Ask Amy: Don't let jerk ruin tailgating get-togethers

September 9, 2013 

Dear Amy: My husband and I belong to a genial group of people who enjoy tailgating together before our favorite university's football games. Last week one of these "Friends of Football" sent a preseason email to everyone who ever tailgated with us, saying that he and his wife have separated.

This fellow, who is in his 60s, went on to explain that his marriage ended because of his unusually high testosterone level. He said this is why he's had affairs for the last 10 years (which his wife only now found out about).

Amy, I don't care to share even a picnic table with this pond scum. I've written to his wife (who was horrified and embarrassed by his email) to tell her my husband and I hoped she would come to all the games. Apparently they've already split the tickets. We love these get-togethers, but right now I feel like skipping the tailgates Mr. Testosterone will be cruising.

What say you?

— Female football fan

Dear Fan: When it comes to football, I can take it or leave it (oops — Go Bears!), but human awkwardness? Now that's a sport I can really get behind.

Don't let a little pond scum get in the way of your good time. If you miss one moment of enjoying your own life and relationships because you're trying to punish someone else, then the bad guy wins.

Mr. Testosterone most likely doesn't really care what you think of him, but you might introduce some clarity on your own position if you say, "You know, Bud, I think dumping your wife was a really lousy move, but that's your business. However, if you have something embarrassing and hurtful to announce, I'd appreciate it if you kept me off of your email list."

Dear Amy: I am writing regarding "Worried," who was concerned that the man she was dating "still" has pictures of his wife and family on the walls of his home (only) 21/2 years after his wife's death.

My sister passed away several years ago. My brother-in-law has since married a delightful woman who added her family photos to the walls, not removing the past but celebrating what has made them the people they are today.

Worried needs to understand that departed spouses are not the same as an ex; they did not choose to end their marriage. His first wife may always be in the picture and her memory is not to be feared or competed with, just accepted as graciously as he removed the photo from his bedroom.

— Ellen in Verona

Dear Ellen: Very wise; thank you.


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