Dear Amy: I'm dealing with a tough situation with my new roommate (I did not know her prior to her moving in).
She moved into the apartment in September and has been sleeping with a guy who is engaged since then.
Her boyfriend lives with his fiancee but sleeps over twice a week at our place.
He has lied multiple times about the direction his relationship with his fiancee is going, and he finds us while we are out and trying to have a good time. My roommate has no control over the situation.
It's gotten to the point where, as a protective roommate, I have yelled across the table at him.
I feel I don't ever get a break from the situation. He isn't a nice person. He's controlling, rude, and a liar.
Is it wrong for me to be upset about this? Is it wrong for me to not want him in our apartment?
I have tried staying out of her situation, but she drags me back into it.
I tell her I'm sick of it and don't want to talk about him and she still brings it up!
Dear M: If you find yourself continuously drawn into your roommate's drama, then you will have to demonstrate a higher level of self-control.
Yes, your feelings are justified. The fact that you have to ask if you have the right to feel them is evidence of how far you will have to go to extract yourself.
If this entire situation has become untenable for you, you could ask your roommate to find other housing. I assume that you have a lease and that you are on it, but she is not. If that is the case, you function more or less as a landlord, and your roommate would be in the apartment on a month-to-month basis. If her personal situation is seriously encroaching on your right to the peaceful enjoyment of your own home, then you could give her 30 days to find other housing.
If you are mostly annoyed by the ethics of her romantic situation and by the fact that she has terrible taste in men, then you should create some distance. If you're out with your roommate and he shows up, you should leave. If he is staying over too often, you should ask your roommate to reduce the amount of time he spends in your home. If he is a threat to her -- or you -- you should call the police.
Dear Amy: I walk with a couple of friends once a week.
At the end of our one-hour walk, we stop at a well-known chain restaurant to sit on the outside patio and talk.
I always bring my own bottle of water, but my two friends go inside the restaurant, and come out with a free cup of water without ever buying anything. This really bothers me.
Is this behavior acceptable?
-- Walking and Talking
Dear Walking: Given that you are basically perching on this restaurant's outdoor chairs, which they own, pay for and maintain -- without even so much as setting foot inside the restaurant -- I don't know if you should complain about your friends. This is not a public park. It is a place of business.
However, I'm going to assume that this restaurant is happy to have the three of you there, adding to the neighborly scene. They are in the hospitality business.
If the restaurant wanted to discourage your friends from shagging free water, they could charge a cup fee. In the meantime, I hope that you and your pals will find ways to reward this neighborly hospitality by occasionally actually dining there.
Dear Amy: Thank you for recommending that "Conflicted" should not throw out her uncle's long-ago love letters, and that she reach out to the family of the sweetheart who wrote them.
I am in my 70s and writing a book about something that happened early in my life. Letters which were saved by my parents have been invaluable to establish a timeline and to determine what people were thinking.
The '30s and '40s were very hard times for many people, and things did not always work out the way young people thought they would.
I hope the relatives of the uncle's sweetheart realize what a treasure her letters are and will want to keep them.
-- Jane, in Manlius, NY
Dear Jane: I was touched by this tender situation. Yes, these letters are a treasure.