Re­mark of­fends woman

Los Angeles Times - - COMICS - Send ques­tions to Amy Dickinson by email to askamy@ tri­bune. com.

Dear Amy: My daugh­ter died three years ago at age 35 of pan­cre­atic can­cer.

Three weeks be­fore her death, my hus­band and I treated a male friend to din­ner at our coun­try club. He pro­ceeded to tell us that, “I’m not sure you know that other peo­ple don’t live like this” and elab­o­rated that we are pre­ten­tious.

I had been sleep­ing at the hos­pi­tal with my daugh­ter for three months, so his com­ment and his tim­ing sent me reel­ing.

Af­ter the din­ner he called me and apol­o­gized for some­thing else that he said and I tried to ex­plain that this was not what both­ered me.

I got the sense that he didn’t lis­ten to what I said. Af­ter my daugh­ter died, I tried for two years to so­cial­ize with him and get past my fury.

Fi­nally, I re­al­ized that I needed to end the friend­ship. The prob­lem is that he and his wife did count­less thought­ful acts dur­ing the time of my daugh­ter’s ill­ness. I pro­posed to his wife that we re­main friends but she de­clined. I ru­mi­nate over this, daily. Hear­ing sto­ries of for­give­ness makes me feel guilty. Yet I have no de­sire to spend time with this man. Help!


Dear Ru­mi­nat­ing: The path to­ward for­give­ness is to ac­cept and ac­knowl­edge the good in peo­ple and then to make a de­lib­er­ate choice to let the rest go. Pic­ture the slights and slings and ar­rows bun­dled to­gether, teth­ered to a bal­loon, and f loat­ing away.

I think it is im­por­tant in your case to ac­knowl­edge the gifts these peo­ple granted to you, and un­der­stand that at the most chal­leng­ing time in your life, a very un­for­tu­nate re­mark was made that re­vealed a very un­for­tu­nate judg­ment of you on this man’s part. It was thought­less, rude, and de­liv­ered to you at a ter­ri­ble time ( and while he was ac­cept­ing your hos­pi­tal­ity). What a jerk!

You will feel best if you are able to mar­shal your own kind­ness to­ward your­self and soften to­ward oth­ers. Of course you don’t want to spend time with peo­ple you don’t like, and if you have tried and it hasn’t worked, then you should ac­cept this and un­der­stand that life re­ally is too short to be with peo­ple who judge you so harshly.

Dear Amy: I am send­ing an in­vi­ta­tion to a woman I know who is in a triad “mar- riage” with chil­dren.

Nor­mally I would ad­dress this to “Mr. and Mrs. Jones and Fam­ily” or “Ms. Jones and Ms. Smith and fam­ily.”

How do I ad­dress it to a triad? Do I list all three names “and fam­ily”?

For the record, I’m not sure of one of the names and I know none of the names of the chil­dren, but I do want to make them all feel welcome.

Is the “Ms. Brenda Jones Fam­ily” ap­pro­pri­ate?

Con­fused and Ac­cept­ing

Dear Ac­cept­ing: I love the con­trast of your pro­pri­ety as it ap­plies to a polyamorous “mar­riage,” which ( for peo­ple who don’t know) is a part­ner­ship, fam­ily unit, or “mar­riage” of more than two adults.

I’m as­sum­ing there are per­haps two women and one man in­volved in this unit.

First, dou­ble- check the spell­ing of your guests’ names.

Here is a sam­ple for how I would ad­dress this in­vi­ta­tion: Ms. Marge Simp­son Mr. Ricky Ri­cardo Ms. Liz Le­mon & Fam­ily

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