Los Angeles Times
She’s not into chilling out
Dear Amy: I am 64 and retired. My husband is 62 and has his own home-based business.
He said he would retire, but now he says he’ll just work part-time so that we have extra money “to play.”
We moved to an extremely small town with very few entertainment opportunities. It entails two hours of driving to get all but the most basic of medical care.
Most of the women here grew up with their friends and are not welcoming.
There is snow on the ground for six months of the year. I have physical problems that make it hard and risky for me to walk in snow.
My husband is happy here. He has friends through his work and doesn’t really care about spending time with people.
I want to move to a place where I have more options for friendship and entertainment. He refuses to move.
He doesn’t like to travel, and I am afraid the rest of my life will be spent here.
He rejects the idea of looking for another place and gets angry when I bring it up. What should I do now?
Dear Trapped: Your husband’s “play fund” seems to apply only to him. There doesn’t seem to be much play in your life.
I assume that you have done your utmost to engage in the social life of your chilly home. Joining book groups, volunteering at the library or getting a part-time job would help to keep you engaged and active.
You are unhappy. You are cold. Your health is at risk. You have not adjusted to life in this place.
Do you have friends or family members living in more congenial locales? Look into alternatives for places to stay for at least the worst of the winter. You may be able to rent or share a room in an affordable area.
You obviously feel trapped, but perhaps you should not look to your husband for solutions.
Dear Amy: Some longtime friends and I hadn’t seen each other for years and recently got together for a few days to reconnect.
While at a restaurant for lunch, one friend discreetly picked up the tab.
Upon finding out the bill was taken care of, “Alice” refused this kind gesture and asked the waitress, “Can you reverse the payment?”
I quietly said, “Alice, just say thank you. It’s the graceful thing to do.”
Alice got upset and loudly said, “Did you just tell me what to do?” — drawing the attention of the party.
She made a face at me, gave me “the hand” and asked the waitress, “Don’t you just hate it when other people tell you what to do?” The waitress stood there awkwardly. I said nothing, but it rattled me.
I want to follow up with Alice and sort this out, but my sister, my husband and a friend who was there have all advised me to just let it be. I’m still dwelling on it.
Did I behave inappropriately? Perhaps I should have just let it play out between Alice, the friend who paid the bill and the waitress?
How might I better handle this type of situation?
Lost My Lunch
Dear Lost: I assume you wish you’d stayed quiet, and yet you did nothing wrong. You offered a friend gentle feedback (I agree with you, by the way), and she aggressively shut you down.
I’m not sure why you would want to contact Alice, other than to ask for an apology for her harshness, which you surely won’t get.