P Is the Most Problematic Letter

"Social Q's" is Philip Galanes's advice column in the New York Times.  Every Monday in Anti-Social Q's, I will answer the same questions as "Social Q's," dropping at anti-social cues.

This week Philip discusses pictures, places of worship, picky eaters, and a perplexing question.  So I guess the theme is things that start with the letter P.

Photo Op

I went to a dinner party while my wife and daughters were on an exotic vacation.  A woman asked about them, so I gave a quick update and opened the photo file on my iPhone and showed her a picture of them riding camels.  I expected her to pass the phone around the table.  Instead, she began thumbing through all of the other photos on my phone — some of which were extremely revealing.  Panicking, I retrieved the phone by saying, “You don’t want to see all of those.”  The woman made a snarky comment about my obviously having something to hide.  Was I wrong to give her the phone?

Don, Cincinnati

Yes.  Never ever keep photos you do not want people to see on your phone.  Quite frankly you should not be taking pictures you do not want others to see at all.  Just wait until she tells your wife.

Home for the Holiday

With Rosh Hashana coming, I am once again confronted with the problem of going to a different temple from my parents.  I get huge pressure from my mother, in particular, about not going to the family temple where I grew up.  I have tried to address this by telling her I go to the temple in the town where I live because I love it.  Is there a better way to handle this?

R. B. G., New Jersey

Stop going to temple altogether?  Then she will be grateful you are going anywhere.

Parting Shot

My husband and I gave a party in our backyard.  We decided to forgo meats and prepared a lavish vegetarian picnic.  Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.  But I have a good girlfriend whose husband is a picky eater.  They stayed from noon until 6, but the husband ate nothing.  The wife seemed a little discontented when they left.  (Maybe because she didn’t think she would have to make dinner that night?) Do I need to apologize to her, even though her husband has the palate of a 10-year-old boy?

Janaina, Connecticut

Did you tell them in advance that everything would be vegetarian?  Should not picky eaters not be eating meat?  This guy was just being an asshole because he has a problem eating like a healthy responsible adult.  If anybody should be apologizing, it should be him.  Make sure to invite him to future vegetarian events and not tell him what the fare will be.

September Song

Even though I am 27 and long finished with school, my heart sinks on Labor Day, much more so than on New Year’s Day — with the new calendar year, “Auld Lang Syne” and all that resolution stuff.  Any suggestions?

James, Park Slope, Brooklyn



One comment

Profile photo of AsFarAsImConcernedNelliesStillFantasticAsFarAsImConcernedNelliesStillFantastic
September 3rd, 2013  3:31 PM

That meat eater should have never been invited. What an ass!