Last weekend I was invited to a wedding in a fairly remote part of the countryside. I knew the groom well - we've been friends for years. The trouble was that I had nowhere to stay locally and no car, so I stayed for the reception but had to leave before the evening party to get the train back to London. He was furious about this and we had what amounted to a stand-up shouting match; he badmouthed me for leaving and said I was a freeloader. It was a dreadful situation and I feel very upset.
Trevor, London E14
UNCLE ONY: The essence of manners, my dear Trevor, is to ensure that no-one else is made uncomfortable by your behaviour. Both you and he have slipped up on this occasion but I cannot help but feel that his transgression is the worse of the two. Slipping away early from a wedding is not an ideal way to behave (unless, of course, you had let him know of your dilemma in advance - I cannot help suspecting that the fact you don't mention this means that the first he knew of it was when you left). However, starting a brawl at one's own marriage is the depths of bad manners. Have you already bought a wedding present? If not, I would suggest that a course of anger management lessons would augur well not only for his own future but that of his new wife!
AUNTIE AG: What extremely graceless behaviour - on his part, not yours, angel. You really cannot dictate to your guests what time they leave your party, whether or not it is a wedding. I'm not surprised you are upset and angry, darling, but if you can forgive him I would do so. Weddings can be hugely stressful if you are at the sharp end of organising the whole bash, and he may well have been letting months of frustration over table planning/suit-buying/speech-writing bubble up and boil over.
JUST GOOD FRIENDS?
My friend has been going out with her millionaire boyfriend for about four years. (She's 29, he's 26) She's started to feel the passion waning (has even found herself scratching during sex!) and has had a brief fling, which is now over. She gets on with the boyfriend really well as a "friend" but really feels the relationship is over on her part. Everyone thinks she's crazy because not only is he goodlooking and loaded, he's also extremely kind and loving. Should she give it another go or follow her instincts and bin him?
UNCLE ONY: Your friend should most certainly stop stringing this poor man along. Just because he has lots of money is no reason not to treat him with same respect for his dignity that you would any other human being: scratching during sex, having flings, dear me! This is one instance where having lots of money, or being "loaded" as the vulgar phrase goes, actually means this poor chap is discriminated against, because he would be much better off without her.
AUNTIE AG: Goodlooking, loaded, kind and loving: goodness, what a shame! It's always so much easier to throw over a toad-like, bad-tempered drunk, angel, but if it's not working it's not working, and I'm afraid if your friend has already been playing the field it definitely isn't happening. But good men are hard to find, so she should try to let him down gently (preferably in such a way that doesn't put him off the entire female race, dear, because I'm sure there are plenty of us out here who would love to meet him).
GREECE IS THE WORD
Me and my husband have just booked a last-minute holiday, a week in the sun, just to get the chance to relax and spend some time together. I thought there would be a really limited choice at this time of year but in fact there was loads, including a week in Sicily. I really wanted to take a flyer on Sicily, but I could tell my husband wasn't keen and we have ended up going to Greece, where we have been twice before. I am feeling so cross at this unadventurousness I can hardly look forward to the holiday. Plus our hotel doesn't have a balcony.
UNCLE ONY: I would suggest that you are suffering from a fundamental lack of self-esteem; after all, why should your choice be any less valid than your husband's? However, on last-minute travel deals, you are unlikely to be able to change your booking without losing all your money, so you will have to grit your teeth in Greece this year, take some assertiveness training courses, and be prepared to fight your corner next year.
AUNTIE AG: Oh, really, darling, surely Greece must at any rate be far more alluring than Wigan? If you set off in a bad mood of course you won't enjoy it; but how silly to ruin what is, at any rate, a week on the beach, in the sun, quaffing retsina and nibbling olives. Why don't you go to Sicily later in the year?
My boss, who I have worked with for years, has just left the company and I feel really sad. Will I get over it?
Constance, London SW4
UNCLE ONY: Given that, these days, we spend more time in the office than out of it, relationships with colleagues can be as intensive as friendships or even that with your partner. Give yourself time to grieve; after all, the severing of a happy and productive long-term team is not something to be taken lightly.
AUNTIE AG: What a shame, darling. But don't feel too bad. Bosses are like buses; there'll always be another one along in a minute.Reuse content