Originally Published: October 25, 2016 3:02 a.m.
Dear Annie: I live in a town where the majority of people share one political viewpoint. I am in the minority on the other side. I have lived here for 50 years, have built my life here and love it here most of the time.
Usually, I am able to avoid the topic of politics, as I know that it will only lead to arguments or conflict among my friends and family.
I’m also part of a close knitting circle that meets about every week. Most of us have known one another since our kids were young, and we have a lot in common otherwise. Though I usually find the knitting relaxing and the company kind, lately it seems as though every week features a political discussion.
Feeling alone in my views, I can become stressed out and angry, and frankly, I don’t feel like going anymore. I’ve tried politely changing the topic of conversation or laughing off just how crazy things have become, but the topic always seems to rear its ugly head. Annie, how do I deal with politics ruining something I love? - Tangled
Dear Tangled: If only we all shared politicians’ skill at deftly changing the subject!
You have three options when the conversation starts roaming into dangerously partisan territory: 1) Tell your fellow knitters that you’re not comfortable discussing politics in polite company. 2) Change the subject as forcefully as you can without being rude. 3) Put on some noise-canceling headphones.
There is no harm in No. 1, and if your friends take offense to it, then that is their problem. Whatever happens, take a deep breath and remember that election season is, mercifully, almost over. After that point, conversations will (one hopes) turn less to politics and more to topics fit for civilized dialogue.
Knitting is a scientifically proven therapeutic activity, and it would be a shame to leave the circle feeling like a ball of knots.
Dear Annie: I just wanted to reply to “Halfsies” regarding her questions about dating etiquette. I’m a man, and as far as I’m concerned, the man should certainly pay for the first date. Chivalry is something worthwhile! From my side, the problem I encounter all too often is women who aren’t willing to accept that chivalry.
I am not unaware of another person’s ability to pay, but I want to give of myself anyway. If I’m not permitted to do this, then how can I truly enter into a relationship with someone who demands self-giving?
As for going Dutch: When it comes down to it, I don’t mind if the woman pays on the occasional date, but I strictly do not believe in going Dutch if you are dating someone. Whoever pays fully is offering a gift to the other person; going Dutch makes it about “me” and “my part,” and I can only interpret this as a selfish uncommitment. I want to be committed and to give - and to receive generously, as well - not to be in just one more “relationship” that is no more than friendship with benefits. - Knight
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