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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Joliet, IL

#1 Jul 26, 2011
Dear Amy: I am a middle-aged, single man. Several years ago while attending graduate school I rented a room from a divorced woman who is considerably older than I.

We have kept in touch since then, mainly through email. We are platonic friends and have helped each other through some tough times.

She recently got married and relocated. Now she lives in the suburbs outside the city where I live.

I was hoping to actually see her and her husband a couple of times a year for coffee, a meal, laughs and a chat when they came to the big city. They come into the city from time to time, but even though she keeps in touch with me, she won't get together.

She seems to want our relationship to be a secret from her husband.

For instance, she has figured out how to "hide" my email address so it isn't revealed when I email her.

She sent me a check for a large sum of money when I lost my job, even though I didn't ask for it.(I will pay her back.)

I feel as if I'm being sneaky; I feel like a second-class citizen. I feel as if I've been bribed, and that she is somehow using me.

I'm quite willing to get to know her husband and maintain our friendship, but she doesn't seem willing to do the same.

Because I don't want to get into a big email fight, should I just not respond to her emails and simply let the friendship fade away?

— Secret Friend

Dear Secret: Your friend's choice not to include her husband in your friendship and her decision to relegate you to "secret" status isn't fair to you or to him.

She may feel her husband will be jealous of her friendship with you, but it doesn't sound as if she has given you — or him — a chance to test-drive a friendship.

I suggest you pay this money back immediately and tell your friend that you don't want to have a friendship exclusive of her husband.

If she is not able to conduct an inclusive friendship, then you should let things fade.

Dear Amy: I've recently moved in with my best friend. He has a girlfriend who doesn't treat him right and has negatively affected all of his friendships.

We've all tried to show him how she has systematically killed his friendships one by one, and though he agrees that she's not a great person, or necessarily right for him, he can't break up with her.

Instead, she breaks up with him and he chases after her.

Is there anything else I can do before she ruins our friendship?

— Worried Roomie

Dear Roomie: You don't say how this woman manages to grab and hold the power to ruin your roommate's friendships, so I'm going to remind you that he is responsible for his own actions, including the course of his friendships.

Now you can only determine to behave differently (than your other friends) because you can't assume that your roommate will change.

You can help him the most by determining to be steady and consistent (everything his girlfriend is not). And ask him to step up, man-up and take some responsibility for the quality of his relationships outside of the one with his on-again, off-again girlfriend.

Dear Amy: Regarding the issue of how to navigate the controversy over-reclining your seat on an airplane, I always felt it was my decision to recline, because it is "my" seat, which I paid for.

I thought the airlines determined the recline.

Now I can understand what a problem it presents, so why don't the airlines fix the problem they created by putting a "stopper" in the seat so it relines a lesser amount, which would be comfortable for everyone?

— Seeking a Solution

Dear Seeking: Exploring this issue in my column, I've learned that airlines are cramming reclining seats into spaces not designed to accommodate them.

I've also learned how much discomfort reclining seats cause the flying public.

I won't be reclining in the future, and I can only hope the person in front of me doesn't, either.

Your idea of a "stopper" is a good one.

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

#2 Jul 26, 2011
Good gawd, enough of the reclining seats re-visits! Amy! Listen up and knock off the easy space-fillers!

“Joy is the shadow cast by pain”

Since: Dec 08

Twin Cities, MN

#3 Jul 26, 2011
L1: I feel like there's a big part of the story missing.

L2: A big part of the story is missing: HOW exactly does she kill the friendships? Maybe YOU kill the friendships by harping on him about how horrible she is. BUtt out.

L3: Heather grey.

Since: Jun 09

Bolingbrook, IL

#4 Jul 26, 2011
LW3: Let's move on from the seat recliners to a new topic...the seatback grabbers. On both segments of my most recent trip, the person behind me felt compelled to use my seatback as a handrail when getting in and out of his/her seat. Just what I really wanted - being shaken around on what was otherwise pleasant flights. If your sense of balance is that bad, then use the armrests or your seat to balance yourself, not mine.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Brooklyn, NY

#5 Jul 26, 2011
1- Maybe her husband's the jealous type. Maybe she's just not that into you.

2- It's his decision. Maybe you should stop pestering him and stay out of his relationships.

3- What shade of gray is Heather?

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#6 Jul 26, 2011
LW1: Whether or not she introduces you to her husband is her business. You're not sleeping with her. You're platonic friends. You have nothing to feel guilty about, so let her manage her marriage as she sees fit.

LW2: "he is responsible for his own actions, including the course of his friendships."

“Joy is the shadow cast by pain”

Since: Dec 08

Twin Cities, MN

#7 Jul 26, 2011
I don't have people doing that to my seat (but I've seen it and I would tell the person to knock it off). BUT I always get an aisle seat when possible, and part of that is being okay with getting up as much as the people next to me need to get up. But I'd rather do that than get a window seat and need to climb over my seatmates in order to use the restroom.

I feel for tall people. I'm small and 5'2" and I like the extra leg room I get by being able to have an "open" side for a bit more room. Flying must suck for people bigger than I.

“Joy is the shadow cast by pain”

Since: Dec 08

Twin Cities, MN

#8 Jul 26, 2011

“Joy is the shadow cast by pain”

Since: Dec 08

Twin Cities, MN

#9 Jul 26, 2011
Has anyone here ever taken the train on a long trip? Most of what I've heard has been very positive, including from a coworker who took his family of five on a trip that way.

I think the main drawback would be the added travel time.

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#10 Jul 26, 2011
AngelaMN wrote:
Has anyone here ever taken the train on a long trip? Most of what I've heard has been very positive, including from a coworker who took his family of five on a trip that way.
I think the main drawback would be the added travel time.
Define "long." I've taken several train trips in Europe, the longest being about 4.5 hours. They were all pleasant, but I've never been on a train in the U.S.

“Joy is the shadow cast by pain”

Since: Dec 08

Twin Cities, MN

#11 Jul 26, 2011
I guess "long" would be, at least half-way across the U.S. Or maybe NY to Florida (that probably is about the same as halfway to Cali, eh?).

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#12 Jul 26, 2011
AngelaMN wrote:
Has anyone here ever taken the train on a long trip? Most of what I've heard has been very positive, including from a coworker who took his family of five on a trip that way.
I think the main drawback would be the added travel time.
My mom and sister took one from Chicago to Eastern Michigan to visit family when my mom was bouncing back from chemo and my sister didn't drive much yet. A 4 hour drive turned in to an 8 hour train ride. They didn't do that again. I think there was some construction on the tracks or something, though.

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#13 Jul 26, 2011
AngelaMN wrote:
I guess "long" would be, at least half-way across the U.S. Or maybe NY to Florida (that probably is about the same as halfway to Cali, eh?).
I have a friend who did a train trip out west and she and her husband had a great time. I don't know all the details though.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#14 Jul 26, 2011
1 Take the money and shaddup. Why look a gift horse in the mouth?

2 If your best friend is a spineless idiot who cant handle his women, you need to find a new best friend.

3 There are stoppers on them stupid, thats why they dont go horizontal!

“I looked, and behold,”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#15 Jul 26, 2011
LW1: I’m hoping the letting the friendship fade away idea has nothing to do with the fact that you owe her money, weasel. I’m also thinking you accidentally left out the part where you and “granny grey hair”(I stole that from Rational, ha) were having sex when you lived with her … because only then does everything sorta-kinda make sense.

Just be her friend. It’s not like you’re still having sex with her behind his back. She probably doesn’t want to tell her husband at one point she had a young buck living with her. He might be the jealous type or the vanilla/square type.

LW2: No. It’s pretty simple. Every guy’s seen this, AT least once. He’s p-whipped. There’s nothing you can do.

LW3: What’s this f’ing stopper talk? How about they just leave things as they are, traitor? ;p

“I looked, and behold,”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#16 Jul 26, 2011
What.the.heck.is.that.badge.on .my.avatar?!!
pde

Elk Grove Village, IL

#17 Jul 26, 2011
j_m_w wrote:
<quoted text>
Define "long." I've taken several train trips in Europe, the longest being about 4.5 hours. They were all pleasant, but I've never been on a train in the U.S.
It takes 24 hours to drive to Yellowstone from Chicago, or 24 hours to take Amtrak (and hopefully you don't get delayed).

Amtrak is limited to 70 miles/hour in most locations in the US and tends to follow about the same route as cars. So, a trip on Amtrak in most places is going to take about the same amount of time driving there ... and since Amtrak only has secondary rights on the tracks (after freight), it tends to be delayed often.
pde

Elk Grove Village, IL

#18 Jul 26, 2011
Sublime1 wrote:
What.the.heck.is.that.badge.on .my.avatar?!!
It says early adopter when I mouseover it.
pde

Elk Grove Village, IL

#19 Jul 26, 2011
Shoot, those aren't the numbers for Yellowstone, they are the numbers for Glacier. Sorry, no coffee yet. Can you get to Yellowstone by train? I do not know.

“What's it to ya?”

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#20 Jul 26, 2011
AngelaMN wrote:
Has anyone here ever taken the train on a long trip? Most of what I've heard has been very positive, including from a coworker who took his family of five on a trip that way.
I think the main drawback would be the added travel time.
I've done Baltimore to Seattle, Seattle to Baltimore...several times.

Baltimore to Chicago is coach, Chicago to Baltimore is coach. <shrug> Chi-Sea or Sea-Chi you can have a sleeper. I highly recommend it. If you have time, take the train.

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