Dear Amy: A few days after Christmas, a friend stopped by our house with her husband and her sister.
I was most concerned about her because of underlying health issues.
One afternoon, I checked in to see how she was feeling. That morning, she had a temp of 100.5 and her sister was feeling worse. To my shock and disbelief, the sisters were just returning from getting manicures and pedicures. When I questioned this, she brushed it off, saying: “Oh, it was fine. We wore masks, they wore masks.”
I hung up feeling stunned that they could be so reckless and selfish that they would endanger others for something so vain. How do they know whether the people who worked on them lived with high-risk family members or children too young to get vaccinated?
Right now, I have little desire to continue the friendship; however, we interact with a group online weekly, and I’m not sure I want to give that up. I should share my feelings with her, but I’m afraid that, in my anger and disgust, I would say something I may regret.
I don’t like feeling this way, and I want this pandemic to end!
— Doing My Part
Doing My Part: We all want the pandemic to end. When it does, our collective health will be more secure, and we will also be spared learning some unpleasant truths about the people around us.
The situation you describe falls squarely into the category of: When someone reveals who they are, believe them.
Your friend was flouting common sense for any ill person. (Don’t go out and about when you have a fever.) This was common sense and common courtesy before the pandemic, and it is even more important now. She was also presumably violating whatever mandates have been put in place to try to slow the spread of the virus.
But this lack of regard for the health and safety of service workers, who have fewer choices than their clients, reveals a selfishness and an overall lack of grace.
You can now let your actions reveal who you are by expressing your point of view to her, and by paying attention to her response. Don’t give up your online group because of this; if she is too uncomfortable, let her drop out.
Dear Amy: After being widowed, I have finally met a nice man.
Unfortunately, he is a poor conversationalist. He talks nonstop and doesn’t take a breath — or even a pause — to allow me to “interrupt.” He talks about his past, his large family, people he used to know, and he doesn’t seem to want to know about me at all.
I have told him that he should allow me to be a part of the conversation, but he just keeps talking.
I am bored with this and often tune him out. Do you think there is a way to get him to change?
He is 76, and I don’t want to spend anymore time with him if he doesn’t want to change. Help!
— Left Out
Left Out: Even though it comes off as him being self-focused, compulsive talking can be a sign of social anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or another medical issue.
Most of us become more set in our ways as we age, and I’d say that if this man is fascinated by you and is committed to being in a relationship with you, he would do his darndest to alter his behavior to let you in.
You should be honest with him about the effect of his behavior on you.
Ask him to see his general practitioner and/or a mental health practitioner, then you should probably keep looking for a partner who is also a good listener.
Dear Amy: Thank you for noticing that “Concerned Father” was trying to control his overspending son and his wife through buying a house for them.
This concerned father’s comment that his young granddaughter had too many pairs of underwear (37!) was both icky … and revealing.
— A Fan
Fan: Yes, I also believed that this was a particularly telling detail.
©2022 by Amy Dickinson distributed by Tribune Content Agency