I went on a business trip with a bunch of people in my office. It was a combination of work and play and we were asked to bring our spouses or partners. I’m single so I brought my sister.
While there, I met a man from another branch of our company, from another state. He was also there alone and I was told he was single. We hit it off and spent most of our time together.
The boss was there with his wife. He knows the man I was interested in very well. Apparently my boss’ wife used to be very close with this man’s wife. That’s how I found out he wasn’t quite single…. Just separated.
The whole week away, my boss’ wife, whom I’d never met before, was so rude to me. She also did some really immature things, like insisting I try some funky meat dish even after I told her I was a vegetarian. It was such a strange encounter, as I ended up arguing with this older woman in public about my personal dietary habits.
Then she started following me around wherever I went, commenting on my clothing, on my figure, and harassing the man I was with. It became so ugly and strange that he had to talk to our boss to tell him to rein in his wife.
What do you make of this situation?
I think this woman was jealous and angry. From your longer letter, I understand that you’re young and fit and enjoy wearing clothes that show off and flatter your figure. And you have every right to do so.
But she’s also friends with your fling’s wife, which made her possessive and angry. You can’t put yourself in her shoes to understand her reaction to you. But I think I can see the whole picture.
To be clear, you did nothing wrong. You’re young, enjoying life, and not willingly hurting anyone. Your fling might have shown a little more restraint knowing his wife’s friend would be at the retreat. But he didn’t.
Your boss’s wife was in the wrong with how she treated you, but it sounds like she was trying to avenge her friend. Just walk away from the whole scene. Stay professional and don’t discuss what happened while at work. It will all blow over.
My friend’s sister is always calling my friend in a panic. She has some mental health issues, so my friend always runs when she calls. Sometimes, but not often, it’s serious. The other day, she burned her hand on the stove; and just last month, she tripped and fell down the stairs, spraining her ankle and cracking a rib.
But sometimes she calls in a panic because she can’t find her phone, or her glasses, or the tv remote – which is always found somewhere in her home as soon as my friend arrives. My friend has a big job, a boyfriend and a dog. She also has parents, friends and a life of her own.
How can she tell her sister that she is happy to help when it’s needed, but not to call her for every little thing, without hurting her?
Your friend’s sister sounds like she needs more mental health support than she is getting. I strongly suggest that your friend, her sister and their parents meet with a medical professional to have the sister assessed. Once it’s clear how much support she needs, the care can be divvied up between your friend, her parents if they’re able and outside help, if available.
Being a caregiver is a full-time job. It’s best for everyone if you share the load.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding your column about the nosy neighbour (Jan.14):
Reader – “Your response to the neighbour was very empathetic and caring. I was pleasantly surprised. I have found, especially since COVID-19, that people are less kind, less giving, less willing to help others.
“I am sure some people would tell this person to speak harshly to their neighbour to mind their own business. Or to ignore them altogether. But you went the opposite way.
“I have a similar situation with my sister-in-law who is constantly commenting negatively on my life, my husband and my children. She never has anything nice to say. I was going to write in to you for advice, but I’m going to take this advice and apply it to my life. Thank you!”
Lisi – In the words of Michele Obama, “When they go low, we go high.” Take the high road.