Dear Annie: Mixing friends
Dear Annie: I recently started seeing this girl -- “Lisa.” We met through a mutual friend -- who turned out to be pretty much our only mutual friend. Our social circles couldn’t be more different. A lot of her friends are 20-somethings who don’t have to work because their parents are still supporting them. They’re into partying, staying up all night, taking drugs that enable them to stay up all night, etc. I haven’t really been able to click with any of them, even the guy friends. They don’t have much to talk about except for whatever bar they’re checking out that night.
Sometimes I meet up with them straight from work, still in my office clothes, and they make snide comments. They wear expensive clothes and name-drop designers as if I’m supposed to be impressed, but I don’t know or care what they’re talking about. Lisa is pretty much the only one in that group who has a job, and she doesn’t do drugs or even drink much, but she enjoys going out. When I’ve tentatively brought up some of these traits to her, she says she thinks her friends are funny. She admits some of them can be a little rude at times, but she always insists “they mean well.”
My friends all work and, for the most part, would prefer a movie night at someone’s house to a club. (I’m the same way, although I like going out occasionally.) They’re a down-to-earth group.
I cringe at the thought of introducing my group of friends to Lisa’s. It would be like oil and water. What do you think? Could it still work? – Apprehensive
Dear Apprehensive: Self-help guru Jim Rohn has made the claim that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Though that might not be a scientific fact, the essence of the statement is true. The company we keep is an expression of our values.
If you don’t like this girl’s friends, then my guess is that when you get to know her better, you won’t like her. Even if you find you really do like her, there will most likely be problems, because it’s important you like the friends of the person you’re dating. If you don’t like them, you’ll come to resent it whenever she spends time with them. You’ll be unhappy; she’ll be unhappy. That’s not the stuff of a healthy, harmonious relationship. Consider moving on.
Dear Annie: I belong to a social collectors club that meets and has open houses throughout the year. We have potluck luncheons at all of our meetings. One of our members always gets in line first and piles his plate high with portions that are two or three times larger than normal. He gulps down his food and gets back in line for seconds before the complete group has been through the line.
Usually, he is the last one in line and finishes whatever is left. We are all financially comfortable, so money to buy food is not an issue. Over the past several years, we have tried to speak with him a few times about not getting in line for seconds until everyone has gone through the line once. Everyone is talking about this behind his back. We’re worried because the holidays are coming up and we will have lots of open houses.
We would appreciate any suggestions you have to stop his behavior. – Not a Buffet
Dear Not a Buffet: This man is treating your potlucks more like a high-school cafeteria (and he’s eating like someone with the metabolism of a teenager). You might consider making a general announcement at the start of the event, asking the attendees to please refrain from having seconds until everyone has had a chance to get a plate and begin eating. If he still tries to go for it, people might feel more comfortable stopping him if the ground rules were blatantly laid out just a few minutes prior. Good luck.
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