We have lived on our block for about 10 years. About two years ago, a small group decided to get together and organize a block party, which I thought was a wonderful idea.
I went to the meetings, but I discovered that my neighbors were vapid, rude and gossipy. My ideas were ignored. The day of the party, I found it hard to go along with their planned activities, which included late-night drunken karaoke.
Last year I wasn't invited to the meeting. I wouldn't want to be invited anyway, I suppose, but it seems so rude.
I don't really want to move, but the idea has crossed my mind because it's hard to be left out.
I know I could try to be friendlier, but things are always on their terms. There are some really nice people on our block, but they keep to themselves. I don't really understand why some people have to take on attitudes just because they live in an upper-crust neighborhood.
What do you suggest?
Dissed in the Suburbs
So far, I'm not sure how you have been "dissed" -- you seem to be the one doing the dissing. Your impression of your neighbors as "vapid, rude and gossipy" could be your first clue as to why they didn't invite you back into the planning sessions for the block party. People are aware when others are judging them and tend not to want to expose themselves to more harsh judgments. Obviously, if your assessment of your neighbors is accurate, then you can be grateful that they have let you off the hook socially.
If you don't like your community and don't enjoy the fellowship of your neighbors, then moving might be a good idea, though it seems rash. Don't forget that whatever block you move to will have its share of vapid, rude and gossipy people. Your job is to seek out and spend time with people you enjoy and who could also enjoy your company.
Because you have other neighbors who are nice, you should reach out to them to get to know them better. Don't diss your other neighbors when you do this -- no one enjoys being around someone who is negative and judgmental.
I have known "Kurt" and his fiance, "Brandy," for 14 years. Brandy is actually my ex-mother-in-law. I am still with her son. Even though we are no longer married, we are a couple.
The problem is that Kurt, who is 13 years older than I am, hits on me. His come-ons are more intense by the week. Brandy and I are on good terms, but our relationship would never handle me opening up and telling her about him.
Last weekend, we had a double bedroom at a hotel. I had one bed and Brandy and Kurt, the other. Before Brandy got to the room, Kurt was in his bed and made several lewd and suggestive comments.
Yuk. Kurt is not the least bit attractive, and I would never encourage his behavior. He is almost the step-grandfather to my children, for one thing. The other thing is that I would never hurt Brandy. I just don't know if I am close enough to her to tell her what is going on without her thinking that it is all my fault.
What should I do?
Renee in Minnesota
It's a pretty bad idea to share a hotel room with someone whom you know can't behave. Helloooo -- don't do it. In fact, being alone with this guy under any circumstances is inadvisable. Even if you aren't responsible for this guy's behavior, you do bear some responsibility for not standing up for yourself.
You need to look Kurt in the eye and tell him to knock it off. Then you should say that if he ever tries his act on you again, then you would be forced to tell Brandy.
After you've warned Kurt, if he sleazes in your direction again, then tell Brandy. She should know what a jerk she's with. Yuk.
Write to Amy Dickinson at email@example.com or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.
(c)2005 by the Chicago Tribune
Distributed by Tribune Media Services Inc.