Dear Annie: I was in a toxic relationship with a woman, “Melanie,” several months back and am really happy to be out of it. But I guess that really has nothing to do with what’s happened recently.
About a month ago, Melanie’s sister, “Laura,” “slipped into my DMs” —sent me a direct message on Instagram — and I got pretty excited. I think it’s supposed to be kind of flirty to do that — ostensibly scandalous, even. We talked for a little over Instagram and later on Facebook, and soon we were texting plans to sing karaoke together. And eventually, we did.
Apparently, I sing really well, because I took her home and, after moping for a while about my having dated her sister, we wound up collapsing into each other’s arms. And so it goes.
So, I really like this woman. She’s really funny and open-minded and independent. She’s also way hotter than I am, and I think I’m pretty good-looking to start with. And most importantly, she’s really nice. That’s the most important thing to me.
I’ve always said that all is fair in love and war. And I believe that. But it’s also, I guess, inconsiderate of me to date my ex’s sister.
It’s early. We’re talking and being physical occasionally; that’s about it. But I really want to cultivate more with this summer fling. I think she’s great. Annie, what should I do? — Wishy-Washy Walter
Dear Wishy-Washy Walter: Of all the women in the world, why did you pick your ex’s sister? And why did she pick you? I have a feeling she’s got a problem with her sister and you’re merely a pawn in the game. But that’s neither here nor there.
The main point is that this won’t work. For one, you and your ex had a toxic relationship; you need to create distance between yourself and her, not proximity. For another, this could cause a huge rift in their family. If you care about Laura at all, you should spare her that angst and end things now. There are plenty of fish in the sea whom you could catch without hurting feelings.
Dear Annie: I’m so happy to see that meditation is helping “Working on My Perspective in Pennsylvania,” who originally wrote to you about her speech problems. I’d like her to know that she’s not the only one who has difficulty with saying the letter R. I have the same issue. But I have refused to see it as a problem ever since my mother bravely walked over to the school after I’d come home from sixth grade crying one too many times and told the speech teacher, “Leave the kid alone. She talks the way she talks.”
I can even laugh now about my high-school counselor’s calling me in, at the request of the company where I’d applied for a summer office job, to find out whether I had a “fake English accent”!
My friends know that even though I sound as if I were from England or the other side of our great country — New England — I was born in California. If it’s someone I don’t know asking (as if it were any of his/her business) where I’m from, I sometimes respond, “Guess.” If the person says “Boston” or “New England,” I make his or her day by smiling and replying, “You guessed it!” Hope this helps. — Been There
Dear Been There: You’ve a great attitude, and I commend you for having patience with strangers. I’m printing it here as encouragement for “Working on My Perspective” and anyone else who struggles with being different from the rest.
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