Daughter navigates rapids of divorce
Dear Annie: I recently went on vacation with my mom, stepdad and siblings. We went to the river where my stepdad has been going for about 30 years. Everyone else in the community has been going there every year for just as long, if not longer. Now, my mom and stepdad met each other while they were married, and, well, you can put the rest together. Many families we know have taken sides ever since, so being the daughter, I’m no stranger to weird vibes in social situations and people choosing sides.
Upon meeting the rivergoers, I quickly realized that some of them were on my stepdad’s ex-wife’s side. How did I know? They avoided talking to us and didn’t invite us to partake in group watersport activities. In one case, after I introduced myself, the woman looked at me, scoffed and walked away. There were plenty of nice people, though, so we still had a great time.
This isn’t something I take personally. The situation has nothing to do with me, and the affair happened six years ago. If they’re getting all hung up about something that’s not even their business, that’s their problem. But I never know whether I should stand up for myself, kill them with kindness or just ignore them.
Boating With Baggage Dear Boating: It sounds as if you’re expert at navigating these treacherous rapids, so kudos.
Continue being pleasant in the face of their ugly attitudes. Pretend you’re oblivious to their bad vibes. If one of them says something outright rude to you, you have a right to stand up for yourself.
Dear Annie: What is the etiquette concerning who pays for a date these days? I am realizing I may be a bit old-fashioned, as I still think that a man should pick up the check at least the first few times he goes out with someone. I’ve been on three dates with a guy recently, and we’ve split it every time. Am I out of step with the times? Halfsies
Dear Halfsies: A good rule, widely used today, is that the person who does the asking does the paying — at least on the first date. After the first date, going Dutch is commonplace.