My friend does this thing. Every time we go out anywhere, shell bite on her straw. When shes finished with her drink, shell twist the straw around in her mouth, use it to point to people, or chew on it until its soggy plastic pulp and then throw it on the table. If she doesnt want a drink, shell ask for just the straw and do the same thing. It is disgusting. I want to say something, but I dont think shell take it well. Any advice?
Thats gross. Really. I used to have this friend who would, after eating, pluck a hair from her head and use it as dental floss. At the table.
This was a habit that looked rather unappetizing (of course she wouldnt wait until you were done eating) and it wasnt very good for her hairline, either. So we took a stand.
One time she ate her last bite of corn or whatever, plucked the hair and began to seesaw it back and forth on her front teeth and someone said, HEATHER! Stop that! Its disgusting. If youre going to do that, at least take it to the bathroom.
Heather became offended and enraged by the outburst. She felt like we were attacking her, which of course, we were. There was a scene -- hardly the thing you want in a nice restaurant -- and a few weeks of non-speaking. In looking back (so that you can look forward), it seems to me the best answer would not have been to wait until it was annoying the crap out of everyone, but to say something as early as possible. And perhaps to say something that didnt start out as an indictment.
n fact, I think the best way to go about this is to let your little Miss Manners know that you find this habit of her this side of repulsive, but to not make a big deal out of it. Its like if someone has a split in their pants or spinach in their teeth.
If your buddys butt is out in the breeze, for instance, youve got the option of not telling them and sparing them the embarrassment of knowing that you noticed. At the same time, when (or if) they realize it themselves later, theyll be more embarrassed, but buoyed by the secret hope that maybe nobody saw. Because of course, theyd say to themselves, if those people are my friends, theyd tell me, right? To spare me the embarrassment of the whole world seeing my whole world?
The best option of all would be to act like its no big deal and hand them your jacket to put around their waist. Thats a perfect world scenario, but theyre less embarrassed, youre less embarrassed, and theyre not at home wondering why nobody told them.
That wasnt the best analogy, but maybe you can see where Im going. She orders a drink and starts to chew on the straw and you pull out a pack of gum and hand her a piece with a few gentle words of ïdont do that ever again.
And if that doesnt work, go ahead and use the first approach and wait for the fall out. The confrontation wasnt pretty, but believe me, seeing Heather heading to the bathroom with a roll of dental floss was.
The other day my boyfriend and I were talking and I said something about our future. Ive been seeing him for about eight months and I guess I assumed that we were going the same direction.
I was wrong. He looked at me and said, You realize this cant go anywhere, right? I said no and asked why and he pointed to his Hebrew name engraved on the ring he always wears.
I didnt understand and he said, Im Jewish. Youre not. When I get married, its going to be with someone Jewish.
I couldnt believe he would say something like that. We had a huge fight about it. I told him that our religion wouldnt matter as long as we loved each other, but he disagreed.
Now weve broken up, but I want him back. How can I make him understand that we can stay together despite our differences?
Religion is a funny thing. For those who dont have it, its just a strange word encompassing weird beliefs, silly rituals, and self-righteousness on the part of others. For those who do have it, on the other hand, its at least a small part of who they are, if not something they remain vested in down to their core being.
Or so Ive heard. I mean, have you read the news lately? Religions sticky fingerprints are all over the international conflicts of the world right now. Youve got believers versus non-believers who think they are the real true believers, etc., etc., etc.
You want a reconciliation? Try telling that to Israel and Palestine. And good luck.
Thats not to make light of their situation or yours; Im just trying to show how centuries worth of religion dissidence can play out.
Even if you dont think so or you cant see the importance, you and your boyfriend have a bit of that same religious dissidence. He might want to marry inside the faith because of religious reasons, but at the same time, he might also just acknowledge that being different faiths and trying to be life partners isnt always the easiest path to hoe.
Its hard to share a life if you dont share a belief on what life is.
What Im saying is, let it be. You think that your love should conquer all your differences. That certainly could happen if both of you were willing to make sacrifices for each other. (Warning, this might sting a bit) There might be a woman out there whom he would fall so crazily in love with that she would become more important to him than his religion, but youre not it. If you were, we wouldnt be having this strange dialogue.
It is a little upsetting that his religious beliefs didnt make him feel compelled to tell you the truth about all this from the beginning. I mean, his religion influences his marital choices, but he couldnt be up front enough to share that little secret with you?
At this point, I would just remind him that everything you do comes back to you threefold or tenfold (depending on your school of thought). And maybe youll realize one day that this break-up is probably the best thing for both of you.
If only someone couldve fixed the Israeli Palestinian thing this early on ...