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copyright ©1999-2001

03.29.2001: Etiquette Schmetiquette
common-sense manners for real-world living |
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Annoying friends of friends...
My boyfriend and I have two very close friends, let's call them Jane and Wayne, and we used to hang out with them just about all the time. About a year ago Jane and Wayne introduced us to their very close friends Bill and Jill. At first we all hung out together at least once a week and got along great but slowly Jill and Bill began to get on our nerves. It's gotten to a point where my boyfriend and I absolutely can't stand hanging around with Bill and Jill and even Jane and Wayne annoy us when Bill and Jill are around.

Jane and Wayne will do things like call us up and ask if we want to go out for drinks and we cautiously say yes and they say "great meet us there, we are going to pick up Bill and Jill" and then we are like "Oh wait I just remembered I have to run some errands I don't think I can make it." We don't wanna say "Hey look, we hate Bill and Jill and we aren't coming if they are going to be there."

Anyway, we feel very bad blowing off Jane and Wayne because we do like them but we really despise Bill and Jill and would rather eat broken glass than spend another evening hanging around with them.

The question is what to do about this. Jane and Wayne probably think we are avoiding them and it's not that we want to. We had a party recently and didn't invite any of the four of them just to get around inviting Jane and Wayne but not Bill and Jill. We felt really bad about it. Do we just keep avoiding all of them? Do we come clean and admit that we can't stand Bill and Jill? Help?! -- C.

A: The transitive property just does not, alas, hold true for friends: the fact that Tara likes Kara and Kara likes Sara does not in any way guarantee that Tara and Sara will be bonding over apple martinis any time soon. This universal truth is, of course, something youíve already realized -- itís just too bad that Jane and Wayne havenít yet taken note of your many not-so-subtle hints.

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