DEAR AMY: I am lucky to have really good friends in my life. In fact, my college friends recently became “friends” with my best friend from childhood (Bestie). All of us got together for a weekend girls’ trip recently, and at the end of it one of my college friends left a pair of shoes in Bestie’s car. She requested that Bestie mail her shoes to her ASAP. They live about two hours away from each other. It has been more than a month now and the college friend has not received her shoes. She has contacted me incessantly and belligerently via text message, phone and Google Chat about these shoes. My Bestie says she sent the shoes once and that they were returned; she says she will send them again. I reassured my college friend and told her she should be patient, but she emailed Bestie a very cold email alleging that she was lying and had never sent the shoes. She has now demanded that the shoes be overnighted. Today my college friend attacked me, saying I am biased and a bad friend for not seeing that Bestie is a dishonest person for saying she had mailed the shoes when she hadn’t. I feel this has spiraled out of proportion. I have asked several times to be left out of it. I’ve tried, repeatedly, not to take sides. I am not willing to believe that my best friend of more than a decade is somehow a dishonest person just because my college friend is being impatient. Your advice?
In the Middle
DEAR MIDDLE: Your college friend’s behavior is putting your relationship with her on the line.
She is also acting like someone who doesn’t really want to get her shoes back, because the way to behave when you are asking someone to stand in line at the post office is the opposite of the way she is behaving now. For unknown reasons, she has chosen to involve you in a caper that has nothing at all to do with you.
My own point of view is that if she is so desperate for these shoes, she could drive the two hours, coordinate with the person who has them and pick them up herself.
Alternatively, right after popping them in the mail, your “bestie” should email or text a photo of the package to the recipient. If the shoes don’t arrive, it’s not her problem.
This episode has exposed an unsavory aspect to your college friend’s character; there is no need for you to continue to communicate with her unless (or until) she simmers down and starts behaving respectfully.
DEAR AMY: What do you think is going on here: My husband goes on vacation without the family. He extends his trip for a couple of extra days. I find condoms in his suitcase from a country he never mentioned going to. He says he’s holding them for a friend, and won’t allow his text messages to be seen. Oh, and he swears he’s not cheating. What do you think?
DEAR PERPLEXED: I think you’ve hit the trifecta of jackassery.
I give this man points for utter hubris, in letting/expecting you to unpack his suitcase for him.
The “I’m holding these condoms for a friend” statement is also one for the ages. I’ll be needlepointing it on a pillow soon.
Given the preponderance of cheating signs abundant in this short retelling, I’d say that your husband has some mansplaining to do.
If he wants to stay in this relationship with you, he doesn’t really get to refuse to discuss his whereabouts and behavior. He obviously wanted to get caught, and now he has been.
DEAR AMY: I’m responding to your answer to “Pattie,” who was upset that she had received a wedding invitation addressed to her as “Mrs. (husband’s surname),” versus using her given name. You replied that, though you had also kept your given name through life, you thought it was “sweet” to occasionally be referred to as “Mrs. (husband’s surname).” I am a woman who has kept her given name through 31 years of marriage. I don’t see it as “sort of sweet” when I am referred to as “Mrs. Husband’s Last Name” by longtime friends or family. I see it as sort of sexist. It is only sort of sweet when he is referred to as Mr. Wife’s Last Name.
Keeping My Name
DEAR KEEPING: Great point! Thank you.