can’t stand my girlfriend’s friends
I have a lovely girlfriend; she is smart, has a good job
and doesn’t expect me to be her walking ATM. However, I cannot stand her
friends. They are constantly pushing her to get me to pay for everything,
telling her that she should get me to buy her stuff, even buy them stuff! If
we go out in a group, which is common, they expect me to pay for everything,
not just them but any of their boyfriends that may be along too. I refuse to
pay for a group of grown up adults who all have jobs.
If I balk at paying for things, or at buying some new
thing they tell her she should get a new boyfriend who will pay. My
girlfriend always laughs these things off and never does ask me for money or
stuff but still, it is really depressing to hear this constantly. I’ve tried
to talk her into going alone but in the end the toxic friends always go with
us. What can I do? I don’t want to break up with her but these “friends” are
making our relationship very difficult to maintain.
Fed up with the friends
Dear Fed Up,
One thing you need to learn is that traditionally when
a group of Thai people go out the oldest male pays the bill – regardless of
nationality it is assumed that as an older person he is more successful and
has more money. This may be part of the issue. Another part may be that
girlfriends do tell each other things about their boyfriends, they do
encourage and discourage each other, and it’s what girlfriends do.
However, the incessant demands for buying “stuff” as
you call it, is not about traditional norms and not necessarily normal
girlfriend encouragement. They sound like greedy harpies who want their
friend’s good fortune to increase their own good fortune.
You can try to talk to your girlfriend but, like men,
women tend to stick with their friends and to ask her to choose will most
likely see her choose them. So it is now your choice. Live with the harpies
or move on to someone with less greedy friends.
A little patience please!
I recently saw the most appalling display of rude
behavior from an older American or Canadian man, not being North American
myself I am not entirely sure of his nationality but in all honesty it does
not really matter. What matters is that this older man treated a service
person with the most appallingly rude attitude simply because he could not
get what he wanted. He showed up with not enough information and then
berated the girl when she couldn’t help him. I was sorely tempted to tell
him to behave like a gentleman but realized that was probably not possible
for such a rude human being.
Instead, I would like to ask my foreign friends to show a
little patience and courtesy when dealing with people here. Not everyone
speaks fluent English and, as a guest in this country, you really should
learn how to communicate with people here, not the other way around. If you
want a problem solved make sure that you have all the information you need
at hand, make sure you explain yourself clearly and slowly and with a smile.
Remember your manners and remember the old saying, “You
catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.”
Patience is a virtue
Well, Emma really cannot add anything to this
wonderful piece of advice. Emma has always found that you get what you give,
so to those who find they never have anything but bad experiences perhaps
you would do well to look to yourself and ask why that is.
I can live without a drink
Many of my friends are complaining that the elections for
Senate are inconvenient because they cannot drink and they cannot buy
alcohol from the shops during the election period. The next one is due March
30 I believe. I cannot believe the palaver that goes on in regards to this.
I am sometimes sorely tempted to tell them that if they are that desperate
for a drink then perhaps they need to go to AA instead of the bottle shop!
I do like a tipple every now and then but the lengths to
which these people go to complain and moan about how they can’t get any
alcohol does make me wonder if they have a life outside the bar.
Perhaps I need to rethink my group of friends, the
constant negativity and whinging is really just getting to be too much.
What do you think Emma? Ditch the friends or join them in
drinking myself into a stupor?
Tired of whingers
Emma agrees with you that anyone who feels the need to
make a huge uproar over one single day of not being able to drink needs to
take a good hard look at themselves and their drinking habits. However, for
those who are absolutely desperate, one can drink in a hotel bar (perhaps
too expensive for this sort though) or simply plan ahead and buy enough
alcohol to get you through the 24 hour period.
Or go to AA and stop drinking.
I was recently in a coffee shop and encountered that most
deadly dull of all creatures; the know-it-all. This man droned on and on in
what seems to be the loudest voice possible on every possible subject he
could think of, ensuring that everyone in the coffee shop knew exactly what
an expert he was on everything.
He even went so far as to say “I have been here five
years and I have seen it all.” I think I choked on my coffee at that point.
Finally, I could not take it anymore and had to leave. I only felt pity for
his companion and I can only hope the poor dear found some relief from his
droning know-it-allness later on.
So, dear readers of Dear Emma, I have only one favour to
ask of you. Keep your voice down if you must pontificate, nobody wants to
Emma has met this creature too, in fact I suspect most
of us have at one time or the other and in general, she has difficulty in
telling such people to lower their voices since it is not actually a
library. However, one friend of Emma’s has found a solution, she pretends to
call a friend and talk on her phone and then say, loudly, “I am sorry I
can’t hear you over this man near me who is speaking very loudly, let me go
outside and I should be able to hear you there.” She then gathers up her
things, glancing at the know-it-all offender and leaves. She has informed me
that it often seems to get the point across. You may want to give this a