Dear Amy: Last night my boyfriend and I went to a party. We ran into someone who used to be very rude to me, to the point where he once threatened me physically. This is all because I used to be in the same social circle as his ex.
This guy made a point of excluding me when offering drinks to everyone.
My boyfriend took the drink and started to make nice. I thought it was wrong of him to do so, knowing I have been mistreated in the past. My boyfriend thought it wasn’t a problem at all.
I would just like for him to understand that I wasn’t trying to get him to start a fight or be rude to the guy but to simply show me some respect and defend my honor by at least not accepting a drink if I wasn’t offered one, as well.
Amy says: Most people don’t conform to a strict code of conduct when it comes to defending someone else’s honor at a drinks party. I agree that your boyfriend (or any friend) should react if they notice a friend is being slighted or mistreated.
The polite thing for him to do would have been to accept the drink and then offer you one, as well. Then the path would have been smoothed for a social (if not actual) reconciliation.
Youth can take toll on the aged
Dear Amy: Kinfolk came to visit for my 92nd birthday. After worship at church there was a social hour.
One knee-high little boy would cling to his father’s legs, but periodically whirl around the room and then head back to his dad. Not a good arrangement with older people present.
When it came time for us to leave, sure enough — here came the little boy, racing toward me. Down I went. I was able to brace myself for the fall, and avoided anything serious.
Many 20-something parents seem oblivious to such problems. Older people are vulnerable in these circumstances.
Amy, could you pass the word along?
Amy says: I am happy to help. I hope that congregations will clip this and post it in their reception halls.
I admit to my own oblivion as a younger parent, but then I started spending time around elderly and frail people. It has been an eye-opening experience to see how vulnerable older people can be. You were smart to be prepared for this whirling dervish hazard in your midst.
I also need to add my own (semi-related) gripe: Parents: At a group gathering, please model good behavior by waiting with your children until any elders are served and seated.
And if parents are really going to introduce order (as well as model good behavior), you might ask the kids ages 7 and older to pour drinks for the elders before the meal. Kids do better if they have a valuable job to do, and it promotes healthy intergenerational interaction.
Send questions via e-mail to Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.