DEAR AMY: I need help with my "boyfriend."
We are both over-the-road truck drivers. I work the West Coast and he the East Coast, with minimal coast-to-coast runs.
We met at the truck yard I run out of. We got to talking, then dinner, then to ... well, ummm, yeah. He seemed like a nice guy. I would consider moving toward a dating relationship in six or 12 months.
Well, the next day he wanted me to quit my job, jump on his truck and ride off into the sunset with him, which turned me off big-time.
I told him that if he was all that interested in me, he shouldn't rely on one night. Three months later, we're still talking, but he still wants me on his truck and is trying to put deadlines on it.
My feelings haven't really changed that much: Friends, yes, dating/long-term relationship or working in close quarters, no.
I've wanted to tell him this without sounding like a jerk because he really is a nice guy, but he just gets pushy about wanting to be with me on such short notice.
Can you offer me some awesome advice? — Left Coast
DEAR LEFT: First, a word of advice regarding your own behavior: When you "well, ummm, yeah" with someone after one conversation and one shared meal, you're playing relationship roulette.
There are times when two big rigs bumping in the night would be fine, fun — and a nice jump-start to your road warrior life. But then there are times when being intimate with someone so quickly is very unwise (if not outright dangerous — for research please watch the classic one-night-stand cautionary tale "Fatal Attraction").
I'm not saying your boyfriend is a bunny boiler — only that he is a potential bunny boiler (we all are).
Pressuring you to abandon your own career and ride off with him into the sunset after one encounter is behavior that may sound like romantic (to him), but it is needy, controlling and selfish.
Here's what you should say: "I like you, but I don't know you all that well. I will not ditch my rig in order to ride with you. I'm just not going to do that. If you can accept having a friendship with me, that would be great. If you can't, I understand."
DEAR AMY: More than six months ago, a former colleague's daughter died tragically and unexpectedly.
I collected donations, most of which were cash, added my contribution, and then wrote a check to the charity they had selected and sent it to the colleague with our condolences.
When several months had passed and the check had not been cashed, I first contacted the charity, who confirmed that they didn't have the check, then sent an email to the colleague asking how he was doing and letting him know he was in our thoughts and prayers.
He said they had not been able to open all the cards from people yet, and I let him know about the check, but that we all totally understood how difficult this was. Several more months have passed and the check has not been cashed.
Should I send an email to the entire company asking those who contributed to contact me, then offer to return their money? Should I have sent the donation directly to the charity? — Compassionate
DEAR COMPASSIONATE: You should have sent the check directly to the charity.
I hope you can understand how a shocked and grieving family may not be able to even open cards of condolence. At this point, work with your bank to have this check voided and send a new one to the charity, with instructions for the charity to notify your colleague of the donation.
DEAR AMY: I'm responding to the letter from "Future Widow," who was worried about what to do for a service after her nonreligious husband died. I thought your recommendation to celebrate his life during his life was fantastic.
My family faced something similar. We had a tiny service and met afterward at mom's favorite restaurant. We were so happy to see it brimming over with friends. — Grateful
DEAR GRATEFUL: This sounds perfect.