Dear Annie: I have never seen a question like this in your column, but here goes. My Sunday school class mostly consists of senior adults. My best friend of 30 years, “Trisha,” is in the class. My neighbor “Jamie,” who is definitely not my friend, is also in the class. Jamie is very critical — not just of me, though mostly of me. If I venture a thought, she feels free to verbally attack me. If Trisha and I are talking quietly and privately, Jamie horns in and gives me her opinion on how I am wrong. Needless to say, I am so tired of it. The Sunday school teacher, “John,” is aware of it but says that if he were to correct her, it would be as bad as what she does. He thinks she may have a bit of dementia. But I have known her for years, and she has always been this way. Everyone in the class is aware of it.
To compound the problem, John and I are in love. He wants to tell the class that we are dating, but I feel that Jamie would cause a horrible scene, because I get the sense that she has a crush on him. I think that’s the source of a lot of her anger toward me. If it were not for our relationship, I would leave the class, even though I love the class. I am sure she wouldn’t leave. I’m at my wits’ end trying to maintain a Christian attitude. I feel that when we announce our wedding plans, she is going to get really nasty. — Exhausted by a Woman With a Jezebel Spirit
Dear Exhausted by a Jezebel: This sounds more like a high-school class of temperamental teenagers than a Sunday school class of fully grown adults. Clearly, something is lacking in Jamie’s life if she feels the need to try to put you down to build herself up. She deserves your pity, not your disdain.
Let John announce your relationship (and marriage, if that’s truly in the works). The chips will fall where they may. Jamie will run her mouth until it gets tired. But she’s already doing that, so what have you got to lose?
Dear Annie: Why do so many churchgoers sit at the end of the pew instead of moving in to make room for others? It is difficult to climb over them to get to the empty seats in the middle. I am mystified as to what is so special about the end seats. Besides creating a falling/tripping hazard, these end-seaters often look perturbed when anyone wants to enter “their” pew. This seems to be a common phenomenon in all churches we have attended. — Mystified
Dear Mystified: The only good excuse I can think of for this behavior is a medical issue that could make an easy exit necessary. True, that’s probably not the case for each of these people, but you never know. I’m printing your letter on a Sunday in hopes that any pew-hoggers reading might think twice at today’s service and scoot on in.
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