Back off, friends
By Annie Lane
Dear Annie: I have many close friends from different groups. My time with each of them is very important, and I don’t want to be tied down to one friend. My partner has many wonderful friends he enjoys spending time with, too.
Recently, we got acquainted with another couple at my young son’s football match. The newfound friendship is moving too fast. They are already talking about doing weekends away together, planning several weekend trips for us all. We’ve only known them for a few months and been friends for a month.
I’m a pretty easygoing, kind-natured woman; I fit in with all types of crowds. But I don’t like to be pushed into things or backed into a corner. I like things to take a slow, natural course, and I never rush the process of becoming close with someone.
I don’t believe friendships or relationships work well when they progress quickly. My partner and I were friends for seven years before we started dating!
I feel uncomfortable with what’s developing. I have this uneasy feeling about the progress of this new friendship. My hunches are normally accurate, and I’m an OK judge of character. Am I being a little childish about this? What should I do? — Too Fast for Me
Dear Too Fast: What’s stopping you from pumping the brakes? There’s a simple solution here — saying “No, thank you” or “We’re busy” to the weekend-getaway invitations. As you don’t seem to have entertained that option, I’m guessing you’re the type of person who has a hard time saying no. I’d encourage you to do some self-reflection regarding why that is. Perhaps you value being seen as easygoing more than you value your own needs and wants. Work on setting boundaries.
Dear Annie: This is in response to “Tired Loving Daughter,” who isn’t able to fully enjoy her life because of her caregiving duties. I use a camera in my mom’s retirement apartment to keep up with her. I bought a nest camera about three years ago, and I can monitor her from my phone and my computer. If there is anything suspicious, I notify the staff.
The camera is set up in her living room. I see when she leaves for her meals and when she comes and goes. I see what time the staff members come in to clean her room.
One time, I noticed that her dinner came two hours ahead of schedule; the evening chef hadn’t shown up for his shift, so the manager decided to use leftovers from lunch. That meant she would have gone hungry later that night. I and several other family members took food to the residence that night, and other patients were expressing how hungry they were, too. I was thankful we had the camera so we knew what was going on. Because of that footage, I was able to report this incident to the upper management.
The cameras will hold the footage for up to a month. I spend a small amount each month for the service, and it has been a great investment for me. — GSP Smith
Dear GSP Smith: What a great use of technology. Thank you for sharing the tip.
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