With Friends Like These …
Dear Margo: I’m getting married in a few months to a wonderful guy. We had an engagement party a few weeks ago. I invited all of our friends and family to celebrate. The issue I am having is with one of my friends. I invited her to the party and saw a different side of her. She had a lot to drink, and her behavior was the worst. She was very hurtful in many ways. She started telling people at the party personal things about my sisters and me, how she should be maid of honor, etc. She made everyone uncomfortable.
It took me a few weeks of not talking to her before I could confront her. I told her she drank way too much and said a lot of hurtful things. I told her the truth. She then said she will be unable to be a bridesmaid and unable to make my wedding. At that point, I decided I really didn’t want to be her friend. Here’s the question: She’s started asking me if I want to hang out and has asked me to do her favors. I have declined, telling her I’m busy. But really, what is the best way to handle this? –Tanya
Dear Tan: The best way is directly. You can’t be busy forever. The friendship has been tarnished, to say the least, so pretending otherwise is kind of pointless. This person turned out to be an unpleasant drunk and withdrew as a bridesmaid because she wanted to be the No. 1 bridesmaid. It seems to me this girl is not wrapped real tight, so I would tell her, the next time she calls to hang out or to ask a favor, that not everything is meant to last, and, unhappily, your former friendship is in that category. Over and out. –Margo, decisively
Familie$ and Money
Dear Margo: A couple of years ago, my elderly parents attended a graduation open house at my cousin’s. While they were saying goodbye in the driveway, my cousin’s large dog and the neighbor’s large dog were running around rambunctiously and knocked my mom to the ground, breaking her shoulder. My parents are not rich (or even marginally comfortable), and my mom had to quit her part-time job for a very painful recovery. She will never have full use of her arm and shoulder again.
During her recovery, my sister reached out to my cousin and very nicely asked for her homeowners insurance information to help pay for the medical bills and loss of income. She appeared to completely understand the concern and readily gave the info, from which my parents eventually received a small settlement to help defray the costs. A few months later, my cousin’s parents (Dad’s sister and brother-in-law) didn’t show up for his 80th birthday party. That weighed heavily on him, so my dad called his b-i-l. He was told that his sister is furious with our family for “suing” our cousin. My dad and his sister have always been close, and I know this rift is really hurting him and my mom. So my questions are: Did we do the wrong thing? Is there any hope for reconciliation? How can things be made right? –Sad for Dad
Dear Sad: What is called for here is some education and an understanding of homeowners insurance. The spirit of the thing is that your mother’s injury happened at the home of your cousin (because of her dog mixing it up with the neighbor’s dog). This is why people have homeowners insurance, so that when there is an injury on their property, it is their insurance that kicks in. It is in no way the equivalent of suing someone; they are already covered for such a situation.
Ask your cousin to explain to her dad (who I am guessing is elderly, as well) that there was nothing personal in it, and in fact, if the insurance money hadn’t covered the necessary treatment and losses, a genuine lawsuit could have been filed. It wasn’t. –Margo, rationally
Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.
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