Ur­ban Diplo­mat

Toronto Life - - Contents -

Ad­vice on how to be a civ­i­lized Toron­to­nian

When my hus­band and I got mar­ried last month, we re­quested that we re­ceive no gifts. Our place is tiny, and we don’t need any­thing. But the week af­ter the wed­ding, his aunt gave us a hideous two-foot-tall sculp­ture. I think it’s meant to be a cou­ple danc­ing, but it looks like Plas­ticine aliens get­ting it on. We des­per­ately want to get rid of it, but we have nowhere to store it and don’t want to hurt her feel­ings. What should we do? —Statue of Lim­i­ta­tions, Malvern

Given your ex­plicit no-gift stip­u­la­tion, it’s fair to ditch the thing. If your place is as tiny as you say, I as­sume you won’t be host­ing your aunt-in-law all that of­ten. How­ever, if she does visit and no­tices the piece is miss­ing, you have two choices: lie and say you broke it, or be up­front and tell her you gave it away be­cause you didn’t have space for it. The con­ver­sa­tion is bound to be un­com­fort­able—but nowhere near as awk­ward as ex­plain­ing the cop­u­lat­ing ex­trater­res­tri­als to ev­ery new per­son who comes over.

Dear Ur­ban Diplo­mat, I travel of­ten for work, and when I get off a plane, I usu­ally rush out since I just have a small carry-on. Re­cently, com­ing back from a va­ca­tion in Mex­ico, the plane landed at Pear­son and, as usual, I stood up and waited in the aisle a few rows ahead. A mom with three preschool­ers then yelled at me, “You’re gonna cut in front of a baby?” Am I a hor­ri­ble per­son for want­ing to blast past fam­i­lies that are bound to take for­ever to schlep their kids off the air­craft?

—Fight and Flight, West Queen West

Hu­man be­ings weren’t de­signed to spend hours sar­dined in metal tubes, so I un­der­stand the in­stinct to dash. But imag­ine how much more ex­haust­ing the rig­ma­role of fly­ing is with three tod­dlers in tow. By jam­ming your­self in the aisle, you’re mak­ing it harder for them—and other pas­sen­gers—to grab their own carry-on lug­gage, slow­ing down the process for ev­ery­one to save

your­self, what, 10 min­utes? If the par­ents in front of you are jug­gling baby bot­tles, be a freak­ing men­sch, why don’t you, and of­fer to grab their over­head lug­gage. More of­ten than not, they’ll let you pass any­way.

Dear Ur­ban Diplo­mat, Last sum­mer, I in­vited a work buddy to join a golf four­some with a cou­ple of old friends of mine. He must have lied about his hand­i­cap, be­cause he’s ter­ri­ble. Af­ter a sea­son of painfully slow games and an­gry play-throughs, we’re ready to make a go as a trio. But now he’s ask­ing when we’re start­ing up again. How do I ditch him with­out huge fric­tion?

—Un­happy Gil­more, North York

Look, you’re not play­ing in the PGA Tour, so be­fore you give your friend the heave-ho, ask the team if they’d con­sider play­ing scram­ble (that is, ev­ery­one takes their sec­ond stroke from the group’s best tee shot), which would speed up the game with­out bruis­ing any egos. If the other two don’t bite, break the news to the weak­est link over lunch. It may not sur­prise him—he prob­a­bly fig­ured out he’s the Ringo of your band in your first game to­gether— but it will still sting, so fo­cus on your chem­istry with the other guys, not on how aw­ful he is. As­sum­ing you re­frain from brag­ging about birdieing hole six around the of­fice, he’ll get over it.

Send your ques­tions to the Ur­ban Diplo­mat at ur­bandiplo­mat@toron­to­life.com

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.