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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Dec 4, 2012
DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have a friend, "Cara," who lives in another state. It's not a very reciprocal friendship. Cara calls us frequently, but wants to talk only about her problems, which are never-ending. When she visits, she demands our full attention at all times. Frankly, we find her exhausting and would like to cut her out of our lives.

Our worry is that we are some of the few friends Cara has left. She has alienated most of her other friends as well as her parents, sometimes over trivial matters. We know she's depressed and has emotional issues, and we suspect she may have a mental illness. She has been suicidal in the past, but now refuses to see her therapist.

We're worried that if we don't continue serving as her talk therapy -- which we find draining -- Cara might become so depressed she'll hurt herself. How do we extricate ourselves from this relationship while still doing the right thing?-- WORN-OUT BUT WORRIED IN CHICAGO

DEAR WORN-OUT: You and your wife are well-meaning, but neither of you is qualified to be Cara's therapist. Allowing her to monopolize your time and sap your energy may momentarily lessen her pain or anxiety, but it hasn't -- and will not -- give her the tools she needs to fix what's wrong.

You can extricate yourselves by encouraging her to talk to a mental health professional. It doesn't have to be the therapist she no longer wants to see, but it does need to be someone who has the training to help her. You should also shorten the length of the conversations. This is happening to you because you are allowing it.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are retired and enjoy going out for a nice dinner occasionally. We go to chain restaurants, hotel restaurants and local dinner establishments. We order lighter meals than we used to, and with the cost of dinners these days we have been finishing our entire meal.

Our problem is that again and again, our server makes a comment about our finished plates. It might be, "You were really hungry, I see!" or, "Wow! You really enjoyed that!" It is uncomfortable to hear these comments about our eating habits and it spoils our enjoyment.

This may be an attempt on their part to be friendly, but we don't like it. How do we let them know this is crossing the boundaries of professional behavior?-- EMBARRASSED IN CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.

DEAR EMBARRASSED: I hope you realize that for many people this would not be a problem. You needn't be confrontational -- all you need to calmly say is, "When you say that, it makes me uncomfortable, so please don't do it again." No servers want to offend a guest, and they are not mind readers. However, they are all aware that their tips depend on how their service is regarded by customers -- so I'm sure your comment will be taken to heart.

DEAR ABBY: Is it possible for a man to be in love with two women at the same time?-- NAME WITHHELD IN VIRGINIA

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#2 Dec 4, 2012
1 Same deal as yesterday where dog and I gave this same advise and we were called all kinds of vile things for it.

2 Oh, lighten up you idiot. What does the cost of the meal have to do with how much you eat whats on your plate? Your a real PITA.

3 Of course, why do you even ask?

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

#3 Dec 4, 2012
1 Welcome to Doormat, USA; population, you.

2 Wow! You totally destroyed that blue plate special! Training for the hot dog-eating competitin I see! Lighten up Cupcake.....

3 Just 2 women?

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#4 Dec 4, 2012
LW1: There is no way I could sign up for that. I know what you mean by “find draining.” That shyte would suck the life out of me. I would distance myself. It would be one thing if she were working on it, but she’s not. She basically wants you to be her shrink, for free. That’s not a friendship.

LW2: You two must be huge or something, because I never get those comments.

LW3: Yes.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#5 Dec 4, 2012
DEAR ABBY: Is it possible for a man to be in love with two women at the same time?-- NAME WITHHELD IN VIRGINIA

DEAR NAME WITHHELD: Yes, I think so -- and it is usually for different reasons. The same holds true for women. However, for a lasting relationship, people have to choose the one partner who has more of the qualities they think are most important.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#6 Dec 4, 2012
Saluki Rod wrote:
3 Just 2 women?
LOL

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#7 Dec 4, 2012
L1: She's alienated all the normal people, it seems. Everyone else who's left is a "Fixer" who wants to help Cara. When she won't help herself.

L2: You sound too uptight to leave the house. Get your food delivered.

L3: I can see that happening. I'd hate to be any one of the three parties involved, though.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#8 Dec 4, 2012
L1: I see this as different that yesterday's letter. Why these people feel they have to be martyrs is beyond me. If I was them, I'd tell her she has 5 minutes to get her complaints out of the way and then you want to hear what's happening good in her life. If she gets ticked so be it. Thank goodness for caller ID.

L2: Service people make all kinds of comments. Ignore.

L3: I don't think the guy who asked the question has enough brain cells to know that love is.(Okay -- now I have the Foreigner song in my head.)

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#9 Dec 4, 2012
LW1: "You should also shorten the length of the conversations. This is happening to you because you are allowing it."

This. There is no need to cut off contact completely, just don't let her go on and on and on...

LW2: I would never say something like that to a server. First, what is the likelihood that you will actually get that person again since it seems you don't just frequent one place, and second, it sounds so...personal, way too intimate for the relationship one usually has with a server.

Don't like something the server did? There's only one way I know how to deal with that: leave a crappy tip and ask for someone else next time you go to that restaurant.

LW3: The answer is yes, but I don't think that really going to help you.

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#10 Dec 4, 2012
L2. My gut instincts tell me this story has more to do with an adiposity issue than a happy plate.
But I could be mistaken.

“What's it to ya?”

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#11 Dec 4, 2012
1: Start being "busy."

2: Ok, I'm going to be the lone wolf here and agree with the LW.

I don't think that it's the place of the servers to comment on how much I eat/don't eat. It's way too personal IMO.

Their job, that they are being paid to do is to bring me my food. So what if I eat only a portion of it?*I* am the one paying for it, and if I feel uncomfortable (which I do if people comment on my eating habits/food choices <shrug>) then they are going to end up with a *much* lighter tip.

I realize that this is my own personal neurosis, regardless, they need to just bring my food and keep their observations to themselves.

Keeping in mind that i ALWAYS treat servers/bartenders/baristas/st ore clerks like I would want to be treated if that was my job...you know, like just another human being, not like some peon, and I ALWAYS (over) tip well, I still think it crosses the line between "customer" and "service provider."

3: It is....but...<sigh>

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#12 Dec 4, 2012
1- Didn't we just have this letter yesterday?

Toj, why do you feel differently about this one?

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#13 Dec 4, 2012
edogxxx wrote:
1- Didn't we just have this letter yesterday?
Toj, why do you feel differently about this one?
They comment on the frequency -- the last one did not. This letter says EVERY time she calls and complains about how it's all about her. Yesterday's letter was a bit different. The other one sounded more in the way of venting. This one sounds like dumping. Perhaps it's b/c she lost a lot of her friends that I think it's much worse.

Listening to a good friend and letting them vent is one thing. Hearing nothing but is quite another. If it's a good friend you tell them -- you've got 10 minutes to complain and move on.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#14 Dec 4, 2012
Mimi, ITA, waitstaff should not comment on what I ate or didn't eat. THat said, I can't imagine being so bothered that I write to Abby.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#15 Dec 4, 2012
Toj wrote:
<quoted text>
They comment on the frequency -- the last one did not. This letter says EVERY time she calls and complains about how it's all about her. Yesterday's letter was a bit different. The other one sounded more in the way of venting. This one sounds like dumping. Perhaps it's b/c she lost a lot of her friends that I think it's much worse.
Listening to a good friend and letting them vent is one thing. Hearing nothing but is quite another. If it's a good friend you tell them -- you've got 10 minutes to complain and move on.
Still not seeing a difference.

Aren't "dumping" and "venting" a matter of interpretation?
Sam I Am

Knoxville, TN

#16 Dec 4, 2012
1. Not. Your. Problem.

2. You are an idiot. Someone commenting that you finished your meal "crosses the boundaries of professional behavior?" What is stupid is that you finish meals all in one sitting just because of the price. There is no rule saying you can't take leftovers home. My guess is that you are fat and anyone saying anything about your food is going to hit a nerve. That's your problem. By your own admission you're ordering lighter fare, so it's not like someone is commenting on you choking down a few slabs of ribs (unless that is your idea of lighter fare in which case I have even less sympathy for you). Please, just order in.

3. Sure. We call it being horny.
PEllen

Chicago, IL

#17 Dec 4, 2012
I think it is entirely appropriate for a server to ask if the customer enjoyed the meal or make a comment that gets that kind of response. It helps the kitchen to know that the Chicken and Dumplings are going over real well in the front of the house.

I think the LW is oversensitive and looks for offense when none is intended.

If you told her she looked nice toda, she would take offense that you think she doesn't usually look nice. Some people cannot be pleased.

“What's it to ya?”

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#18 Dec 4, 2012
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
I can't imagine being so bothered that I write to Abby.
Word. And, this applies to pretty much everything in life IMO.

“What's it to ya?”

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#19 Dec 4, 2012
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
Still not seeing a difference.
Aren't "dumping" and "venting" a matter of interpretation?
Of course you don't.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#20 Dec 4, 2012
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
Still not seeing a difference.
Aren't "dumping" and "venting" a matter of interpretation?
Didn't you ask for my interpretation.

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