DEAR AMY: I never thought I’d be writing to an advice columnist, but I am recently divorced. My wife and I were separated for years, so my non-relationship time is quite long. I don’t date and had no intention of looking for another relationship. I recently attended a high school reunion. A woman whom I had a crush on in school was there, without a significant other. She is no longer using her maiden name so I assume she was married, even if she isn’t any longer. We were casual friends in school and chatted briefly at the reunion. She left early so I didn’t have the opportunity to have a longer conversation. In any case I wouldn’t have “hit on her” at the reunion because I feel that would have been uncomfortable not only for us, but also for our classmates. If I had met her in different circumstances, I certainly would have invited her to meet for lunch or coffee and “chatted her up.” We are old enough that it is uncertain if we will ever see each other again, so I don’t want to chance a “two ships passing in the night” situation. Of course, I have no idea if she would have any interest in me, even if she is currently unattached. I figure I can: 1) Forgetaboutit 2) Ask a mutual friend on Facebook if they know if she is unattached and can offer their own suggestion and/or 3) Contact the lady in question directly. Option two risks a bit of embarrassment and might even be offensive to the friend. Option three risks more embarrassment and could be taken as very offensive by my old crush, especially if she is in a relationship. I am less concerned about embarrassing myself than about damaging any friendships. Your suggestion?
DEAR WONDERING: Don’t overthink this. Rather than go through others, you should send this friend a “friend request” on Facebook. If she accepts it, you should be able to see from her profile and postings what her current status is. Facebook is a great way to connect and slowly get to know someone. It is the perfect venue for following up on a reunion interlude.
DEAR AMY: We hosted a wonderful anniversary party recently for ourselves (our 50th!) and were thrilled to have friends and family attend. The invitation read “No Gifts,” but as sometimes happens, the directive was overlooked. Along with lovely cards, we also received a boatload of zucchini along with the explanation: “We thought you’d love to have something from our garden!” First of all, it was awkward greeting old friends with a hug and a greeting, and then lumbering off with an armful of zucchini and a smile, especially when we’re thinking, “What the heck are we going to do with this?” Plus, our two refrigerators were stuffed to the gills with pop, beer, fresh fruit, veggies and other munchies for the pre- and post-party festivities. After the party, though we looked forward to spending even more time with our out-of-town guests, we were busy cramming all the zucchini into our refrigerators — along with leftovers from the dinner. So, I’d like to notify people that as party plans unfold this year, they should make a mental note to leave their zucchini at home. Unburden your bounty with the neighbors. Or donate to a nearby food pantry. Or sponsor a friendly baseball game using your larger zucchinis as bats. Whatever you do, don’t show up at party time with your zucchini. We’re thrilled to see you. We just don’t need your squash.
Awash in Squash
DEAR AWASH: At my hometown church during this time of year, the collection plate isn’t the only thing being passed around, as people offload the excess bounty from their gardens to fellow worshippers: Tomatoes, corn, and the omnipresent zucchini!
I agree that zucchini is a strange gift to present as an anniversary present, but this time of year for vegetable gardeners, the rule is to either give squash or be squashed. Your local food pantry might have been happy to welcome this fresh produce.
DEAR AMY: I’m responding to people who don’t like tattoos. They often express their contempt by pointing out how bad tattoos will look on old, wrinkled skin. Trust me, we who love tattoos know this and don’t care. I loved your comment about your uncle’s aging tattoos: “I loved him, so I loved his tattoos, too.”
DEAR FAN: Tattoos don’t tax my own capacity for affection in the slightest.