Cold shoul­der after divorce

The Record (Troy, NY) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK -

DEAR­AN­NIE>> 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. What do you think?

— Boat­ing With

Bag­gage

DEARBOATING>> It sounds as if you’re ex­pert at nav­i­gat­ing these treach­er­ous rapids, so ku­dos. It’s in­cred­i­bly ma­ture of you not to take the an­tics of your step­dad’s ex-wife’s friends per­son­ally. The bit­ter­ness and re­sent­ment they’re hold­ing on to is only drag­ging them down.

Con­tinue be­ing pleas­ant in the face of their ugly at­ti­tudes. Pre­tend you’re obliv­i­ous to their bad vibes. They can scoff un­til they’re blue in the face. But don’t be a door­mat, ei­ther. If one of them says some­thing out­right rude to you, you have a right to stand up for your­self.

DEAR­AN­NIE>> 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.

For our first date, he picked out an ex­pen­sive restau­rant that I would never nor­mally go to, as it’s way out of my price range. I as­sumed he would only in­vite me to such an ex­pen­sive place if he planned on cov­er­ing the bill

Be­fore I was see­ing him, I dated a man for about six months, and we al­ways split ev­ery­thing, too. If I didn’t have cash on me, he ex­pected me to pay him back later.

I work full time and can sup­port my­self, and I don’t need or ex­pect any­one to spoil me. But I still ap­pre­ci­ate small ges­tures of chivalry. Am I out of step with the times? — Half­sies

DEARHALFSIES>> A good rule, widely used to­day, is that the per­son who does the ask­ing does the pay­ing — at least on the first date. So, if this man asked you out, it would be cour­te­ous of him to pay, and vice versa.

After the first date, go­ing Dutch is com­mon­place. But there’s noth­ing wrong with treat­ing your sig­nif­i­cant other to din­ner oc­ca­sion­ally, just as a nice ges­ture, re­gard­less of gen­der.

“Ask Me Any­thing: A Year of Ad­vice From Dear An­nie” is out now! An­nie Lane’s de­but book — fea­tur­ing fa­vorite col­umns on love, friend­ship, fam­ily and eti­quette — is avail­able as a paper­back and ebook. Visit http://www.cre­ator­spub­lish­ing.com for more in­for­ma­tion. Send your ques­tions for An­nie Lane to dear­an­[email protected]­ators.com.

t’s in­cred­i­bly ma­ture of you not to take the an­tics of your step­dad’s ex-wife’s friends per­son­ally. The bit­ter­ness and re­sent­ment they’re hold­ing on to is only drag­ging them down.

An­nie Lane Dear An­nie

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