| Urban Diplomat Advice on how to be a civilized Torontonian
My wife and I are gay, and we recently moved into a house in the east end. Our neighbour won’t stop going out of her way to prove she’s LGBT-friendly. Whenever we run into her, she (loudly) points out how cute we are together and rambles on about how happy she is to see more “diverse lifestyles” in the neighbourhood. I appreciate her attempt to make us feel welcome, but all the extra attention is having the opposite effect. How can we politely tell her to cool it?
Your neighbour’s pro-gay zeal will likely diminish over time. However, if you run out of patience, try this: the next time she starts babbling about how much you two remind her of Alex and Piper from Orange Is the New Black, first thank her for her efforts to make you feel comfortable, then let her know that too much attention makes you feel singled out. If she’s really as wellintentioned as she thinks, she’ll realize that sometimes, the best way to convey acceptance is through silence.
Dear Urban Diplomat, Once a month, my colleagues and I attend an evening sales meeting where dinner is provided by the company. There’s always more than enough to eat, and the leftovers are usually stored in the staff fridge for us to enjoy the next day. But lately, the vice-president has been taking the extra food home for himself—one time he even brought out Tupperware before we started eating! We’re all annoyed by it, since he makes significantly more money than we do. Is it worth confronting him, or should we let it go?
—Young and Hungry, The Danforth
If you have a chummy relationship with your freeloading VP, you could always make a joke about his food hoarding at your next meeting. But before you fling yourself into a potentially awkward situation, remember that it is just a monthly takeout meal. Sure, your boss
can afford his own Foodora, but is dayold pizza really worth the office tension?
Dear Urban Diplomat, Last week, I backed into a parked car in the Yorkdale lot and left a small dent. I took a picture of the licence plate with my phone and ran inside to find a pen and paper so I could leave a note, but when I came back, the car was gone. At first, I was relieved, but now the guilt is weighing on me. I want to report the incident to clear my conscience, but will I get in legal trouble if I do?
—Hit and Run, Dufferin Grove
If the ding is as small as you say it is, you might not be legally required to fess up to the fuzz, since combined damage less than $2,000 doesn’t need to be reported. But there’s a catch: you are legally required to exchange insurance info with a driver whenever two cars collide, Grand Theft Auto–style crime or not. If you decide to take the “better late than never” approach and listen to your conscience, you can still make a formal report at any collision centre. Whether or not you’ll get in trouble depends on how forgiving the car’s owner was feeling that day—if they made a complaint and you waited more than 48 hours to come clean, you could be charged for failing to report the accident.
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