Dear L. A. Plume
I have a habit of leaving my computer on when I go out in the evening. When I come home it is so easy to read my emails and respond, but I really shouldn’t do that after I have had a few cocktails. Any suggestions?
Put a note on your computer that reminds you not to push “send” until the morning. If you’re feeling very creative and feel you have just the proper responses, save them as a draft. Sending emails after cocktails falls into the same category as drunk dialing and very rarely has the outcome you would like when, the next morning, you realize what you’ve done.
L. A. Plume
Dear Ms. Plume,
I have a social situation at work and I just can’t seem to noodle out the proper response. I have a new job and one of my co-workers keeps inviting me to her house for “girls night” parties. It’s nice of her to include me, but from what I hear, the evenings consist of getting drunk, stripping, and dancing while they sing karaoke. As you might imagine, this does not appeal to me. I don’t want to offend her, particularly as her position is higher than mine and I don’t want any ill will at work, but neither do I want to be associated with her socially. How can I politely tell her that a bunch of drunken old ladies pretending to be naughty teenagers is not my cup of tea?
The picture I now have of this in my mind is really pretty funny but I can totally relate to your not wanting to participate. You could get a video camera and go to one of the parties and tell everyone that you are taking videos for a media project and are thrilled to be able to have the opportunity to film them. However, there is the odd chance that this might appeal to them and you could become their official videographer, which would not solve the problem. You could tell your co-worker that you don’t drink, strip, or dance, and that it just breaks your heart to be in the company of those who are so accomplished when you are so lacking. Or you could simply tell her that you appreciate the invitations but that history has taught you that business and pleasure are not a good mix for you. Good luck; on the off chance that you select option number one – do send a copy of the video. On second thought – never mind, there is already enough road kill on the streets.
L. A. Plume
Dear L. A. Plume,
My grandchildren are a mess. They have terrible table manners, are rude and thoughtless. My daughter simply doesn’t spend enough time with them and she doesn’t seem to notice, or care, that they are little monsters. I’m embarrassed to eat in a restaurant with them and don’t even like having them at my house because they get into my things without any respect. My daughter, however, thinks I should be the perfect granny babysitter and drops the children off without notice. I wouldn’t mind helping her out if the children were better behaved, but I have my own life and responsibilities, which – like her children’s manners – seem to be of no concern to her. What can I do?
I referred this question to our beloved expert Mr. X, who has far more experience with other people’s wayward children than I do. His response was: “Shoot them and eat them; they’re protein.” I hope this helps.
L. A. Plume