Wise answers to perplexing questions.
The Answer Lady invites inquiries from gentle readers on all manners of relationship quandaries, matters of the heart, and ethics. If you’d like to send a query, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Answer Lady
I have a good friend who cannot put her cell phone down for one second. If she’s not talking, she’s texting. We were in the bathroom one night at the Boiler Room, and I thought she was talking to me from another stall, but she was on her phone! I know everyone has one these days, and I do too, but at least I turn the thing off so we can eat a civilized lunch. Should I just pick up my phone when she does this and start making calls? – Hold the Phone
Dear On Hold
Perhaps the next time she picks up the phone while you’re dining, you can send her a text informing her of your intention to get up and leave her with the check if she doesn’t focus on the business at hand. Certainly, we’ve all been in situations where we’ve had to take a call when we’re otherwise engaged, from a boss or a babysitter, for instance. But it’s the folks who must immediately respond every time the phone chirps, or text until they develop calluses, who give cell phone usage a bad name. The next time you both get together, say to her: “I’m putting my phone on vibrate and sticking it in my purse until we’re done eating – why don’t you do the same so we can catch up without interruptions?”
Dear Answer Lady
I had a bad falling out with a friend. She was wrong and I was right and I know this, but she doesn’t want to let bygones be bygones. I recently ran into her in public, and she completely freaked out on me – yelling, cursing and actually threatening me. It was embarrassing, since it was in front of several mutual acquaintances, and I don’t want them to view me as the bad guy. Is there anything I can do at this point to salvage this friendship? – Ex-Friend
For goodness’ sake, dear, why on earth would you try? The woman sounds downright unstable, not to mention classless. Friendships end, and while people may have unresolved issues, to carry on like that in public is simply a deal-breaker. As for other people’s perceptions, I daresay that her tantrum said a great deal more about her than it did about you. There is no mention here of your (perceived) offense, but unless it involved seducing her husband, intentionally driving over her family pet or some equally egregious deed, she is responding like a lunatic. The Answer Lady’s advice to you is to steer clear.