Ask Clare: My friend forced her daughter’s Girl Scout Cookies on me

Welcome to Ask Clare, our advice column.  Have a question, dilemma, or quandary?  Send it to Clare in an email or on her Facebook page.

Clare,
It’s Girl Scout cookie time. This is something that I used to be so excited for but now I dread it. I recently ran into a friend outside of Albertson’s with her daughter’s troop. She asked me if I wanted anything, I said no. I am on a diet and on a budget. I politely declined stating that I didn’t have any cash with me. She insisted and put several boxes in my cart. When I saw her a few days later, she asked me how the cookies were and asked me for money to pay for them. I was taken aback and told her I didn’t have my wallet on me. Should I be expected to pay for these unwanted cookies I thought were a gift? – Cookie monster

Cookie monster,
You do not have to pay for the cookies. If you care for this friend and want to avoid awkwardness, you should pay for the cookies and pinch pennies elsewhere. Think of it as a donation or an investment in your friendship. If you don’t mind an uncomfortable conversation, tell her that you thought she was gifting you the cookies and that while you apologize for the miscommunication, you’re not willing to pay for them. I hope, at least, that the cookies were Coconut D’lites.
– Clare

—–

Clare,
My wife and I have been together for about six years and I am starting to feel bored and trapped and my mind has been wandering. We have a three-year-old and he’s the reason I haven’t thought more seriously about divorce. He’s also the reason that we haven’t been doing the things we used to when we were newlyweds. How do I know if it is time for a separation? My dad cheated on my mom and I will never ever go there.
– Debating divorce

Debating divorce,
I would encourage you to invest some time and energy in your relationship before you discuss separation with your wife. That word could trigger a downward spiral. Relationships are super easy at the beginning but they are something that you need to set time aside for. Call a babysitter and make a reservation at Shabu Shabu for Valentine’s Day. Go out at least twice a month. Cook dinner or breakfast together. Give your wife a pass when she annoys you. Leave a sweet note in her purse. Take selfies with her. If you’re still struggling in three months, ask her to give couples therapy a go.
– Clare

—–

Clare,
I work in an office of about 45 people. We have a relatively decent breakroom with a TV, couches, tables and a kitchenette. Per my boss, I have to take my lunch between noon and 1:00 p.m. There is a woman in the office who has loud phone calls with her boyfriend that often devolve into colorful arguments. Now, there are people in the office that are talking about her relationship when she’s done with lunch. I just want to eat and dive into my beach reads. I don’t want to hear her drama or others’ gossip. If I let her know others are talking, I’m thinking she may stop. Thoughts?
– Give me a break

Give me a break,
I think you could discretely tell this woman that her conversations are being overheard without going into the gossip. You don’t want to add more drama to her plate. Alternatively, you could also consider getting a nice pair of headphones and an Audible subscription. Getting out of the office for lunch every now and again is nice too, especially if you’re near a good spot like The Slice.

Slice.
– ClareHave something to add? Do it in the comments.

Get Cactus Hugs in your inbox