Some mis­un­der­stand­ing

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - An­nie Lane

My brother and I were born on the same day, ex­actly one year apart. Our birth­day fell on a Satur­day this year. He told me that his girl­friend was go­ing to take him out on his birth­day and that we would cel­e­brate to­gether with our par­ents the fol­low­ing day for brunch. I said OK.

My hus­band and I also went out to din­ner for my birth­day that Satur­day night. As we were driv­ing to the restau­rant, I saw my dad stand­ing across the street in front of a restau­rant that my brother and I both love.

My hus­band and I had reser­va­tions across the street. After we fin­ished din­ner, we de­cided to walk up and down the street. We hap­pened to pass the restau­rant I had seen my dad in front of. I de­cided to pop in and see whether my par­ents were there.

I looked around and saw my brother with his girl­friend and our par­ents. He saw me and waved us over. When I got to their ta­ble, I was laugh­ing. I thought it was funny to find the four of them there.

My mother, un­der her breath, said, “I couldn’t tell you.”

The girl­friend looked at me and said, “This is my do­ing. It’s my party.” I replied, “That’s great.” We chat­ted briefly and left.

The next day, my brother texted me, “Do not bring up last night.” I said, “OK, but why? I’m not an­gry. All is cool.”

We met for birth­day brunch. I asked my brother whether he told his girl­friend what I’d said. He told me to tell her.

When I did, she replied with, “Well, it made the rest of the even­ing awk­ward.” That was it. I just laughed it off.

Well, just re­cently, my brother told me I needed to apol­o­gize to his girl­friend. I said, “For what?” It was not a pleas­ant con­ver­sa­tion. He was adamant that it was my fault.

Just to ap­pease my brother, I will apol­o­gize, but I just don’t know what to say and still feel I did not do any­thing wrong. Help.

— Con­fused

I’m con­fused, too. The best way to straighten this out is just to call your brother’s girl­friend and say, “Did I of­fend you some­how? I re­ally didn’t in­tend to, and I’m not sure where things went wrong.” Ei­ther it’s a mis­un­der­stand­ing or she’s a lit­tle nuts. A can­did con­ver­sa­tion is the only way to fig­ure it out.

I’m writ­ing in re­ply to “Hal­loweary,” who com­plained about trick-or­treaters be­ing too old, not in cos­tume or out after 8 p.m. I grew up in the in­ner city, where par­ents worked mul­ti­ple jobs and took mul­ti­ple buses to get home. The un­der­stand­ing was that Hal­loween door­bell ring­ing ended at 9 p.m.

Some kids are too poor for cos­tumes. Some have par­ents who don’t care or aren’t re­ally around for them be­cause of ad­dic­tion.

As for the age as­pect, I have known kids who looked like adults at age 9. My brother had a friend who had to have an adult desk in kinder­garten be­cause he didn’t fit in the type that the other kids had.

Any child learns soon enough that he has to give up be­ing a child. Let chil­dren re­main chil­dren as long as pos­si­ble, and take pity on those who are less for­tu­nate. Your kind­ness may be their fond­est child­hood mem­ory.

— Be Kind

The best way to straighten this out is just to call your brother’s girl­friend and say, “Did I of­fend you some­how?”

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