Recently I met a woman in my neighbourhood who was frantically searching for her missing dog. She was so upset that I felt compelled to help her. We walked around for a few hours, searching for her dog.
She finally stopped at 11p.m. and I offered to drive her home. She was exhausted, having spent the entire day walking and searching. I called her early the next day and offered to help continue the search. We did this for three days, over a weekend.
Finally, on the fourth day, while at work, she texted that she had found her dog. She invited me over to meet the dog and celebrate. We had a bottle of wine and …. I woke up in the middle of the night and felt I had overstayed. I wrote a note and left.
I called the next day; she didn’t answer. I left a message the next day and the next. She hasn’t called me back. Was I used? I thought I was wrong and she might feel I took advantage of her. But now I’m confused.
Lost and Found
While I read your question, I also thought you may have taken advantage of a woman in need. But she’s ghosting you? She may be embarrassed/ashamed that she let her guard down. Or, she has quickly realized that, though she enjoyed your company and was grateful for your help, she actually doesn’t like you as much as she thought or showed.
Are you interested in pursuing this relationship? If not, walk away. You’ve tried to contact her; she’s not reciprocated; you’re clear to disengage.
But if you are interested, buy her a replacement bottle of wine, and write her a cute card. Say that you hadn’t expected to meet someone so lovely in such a circumstance; that you are glad you could help; and that you very much enjoyed celebrating together. Lay it on the line. Tell her you hope she’s not embarrassed and that you’d like to start fresh and take her out on a proper first date.
We have a young summer intern in our office. She’s shy, but seems to have a good grasp of what is expected. She arrives exactly on time and disappears the second her shift ends. None of us can find her for one second to ask how she’s doing.
The biggest problem is her clothing. She’s very fashion-forward and comes from a wealthy family, so every day she shows up in something runway-ready with a matching purse and shoes. The quantity of accessories is starting to upset some of the other women. These women work long hours to make a living, put food on the table, and clothe their children. Their shoes and purse(s) are worn.
Her clothes are all so fashionable that, while pretty, they are impractical for the job. A dress so long that you have to hold it up to walk isn’t office-appropriate.
How do we get the message across to this young woman that she needs to tone it down? We don’t want to hurt her feelings.
Fashion faux pas
Since you’ve reached out, the onus falls on you to help this young woman. Ask to have a meeting with her at the end of the day, before her shift ends. Take her for a coffee and ask how she’s enjoying the internship, the office, etc.
Then explain to her about the clothing and accoutrements and how it’s affecting her work, and her co-workers. If she’s as bright as you think, she’ll get it quickly. Tell her she doesn’t have to dress like anyone else, just that her outfits have to be office-appropriate and explain what that means.
FEEDBACK Regarding the two friends who want their husbands to get along (June 27):
Reader – “Most often your advice is sound and realistic, but in a long and happy marriage with many friends, neighbours, and relatives along the way, two friends' spouses may or may not also be simpatico. It's not a ‘problem’ if they are not.
“Everyone can get along at a group picnic or party, but trying to force a close twosome to become a foursome shows a lack of respect for the spouses. These women should continue to enjoy their own friendship and not try to force the issue with their husbands.
“An assumption that I should be friends with my husband's friend's wife would send me running in the opposite direction. It's 2023, not 1953!”
Lisi – I wasn’t forcing the issue. These women were asking for my advice. I hope they learn the issue and figure out how to work around it.