Dear Annie: I’m 76 years old, and my 55th college reunion is coming up soon. I’m not sure I should attend.
At every reunion, “he” is always there. We had a beautiful senior year and were very much in love. I expected a ring for graduation, but it never happened. After graduation, we moved apart and met up during the summer, sharing fall weekends attending football games with friends. After the last game, I felt a change. He never called or wrote. Through a mutual friend, I heard that he got back together with an ex-girlfriend and married.
We had the right love, but the timing was bad. I receive a Christmas card and note from him every year. At every reunion, I want to be friendly and neutral, but I end up with my composure gone. I act like a spoiled teen, and he gets a chip on his shoulder.
Now I want to go to say thanks for all we shared. I have had a great life. I never married, but my life has been full with a wonderful career, loyal friends, loving family, travel and entertaining. My years of fantasizing about my ex-boyfriend were over long ago.
We may never see each other again, and I don’t want my life to end with this bitter feeling. So, should I drop him a note and say, “I’d love to see you and your wife at the reunion”? What do you say?
— A Very Ex College Girl
Dear Ex: Since he attends every reunion, you don’t need to send him a note in advance, giving him the impression that his presence is the main reason you would be there. He may already think this. Don’t reinforce it. More importantly, are you certain you can behave in a friendly, neutral manner? Neither your track record nor your letter is convincing. If you attend, we suggest you practice what you plan to say in advance so you don’t end up ad-libbing something you regret. Socialize with others as much as possible. If that doesn’t work, you can always send him a note with your annual Christmas card, telling him what you want him to know.
Dear Annie: I own a small barbershop. Some of my customers’ cellphone etiquette is quite frustrating. When they pick up their phone, it can interfere with my ability to cut their hair. If they continue to talk or text, it’s even more annoying. I can’t provide them with a quality haircut when I have to move around them or wait for them to finish. When other customers witness this delay, they grow impatient and want to leave. This occurs more often than you might think.
What is an effective approach for letting my customers know that taking calls or texting is off limits once they sit in my chair? I don’t want to alienate anyone, but I’d be blamed if they got a poor haircut.
— Concerned Cutter in N.Y.
Dear Concerned: It is perfectly proper to post a sign in your shop saying that cellphone use is prohibited while in the chair. You also can ask each customer as they sit down to turn off their cellphone. They wouldn’t want to lose an ear.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Juliana,” who was criticized by the people behind her for standing at a concert. When I pay good money for a seat, I expect to see the show from there. My wife had two knee replacements and cannot stand for long periods. At a recent concert, we asked some people to sit and were also told we should stand if we want to see.
Promoters should designate the back half of the venue as a standing area and let the rest of us enjoy the show from our seats, because common courtesy does not seem to apply in these situations.
— Behind Juliana
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