DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband is a very sweet, good-natured guy. But lately, he keeps upsetting me with a particular annoying (and in my view, very inconsiderate) habit. He loves taking photos of me, including candid photos when I don’t realize he is taking them.
I accept it is part of who he is, and I try to be patient about it. The really upsetting part is that he sometimes sends these photos out without my consent, even if I find them embarrassing. For example, he sends them to his family on a group chat that includes nine relatives. Today, he even sent an embarrassing photo to one of my friends/co-workers. I never find out until after these pictures are sent.
I have repeatedly tried to explain that this upsets me and is an invasion of my privacy. I also explained that some moments are intimate and should be left between us. But he doesn’t get it and laughs it off. He claims all the photos are “cute” or “beautiful” and that I shouldn’t mind.
The last two times that I found out he sent photos, I felt rage. What do I do?
GENTLE READER: He is not all that sweet and good-natured if his idea of fun is to hound, upset and embarrass his wife. This is not “part of who he is,” as you assert; it is something he chooses to do.
And whoever put cameras within easy reach of all by putting them into telephones has a lot to answer for. Only an exhibitionist would want to live in constant public view, although there do seem to be a lot of those around.
But your problem is bigger than that. Miss Manners suggests that you stop arguing about the photographs and instead find out why your husband thinks it is all right to annoy and upset you.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My son-in-law, Liam, has been asked to be the best man at the fall wedding of his friend Cody. Cody and Liam have communicated, at most, three or four times via text in the last three years.
Cody has asked Liam to throw a five-day destination bachelor party. Not only that, he and his fiancee are asking the members of the wedding party to fly to Austria for their “first” wedding, stay there for six days, then travel to Italy for their “second” wedding and stay there for another six days. (No one in the wedding party has any connection to these places.) And of course they are also expected to bestow a gift on the greedy couple.
My daughter figures attending the wedding would cost them about $20,000, and that’s without the bachelor party. They would also have to take their young son with them.
Liam is afraid that if he says no, he will lose Cody as a friend, while my daughter is telling him that Cody already isn’t his friend. (I’m trying to stay out of it.) If she is successful in convincing Liam not to participate in this fiasco, how can he back out gracefully?
My suggestion would be to call Cody and say, “You’ve got to be kidding. There’s no way this is going to happen,” but I’m sure you have a more gracious response that would still get the message across.
GENTLE READER: Unless you are also kidding. It is hard for Miss Manners to imagine that anyone would accept these terms -- let alone still want to be friends with the person who set them.
All Liam has to say is, “I’m sorry, but I had no idea what this would involve. I simply can’t do it. We wish you all the best.”