Annie's Mailbox: Had Enough of This
Dear Annie: For the past 20 years, a good female friend of mine and I have gotten together every few weeks for walks, lunch and movies.
The problem is, whenever we go to the movies, she always picks. I'm a pretty easygoing person and will see whatever she wants because even if the movie doesn't sound great, I'm willing to give it a try. But whenever I say I would really love to see such-and-such a movie, she will never go. She gives excuses, like reading a review she didn't like. In all the years we've seen films together, she has never once agreed to see one of my choices.
Don't all relationships require compromise? I feel like I do all the giving and she does all the taking. When I brought it up to her, she replied, "Well, everyone doesn't like every movie."
I know this problem isn't earthshattering, but it is affecting me enough to question whether she is truly a friend. When she does this type of thing, it seems as though she has to control everything we do, which is not my idea of friendship. Any suggestions? -- Had Enough of This
Dear Had: Does she do this only with movies? If so, she may simply not be adventurous enough to see anything she isn't certain she will like, or she may be uncomfortable with certain types of films, such as horror movies or documentaries and too embarrassed to say so. But if she tries to dominate every decision (type of restaurant, where you go walking, etc.), then yes, she is the controlling type.
You say she is a good friend. We assume she is pleasant company and there are other things you like about her. You have multiple ways of dealing with this: Put up with her choices and see the films that interest you with other like-minded people; take movies off the list of activities to do together; tell her the next movie is your pick or you aren't interested; or talk to her, letting her know her intransigence on the issue is building resentment and damaging the friendship.
Dear Annie: Thank you for standing firm on your advice to "Blainville, Quebec," who thought it was OK for a wedding guest to ask to bring her boyfriend.
I host many events and am amazed by how many people do not understand that an invitation addressed solely to one person does not automatically include a plus one. It's not only the budget. It's the seating arrangements, keeping to the guest limits, accommodations and meals. "Just one more" makes a huge difference, especially when several people want to add someone.
I have had people ask to bring their neighbor "who wants to see your lovely home," parents who ask to bring three extra children to a child's birthday party at the circus, and of course, the people who don't RSVP and just show up.
It is wrong to put a bride on the spot by making her feel obligated to incur an additional expense or explain to her new in-laws why she is changing the guest limit. It is never permissible to forego good manners and ask for whatever a person wants. -- Massachusetts
"Annie's Mailbox" is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar. This column was originally published in 2016. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.