Constantly texting, talking gal puts major strain on friendship
DEAR AMY: I have a friend who is constantly texting and accepting phone calls from her friends when we are together.
To me, unless it's from her mom, her boyfriend or her manager/boss, I think it's rude.
I have suggested that we both turn off our cell phones, so it's fair for both, or at least make the conversation/text a short one.
Am I being insensitive and selfish, or is she? — Jimmy
DEAR JIMMY: She is. Constantly texting or accepting calls when you are out together is more than insensitive — it's just plain rude. Texting during an outing with a friend is the equivalent of pulling a magazine or book out of your bag and reading it while someone else is trying to converse with you.
It is alienating and makes the other person feel like something of an idiot. (I always feel like a loser when someone else becomes engrossed in a text or call — it makes me think I don't have enough urgent issues.) You don't say how your friend responded to your suggestion that you both turn your phones off when you're together, but I like it.
DEAR AMY: I am generally happy and outgoing, get along with others and have many friends.
Lately, my husband will counter just about everything I say. If I say the grass is green, he'll say no, it's yellow. If I try to justify my original statement, he tells me not to argue with him. I have pointed out that he is the one who brought up an argument.
What is going on with him? Today he did that at least six times in a short period of time.
It is getting to the point that I just don't talk to him to try to avoid confrontation.
Help! — Worried
DEAR WORRIED: Your husband is picking fights with you because he wants you to withdraw from him.
In my experience, someone will do this when he's trying to make you into the bad guy to cover his tracks for something he has done and can't talk about.
Starting these brush fires creates a smoke screen for him to hide behind. If he can get you to walk off in a huff, then he doesn't have to deal with the real issue.
You'll have to ask him to be honest with you. He might be under a new kind of pressure at work, or he might have financial or family worries he doesn't dare broach. He might be attracted to someone else and not know how to deal with it.
When you two are in a quiet, peaceful moment, tell him you're worried about him; tell him you don't like being a scapegoat; tell him you want your old husband back. Say, "What's going on with you, honey?" He'll probably say "nothing," but you shouldn't believe it.
A counselor could help your husband to find a better, more appropriate and useful way to express himself. If you can't get to the bottom of what's going on with him, you should suggest counseling.
DEAR AMY: In response to "Curious" — who wondered why young college adults call themselves "kids" and "boys and girls" — I believe the answer could be simple: It keeps them young at heart!
I'm in my 50s, my wife is in her 40s, and her parents are in their 70s, but once in a while, when we're all together, I'll say, "OK, kids, let's go..." If we think young, we are young!
Being playful with the language is just fun sometimes. Finally, as a college professor, I sometimes call my students "kids" or "boys and girls" if they're acting particularly childish. I don't mean any disrespect to them, and it's all in fun, which they realize. — Rick
DEAR RICK: I understand that grown-ups sometimes refer to themselves as "boys and girls" in a playful way, but you say you also use these terms with your college students as a way to denote immaturity.
That's the issue. "Curious" wondered why Ph.D. candidates refer to themselves as "boys and girls." This has raised an interesting question of when young adults finally consider themselves to be "men and women."
E-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60111.