This ‘elephant’ issue needs taken by ‘trunk’

Dear Annie: My best friend’s 20-something-year-old stepdaughter, “Tina,” unsuccessfully attempted to seduce my husband of 25 years, “Brad.” He had contact with Tina through a business connection. He had complained repeatedly to me that she was coming on to him, but I thought he was exaggerating until the incident happened.

Tina e-mailed Brad to come over to the home-based business office to drop off paperwork. Unbeknownst to Brad, she had waited until everyone else was out of the house to ask him to come over. When he arrived at the house, she met him in nothing but a towel.

Luckily, I had agreed to his request to accompany him because of the level of discomfort he had being around her. Brad and I were shocked in the moment, and the only comment I could come up with at the time was, “I’m sorry we interrupted your naked time.” We ended our business relationship with her family, so we rarely have any contact with her.

I have not told my friend what happened for fear it would harm our friendship. Should I act as if nothing happened?

I feel that my negative feelings toward Tina are impossible to hide when my friend talks about her. This friendship is so important to me. Please help. — Elephant in the Room Wearing a Towel

Dear Elephant in the Room: The thing about elephants in the room is that there’s no point in pretending they aren’t there. So you might as well take this issue by the trunk and tell your friend what happened. You can phrase it in such a way that you’re expressing concern for her stepdaughter’s mental health (because who in her right mind does that?), not attacking her character. Your friend may not be too surprised. I’d bet a big bag of peanuts that this isn’t the first time Tina has done something unsavory.

Dear Annie: My husband and I are at an impasse, and I need an honest opinion. He was coring a tomato over the trash can, and I replied that we should eat the core instead. He replied that if I wanted it, I could dig it out of the trash can and suck on it all I wanted. I took great offense, but he maintains that it was a joke, stating that he said nothing offensive. I am disgusted that he would even think, much less state, what he did. Opinion, please. — Not a Trash Eater

Dear Not a Trash Eater: Maybe your husband’s comment was just a bad joke. Or maybe it was a passive-aggressive expression of some underlying resentment. The only way to know for sure is to talk about it. Has he been bottling up frustration?

Have you? Keep the conversation calm and nonjudgmental if you’d like for it to be productive. The time is ripe for discussion about what’s eating at you both.

(Send questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com. This column is syndicated by Creators Syndicate columnists. For information, visit the website at www.creators.com.)

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