I asked an artist friend to create a unique piece as a wedding gift for one of my best friends. I loved the vase she created. I found out that my newlywed friend tried to get a refund from the artist. I bought the gift to help this broke but talented artist. It seemed like a win-win. The artist refused the refund, because she had already spent the money on her past-due rent. My married friend flew into a rage but left with the vase. I am angry. What should I do?
Let go, if you can. The thoughtful, one-of-a-kind gift you offered was poorly received, but it was a gift. Once given, the receiver has the right to do with it what she desires. Unfortunately, it created drama for your artist friend, but, thankfully, she has a backbone. She stood her ground and refused the refund. If you feel strongly protective of the art, you can offer to take the piece back, with no hard feelings.
Art is intensely personal. As much as you loved the vase, your friend may have disliked it. Of course, if you give the vase a home, you are not obligated to purchase another wedding gift. An etiquette expert might disagree, but I think your married friend’s action negates the need for an additional gift.
I read your article, “Digitial integrity vs. the zombies” (SN&R Arts&Culture, July 25) while waiting for someone at a restaurant. While we were eating, I noticed a few parents handing their cellphones to small children to keep them occupied. The children were crawling on the ground, videotaping people’s legs, taping conversations, etc. I thought about confronting the parents but was afraid they would be rude, the kids would tape the encounter, and it would get posted online. We ate fast and left. What’s a better way to handle this?
Ask the restaurant manager to speak to the diners and their children. Most parents will not allow their kids to engage in behaviors that make other diners uncomfortable. Moms and dads who use a cellphone as a babysitter are usually so desperate for an uninterrupted adult conversation, they fail to watch their kids. But if parents neglect to teach children how to behave in shared public spaces, step in. It takes a village to raise a child.
I hooked up with this guy a couple of times over summer but just found out that he has a girlfriend, and she and I are sharing a dorm room. How crazy is that? I was looking at her Instagram feed and realized that they were together when he cheated on her with me. Should I tell her? Or wait and see if she finds out, then play like I didn’t really know?
Translation: “Should I spend the school year anxious that my roommate will find out I had sex with her boyfriend?” No, you should not. But once she learns the truth, it will be very difficult to live together. She will be angry over the betrayal, and it’s likely that she will blame you more than she blames her guy. It’s not logical, I know, but you are an easy target, because her feelings for you are simple. After all, she barely knows you.
And, yes, you have created a mess. Consider the time you have spent worrying about this situation, the stress you will endure when you tell her (and you have to tell her) and the stress afterward when she glares at you from across campus (after she requests a new roommate). Ask yourself: Were those hookups worth it? No way. Please learn how to treat yourself with respect so you can have a relationship with a guy who values integrity and you.