Editor's note: This is a follow-up from last week's column, where a woman asked if she should tell a colleague's wife about her wannabe-cheating husband. We told her to stay out of it. Here's what happened next:
Q: That man, my co-worker, he did ask his wife after all - and she proceeded to throw him out of the house. She's divorcing him, too. The "other" woman is no longer interested in him. Now he's sleeping on his brother's couch with no woman at all. Mia, the entire office knew of this, but his wife was clueless until he asked her if he could have an affair. (Had she asked me, I would have told her that I had heard rumors about him. I even would have pointed out the other woman.) I'm glad his wife now knows what her louse of a spouse was up to behind her back. Women need to stick together when it comes to men like this one! I have been transferred to another department, so I will no longer be hearing this man's pathetic life story. Feel sorry for the wife and children, but him? He got what he deserved.
Mia: The advice I gave you was good, girlfriend. Mind your business. But thanks for updating us on what happened. That cheating loser got what he had coming.
Steve: That penalty is not automatic. Bill and Hillary are still married. But I agree the wife had the right to issue the sentence.
Q: My niece, who's a college freshman, delighted me by asking to stay with me instead of her parents during the Thanksgiving holidays. I never married, don't have a child and live alone. I was looking forward to spending time with her. Then she told me that she only plans to stay with me for a day or two and will spend the rest of the time with her boyfriend! If he knew, my brother (her father) would be very upset. But we haven't spoken in years. Her mom and I don't get along, either. They're divorced and don't speak to each other. My niece also asked me if I was going away because she wanted to stay in my apartment alone. What do I do? I don't want to get my niece in trouble. Both parents are very strict.
Mia: Are you that aunt? You know, the one who tries to curry favor with a wayward kid without the parents' knowledge? The one who's interested in luring the child closer for selfish reasons?
That may help you in the short run but it does not help this young lady, who clearly needs guidance. Let me school you on a few things: Aunts are like auxiliary mothers. When a mother can't do her job for any reason, that's when an aunt or grandmother steps in and distills wisdom. You have a great opportunity to do just that when Little Miss Hot Pants gets home from college.
Talk with her about whatever she may be planning to do this Thanksgiving weekend. Ask her, point blank, if she plans to have sex with her boyfriend. If she says yes, ask why? Talk about the consequences of becoming sexually active and remind her of your family's values and morals, if premarital sex isn't in keeping with that.
You also should tell her parents what's going on. Consider sending an email or going through another relative if that proves awkward. But whatever you do, do something - or you may be a great aunt sooner than you'd want to be.
Steve: I agree with Mia that you've got to stick with the same principles her parents follow, but you and they will soon learn that college is when those principles get tested.