Dear Annie: My wife and I are in a pickle. We are friends with another couple, “Josh” and “Vanessa”. Vanessa happens to be a teacher at our children’s school. One day I picked up my offspring and started chatting with them. I noticed that she was sad and asked her about it. Then the locks opened.
She started telling me about how she ran up credit card debt and she said Josh didn’t know about it. Josh is under a lot of stress and she doesn’t want to tell him. I comforted her and asked how much, thinking maybe a few hundred dollars.
Me: “A thousand?”
You: (nods slowly)
I lied and told her it was okay. I also told her to tell Josh. She agreed and said she plans to do it next month after he hits a deadline on the job. Then she asked if my wife and I would loan her $ 500 for the time being so that she could pay the minimum. I told her we would talk about it.
So now we have two questions. Shall we give her the money first? Second, should we ever tell Josh sometime? If we told him, Vanessa would hate us. But otherwise Josh would hate us after he finally found out. What would you do? – couple in a riddle
Dear couple: put this one off.
Don’t give Vanessa the money. This would only enable her to maintain her spending addiction.
Don’t talk to Josh. Let Vanessa be the one to tell him. She’ll have to do it soon anyway if you don’t loan her the credit card minimum.
I know you want to help, but defend yourself. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions and has an expressway for people who get right in the middle of their friends’ relationship problems.
Dear Annie, backseat drivers are an absolute nuisance to me. I’ve been driving a car for 20 years and have never had an accident except once when my side mirror hit a mailbox and I never had a ticket except once in New York State.
I am not an aggressive driver. I keep people in my lane. I’m not trying to drive fast, but I’m busy (and often late) trying to keep up with the other cars around me.
But the way some friends react when they’re in my car, you might think I’m Danica Patrick. And my husband is the worst. He keeps making comments: “Stop dragging.” “Slow down.” “You’re driving really fast.” And when he’s not voicing his thoughts, I can see him preparing for the impact by grabbing the handle over the car door.
The constant feedback from people about my driving gets on my nerves. How can I give them the confidence to enjoy the ride when I’m behind the wheel? — Makes me mad
Dear Car Driving: Well you can start by being a better driver because I doubt anyone who drives your car is overreacting. They’re sending your passengers into survival mode and they’ll burst out in self-defense and not pick on you.
Consider signing up for a defensive adult driving lesson. Many insurance companies even offer discounts for attending such courses.
At the very least, I suggest that you reconsider the basics of Driver ED: adjust your mirrors (while the car is still parked) to avoid blind spots; Leave a length of car in front of you for every 10 mph, etc. And get out early so you are not in such a rush to get seats.
The backseat drivers like to hand over their keys, so to speak, when they see that you can get them to safety.
Dear readers, today’s column originally ran in 2016.
Send your questions to Annie Lane at Dearannie@creators.com. To learn more about Annie Lane and to read articles by fellow Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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