Q. I was secretary to a club in the process of dissolving. One of our members, “Jessica,” is a lawyer. After taking notes at one of our final meetings, I e-mailed the notes to the few members we have left. Jessica e-mailed the notes back to everyone, citing more legal ways to phrase them.
The dissolution of this group is one of several stressors in my life, and Jessica’s criticism really hurt. I e-mailed everyone back, calling her “high and mighty” and suggested that, since she didn’t like the way I wrote up the notes, to do it herself.
After giving myself a day to think, I e-mailed her and suggested that she send out a revised version of the notes. I also mentioned that I felt uncomfortable around her and that I had a feeling she doesn’t like me and thinks I’m dumb. She responded, claiming I had said hateful things about her and she didn’t want anything to do with me.
I replied and apologized for calling her “high and mighty.” Other than that, I can’t think of anything I said that would be called hateful. Until a few days ago, I liked her. I wrote that if she will provide the legal letterhead she thinks is important, I will rewrite the notes according to her specifications.
Since I told her I wouldn’t bother her anymore, until I hear from her (if I do), I’m going to leave her alone.
I know I said things I shouldn’t. Now I am trying to make it right. Any suggestions?
A. This has been a rapid-fire and nasty exchange, and you initiated the nastiness. At this point you’ve apologized and attempted to cover your bases. Now, (please, God) just stop.
Q. My nephew was married on a Friday evening, and our family went to the wedding and reception. We gave them a card along with a check for their gift at the reception.
The check was cashed the following Monday, endorsed over to the reception hall. I feel this is very tactless. It appears to me that we were invited for the gift so that they could pay the reception bill. What is your opinion?
A. If you had given this couple a cappuccino-maker as a wedding gift, wouldn’t you be pleased if they opened the box and used it quickly?
Monetary gifts to the couple seldom actually bring in enough to pay for the reception. Your gift might not have even covered the cost of your own meal.
I hope you had a good time at this wedding and reception. You were generous to help them pay for it, and I hope you will feel better after they thank you.
Q. When “Unsure” wrote about an unwanted advance from a married male “friend,” I had to laugh recalling my experience.
Many years ago, our “friend” asked me out while my husband was out of town. The wife and I were good friends.
I asked him, “Who should I get to watch my kids? Your wife?” That shut him right down.
A. You handled this perfectly.
Q. I’m responding to the letter from “Empty Nest,” the woman who was sad when her child left for college.
When my brother left for college, the dean told a group of parents, “If you see the kids necking on campus, remember, it’s the first time they’ve been alone in 20 years.”
My mother said, “If you see my husband and me necking on campus, it’s the first time we’ve been alone in 40 years.”
A. This is priceless. Thank you.Amy Dickinson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.