Q. A woman I work with clearly thinks it’s unprofessional that I sometimes bring my kids to the office when there is an unexpected day off from school. My kids are 8 and 9, well-behaved and occupied hanging out in my cube with books to read or busywork to do (others have complimented them multiple times). This woman rolls her eyes and gets huffy and passive-aggressive about it each time. How do I respond? Keeping My Head Down

Huffy eye rolls deserve to be ignored. Though they’re frustrating, you’ll only look like you’re instigating something if you respond to them (as she can claim she didn’t do anything). If your supervisors are fine with it and your kids are not impeding others’ work environments, then repeat after me: This is about her, not you.

Maybe she doesn’t have kids and wishes she did. Maybe she has kids whom she could never picture behaving in the office. Maybe she’s been unfairly criticized for lesser things; maybe in a past life she was subjected to a thousand paper cuts by a wayward 8-year-old. If you’d like, pick a private time in the aftermath of one of these visits to say, “Belinda, I can tell you don’t like it when I have my kids here. Is there anything I can do to keep it from affecting you?” But be prepared that it may go nowhere. Smile, keep your kids angelic and rest assured that eye rolls are rarely the arbiter of anything.

AD
AD

He’s the best man? Not even.

Q. My boyfriend of three years and I are talking about marriage. He wants his brother to be best man, but he told me his brother tried to break us up just over a year ago, telling him he could do better. (His brother knew soon after that I knew about this, but has never apologized.) I don’t think anyone who was against us staying together should be given such an important role in the celebration of our relationship. I have other reservations since the guy is unreliable (a phrase used by their family to describe him) and gets belligerent when he drinks a lot. Dreading This Part of Getting Married

So, your boyfriend told you what his brother said, then told his brother that he told you? What, is he going for Rabble-Rouser of the Year? Much of this friction seems to be signed, sealed and delivered by your boyfriend, so start there.

AD
AD

What is his real view on this? Would he not find it a contradiction to have the No. 1 toastmaster be against the union? Might having an unreliable and belligerent-when-drunk best man come with its own unrelated problems? Though this brother doesn’t sound like a particularly illustrious guy, if he means enough to your boyfriend to be best man, then that’s worth talking about. And people sometimes say things they regret; people sometimes change their minds. Hey, maybe the entire conversation happened when Bro was three sheets to the wind. Consider this a test run of the many marital conflicts that may require communication and compromise, and start sooner rather than later.

Send your questions for Baggage Check to Dr. Andrea Bonior at baggage@wpost.com.

Dr. Andrea Bonior is going live!
Express is launching “Baggage Check Live” on our Facebook page, an interactive conversation with Dr. Andrea and special guests. Tune in at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, for our first episode, on managing political anxiety. Email baggage@wpost.com with your questions or stories about post-election stress.

Read more Baggage Check:

AD
AD