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Amy: Teenager wants to dump racist friend

  • Article by: AMY DICKINSON
  • November 30, 2012 - 2:04 PM

Dear Amy: I am a high school junior and I have a friend, "Emory," who still acts like she is a raging hormonal and ignorant 12-year-old. She takes my things and draws inappropriate pictures on them, and all she talks about is boys, sex and boys again.

To make matters more complicated, Emory is racist. I am biracial. My skin color is quite fair compared to that of my sister. Emory often makes fun of me because of my skin color. She says things like "You should know, you're half black," "You must like fried chicken" or "You're lucky I like you, because I hate black people," etc.

At first, her remarks were mild, but now, every day, she makes some kind of racist remark directed toward me and other races. I often tell her to stop and say how mean she sounds, but she laughs and keeps at it.

My feelings are always hurt, and I am tired of the comments. How do I back away from this relationship without bluntly telling her that I don't want to be friends anymore? I know I should've just backed away a while ago, but it's hard.

Amy says: If you are nervous that "Emory" would retaliate or make your life unpleasant, then you could start by simply avoiding her. She will likely confront you, and you will have to tell her that you're busy with other things and that you two are moving in different directions.

I'd like to make a pitch for the truth, however. This is when you convey a very simple, easy-to-understand statement that leaves no room for interpretation. You say, "I don't like your racist statements. I've never liked these things you say and I should have told you earlier. But now I feel like you're just someone I don't want to be around."

Prepare yourself for the possibility that she will accuse you of not having a sense of humor or of taking things too personally. Your response can be, "I have a sense of humor when things are actually funny" and "I take these things personally because they are."

Bad breakup

Dear Amy: My boyfriend and I dated for about two years, live an hour apart and have met most of each other's friends and family, including my teens. We are both in our 50s and divorced.

Quite frankly it has been a roller-coaster ride -- good times and not good times. Recently he told me that he was taking a trip with a female friend (whom I had never met) to travel to an out-of-state "enlightenment seminar." I told him I could not be a girlfriend to a man who needs to have other women to hang out with and travel with. I was confused and upset, as I had been a caring, faithful and loving companion.

I am trying to move on, but my problem is that I have some expensive possessions in his home that were not gifts to him. Since his return I have had little contact with him. What is the best way to go about getting my things back in a dignified manner?

Amy says: You need to contact your ex and simply tell him you're sorry that things didn't work out, but that you'd like to pick up those items you left in his home. Ask him when would be a good time to do this, make an appointment and travel there to pick up your things.

There is no need to rehash what happened between you. Just face this awkwardness head on, keep your eye on the ball, determine to keep things cordial, jump in your car and get it done.

Send questions via e-mail to Amy Dickinson at askamy@tribune.com.

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