I am a retired airline employee, and I get passes for my friends and family. I recently provided first-class-eligible round-trip passes from San Diego to Paris to my best friend and her friend. (The fare would have cost them thousands of dollars retail.) The only thing I asked in return was to pick me up a menu, a print, or something small that could be packed easily.
They were in Paris for a month, Abby, and they totally forgot me. I am so hurt. Sometimes, I want to call them and tell them how I feel. Then I think it wouldn't be a good idea. Frankly, I am angry. What is the best way to handle this?
- Up in the Air
DEAR UP IN THE AIR: I don't blame you for being angry about the thoughtlessness and ingratitude they displayed. Your feelings are justified, and you should clear the air by explaining that you are hurt. You have every right to tell your friend how you feel. And the next time you are asked to give them a free ride, you have every right to just say "non."
Invitation to one boy ends up as a twofer
I'm hoping you can guide me on how to handle a sticky situation with my neighbors.
My 9-year-old son has befriended a kid his age. The boy is nice, and I don't mind his coming over. However, he has a younger brother the parents always send with him, and the boy is very hyper and aggressive. I work full time as a behavior specialist and deal with hyperactive children all day. The last thing I want when I come home is a hyper child I cannot parent.
My son recently invited his friend to sleep over, and the parents sent both boys. How do I let them know without hurting their feelings that, sometimes, just the older brother is welcome?
- Not Wanting to Offend
DEAR NOT WANTING: Hurting their feelings? The parents are using your invitations to the older boy as a babysitting opportunity for the younger one. I don't think it would be rude to tell them you can handle only one child at a time, and to ask them, please, refrain from sending the little brother to your home unless he is specifically invited.
Men's cheatin' hearts and how to trust again
I am struggling with trust in my relationships. I haven't found a faithful man in any of the relationships I've had in the last five years, and it has made me gun-shy. Now, each time I try to date, I look for any small indication that he could be cheating, which leads to jealousy and drives men away.
How do I learn to trust again? Should I delete all social media? Should I just stop trying to date altogether? I am so frustrated and tired of getting hurt.
- Wounded in Minnesota
DEAR WOUNDED: Putting ourselves out there is risky. There can be many disappointments before a person finds the right match. (Men also become frustrated and gun-shy.)
Your luck might improve if you become serious less quickly and let relationships evolve without looking for commitment or signs of betrayal. If a man acts responsibly, does what he says he will, and treats you with respect, give him the benefit of the doubt. Chances are your luck may change. If you are unable to do this, some sessions with a licensed professional counselor may help.