Thursday, September 05, 2013

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
My husband and I have disagreed about this since the day we were married . I was divorced and he was divorced twice .
Let's call him "Joe Smith" and I'll be "Jane Doe". After my divorce I went back to using my maiden name . I didn't want to be the third "Mrs. Smith".

Here's the problem : Mail , holiday cards  and invitations  all come addressed  to "Mr. and Mrs. Joe Smith." I feel it should be "Mr. Smith" and "Ms. Doe".
It irks me to no end  and that people cannot grasp this simple concept . I am right , Aren't I ?
Who Am I

Dear Who Am I ,
Basic etiquette says a married couple  is addressed as "Mr. and Mrs. Whatever," unless informed otherwise . Even if people  are aware you use your maden name, they may think it is only for business  purposes  and not for social invitations .
This is not an unreasonable assumption, so you need to clarify your preference.  You should  let your friends  and family know that you use your maiden name  for all forms of address  and would appreciate  it if they would  respect that.
Some folks  may need  to be reminded  more than once , so please be patient .

Dear Maxy ,
I have a good friend  who recently got sober . He had been a pretty heavy drinker  for many years, but he has been sober  for about nine months . Here's my problem : I am hosting  a party  with a few friends  and we will be serving alcohol . We want to invite our friend  but do not want to set him up  for failure. We also don't want  to hurt his feeling  by not inviting him . There is no way  that he will NOT hear about the party .
Good Friend

Dear Good Friend ,
Reach out to your friend  and check in with him . Ask him how he is doing  and get a sense of how he is managing  his sobriety . You can ask him directly since he told  you about his sobriety. Tell hom about the party you are planning  . Point out  that you want him to come. Make it clear  that if he does not, you will fully understand .
Your directness  will be  appreciated . It may also  ignite  a conversation  where the two of you can speak frankly  about  his journey .
Sometimes people  who are sober  can manage  in the company  of others  who are  drinking . But a warning  in Alcohoilics Anonymous  is about "people, places and things ." It could be that he will be better off  staying away  from triggers  that lead him to drink . Let him decide .

Dear Maxy ,
I am a woman and I am deeply attracted  to a good friend, also a female . We have begun  watching a racy TV show together  at my home  and it's becoming  very uncomfortable  for me to watch it with her . I  find myself  wondering  whether  I should  instead  offer to loan her  the DVDs so she can watch them on her own . If so do I need to explain why ?
She has told me over the course of our friendship  that she is eschewing  romantic relationships until  she is in a  healthy frame of mind  and she plans to move on in six months or so . I have a young son  and am not interested  in a temporary  entanglement . I do not want to alienate my friend  and am wondering  what course  of action  is least likely  to put a crimp in our friendship .
Dear Crushing ,
Is it possible your friend is insterested in you romantically ? If you think that may be the case, you should tell her that you are attracted to her  and see what happens . However, if that is  too emotionally frightening  and you fear it will end your  friendship, you need to stop these incendiary "dates"  in whatever  way removes  the intimacy  from your get-togethers .
Offer her the DVDs  and say you are tired  of watching this show . You could suggest an alternate TV program that is less racy ot invite more people over so it's not only the two of you . You could meet  at a local coffee shop  or restaurant  to chat . You do not have to  bare your soul  to her if it  makes you uncomfortable, but it means  you must stop putting  yourself  in this compromising  position .

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