I’ve been very happily married for three years to a man whom I love. We both have decent jobs and together we’re able to afford a modestly nice lifestyle.
The only “luxury” item I own is a piece of antique jewellery that my late mother gave me when I got engaged. She was ill and wanted me to have it before she passed.
I wore it at my wedding. Mom died just months later.
Now, a friend is getting married later this year. I’ve only known her for six months, since she joined the company I work at. We’ve had some lunches together. She knows my mother’s loss still affects me deeply.
Some weeks ago, she asked to see some of my wedding photos “to get ideas” for choosing her wedding dress.
Last week, after commenting on the jewelry piece, she asked to “borrow it” for her own wedding.
I was so taken aback that I didn’t know what to say for a minute. I then answered, “Let me think about it as it has special meaning for me.” She said, “Yes, that’s why I want to wear it...”
Was she trying to somehow appropriate my love for my late mother? Or expressing feelings of close friendship for me? Or just wanting to show off this jewellery item in her wedding photos as if it were her own?
Bride’s Uncomfortable Request
Her request is inappropriate and nervy. Yes, she’s interested in showing off the gem as if it’s hers.
Hers is a very shallow focus on appearance to a degree deeper than the usual wedding-event fanfare.
Had she been your best friend for years and known your mother well, you might’ve felt more comfortable with the idea, though it still smacks of her showing off.
Since it’s already apparent that you’re uncomfortable about the request and the whole idea of it, answer her sooner than later.
Just say that it’s not something you can share, as it’s too personal a symbol of the love between your late mother and yourself.
Then carry on the friendship on the same “not-bestie” but cordial level where it was before she asked... if you can.
What are your thoughts on a happily married couple in their forties, two adolescent children, and who have a 95-pound dog sleep with them every night?
There’s a word missing in your sign-off, as in “Concerned” ...
Who? Mother of the husband or wife? The family’s veterinarian?
Unless there’s more to this family’s nightly habit that’s the source of your concern, the question falls into the category of NOOB i.e. None of Our Business.
Instead of stirring up resentment from this dog-loving family, do some research on the topic of adults and children snuggling nightly with large dogs in their bed.
If you actually have a respected role to play in this family’s lifestyle situation that they appreciate, introduce what you learn as information, and not just your personal opinion which the recipients so far haven’t sought.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who knows her husband loves her, but complains that he never compliments her (August 26):
Reader – “Ellie’s comments to this woman were good advice. But her additional suggestion that, perhaps she didn’t accept compliments well so he gave up, was intuitive.
“My first wife was very attractive and capable and I enjoyed complimenting her regularly. However, my next girlfriend had very low self-esteem and flatly rejected every compliment. It soon ended our relationship.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the 81-year-old woman whose husband looks at porn (August 31):
“This woman needs to better understand her husband.
“My wife and I have not had sex for years, because she does not enjoy it. There are both physical and psychological reasons for this, but it is enough for me to say that I am handling it.
“I suggest that it is likely that this woman had not responded to her husband's advances for many years, after which he decided to handle things in his own way.
“Instead of being disgusted, she needs to know that there is nothing wrong with him.
“On the contrary, an 88-year-old man with strong urges should be congratulated. If she is at least sympathetic to him, then maybe they can talk about it.”
Ellie - As I wrote, given the man’s stroke that occurred several years ago, it’s apparently stolen his confidence to do anything beyond watching what he considers entertainment online.
Tip of the day:
Recognize the wrong motives in a still-new friend’s request to borrow your most precious item.