DEAR AMY: My girlfriend of three years has become obsessed with astrology. I support her observation of the discipline, but now that we are more serious as a couple, she is trying to bring me into the fold. When Mercury is in retrograde, she complains and laments every purchase and every decision I face. She has tried to bully me into rejecting job offers because Mercury is in retrograde. She reads the chart of everyone who is in my life, and goes so far as to suggest who I should have relationships with, based on their birth date and time. She has dismissed key business partners because of their astrological chart, only to see them thrive without her. A chart reader once told her that because of my birth date and time, that one day I will kill her in her sleep. I laughed at the absurdity of the claim, but she genuinely suspects that there may be some validity to it! It’s like the past three years meant nothing. How do I help her to see that her fanaticism is driving me away from her? How do I let her know that I will never follow suit? What if we raise children? Will they buy into this garbage? Will they believe that their father will strangle them in their sleep because he was born in October? What should I do?
DEAR LIBRA: My basic understanding is that “retrograde” describes the orbit of a planet when it is moving in the opposite direction to the sun’s rotation.
Mercury passes in and out of retrograde.
Unfortunately, your girlfriend seems to be orbiting permanently in retrograde. Her behavior is becoming more extreme and resistant to rational thinking.
Your birthday is coming up. You might want to mark the new year by leaving this particular system.
DEAR AMY: I am a single 21-year-old woman in my senior year of college. I spent most of my time in college in a serious relationship with my high-school sweetheart and now I am enjoying my newfound freedom. However, my friends are having a hard time accepting this. They are desperately trying to find my “soul mate” by setting me up with men. After a particularly bad “fix-up” experience that resulted in my getting fired as the maid of honor for my closest friend’s wedding and not speaking to her for over a year, I now refuse all attempts at being set up. When I inevitably reject these men, they start hurling insults at me. One man even threatened to commit suicide! Most recently, my friend “Jennifer” gave my contact information to a man who claims to be 35 but he looks more like he’s 45. I was shocked that she would do that without my consent, let alone with a man so much older! I’ve been ignoring his messages. My last year of college is going to be stressful enough with starting a new job in my field and applying to grad school, and I don’t want needless drama on top of it. How can I convince my friends to understand that I am perfectly capable of finding my own boyfriends and to leave me alone?
DEAR SINGLE LADY: You quite obviously feel bullied by your friends. It might be time for you to graduate into some new friendships.
No one should give out your contact information without your approval, and you should not accept any contact from anyone you don’t know. Treat the calls and texts from these potential fix-ups the same way you treat spam: Ignore. Delete. Block. Any “friend” who supplies your contact information has deliberately violated your privacy. This is not what friends do.
You might have left the impression that you are open to this by communicating with any of these men. Don’t. Put the word out to all of your friends at the same time: “I’m reminding everyone that I don’t want to be fixed up with anyone. Please don’t ever share my contact information.”
After that, any friend who does this should be struck from your friend list.
DEAR AMY: “Not-a-Spender” expressed valid concerns about her stepdaughters, who are being wildly overindulged by their mother. Your advice — to give these girls experiences instead of material things — sounds good, but I’m sorry to tell you that it will not work. Kids will always prefer the latest toy over an adult wanting to take them on a picnic.
DEAR DISAPPOINTED: You might be right in some instances, but overall, I completely disagree.