DEAR AMY: I have developed an unwanted, sudden and unexpected attraction to my boss. This attraction came out of nowhere. I just went to sleep one night and I had this slightly erotic, but mostly fluffy and romantic dream about her. And now I have these fantasies about her and I just want them to stop. I don’t want to want her. She’s at least 20 years my senior, married, and — did I mention that she is my boss? And I am a single, 19-year-old, sexually confused female. Can you help me?
DEAR UNLUCKY: It is extremely common to develop workplace attractions and crushes. But we seem to live in a time when people feel the right thing to do is to act on all of their private feelings, and then justify it later.
I’d like to suggest that you hold on to the more old-fashioned notion that you can control your impulses, even when they are strong.
You feel strongly that it is not in your best interests (or your boss’) to pursue this crush. And so, the simple answer is for you to make a choice not to act on these feelings. They will go away — probably not as suddenly as they arrived — but they will fade. You will not always feel this way, and choosing to be careful and circumspect now will make you feel better about yourself later.
Your dream life is the expression of your subconscious. You can assign whatever meaning you want to your dream, but make sure you use this experience to learn what it is you need to learn about yourself.
You are at a very potent age for growth and discovery. It seems obvious that your subconscious is prompting you to explore your sexuality. And so you should. Just don’t do it at work, and don’t do it with people who are unavailable.
DEAR AMY: Last week my wife and I invited her parents over for dinner. It was a nice meal and we had a good time. For dessert, I baked a coconut pie. My wife and her mother do not like coconut. Later my wife told me it was rude to make a dessert that I knew half the guests would not eat. There are foods that I don’t care for, but I’ve always felt that if someone invites you to dinner and prepares a meal, you eat it. It doesn’t matter if you like it or not. I recognize it would have been simple to make a different dessert, but it brings up a bigger question. My wife says that we should make a meal that we know our guests will eat and enjoy. This can get complicated when the whole family gets together. Some don’t eat tomatoes, some don’t eat red meat, some don’t eat anything that’s been touched by onion, some don’t eat mushrooms, etc. When we host the whole family, the meal ends up being bland. And we have to jump through hoops to make sure there is something for everyone to enjoy. I feel like we should make a nice meal and serve it as is. My wife feels that we should make a meal that we know everyone will eat. Who is correct?
DEAR COOK: You have introduced a red herring (which no one will eat), by conflating a small group of four with a large family gathering.
Your choice to deliberately make a dessert you know for certain two people will not like is hostile. Don’t you want your family members to eat and enjoy what you’ve worked hard to prepare for them?
I understand it is frustrating to feel like you are preparing 12 individual dishes for people who have diets different from your own, but it is the job of the host — if he is aware of restrictions — to generously offer some variety of dishes, giving guests (limited) choices. If you can’t manage to do this without producing a “bland” dinner, then you might not be the cook you think you are.
A good guest will never criticize the host’s choices and will do her best to enjoy the meal, regardless of the host’s hostility.
DEAR AMY: “Worried Friend” was worried that her older friend might be suffering from dementia. However, Worried mentioned that her friend had received chemotherapy for cancer. Please tell her that confusion and loss of appetite are common side effects of this therapy.
DEAR SURVIVOR: Many people pointed this out. Thank you all.