I recently bumped into a former high school classmate, and was stunned at the changes in him over the years. He was a high school heartbreaker whose presence among a group of girls would set us all blushing and giggling. He was the school’s basketball captain - tall, with thick black hair, and dark, mysterious (we thought) eyes.
As a shy teenager, I could hardly make sensible conversation in his presence and would blush and hurry away. Now, in my 40s, I almost didn’t recognize him.
He had greeted me enthusiastically in a shopping mall. He’s lost a lot of hair, and has jowls that were never there before. I was so flummoxed, once again, I could barely string my sentences together.
But he was friendly and spoke warmly of our high school days, then mentioned his kids proudly, and informed me of his divorce. I said that I had children of similar ages, and was legally separated six months ago.
That’s when he asked if I’d like to maybe go for dinner together and catch up on what’s happened over the years of college, university, jobs, etc. I suggested we chat and text a few times, then do something casual like walk together and grab a snack at a park.
Is this a good idea? He’s a different person now. Am I just responding to a long-ago crush who’s almost a stranger?
Take that walk in the park and get to know this “new” person. You’ve also changed in the past 25-plus years. He’s lost some hair, and doubtless some of your appearance has also changed. Meanwhile, he’s revealing himself as open, friendly, and interested in getting to know you now.
Enjoy sharing all the important things that happened to each of you since high school. Then, talk about today - and don’t hesitate to share the stories and interests that matter to you now.
Talk about some of the activities you do, your life with your kids, your work and anything else that interests you. Let go of any expectations you may have, laugh about the past together, and if you enjoy each other’s company, go on a second date.
FEEDBACK Regarding the couple told to tip the staff on a friends’ yacht (May 6):
Reader – “I suppose you’ve been invited or own a yacht but some of us haven't. If friends of ours invited us on their yacht it would never, ever occur to me that I was obligated to tip their staff.
“They’re the hosts, and are paying the staff, so it’s up to them to tip accordingly. To be told to tip thousands of dollars is an insult. I just wouldn't do it.
“It’s like being invited to a house-party that’s catered and, while there, we get told to tip the caterers. Say what?
“Just my ‘I-don't- have-a-lot-of-money’ opinion.”
Ellie - No, I’ve never been on a yacht. Nor have I been asked to pitch in for someone else's dinner party unless it was a family-shared event to which everyone brought something (which also has costs).
The couple were naive to not ask their friends any questions about protocol on the yacht.
When we attend a restaurant, we tip the servers. On a yacht for a week, there's a lot of "service" of meals, drinks, cleaning the sleeping quarters, etc.
I know this fact from hearing about it from my one friend who, in her 20's, was the cook on a yacht (it had something to do with the handsome young captain) involved in a sailing event.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding a young dating couple’s roughhousing (April 29):
“If it gets worse, it may be due to an underlying mental issue within the young man. He’s trying to control things early on. I wonder if it’ll become physical abuse over time.
“I suffered such abuse by my first husband and I carry some scars as a badge of survival and divorced him. But the emotional abuse was worse because it carried no scars, except on my heart and my mental wellness as mental illness.
“Mom, do not forbid your daughter from seeing him, but talk about it, tell her it could be the start of more physical abuse.
“Let your daughter keep her dignity, protect her, and have straightforward talks about what her future with him might be.
“A phone call to his parents could be in order, as they may not know about this behaviour. Or, they know the dangers that could come with it.”
Tip of the day:
Never judge a book by its cover, or a person by their thinning hair.