Ask Rachel

Ask Rachel

Email Rachel at telegraph@durangotelegraph.com

Dear Rachel,

I’ve got this supposed “friend” who always invites me over for barbecues or beers or other fun shenanigans. Cool, right? Except he always attaches some work to it. Like, “Oh, while you’re here, help me unload this truck full of fire-wood” or “Since I’m grilling, you don’t mind cleaning up after my dog, right?” I don’t mind pitching in by doing dishes, but this feels like an underhanded way to win my labor. How do I put my foot down while still getting invited for brats?

– Won’t Work for Food

Dear Handout,

How do you put your foot down? Easy! You simply say, “No! I will NOT clear out your rain gutters. Our friendship is based entirely on the camaraderie built over eating food that you have cooked. I refuse to compromise the integrity of our bond by belittling it with labor. Now pass the potato salad.” If your friendship is built on honesty and respect, I see no way this could end with you eating cereal at home alone.

– Anything helps, Rachel

 

Dear Rachel,

My mom packs a banana in my lunch every day. I know she just wants me to get my daily potassium. But I can’t stand eating bananas. The texture, the taste, all of it. Doesn’t matter if the banana is still Kermit-green or if it’s overripe and squishing out of its peel, or any degree of yellow in between. And almost no one wants to trade a banana at lunch. What else can I do with these disgusting fruits besides throwing them out?

– Banana Dictatorship

Dear Plantain Republic,

You gotta make friends with an aspiring baker. Someone whose freezer has plenty of space for misfit bananas. Someone who has all the flour and chocolate chips and eggs needed to make delicious breads but just needs a banana bestie to supply the hook-up. That would be a win-win. Otherwise, you could start packing your own lunches. But let’s not be rash.

– Peeling out, Rachel

 

Dear Rachel,

Please help me with this awkward social interaction. A lot of times, when I’m walking my dog, strangers will comment and say, “What a pretty dog.” (She is, BTW.) What is the proper response? When I say “thank you,” it just seems odd because it’s not like I had anything to do with how she came out (other than picking her out from the line up at the shelter). But then when I say, “I know,” it sounds boastful and again, like I’m taking credit. Please help – I don’t want to come off like a bitch, if you’ll pardon the pun.

– Walking the Pooch

Dear Luke Dogwalker,

It’s a tenet of attentive listening to answer statements with questions. For example, you can say, “Yeah, you think she is?” Even if they are lying about your dog’s attractiveness, people will feel obligated to answer in the affirmative. Then you can ask, “Since you like her so much, would you like to come over and play with her?” And if they say yes, then you can make them unload your firewood for you.

– Doggedly, Rachel 

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