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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Small Town Secrets

Dear Mistress Maeve,

I have one of those only-in-a-small-town problems. I have an acquaintance named “Sally.” She’s a lovely woman, and I’ve always had positive interactions with her. Sally is living with “Paul” — a guy who had previously been sleeping with my good friend “Samantha.”

Problem is, even though Paul and Sally have been in a seemingly committed relationship for about three years now, Paul’s started reaching out to Samantha to be his on-the-side playmate. (Samantha tells me when he texts or emails her.) Of course, Samantha rebuffs his advances, but it makes me wonder how many other chicks Paul is propositioning. I’ve kept it to myself, but after the most recent and blatant proposition from Paul to Samantha, I feel a sense of nausea when I see the happy couple together, and want to run up and smack Paul upside the head Olympia Dukakis-style from Moonstruck: “SNAP OUT OF IT!”

Should I tell Sally about Paul’s advances toward Samantha? We share several close mutual friends — perhaps I should spill the beans to one of them?

The Fly on the Wall, Stuck in the Tangled Web


Dear Tangled Fly,

As satisfying as it would be to smack every cheater upside the head, it’s just not practical. You’d spend all of your time focusing on other people’s issues rather than your own — which is what I’m concerned to learn you’re doing now. Paul’s cheating ways are simply none of your business.

And what about Samantha? Does she know you’re thinking of betraying her trust? If Samantha is the only one Paul is pursuing, he’ll surely know the source of the information, leaving her holding the bag. In this small-town scenario, your loyalty should be to your “good friend,” Samantha.

Remember — too often the people who spill the beans are left cleaning up the mess.

Minding my business,

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