Q. I, like many people, make a New Year’s resolution, or sometimes many of them. My resolutions are between me and me and I don’t think they are anybody else’s business. I have this girlfriend with whom I went to high school. We stay in touch and lunch together about once a month. She is certainly a nosy, nosy person, so I am never shocked when she asks me if I made any New Year’s resolution(s) and what are they?
First of all, will you agree with me she is being rude and ill-mannered? Secondly, am I ill-mannered if I don’t tell her? She is so blatantly obnoxious that she tries to guess if I don’t tell her. That really infuriates me and she knows it. So when we were talking about getting together for lunch on New Year’s Eve, I told her if she started asking me questions about my resolutions, I was going to get up and leave her sitting there by herself. She said she wouldn’t even bring up the subject. So you guessed it, we’re half through our soup and she acts so cute and asks me why I don’t tell anyone what my New Year’s resolutions are. I reminded her of her promise and changed the subject. Was I being rude?
A. And you were tempted to say, “Didn’t you read my lips??” No, you were not rude and yes, you have the right to keep your New Year’s Resolutions to yourself because they are, in fact, no one else’s business.
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Q. What do you say when your 10-year-old great-granddaughter opens the Christmas gift you gave her, turns up her nose at it, and matter-of-factly asks you to please return it and then, asks: “I don’t have to write you a thank you note if I didn’t like it, do I?
A. Your response would be: Yes, young lady, you still have to write me a thank you note and in addition to thanking me, you can apologize to me for asking such an unlady-like question.
Q. Kids at Christmas — it’s always something. After we opened all our gifts from Santa, we had brunch. One of my son’s friends came over and joined us. He asked my son what he got for Christmas and my son readily showed him. Not more than 30 minutes later, this young man was wearing the sweater I gave my son. My son looked at me and told me he had just given his friend the sweater. I stuttered and said something about how nice it looked on him. After his friend left, I gave my son a questioning look and he explained his friend didn’t have much of a Christmas because his Dad had been very ill and off work for almost a month. I commended him on his act of kindness. I was very proud of him and told him so. My son’s father then commented he thought the friend should not have accepted the sweater. I disagreed, of course, but was he right?
A. No, I agree with you. You son did a very nice thing for his friend and his friend had every right to accept it in the spirit and friendship for which it was given.
Dianne Isbell: firstname.lastname@example.org