Annie’s Mailbox: Woman upset at needy friend over hotel bill dispute
Dear Annie: My friend “Janet” booked some discounted hotel rooms through an online auction.
One of them was a two-bedroom suite for two nights, which she booked with me in mind, hoping I would share it with her for an upcoming occasion.
Janet doesn’t have any children at home, but I have two teenagers and a husband.
When she first asked me about this, I told her it sounded like fun, but I’d have to check my calendar.
Three weeks ago, I informed her that I simply couldn’t manage it.
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She was so upset that I rescheduled some appointments in order to spend one night with her, and she said she’d stay the second with her husband.
The next morning, I asked what I owed her, and she named an amount that covered half the bill for both nights.
When I said it should only cost me for one night, she replied, “After I bought this, you said you would stay with me, so you should have to pay for half of the total bill.”
Annie, I never asked Janet to buy this package, and I was really put out that I had to leave my responsibilities at home to accommodate her.
Janet is a good friend, but I am miffed. What should I do?
Dear Resentful: If you gave Janet the impression that you would stay both nights, then you need to pay her, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
You are under no obligation to pay for more than you agreed to.
Resentment can also damage the friendship, so you may as well tell Janet that it is unfair for her to charge you for a room she wanted but you didn’t, and that you will pay half of what she is asking.
Next time, say “no” more emphatically.
Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married 21 years.
The problem is, he texts me all day long.
He has lots of alone time at his job. I am a homemaker, and even with the kids in school, I still have many things to do during the day.
My husband starts texting me at 6:30 a.m. and doesn’t stop until he gets home at 4:00.
Worse, he gets upset if I don’t text back.
This drives me crazy. He says I’m pushing him away, because if I don’t care to talk to him, it means I don’t love him.
I’ve explained that his constant texting stresses me out, and I don’t understand why he is so insecure that he must be in touch nonstop. I have also told him that texting so often means we run out of things to say in person.
I do love him. How can I get him to stop?
— Text-Stalker’s Wife
Dear Wife: Your husband is bored and has a toy that allows him to behave like a toddler and demand your undivided attention.
When you don’t respond, he feels like the unpopular kid at school and freaks out.
You need to train him to expect less contact.
Here’s one suggestion: Start by responding to every other message, adding a “Sorry” at the beginning. Then, make it every third message, and so on, until he won’t be surprised to get only a few texts from you each day.
If he gets worse, however, it could be considered abusive and will require counseling.
Dear Annie: This is in response to “Bettendorf, Iowa,” who was concerned about children playing in the street.
My teenage children know to watch for little kids. My neighbors also watch their children, but as an added safety measure have purchased orange traffic cones to alert all drivers that children are playing in the street.
This might work for Bettendorf’s neighborhood. She could even purchase them herself. It seems worth the expense.
I am thankful my neighbors care enough to do this, as the cones create an immediate brake pedal reaction.
And, it provides the opportunity for a friendly wave.
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