Dear Annie: Workout friend feels spurned
Dear Annie: I have a friend in her early 60s who has been my workout partner for about 10 years. We usually meet up three times during the week for a 5:30 a.m. workout because we are both employed. I also belong to another facility, which I attend two to three times per week for group training classes.
In the summer, I enjoy being outdoors and do a lot of walking; therefore, my 5:30 a.m. workouts are not so frequent. My so-called friend knows my routine, and I reminded her that I would not be showing up regularly before summer began. Last week, I made it to the gym two days, and both days she was very cold to me. On the second day, I approached her and asked whether everything was all right, and she put her finger up and said I should know what was wrong. When I said I didn’t, she said I embarrassed her at this gym by leaving her “alone” to work out for the past month. I told her she could join me and another friend for a walk at night, but she flat out said no.
About a month ago, she asked to meet another one of my recent friends, and I thought that was very weird. I have never asked to meet any of her friends, and why would she want to see whom I associate with?
I believe she is jealous, and I can’t make myself apologize for doing nothing wrong. There are plenty of other members who go at 5:30 a.m., and being a member there for 10-plus years, she should be able to make conversation with others. I’m the type of person who is very friendly, and my objective is to get my session done and leave, not socialize. — Gym Member in Connecticut
Dear Gym Member: Your friend is acting childishly. You were very upfront and mature with her about your upcoming summer schedule. She is acting more like 6 than 60. Try not to say that you feel she is jealous. There could be a whole host of reasons that she is being cold toward you. Trying to figure out which emotion is the cause of her coldness won’t do you or her any good. Instead, have a conversation with her about how you feel, all the while sticking to your schedule. You could always look at it as a huge form of flattery. She misses working out with you! And you should be commended for being so diligent about your workouts, whether you do them alone or with this friend or with another friend.
Dear Annie: I’d like to add to the letter from “Exhausted in Montreal,” who is tired of loud music at restaurants and in stores. The thing that bothers me the most is that so often when I am watching a movie on television, I cannot hear the dialogue over the music score. I’ve turned off many movies lately because of this. I wish cable companies could install separate volume controls for the dialogue and music score. — Charlie in Louisville
Dear Charlie: I know exactly what you’re talking about, and I’ve been frustrated by that myself. Most TVs now come with different sound modes. Hit the “menu” button on your remote and see whether yours does. It might also allow you to adjust the equalizer. Turning the bass down and treble up might help you hear speech more clearly. I should also mention that struggling to distinguish speech from background noise can be an early symptom of hearing loss, so it’s always worth asking your doctor about that.
“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.