DEAR AMY: My ex and I have a long history, and I guess we are (sort of) friends. We both loved each other very much but we fought way too much, which made the relationship impossible.
I have moved on to someone else, and I am pretty happy. However, I feel as if my current relationship isn’t as fun and passionate as my old one. I think my ex has noticed this and is trying to get close to me once again. He recently invited me to the movies as “just friends.”
Should I go? Or is it a bad move? -- Ex and Friend
DEAR FRIEND: Let me answer by referencing a favorite quote from one of my favorite movies — the 1975 summertime classic, “Jaws.”
“This is not a boat accident.”
What I’m getting at is that if you are Richard Dreyfuss lifting a severed arm out of a stainless steel pan, you get to call it like you see it, by pointing out the obvious.
In this regard, I’m Richard Dreyfuss, your nascent “friendship” with your ex is the severed arm and your trip to the movies is like swimming in open water with a giant, man-eating shark.
Potentially exciting. Very risky.
DEAR AMY: My older sister is getting married. Her fiance and his family are a very Christian conservative family and mine is extremely liberal.
I am gay. I received an e-mail from my sister saying that she did not think it was right for me to attend her wedding. They say they do not agree with my “lifestyle.” Okay, it is her special day. I am fine with her choice.
When my mother learned I wasn’t invited, she was outraged and extremely offended.
I don’t know if it is so much just my not being invited or that my mother feels that our family traditions and beliefs are not as important as my sister’s fiance’s family traditions and beliefs. My mother also is hurt that my sister would treat me like that.
Now my family will not attend my sister’s wedding, and my sister and her new fiance say that it is all my fault.
What can I do to convince my family that they need to go to my sister’s wedding and also let my sister know that the real problem is that she is losing herself and that this (not my sexual orientation) is the real issue? -- Gay Brother
DEAR GAY BROTHER: I can completely understand your family’s choice to not attend this wedding out of solidarity to you, because denying your attendance seems to be a denial — not only of your family’s values, but of you.
Your sister and her almost in-laws are excluding you and now blaming you for the drama your exclusion is causing, and now your gayness is really getting in the way of everybody’s good time.
Your graciousness is commendable. E-mail your sister: “I realize this is your special day and understand completely that you feel strongly about me not being there. I completely accept your choice and have told other family members this. However, I feel like this choice doesn’t reflect the values we were raised with. I hope you don’t change your core values to suit your new family. I’ll never stop being your loving brother and wish you and your fiance all the best.”
Don’t bother talking your mother into attending. When you’re a parent, you’ll understand how she feels.
DEAR AMY: I took note of the letter from “Concerned Mom,” the parent who was nervous because her daughter’s lesbian gym teacher monitored the girl’s locker room.
I’m a retired, heterosexual physical education teacher who taught middle school for 33 years. It was my experience that many middle school students were what I would describe as overly modest. My counsel to those students was simple: Face your locker, change your clothes quickly, and move on.
Everyone seems to like this gym teacher and no one is worried about inappropriate behavior, so the kids need to “suck it up” and get over themselves. Look at it as a life lesson in dealing with humanity in a mature way. -- Retired Gym Teacher
DEAR TEACHER: “Suck it up.” Good advice.