DEAR AMY: I have been dating a great lady for about five months now. We are a lot alike. We were invited to go to a beer festival with another couple. They are regulars at the bar where she works. We had a great time at the festival, and were not drunk. As we were leaving, my girlfriend said she wanted to tell me something but wanted to wait until after we separated from the couple. I made her tell me immediately and she said that the guy of the couple we were with grabbed her rear end a couple of times. I ended up confronting him and then proceeded to use some force on him to get the point across that he cannot touch my girlfriend. I hit him twice. She became upset with me. I love this girl and for someone to sexually harass her like that, I felt I did what I had to do. I apologized to her and said I may have handled the situation badly but I would do it again. She is still not happy, nor has she apologized. She is now expecting me to apologize to the couple for my actions. I feel hurt and think she should admit to some responsibility for me trying to defend her. I think my feelings should be a priority over the couple. Am I in the wrong here?
DEAR HURT: Your girlfriend trusted and confided in you, but you don't seem to have waited long enough to hear her say how she wanted to handle it. It is frustrating (to say the least) to be the victim of unwanted aggressive contact and then basically be forced to stand by while someone bigger than you takes matters into his own hands. You need to understand that your actions may have made her feel more powerless, not more protected.
Once you learned what had happened, confronting the guy who harassed your date was inevitable. However, you should have not gotten physical with him. Yes, you should acknowledge your actions to the other guy: "I shouldn't have gotten physical with you. I'm sorry about that." And yes, you should apologize to your girlfriend. You took a choice out of her hands and were (unintentionally) disrespectful toward her. She does not owe you an apology for having two men disrespect her.
DEAR AMY: I am a member of a group of people who get together to play cards. I have observed a person who plays cards with us (but is not a member of the group) cheating. The subject of cheating came up once, and I tried discreetly (obviously too discreetly) to let this person know I observed the cheating. It had no impact. It appears this person is a friend of a member of the group. I realize there is nothing I can do about the situation except learn to deal with it so that it no longer upsets me. Any advice?
DEAR SHARP: Wait a minute. You need not be a powerless observer here. You are an equal member of this group and have every right to call someone else on cheating. I suggest you take this person aside and tell him what you've noticed. The person will likely deny his actions and you can respond, "Perhaps this is a misunderstanding; if so, I apologize, but if I see this again I'm going to have to notify the rest of the group."
DEAR AMY: I disagree with your reaction to "Not Cheap, Just Curious," about splitting the cost of gas on a trip. You stated that when a couple rent an apartment with another person that the split would be 50/50. Although the couple may share the same bedroom they are not one but two people using the utilities, water and garbage.
DEAR DISAPPOINTED: Many readers pointed this out. The group being driven by "Not Cheap" was on a weekend trip. My intention was to reflect the cost of a short-term weekend rental where all of the costs are built in. Yes, in a long-term rental the costs would be split differently.