Don’t change yourself to fit his family, beliefs
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I’m in desperate need of advice. I’m 22 and have been dating a guy that is 25, for about 10 months or so. We have the best relationship. We get along well, always going out and doing new things and essentially want the same things out of life. He’s such a good guy and has an excellent future ahead of him. However, he comes from a very religious and strict family and they have a huge influence over him. I really never get to spend time alone with him. It’s always in public. Lately, I can’t stop bringing it up and trying to fix it. But it’s really not in the future for us anytime soon unless he starts ignoring the family and makes an effort with me. He is a very conservative person and I am liberal in many ways. I don’t want this lack of romance killing a once in a lifetime relationship. I’m starting to think it will if he doesn’t ditch the family’s views. — Frustrated Girlfriend, Charleswood
Dear Frustrated: This guy is missing the rebellion gene. If you don’t want to end up being led around by the nose by his parents for the rest of your life and told how to raise your children, you are going to have to look for a new guy. Look for one who is just as compatible interest-wise but not so religious and conservative. And think about this: At 25 years old, your boyfriend is pretty much the man he’s going to be. What 25-year-old guy would be kowtowing to the parents like this unless he didn’t agree with that them he should not enjoy a private life or a sex life with a woman until he’s married? Why should you always be dating in public after 10 months? Sex is what he’s avoiding here. You say you’re a liberal person but you’re going to have to become more like his parents if you want him. That’s not you. Why would you bend yourself out of shape like that?
Dear Retail Queen: Your argument makes perfect sense to me, but people who abuse store clerks don’t have the same perspective. They see retail staff as servants, and feel they can talk down to them. Other con-artist types who return clothes they’ve worn, see clerks as a challenge — people they will try to trick. Some people have whole wardrobes that don’t hang in their closets for more than a few nights. They buy clothes and wear them to a wedding social or a bar, or even on a trip, and then return the worn sweaty clothes afterwards and demand their money back. How do you reason with that kind of mindset? To them it’s just a game to see what they can get away with.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: This is in response to the letter from Abused. I have been in retail for many years and encountered many challenging scenarios such as this. Customers need to remember two things: 1) Being reasonable and polite will often get you what you want without having to be argumentative. Those of us in retail are happy to be flexible with clients who are respectful and understanding of the fact that we have policies we’re expected to follow. 2) Think of being the next customer buying the item you want to return? Would you like to wear an outfit that smelled of body odour? “Lost tags” are a pretty safe bet that a garment has been worn. We don’t make it difficult for customers to return things. In fact, we’re just trying to protect customers from buying something used. — Retail Queen, Winnipeg
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