Life Advice



Overwhelmed by Ice Cream

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: I read your column every day, and I read with great interest the letter from the wife whose husband had an affair 20 years earlier. She was bitter that none of her friends told her about it.

I found myself in a similar situation, only I was the friend, and I DID tell her that her husband was cheating on her. This was 35 years ago.

Remember the old expression about killing the messenger? That's what happened to me. I had struggled with what to do with this information for several days. I knew she'd be devastated, but I believed she deserved the truth. She was my best friend, and I felt I'd be lying to her face every time I saw her if I didn't tell her.

I practiced for days trying to come up with the most supportive way of talking to her. I went and saw her, and we talked for about an hour, and it was very, very difficult. I left knowing that she had a lot to process and sort out, and I gave her some space. After a few days, I called but could not reach her. I left messages, but I never heard back from her.

Fifteen years later, I got a rather incoherent and angry letter from her, blaming me -- for what, specifically, wasn't clear.

The wife who wrote to you complaining that no one told her might have reacted differently 20 years ago if someone had let her know. If I had had a crystal ball and known our friendship would be over if I told her, would I still have told my friend at the time? I think so. I still believe hiding it from her would have been worse, a betrayal. -- Killed Messenger in Pennsylvania


Dear Killed Messenger: Thank you for your letter. I suppose it was easier to get mad at you than her husband who had betrayed her. Just know that her meanness came out of pain and that hurt people hurt people.

Dear Annie: Why do Americans have so many ice cream products?

This week, I went to the supermarket, and there were 10 new ice creams to choose from, and I was just about to finish off trying them all from the prior week. I'm not fat -- yet.

Yes, even with the problems of supply, they somehow still manage to pack the refrigerators with new choices. I find myself spending at least five to 10 minutes trying to choose an ice cream that is healthy, economical and tastes good.


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