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Monday, October 26, 2009

Unfriendly Business

Q: I entered into a business relationship with a friend and now I'm in trouble. Help!

My friend and I have known each other since elementary school. We've always seen eye to eye on everything until now. I had what I thought was a great idea for a catering company. She loves to cook and I'm good at business, so I thought it would be a dream come true for both of us. She agreed...until we actually started the business. Now we argue over everything from how to decorate cookies to how to advertise. We have obligations, so we can't just walk away--although I've felt like it and I'm sure she has, too. What can we do?

Anne: As you say, you have obligations so you shouldn't walk away. Is there someone you can use as an arbitrator? Maybe that person could make sure you each have some input (not control) into the other's domain but mostly focus on your own areas of expertise.

If you don't have someone like that, then I'd say you need to lay down some ground rules and follow them. You should each have a vote on what the other does, but only with an explanation--none of this "I don't like the way you're doing this or that." There needs to be a business reason. For instance, if your friend is baking Christmas cookie to sell in July, it should only be if you both decided to have a Christmas in Summertime promotion.

Dee: I was disappointed when you said your friend was a woman. I was going to suggest you screw every time there's a dispute. You might still disagree but at least you'll have fun doing it.

Fights are a normal part of business. You need to develop a game plan and stick with it. Don't fuck with the other person's arena. You went into catering for a reason and with a friendship. Don't forget it!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bridesmaid Blues

Q: Anne and Dee, I am 35 and once again being asked to be a bridesmaid. A friend I had in high school and with whom I've had only a brief acquaintance since, has asked me to attend her in her wedding. This is her second. I've yet to have one. If I had had one, I don't think I would have thought to ask this woman to be my bridesmaid--we just haven't been that close in the past few years. However, I'm still of the opinion that bridesmaids have the best shot at meeting men at weddings, so I'm considering her offer. What's the cost of one more hideous dress if there's the chance of meeting a single guy--especially one willing to go to a wedding?

Anne: Go easy on yourself. You're a mature woman who wants a meaningful relationship with a mature man. There's nothing at all wrong with that. However, why go to weddings to meet men, especially a wedding for a person to whom you don't feel any real connection? Develop hobbies where you might meet men, join church or social clubs. Get a dog and walk it to strike up conversations with men--it sounds cheesy but evidently works. Be open and friendly and patient. Princes are still out there, and they're not all hanging out at weddings.

Dee: I detect the whiff of desperation, and if I do from a note, your dates do across the table. Relax. Take a deep breath. There's nothing magical about the age of 35 that means the world has curled up in the hand basket rolling its way to Hell. Stand straight, woman. Hold up your head and show a little confidence in yourself. Nothing intrigues a man more than a woman who shows some spine. Remind yourself that not all men acting single at a wedding are single…or straight. There are better ways and places to meet men. Try acting less like you need or want a man. Perhaps then one will be willing to take the leap.

Or…go to the wedding and screw the night away if you find someone interesting. No need to waste an opportunity where there will be flowing booze and guys seeking a chance to get laid. Who knows what might come from a little casual sex?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Men in Uniform--Who Can Resist?

Q: I'm attending school in Norfolk, Virginia as a freshman. I live in Kansas and have a steady boyfriend who's going to Kansas State. He says he's staying true to me and I believe him. However, I'm almost to the point where I can't keep saying the same to him. I'm surrounded my military guys all the time, and what they say about a man looking good in uniform is so true. I've made friends with a couple of really nice men, a sailor and a marine. So far we've just gone out as part of a gang, but I'm really attracted to both guys and they've indicated they're attracted to me, too. What should I do? I don't want to break up with my boyfriend, and I don't want to cheat, but I feel myself weakening.

Anne: Long distance relationships are very hard. If you and your boyfriend pledged to stay faithful, then you have to try hard to do so. Freshman year is difficult and you're far from home. Take stock of what you really want and truly feel. If it's your boyfriend, hang tough even though you might be lonely. Don't give into the thrill of a quick romance with a virtual stranger who might be at a distance himself in a month or so.

Dee: Going away to school is only a little about getting a good education. Heck, you could have done that much closer to home. It's mostly about seeing new horizons and finding out about life. I am NOT recommending experimenting with sex drugs and alcohol, but I am saying that being in a new place among new people is part of discovering what you want out of life. You and your boyfriend should be dating, learning about other people and finding out your true feelings. If you love each other, it'll come through even after dating others. This is no time to tie yourself down to one person or place. Just be sure not to do anything harmful or that you'll regret. This isn't a time to go wild, just spread your wings in a new segment of your life.

By the way, Anne and I are also here among the uniformed men of the US military, and all I can say is hubba-hubba.

Monday, October 5, 2009

To Tell or Not to Tell...?

Q: I saw the husband of a friend in a restaurant with another woman. They were pretty touchy-feely. I have no idea what to do--should I tell or not?

Anne: Is this woman a good friend or just an acquaintance? If she's a good friend, I would tell her. Maybe there's a simple explanation. If there isn't, she needs to know. Then she can make her own decision as to how to handle the situation.

Dee: I can tell you right now, if you tell her she won't appreciate it. If he has a good reason, he'll be ticked that you were trying to cause trouble and she'll think you had ulterior reasons for snitching. If he's actually a cheating bastard, she won't like your knowing--especially if she doesn't take action against him. Tell her if you want, but don't be surprised if you lose a friend in the process.

[Note: Dee and I are in the process of moving, so we aren't able to respond to your posts. Hopefully we'll be back online again next week. Please stop back and visit again then.]