Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Hi, Carolyn: In an insecure and jealous moment, I unfriended the husband, a nice man, of a more-or-less friend of mine; “frenemy” might be too strong here. She lives a charmed life by every account, and ONCE AGAIN was going to hang with her L.A.-area besties from years past at one woman’s luxury digs in Mexico. He posted how “proud and happy” he was that she had this great group of friends to hang with after all these years blah blah blah.
I want to hurl when spouses go on glowingly about each other on Facebook, so I just — snapped(ish) and unfriended him.
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My life is not even close to theirs. They have a longtime marriage, money, great jobs, nice house, take awesome vacations, and I am divorced, haven’t dated in years, not rolling in money, but have many blessings, it’s true.
But she is not the nicest person in the world, and never acknowledges her many blessings and advantages. She is the opposite of humble. So, yes, it was a weak moment for me.
A while back I saw them together, and I think he knows I unfriended him. He looked at me in a strange way. Should I write him a note and apologize, and tell him why? Forget the whole thing? I see them both from time to time. Any advice?
Dear Blunderer: I’m sure there’s a more nuanced or complicated answer to be written here, but you don’t really like these people much, so don’t bother with any efforts at remediation. Sounds like blocking the maybe-frenemy would have a peace-of-mind dividend, too.
I mean, it’s Facebook unfriending, not TPing their yard.
I suppose I could also recommend some work on the “insecure and jealous” stuff, including some soul inventory; is “longtime marriage, money, great jobs, nice house, take awesome vacations” really the be-all? I mean, one of them is “not the nicest person in the world,” and the other is maritally yoked to that. And social-media-bragging it. Yuck. So it wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest taking comfort in your own choices, and considering that you traded material comfort for things you value more.
I dunno. Your accounting may differ, but if “forget the whole thing” is genuinely on the table, I’d grab it.
I wonder: If these were nicer people, then would you be happier for them?
Dear Carolyn: I hosted my child’s birthday party six weeks ago; gifts were not opened at the party. I had the genius idea to parse out his gifts over the span of several days, lest he get overwhelmed and not appreciate each individual gift. Well, he discovered his gifts in his room, opened all of them, and now I have no idea who gave what, so I don’t know what to do as far as thank-you cards.
Dear Stumped: Write thank-yous that say how grateful you are that X came to the party, and that you’re sorry you can’t thank anyone for specific gifts because your son took all the tags and cards off. You might as well own it, right? Any parents who can’t easily see themselves in your spot and sympathize accordingly are either kidding themselves or tragically humor-challenged.
Email Carolyn at firstname.lastname@example.org or chat with her online at 10 a.m. each Friday at www.washingtonpost.com.