list for lunch, and arranging seating for six people at a regular-height table wasn't going to happen.

I didn't wish to create a scene and explained I had another appointment to go to (total lie) but just wanted to tell the group hello. I then left the restaurant. I was beyond hurt and haven't spoken to Betty since. What would you have said or done if you were in my situation? Upset

Dear Upset: I would hope to respond as gracefully as you did in this situation.

It is hard to imagine being so thoughtless. Your colleague "Betty" owes you more than an "oops, my bad" sort of explanation. She should have sought you out after the fact and genuinely apologized for her oversight.

Rather than simply not speak to her, you should follow up to say, "I want you to know that I found that pretty upsetting." After this bit of honesty, you should do your best to turn the page.

Dear Amy: I'm responding to the letter signed "Putting the Kids First."

As my beautiful mother is in hospice care, the children of my dad's second marriage are bereft at the prospect of losing this woman, whose grace and loving acceptance toward them is the sole reason that I love these byproducts of my father's dalliance with a "girlfriend."

My mom and I suffered much due to my dad's behavior, but I can't imagine not having my half sibs in my life. Gifts don't always come neatly wrapped and tidy. Grateful Daughter

Dear Grateful: This is a real tribute to your mother's sensitivity and strength.
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#2 Jul 1, 2014
LW1 - Is this reaction really common? This guy has to be in his 50s at least, maybe older. I'd think this reaction is, actually, bizarre.

LW2 - Betty is either quite a clueless idiot or she is a mean spiteful witch. I agree that you acted gracefully. If you think she is a clueless idiot, you may want to speak up and say that you were upset at her thoughtlessness. If you think she is a sociopathic btch , distance yourself from her as much as possible.

LW3 - "Byproducts of my father's dalliance with a girlfriend"? Way to express your love!:-) I sense some mixed feelings there.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#3 Jul 1, 2014
1 You sound like a bitter version of the "One that got away", except your the one who got her. Quit your beitching and be happy for what you have.

2 Betty is a stupid beitch, and your coworkers are partly to blame for following her stupidity. Betty should have spoken with the waitstaff and asked to be seated at a table instead.

BTW, you dont get seated at those tables near the bar, they are first come first serve. She did nothing.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#4 Jul 1, 2014
Cass wrote:
LW1 - Is this reaction really common? This guy has to be in his 50s at least, maybe older. I'd think this reaction is, actually, bizarre.
LW2 - Betty is either quite a clueless idiot or she is a mean spiteful witch. I agree that you acted gracefully. If you think she is a clueless idiot, you may want to speak up and say that you were upset at her thoughtlessness. If you think she is a sociopathic btch , distance yourself from her as much as possible.
LW3 - "Byproducts of my father's dalliance with a girlfriend"? Way to express your love!:-) I sense some mixed feelings there.
1- I think people tend to become more nostalgic as they get older. Maybe his wife hasn't aged well. Maybe he's known her as an overweight hag for so many years, he forgot she used to be hot. He should get himself a 20 yr old hooker. That should take the edge off

2- I think it was just an oversight. Frankly, the lw kind of comes off as snobbish. She expects people around her to cater to her and her wheelchair, then leaves in a huff if someone "forgets"

3- right? What the hell is a dalliance!?

Since: Dec 09

Smalltown, Colorado

#5 Jul 1, 2014
LW2 - I wish your other 4 friends had left with you. The whole situation stinks.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#6 Jul 1, 2014
1: At my current 65 years of age, I just don't get this letter. Granted, I have never seen a photo of my husband with any girlfriend he had previous to me but I doubt I'd feel jealous.

2: The co-worker who went ahead to save a table was careless and possibly thoughtless. But it's also a very good possibility that she doesn't think of the lw as a wheelchair bound but just as another co-worker and just didn't think. Some folks like the lw appears to be are so bound up in themselves and think they are the center of the universe simply because they have some problem. Additionally they are quick to blame others for an oversight. I think the lw needs to let the situation go this time. She needs to carry on normal conversations with her co-workers. If something similar happens again, then she can speak up calmly and say that she appreciates that they don't see her as a "cripple" but as just another person they work with but really, they need to notice that her disability needs accommodation. She could see it as an accidental oversight the first time but the fact that it happened again is hurtful. Sometimes people need to use their words for others to understand a problem even though the problem should be evident to all around it.

3: I don't fully understand what this lw is saying. First she refers to the children of her father's second "marriage" and then she refers to them as the product of her father's dalliance. I wish she'd be a bit more clear on this. And yes, I see that she has not fully forgiven her father for his behavior toward her mother but also that she cares for her half siblings. I don't see anything strange about that. I'd say it's perfectly "normal."

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#7 Jul 1, 2014
I disagree with everything you stated.
I did not get the impression that the LW was bound up in herself, its a simple statement of fact. Her in a wheelchair will literally be under the table, so what kind of lunch is she supposed to have down there? Its not an oversight, especially when the person fails to try and correct the "Oversight"
I have a friend who is blind. We get along great, and when I am with them, I dont think of them as blind, just my friend, but if I let them walk into a wall, is that just an oversight (or undersight, if you get the pun) on my part? Even though I dont think of them as blind, I still have to be cognizant of that fact, and act accordingly. I walk by their side, not in front. I mention steps up or down, little things that help them maneuver.


My issue is that the person did not try to remedy the situation, nor did her coworkers.
Pippa wrote:
2: The co-worker who went ahead to save a table was careless and possibly thoughtless. But it's also a very good possibility that she doesn't think of the lw as a wheelchair bound but just as another co-worker and just didn't think. Some folks like the lw appears to be are so bound up in themselves and think they are the center of the universe simply because they have some problem. Additionally they are quick to blame others for an oversight. I think the lw needs to let the situation go this time. She needs to carry on normal conversations with her co-workers. If something similar happens again, then she can speak up calmly and say that she appreciates that they don't see her as a "cripple" but as just another person they work with but really, they need to notice that her disability needs accommodation. She could see it as an accidental oversight the first time but the fact that it happened again is hurtful. Sometimes people need to use their words for others to understand a problem even though the problem should be evident to all around it.
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#8 Jul 1, 2014
RACE wrote:
I disagree with everything you stated.
I did not get the impression that the LW was bound up in herself, its a simple statement of fact. Her in a wheelchair will literally be under the table, so what kind of lunch is she supposed to have down there? Its not an oversight, especially when the person fails to try and correct the "Oversight"
I have a friend who is blind. We get along great, and when I am with them, I dont think of them as blind, just my friend, but if I let them walk into a wall, is that just an oversight (or undersight, if you get the pun) on my part? Even though I dont think of them as blind, I still have to be cognizant of that fact, and act accordingly. I walk by their side, not in front. I mention steps up or down, little things that help them maneuver.
My issue is that the person did not try to remedy the situation, nor did her coworkers.
<quoted text>
Totally agree here. It's one thing to think of somebody first and foremost as "X," whatever the X is - wheelchair bound or ambulatory, blind or sighted, deaf or hearing, male or female, skinny or fat, or whatever. It's a totally other thing to totally ignore a particular facet of that individual as if it doesn't exist. Betty may not think about the LW as "My colleague in the wheelchair," but is she totally flucking blind and brainless not to even notice that?

Since: Jun 09

Saint Petersburg, FL

#9 Jul 1, 2014
RACE wrote:
I disagree with everything you stated.
I did not get the impression that the LW was bound up in herself, its a simple statement of fact. Her in a wheelchair will literally be under the table, so what kind of lunch is she supposed to have down there? Its not an oversight, especially when the person fails to try and correct the "Oversight"
I have a friend who is blind. We get along great, and when I am with them, I dont think of them as blind, just my friend, but if I let them walk into a wall, is that just an oversight (or undersight, if you get the pun) on my part? Even though I dont think of them as blind, I still have to be cognizant of that fact, and act accordingly. I walk by their side, not in front. I mention steps up or down, little things that help them maneuver.
My issue is that the person did not try to remedy the situation, nor did her coworkers.
<quoted text>
You don't let them walk into walls? You're msising out on a good laugh!:-P

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#10 Jul 1, 2014
Ha-ha! Nope, neither have I let them walk off the edge of my dock!
Stina2 wrote:
<quoted text>
You don't let them walk into walls? You're msising out on a good laugh!:-P
Kuuipo

Monterey, CA

#11 Jul 1, 2014
LW1: I disagree with Amy's answer, I do not feel that LW should tell his wife about his petty feelings regarding the old photo. I think many, if not most human beings have negative thoughts or feelings - jealously, dislike, distrust, etc., but when these thoughts occur, we need to dismiss them and find something else to focus on. Feeling jealous for a week over an old picture? Really? This 30-year old picture is completely irrelevant to LW's life.

LW2: Team Race for the win. When Betty realized that the high-top table was inappropriate for LW, she should IMMEDIATELY have called the waitstaff over and said, "We will need a normal-sized table because my co-worker uses a wheelchair," and let the staff respond. And she should have apologized to LW. But LW's question was, "What would you have said or done?" and LW did what I would have done as well, except that I wouldn't bother to stop speaking to Betty, who is clearly a clueless, insensitive twit. I'd just put her permanently in the nodding acquaintance box.
boundary painter

San Antonio, TX

#13 Jul 2, 2014
Agree with RACE and Kuuipo on LW2. Betty is mean, thoughtless or
both..

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#14 Jul 2, 2014
Pippa wrote:
2: The co-worker who went ahead to save a table was careless and possibly thoughtless. But it's also a very good possibility that she doesn't think of the lw as a wheelchair bound but just as another co-worker and just didn't think. Some folks like the lw appears to be are so bound up in themselves and think they are the center of the universe simply because they have some problem. Additionally they are quick to blame others for an oversight. I think the lw needs to let the situation go this time. She needs to carry on normal conversations with her co-workers. If something similar happens again, then she can speak up calmly and say that she appreciates that they don't see her as a "cripple" but as just another person they work with but really, they need to notice that her disability needs accommodation. She could see it as an accidental oversight the first time but the fact that it happened again is hurtful. Sometimes people need to use their words for others to understand a problem even though the problem should be evident to all around it.
"
I have been chewing over this since you wrote it yesterday.
I, too,am acquainted with a person who is physically disabled who acts as if she is therefore entitled to the world and gets snooty about it.

But.

If the restaurant was not wheelchair accessible or if teh washroom was difficult to get to in a chair, I'd give co-worker a pass. Getting a high top table is thoughtless, maybe passive aggressive.

What amazes me is that no one else stuck up for LW, left with her, chewed out the co-worker, etc.

It has also been my experience that most restaurants faced with this situation would have found a way to accommodate the party, or perhaps 4 of the party leaving co-worker and one other to sit in the bar.
shelly

Wilkes Barre, PA

#15 Jul 2, 2014
I am sick of people like that!
NicoleK

Stalden, Switzerland

#16 Jul 3, 2014
I'm surprised Betty didn't summon the waitstaff... did LW storm off too quickly for that to happen? I have a hard time imagining that the waitstaff wouldn't accommodate a wheelchair, full house or not. There might have been a five minute wait, but I'm sure the first available table would have been theirs.

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