The first one might be controversial. If I ever cheated on my wife (wouldn't happen. I love her too much. That and she has family in the Mexican Mafia), I would hope that I would have decent enough friends to call me on my crap. To paraphrase a book written 3,500 years ago "As iron sharpens iron, so does the countenance of ones friends."
Here's Abby's article: Won't say it like it is
As usual, I'll print my answers, but you can go to Abby's site for hers.
DEAR CRABBY: I manage a group of 15 employees. A few months ago, I hired the wife of an old friend. Until now she has been a great employee, but recently she and a male co-worker have been taking lunches and breaks together in a way that leads me to believe they are flirting or have already crossed the line.
Because we have a small group, I worry about how this will affect my team, who know that she's married. I also feel bad for the husband, who is a very caring and kind man.
As a manager, I don't think I can say anything unless their liaison interferes with their work performance. But I hate to watch this progress and see people end up hurt. What can I do? -- MANAGEMENT DECISION
There are a few options you can go over, such as stating the companies policy on fraternization, and that people having office relationships need to file it with Human Resources. You can make this statement to the group. That way you are acting professionally and observing company policy.
The other side of this is your friendship: are you more friends with her, or with him? Personally, I don't want to be friends with someone who will cheat on their significant other. It makes me feel like they will lie to me, as well. I would suggest finding out for sure, either by playing detective, or suggesting that your friend go have lunch with his wife, and have him show up where she eats as a surprise.
It might not be any of "your business", unless you care about what happens to your friends and their feelings.
If you saw someone stealing from your friend, would you stop them? Why do we think that cheating on someone is none of our business, especially when married people make declarations to the public and their friends and family that they will be loyal?
Food for thought.
DEAR ABBY: My girlfriend watches the 24-hour news channels and seems to be obsessed with them. It is hurting our relationship and affecting her happiness. She's constantly worried about national and international politics, global warming, the economy, health care, crime, etc. She neglects herself and her family. She seems agitated, anxious and depressed by all the news.
Is this a disease? How can I help her get off this habit? What should I do? -- MISERABLE IN MINNESOTA
I've never really understood what the benefit of watching the news was. I still do it, read various sources, etc. But at the end of the day I have to ask myself "Did my knowledge of what happened make me a better person? Did it help anyone?" More often than not, the answer is "no". Sure, I know an airplane went down after it left Malaysia. Does knowing that bring those people back or supply relief to their families?
Try giving the news perspective, and talk to her about it. Discuss what she is watching, and ask her why it makes her scared. Thoroughly examine the source of her fears. Then give her a little Baz Lurhman: "Don't worry. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as chewing bubblegum while trying to solve a math equation."
It's the same thing as when I dealt with a paranoid schizophrenic (don't know for sure, I'm not a psychologist) who was convinced the government was watching him. I kept asking him why, leading him along the line of logic "Why would they watch him? Was he working on a weird math equation? Did he witness something illegal?" Eventually he thought through his paranoia and realized that even if he was being watched, it would be very boring for the watcher. Then he decided that he would put on shows and act out parts from plays for them, just to "endear them" to him.
If she still acts like a bump on a log, tell her she can either watch the news or be with you. Not both.
DEAR CRABBY: At a wedding, while shaking hands with a friend, I accidentally bumped another friend's wine glass, staining his $180 shirt. The stain is a small one, on the lower portion and not very noticeable. Now the man insists I pay for the shirt.
Is there an etiquette rule on this issue? I feel bad, but not bad enough that I think I should pay for such an expensive shirt. If you have the means to pay for a shirt that expensive, I don't believe you should expect others to replace it. -- CHRIS IN DENVER
Emily Posts guide to etiquette states that you should have the shirt cleaned, or replace it. Treat it like a baseball through a broken window. It may have been an accident, you are sorry, but that window still needs to be fixed.
So, once you shell out the money and fix the material things, ask yourself if you want to be friends with someone who values objects more than relationships? Or who would want to be friends with a person who does not care for the possessions of others.
Maybe you shouldn't be friends with this person if the both of you are more concerned with material things.
What is clear is that you have shown that this friend has more money than you, and it bothers you.
Going back to that window: does it matter if its a window in a mansion or a hovel? You broke the window. Sorry doesn't stop a draft.
"But it's not a window, it's a shirt." You broke something that wasn't yours. Fix it or replace it. Whiner.
Judas' Advice Column
This is where I take a Dear Abby column, and add my own brand of advice. I started by calling it Dear Crabby, but that's taken and JERKASS seems more fun.