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Vol. XIII No.7 - Sunday April 6, 2014 - Saturday April 19, 2014


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Update by Saichon Paewsoongnern
 
 
 

ASK EMMA

 

I can’t stand my girlfriend’s friends

Dear Emma,

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.

Signed

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.

Yours,

Emma

A little patience please!

Dear Emma,

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.”

Signed,

Patience is a virtue

Dear Patience.

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.

Yours,

Emma

I can live without a drink

Dear Emma,

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?

Signed,

Tired of whingers

Dear Tired,

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.

Yours,

Emma

Know-it-alls

Dear Emma,

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 hear it.

Thank you,

Had enough

Dear Enough,

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 try.

Yours,

Emma


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