Dear Amy: I’m very worried about a former colleague.
I met “Gerry” two years ago when we were on the same project team. She was a funny person and has been very open about her mental issues.
After the project ended, we went our separate ways, but continued to follow each other on Instagram.
When the pandemic hit, Gerry would discuss how hard the lockdowns were and we would share different recipes and so on.
Now with the advent of the omicron variant, I think she is completely spiraling into a dark rabbit hole.
On Instagram, she constantly posted photos linking local politicians’ usernames, calling them Nazis because of restrictions.
I reached out to Gerry to see if she needed anyone to talk to, but I was just chewed out and called a “privileged b *** h.” In addition, there was an onslaught of insults directed at my family, which I will not repeat here.
It’s been a few weeks since then and I’ve stopped following her Instagram account. But a mutual friend mentioned to me that Gerry’s post is getting worse – so much worse that she was written up at work for a particularly bad one.
I’m not sure if I should reach out again and offer her a friendly shoulder to cry on, or if I should cut down on my losses and let her sit in the mess she creates for herself.
Dear Torn: I think you need to address it again in a neutral and benign way – in the style of, “Hey, I’m checking in. I’ve been wondering how you’re feeling lately.”
If she responds with a toxic multidirectional rant, you can answer, “I realize this is tough; I’m sorry.”
If she responds with a personal attack on you, do not respond, return and finish your personal commitment.
If a mutual acquaintance reaches out with concerns about her, you can suggest that the person contact Gerry directly instead of involving you.
Dear Amy: Is dating / going out with more than one person at a time passé?
You recently printed a letter from someone who is attracted to a near (geographical) who is in a “long distance” relationship with another. Although I have no problem with your answer as to how to explore the possibility of establishing a closer relationship, it is possible for the person in the middle of this triangle to have a relationship (no matter what degree) with both people without to feel guilty?
Maybe it was just the times I grew up in, the 50s and 60s, but there was certainly no problem, on both sides, if I and / or the girls I was dating, each saw more than just one person.
Sometimes I went out with three or four girls at the same time. I do not think I was alone in this.
Dear wondering: In general, if you are interested in or attracted to someone you know is in a long-term monogamous relationship with another, respect for that person’s other commitment is the most ethical thing to do, even if it goes against your own interest.
It also happens to be an extremely attractive way to behave.
It has always been like that.
Aside from emotional issues, awareness of the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases has made it important for people to be transparent about their dating and sex lives (although they often are not).
That said, it is not appropriate to see more than one person at a time. Playing the course is basically the reason why the internet was invented.
Dear Amy: I love your suggestion to put “a book on every bed.”
However, I fear that no matter how many books I give my great-grandchildren and great-grandchildren (my surrogate grandchildren), they will not be read!
I do not think their parents prioritized reading for them. They seem to prefer their tablets. They are 8-year-old twin girls and a 9-year-old boy.
Is there any way for me to encourage their reading at a distance as I do not live nearby? Or is it best to give them books?
I’m looking for reputable and age-appropriate titles.
Dear aunt: You could start a virtual “book club” with these kids. Ask the three of them to choose a book from their collection, and then you can create a Zoom or FaceTime session, where you read together and “review” your choices.
Keep your sessions short, fun and understand that it can get crazy.
You can email Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.