When You See Icicles in Hell

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

Your recent answer to the person who attended a company party
under duress made me laugh. I was actually looking forward to mine.
I’d worked there twenty-five years and have many great relationships
with my former colleagues, clients, associates, etc. It was a total blast
to see everyone with whom I’d lost touch. Except for one guy who was
trying to be very in touch! He got very drunk and kept wanting to hug
me. I’m not talking once or twice but seven times. When he heard me
say I was driving home that night after the party (two hours), he kept
saying “Stay with me! Stay with me!” I was embarrassed and avoided
him as much as possible, but now I am unsure what to do. He sent me
an email suggesting we “get together for a private drink.” Back in the
day I might have done it, but that was two marriages and twenty
years ago. Should I reply vi email, phone him, send a message back
via a colleague or just ignore him.

When You See Icicles in Hell

Dear When You:

Clearly the message you want to deliver is Thanks But NO Thanks,
with a double emphasis on the N.O.! A person who was not intoxicated
either with ego or alcohol would have gotten the message the night of
the party that you are not interested in personal time together. Why
he thought you might be may have its origins from back in the day,
but assuming you did nothing to support his fantasies, he’s going to be
very disappointed.

I don’t think ignoring him is the right solution, though it’s tempting,
and you could try it for a while. I would counsel not answering him
directly, and making a point of talking with the person at your old firm
whom you trust the most not to embellish or gossip. Say So-and- So
got drunk and “sort of came on during the party” but you’re “pretty
sure you gave him the “No thanks” message. That gets your side of
the story in the timeline, in case people didn’t witness it. If the guy
writes back, send him an email that says, Thanks but no thanks. My
life is busy and I’m not interested in one-on- one time. Try to avoid
lying about your relationship status. But if he persists, call your friend,
explain the problem, and ask her or the right other person to shake
him by the collar and make him stop pursuing you.