susan headshot3The Rent Free Life

 Dear Aunt Bossy,

A couple of acquaintances have informed me that a local woman, whom I do not know, has some kind of weird fixation on me. She accuses me out of the blue of saying things about her, and I have been told this more than once. 

I have seen her two very brief times, and have never had a real conversation with her. In otherwords, I don’t know her, and have no reason to refer to her when talking to others. The whole thing is very odd.

They tell me that she attacks my character, looks, work, and anything else she can mention, and that she tends to be obsessive in general, me being just one of her targets.  What should I do? I certainly wouldn’t open my door if she showed up, because she is sorta creepy.


Dear Befuddled,

This is too easy. Ignore her. It sounds like she has narcissistic delusions about her importance in other people’s lives, and, unless you are a psychiatrist and she hires you (highly unlikely), there is nothing you can do about it.

Don’t forget if a person treats you a certain way, you can be sure you aren’t the only one.


Spring Gifting

Dear Aunt Bossy,

It’s the gift season: graduations, Mothers’ and Fathers’ Days, weddings, etc.  I am beside myself trying to figure out what to give people.  For the grads, I usually give money because they can always use it, but for everybody else I am stumped. Flowers for Mom, I know, but what else?

In a Tizzy

Dear IAT,

I normally don’t think people should give money, but do agree with you about grads. For weddings, if you don’t know the bride and groom very well, go for whatever you can afford that is listed in their registry.  If you know them, get something that shows you think about them and put some work into getting it right.  

If they are going on a honeymoon, and you can find out where, you can arrange something for them on their trip – a sunset cruise, daily bottle of champagne, massages at the spa.  It is always a treat to be given an experience, especially when most couples are swamped with STUFF as wedding gifts.

The same principles apply to Mom and Dad.  See if you can figure out an adventure you can give them.  A trip, tickets to an event, an album of photos, a catered lunch, a local sightseeing excursion.  

Think of what you would love to receive and customize that kind of thing for the others.  Gifting is difficult, but is an opportunity to really think about other people and put yourself in their shoes.  Done well, it can be very satisfying for everyone.