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Meddling Busybodies In End Of Friendship

I’ve been unsure about whether to submit this or not, but it has become clear that this is a recurring problem and I would appreciate some advice about how to firmly and politely put a stop to it.

A year ago I moved back home. Prior to that I shared a flat with my best friend for two years. It did not end well. In fact, our relationship disintegrated to the point that I was barely in the apartment for the last six months of the lease and I haven’t really spoken to her since. I don’t want to go into too much detail but there was a lot of bullying and emotional manipulation involved and a long list of very petty grievances that built up to the point that I just couldn’t take it anymore. I’ve really only told two friends details about what has been going on, and mainly because we were chatting when everything was happening and I trust them. When people have asked I have been vague on the details. God knows what my room mate has been telling people but I decided early on not to feed the friend groups appetite for gossip.

Our mutual friends don’t really understand what’s going on and one in particular keeps asking me when I’m going to talk to roomie again and last week, at a party and in front of a few people, said “I figured once all the dust settled you’d go back to being friends”. I understand that she comes from a good place and means well but I’d love some advice on how to shut this down. I find it super awkward and keep fumbling for an answer. It was a close friendship, I’m sad it ended, perhaps in the future we could be friends again but right now that won’t be happening. I thought answering my friend the first time would be the end of it, but I keep being ambushed. How do I get her to stop without having to detail why I’m not interested in a friendship with my former roomie right now? 1124-18

As I’ve gotten older, my tolerance for busybodies has waned. I’m more likely to tell people who should know better that they need to mind their own business. When people will not accept polite deflections of their nosy, rude and presumptuous comments, it’s time to get firm and you do that by stating one of several options:

“This issue is between and ‘ex-friend’, it is none of your business and I would appreciate it if you would stop asking me.”

“That’s an interesting assumption…”, followed with silence.

I’m sure readers can devise even more options. The key is to deliver such statements with a cool calmness. No crying, no drama, no shrieking, no twinge of nastiness to your tone of voice. Just a dead calm poker face that means business.


Recently I was informed that one of my younger cousins was getting married. I automatically asked when etc and was told, “Oh, you won’t be invited. Only immediate family is going.”

My reply was, “I wasn’t expecting an invitation, I am not close to Cousin X. I just wanted to know when to send a card.” I have now been labeled as rude in the family. Was I? 0806-18

No, you were not rude. If you asked, “Where is the wedding?”, that could look like you were scheming to crash it but responding to news of an engagement with the question, “When?” , shouldn’t be construed to mean you are angling for an invitation. Sometimes give-and-take banter is just normal conversation.

P.S. It’s appropriate to send a congratulatory card upon hearing of the engagement. No need to wait until the wedding date is imminent.


That restaurant owner shaming the OP story reminded me of this. 
My husband and I went to a new little  sandwich shop in town to try it out.  We both ordered a burger and fries.  It was about one in the afternoon, so we weren’t surprised to see only one couple, who were about to leave, as most people here get 12 to one off for lunch.  We noticed that several tables had not yet been bused, but there was only one waitress in this tiny place, and she started cleaning them as we sat down.

Our burgers came quickly enough, and I bit into mine just before my husband did.  He had his burger to his mouth but I immediately said, “Stop.”  I explained that the meat in my burger didn’t taste like beef – or pork – or chicken – or turkey – or even vegetarian, all of which I’ve eaten.  I can’t even explain what it tasted like – not spoiled, just … odd.   He couldn’t resist trying a bite and quickly agreed with me.  We signaled to the waitress, and I explained that our burgers tasted funny – they didn’t taste like beef.  She assured me it was good freshly ground chuck.  I said again that they didn’t taste like beef and we didn’t feel comfortable eating them.  Her response, with a patronizing smile, was, “You’ve probably never had really good ground chuck before, just plain old cheap hamburger.” 

I kept my temper, but I told her I’d eaten plenty of good beef, and this wasn’t it, and we needed our checks.  She refused to comp our meal, and only gave us a discount on our glasses of tea.  My husband, who was paying, finally said fine, but we’d never be back.  As we were walking out, my husband pointed to the tables she was clearing, and asked if I had noticed that all of them had plenty of food left on the plates. The shop was closed in less than three months after it opened.  I still wonder what it was they were serving as “beef.” 0115-19

My first thought was to wonder if the beef was grass-fed. Pasture raised beef comes with a hefty price tag as being more organic but it definitely can have a taste to it that some people dislike.

You called the waitress over and complained that the burgers did not taste right, not that you suspected spoilage. Had you used the words “tastes spoiled” in your communication with her, this would have escalated the situation to one that should be taken very seriously by any restaurant owner. Failure of the staff to address the possible serving of spoiled meat could have been resolved by requesting a leftover box be brought to your table with the stated intention that you are delivering the burgers to the Health Department to determine if the meat is, in fact, spoiling.

In the situation where you cannot detect that the food is spoiled but rather you don’t like how the food tastes, I believe the common response is to pay for the meal, leaving food uneaten if you choose to, declaring to yourself that you’ll never eat there again and possibly write a detailed food review of the restaurant.


What Is The Name Of Your Baby?

This is more of an inquiry as to what a proper, polite response would be in this scenario.

My husband and I have elected not to find out the sex of our baby as we wish for it to be a surprise.  Our families respect that so no drama there.

The issue stems from the fact that certain family members are rather pushy about knowing what our preferred “boy name” and “girl name” are.  Hubby and I have been kicking around name ideas for both sexes among ourselves but nothing has been selected and we feel our discussions on the subject are a private matter.  Besides, just because we select a name doesn’t mean it will “suit” the baby once he/she arrives. 

My question is this: What is a polite way to deflect/put a stop to the constant inquires about our private discussions?

If it was something that happened once or twice it wouldn’t be that big of a deal but its getting to the point where we don’t want to attend any family event because its near constant nagging.  It’s hubby and I’s opinion that no one is entitled to that information.  We have so far been able to deflect the question(s) but are looking for a firm response so we can finally put an end to this. 

Any help is greatly appreciated! 0117-19

“The baby hasn’t told us his/her name yet. Once introduced, I’m sure we’ll be informed of that information.”


I’ve come across an unusual situation, I am Bridesmaid to a long time friend of mine this year (and very happy to be one too!). She’s a wonderful friend and I’m so very very happy she’s getting married. She has asked us to pick our dresses from a selection of 3 (different styles of the same dress). These dresses are a little pricey and start at $500 dollars for the basic, the style I’ve chosen is an extra $150 but much more flattering. Bride is paying for the basic cost but has said we pay for the tailoring & the extra for a different style (around $250 total). I am happy to pay this as I actually really like my dress and would be able to wear it again, and not just to a wedding.

Here’s the catch! Bride has now said she intends to sell our dresses after the wedding, meaning we have to give them back so she can sell & keep the profit. I have clarified this with her and she fully intends to keep any money made (no reimbursement to us) and expects to get about $250 per dress. I’m a little gobsmacked, and really not sure I’m happy with this? Is this normal? Am I being a snowflake or is this an etiquette breach on her part?

For the record, at my wedding I bought all the dresses, paid tailoring and hair & makeup. I also paid for cottages for my bridal party (and partners) for the night of the wedding so they wouldn’t incur any hotel costs. Should I suck it up? Would it be wrong to offer to pay $200 for the dress, it feels like I’m throwing away the money I put in if it’s just sold. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Think of the situation as a business deal. The bride invested $500 into the base cost of the dress and you invested $150 plus the cost of tailoring in order to achieve the final product that meets with the bride’s approval. You and the bride are mutual partners/investors. If the bride sells the dresses, she’s not reaping a profit but rather being reimbursed for the cost of the dresses. However, she is not the sole owner of each dress. You own part of the dress you paid into. It is not fair for her to recoup part of her expenses while you are denied any part of that.

The bride should split the money earned …perhaps keeping 2/3rd and giving you 1/3 of the sale revenues. Or you offer the buy the dress from her.