Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
I’m happily single between relationships. I alternate between two
friend’s families for big holidays. This Thanksgiving neither family was
in town so I went to a different friend’s house. She makes a tradition
of taking in strays. I was cautious because some of those strays have
turned out to be people I have actively disliked. Note: I have a
reputation for being able to tolerate almost anyone. The person I was
seated next to kept up a low volume stream of sarcastic insults about
virtually everything that was being discussed. Painfully it included her
uninformed but vocal and critical opinions during the “what are you
thankful for” part of the meals. I want to ask my friend what she sees
in this person. Is there a tactful way to ask why she invited such a
B****? Also she just invited me to another party and I simply don’t
want to go if this woman’s going to be there.
Dear Not Thankful:
I think you ask the question without the B word, and you also explain
why. Everyone’s entitled to be the hostess to whomever they choose.
But for the guests at an event where the motley crew is not predicable
there’s always the risk of encountering people you do not enjoy. It’s
possible this person felt that you were anti-social, but I confess that
being trapped at a dinner table doesn’t bring out the best in me either.
When you talk to your friend, don’t start out with your critique. You’re
trying to avoid having both feet down your throat. Ask what she most
likes about Ms. X, how she knows her, and how often they get
together socially. Then ask if she could hear the stream of
commentary, or if any of the other guests have said anything. End
with something like, I always like coming to your home, but I’m going
to ask you if she’s going to be at any sit-down event before I say yes.
I prefer to be around people who are kind and caring, people like you.
The ending should soothe rough edges, but know that if they’re
friends, whatever you say will be repeated in some form.