Ask Amy: A former work friend spirals into a dark COVID rabbit hole
Dear Amy, I am very concerned about a former co-worker.
When we were on the same project team, I met Gerry.
Gerry was a funny person and has been very open about her mental health struggles.
After the project ended, we proceeded our own ways, but we continue to follow each other on Instagram.
When the pandemic began, Gerry would discuss how hot the lockdowns were, and we would share different recipes. Now with the rise of the Omicron variant, I believe she has completely spiraled into a dark rabbit hole.
Because of restrictions, she would constantly post photos and link the names of local politicians.
There were also a host of insults against my family, which I wont repeat here.
It has been a few weeks since she was born, and she has stopped following her Instagram feed. However, another mutual friend warned me that Gerry's posts are getting worse so much worse that she was written up at work for a particularly bad one.
I am not sure if I should reach out again and offer her a quiet shoulder to cry on, or if I should cut my losses and let her sit in the mess she is creating for herself.
What is your advice?
Dear Torn: I think you should reach out one more time in a neutral and benign manner, along the lines of: Hi, Im checking in. Ive been wondering how youre doing lately.
If her response is accompanied by a toxic multi-directional rant, you may respond, I understand this is tough; I'm sorry.
If she responds with a personal attack on you, you should not respond, return away, and be done with your personal involvement.
If a mutual acquaintance asks about her, you might suggest that the person refers to "Gerry," rather than you.
Dear Amy: Is dating/going out with more than one person at a time passe?
Is it possible for the person at the center of this triangle to have a relationship (of whatever degree) with both people without feeling guilty?
Perhaps it was just the times I grew up in, the 50s and 60s, but there was certainly no problem on either side, if I and/or the girls I was dating each saw more than one person.
A few times, I was out with three or four females simultaneously.
Nullenoord I think I was alone in this.
Wondering What Happens To Into Your Life
Dear Wondering: Even if you are interested in or attracted to someone whom you know that you are in a long-standing monogamous relationship with someone else, respecting that person's other commitment is the most ethical thing to do.
It seems to be an extremely good way to behave.
There has been a long time since.
Being aware of the possibility of contracting STDs has made it important for people to be transparent about their relationship and sexual life (even though they often aren't).
That being said, seeing more than one person at a time is not easy.
The idea of playing the field was a central reason for the internet being conceived.
Dear Amy, I love your suggestion to put a book on every bed.
I know that no matter how many books I give my great-nieces and nephew (my surrogate grandchildren), they are not read.
They dont think they prioritized reading to them, according to me.
The tablets are apparently preferable.
They are 8-year-old twin girls and a 9-year-old boy.
Is there any way for me to encourage people to read from a distance as I do not live in the country? Or is giving them books the best I can do?
I do not think about well-reviewed and age-appropriate titles.
A loving aunt
Dear Aunt: You could start a virtual book club with these kids. Ask them to select a book from their collection and then you could schedule a Zoom or FaceTime session where you read together and review your suggestions.
Keep your sessions brief, and fun, and understand that it might be zany.
You can send an email to Amy Dickinson, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.