Direct Answers - Column for the week of December 16, 2002
I recently went on a date with this guy I met online. We had been emailing for a few weeks before we decided to go out together.
We met at a restaurant, and he brought me a huge vase of flowers. He was sweet, polite and gentlemanly toward me and our conversation was good. But I felt embarrassed by all the attention given to me by the waitresses and bus staff regarding the flowers.
That's not even the whole story. You see, at the end of the date, this guy drove me home and got this huge box out of the trunk. He said he had gotten something else besides the flowers. We went in the house, I opened the box, and it was a DVD player!
I told him I couldn't accept such an expensive gift, but he refused to take it back. My family keeps telling me to give it back to him, and that it is morally wrong to keep it. I told him how I felt about the flowers and DVD player, and he just said he gets carried away sometimes.
I don't want to date him anymore, but because he and I have a lot in common I thought we could be friends. He has agreed to be friends, but I still have the DVD player! Part of me wants to keep it because I've wanted one for so long, but I could never afford it because I am unemployed.
I want to do the right thing and give it back, but then again, I want so much to be able to keep it. What do you think?
Ramona, people who give something "over the top," usually expect something in return. That something is usually a thing you would not have given freely in the beginning.
When you create a chink in what is acceptable, you open yourself to all kinds of consequences, and you create a propensity in yourself to act weakly. Accepting this gift makes you look bad. It makes it appear your standards depend on the price being right.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of writing an advice column is this. We get to see so many patterns of behavior repeated again and again. The behavior we see in your letter often ends in one of two places. Either you become vulnerable to men who think they can buy what they want from you, or you end up married to a man you didn't even want to date. Send it back.
In February 2002 my friend Helen asked to borrow money or the bank would take her house. The money Helen borrowed I was saving for new carpet in my house. When I asked for it back, she said she lent the money to her friend Sandi, who is having an affair on her husband. Helen promised to repay the loan once Sandi repays her.
Helen is also having an affair, and I even covered for her with her husband by saying she was with me. In August I charged the carpet on a no-interest, no-payment credit card. If I don't get the money back by February 2003, I owe the whole amount plus six months of finance charges.
If I take Helen to court, all of this including her cheating will come out in the wash. What can I do to save this friendship and get my money back?
Karen, we make our own future, but in a way so subtle most of us can't figure it out. Involving yourself with deceitful people in a web of deceit was bound to come back to haunt you. If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.
Perhaps a lawyer could help. But if you can't get your money returned, consider it the most valuable lesson you have learned in a long, long time.
About The Author
Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at www.WayneAndTamara.com.
Send letters to: Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield, MO 65801 or email: DirectAnswers@WayneAndTamara.com.
Follow Your Dreams: Believe In You
What you believe in the inside, to a large extent determines how your life turns out. If you believe you cant, chances are, you are right.
Direct Answers - Column for the week of May 26, 2003
Increase Awareness With One Simple Question
There are many ways we can increase our own personalawareness about our life and what we want to make out of it.Yet, we seldom ask the question, "Why am I doing this?" Byconsciously becoming more aware of what we do and why, wecan then make phenomenal changes. Usually in leaps andbounds. This includes losing weight, being happier, workingin a job we love, and all the rest of the things that mostof chase.
Look Out Any Window
Over my extended Thanksgiving weekend I took some time to look through my telescope at the moon. I saw the full moon rising in the east-northeast and thought it would be a good night for a look, so I set up my Meade reflecting telescope in the kitchen and aimed it toward the window.
Your Support Network
Quick. Who's in your support network? Huh? What's a support network? Do I have a support network? Honey, who's in my support network?
Direct Answers - Column for the week of September 1, 2003
Musicians Survival was Truly a Miracle: Singer Songwriter Fights for his Life
Every morning when singer-songwriter Michael Alan looks into the mirror and sees the surgical scar across his chest he is reminded of how lucky he is to be alive. Three years ago he suffered a major heart attack and a year after the episode he was required to have open-heart surgery. The heart attack caused physical disability and the onset of severe depression. In perspective his life evolved around a course of different therapeutic modalities for several years.
A Cat In The Hand Is Worth Two Birds In The Bush!
I bought this computer just over two years ago with my first venture into the world of credit cards. I'm a mature woman and have seen and done a lot in this world, but nothing could have prepared me for this. When I finished high school computers were not standard curriculum and, as was the way back then, I did the family thing with little to do in the way of secondary education. So, with my children married and raising families of their own, some maniacal little voice in my head told me I could get a credit card, buy a computer, learn how to use it, make a whole new life for myself and all would be rosey. NOT!!!
I believe it's important for you to develop a mission statement for your life; one that is unique and articulates your values, goals, dreams; how you want to live.
The Challenge To Succeed
So much has been written about success that one often gets confused about what success is all about. Success is such a personal thing that it may mean different things to different people. Yet we need to have a simple definition which should apply to all successful people and situations. The ultimate purpose of being successful is to take pride in one's achievements and be happy; and I think one of the best description has been put forward by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Basic Buddhism - Doing What is Right
I find of particular interest in the Eastern Religions many threads that survive in other, later, belief systems. Not only do they survive in textual fact, but they seem to be super relevant to New Age and reformed movements. I speak especially of Right Action, Positive Thought, Positive Action, seeing only Good in all things and all people and believing in a Oneness.
Growing From Good To Great
I have never been fond of white-water rafting, probably because I don't like cold water. The sport consists of a raft, fast moving cold water, raft riders, and a raft leader/guide. I once saw a picture of a group of girls out for some white-water rafting fun. The girls in the picture were all smiling and waving to the camera while the leader's eyes were straining to see down stream. No doubt he was looking for the next big rock, up coming turns in the river, or other challenges that they would have to navigate.
Are You The Master Of Your Destiny?
How strong are you?
What is My Life Purpose?
Why am I here?
Trouble, trouble, trouble. Nothing but trouble. The night before, I was just talking to a friend-cum-feng-shui master about the direction of my life. The horrible things that are currently going in my life right now. The things that could go wrong, is going to go wrong or has gone wrong. I spent a total of 3 hours complaining, ranting and raving about how unfair life is and how come others who are close to me or my husband can afford luxurious lifestyles. How come they have 2 family cars and we have to share 1 car. How come they can afford to have four computers for the four family members of their home. The youngest being barely 3 have her own computer at all ? like she's got tons of work to do on her own and absolutely needs her own computer, you know what I mean? I was just ranting and raving about how my kids have to fight with me for the computer ? me rushing things out for my clients and my kids sitting right next to me, waiting for me to finish with the consistent but patient enquiries like, 'Mom, are you done yet?' or 'Have you made enough money yet?'.
Your Turn On The Holodeck
Good morning Roy, good morning Joseth.
Addicted To Her
Direct Answers - Column for the week of August 4, 2003
Starting A New Disaster Relief Program
I believe that it is an amazing time in our history. Mankind is truly showing his/her capabilities, they are observable because all thoughts are brought into physical being as symbols of thought. War and peace are physical demonstrations of thought. Disasters are also symbols of society's thinking.
If I Hurt You, Then Im Sorry
This statement has stopped many a war in my house. My oldest two children are two years apart in age and would fight about everything and nothing when they were little. One would anger the other and then deny that it ever happened. One would accidentally harm the other during play and not want to accept responsibility for the other's anger. Seldom did a day pass by that one of them wasn't screaming at the other for some horrible crime. It never failed when I would be brought in to mediate, they'd both claim they were innocent and the other was bad. How many times did one of them try to convince me that the other was lying and just trying to frame them for a crime they didn't commit. What's a parent to do?
Fear, Faith, and Believing vs. Knowing
Fear is deeply rooted in uncertainty. Think about it; the only you've ever feared was the unknown. All fear and fears humans have experienced and continue to experience is rooted in uncertainty. A drive in an unfamiliar place can prompt fear, an unknown result, a stranger behind you, or a dark alley.
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