Dear Annie: My friend “Nina” just broke up with her boyfriend of five years. We are here for her, trying to help in any way we can, even though we think she is out of her mind for doing this.
One of our friends has been telling Nina lies about the guy, saying he has been talking about her behind her back. I have never heard him do this. All he has ever said is that he loves Nina and doesn’t understand why she broke things off.
This friend has a reputation for being dishonest. There have been fights about this before. She has backstabbed Nina twice in the past, yet Nina always turns to her when she thinks her world is collapsing. Nina has told me that she doesn’t trust this woman, but they continue to act like sisters.
I care a great deal about Nina, but at what point does a 40-year-old woman grow up? Maybe Nina needs to have her life blow up in her face so she gets a clue. Is there anything I can do?
-- A Real Friend
Dear Friend: Not really. Nina knows this woman lies to her, and yet she is willing to break off an otherwise good relationship over it. We think Nina does this on purpose. It provides an excuse for her to sabotage her relationships and be miserable. Either she doesn’t believe she deserves happiness or she likes creating drama. Tell Nina you care about her and want her to be happy, but she is going to have to do some work to get there. Suggest counseling, but don’t hold your breath.
Dear Annie: The other day, we invited a couple out to lunch as our guests. However, my wife and I were upset when they ordered appetizers without asking us. We never order appetizers, because we watch our diets and feel the dinner provides plenty of food. Also, since we were paying for it, why would they order something we ourselves didn’t order?
We kept our thoughts to ourselves but would like to know whether this was proper.
-- Feeling Exploited
Dear Exploited: Guests should always take their cues from the hosts. If you did not suggest appetizers, they should not have ordered them on their own. However, as hosts, you cannot insist that your guests share your food preferences in a restaurant. It would have been gracious of you to ask whether they would like to order appetizers, provided you could afford to do so.
Dear Annie: I’m writing in response to “Worried Family in Illinois,” whose brother is addicted to drugs. This tugged at my heart because I’m dealing with that very problem in my own family.
While it’s true that a person needs to be willing and ready before rehab will truly work, the key is giving your loved one an opportunity to get clean long enough to think clearly. There is a law in my area that most attorneys don’t even know about called Casey’s Law. It allows you to file a petition against the addicted person. If adequate proof is shown that the individual is not capable of making good decisions, the judge can rule that the person has to get help. My loved ones are doing wonderfully, and even though it will be a lifetime commitment, they now have a chance at a life.
-- From One Worried Family to Another
Dear Worried: Thank you. Casey’s Law is currently available only in Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. It requires filling out a petition for involuntary treatment. Information and copies of the petition can be found at caseyslaw.org or Operation Unite (operationunite.org/treatment/caseys-law) at 1-866-908-6483.
Annie’s Snippet for Earth Day (credit E.B. White): I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.
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