Dear Annie: For the past two months, I've been dating a man; let's call him "Matt." Matt, like me, is in his early 30s. He is a manager at a local coffee shop, which doesn't sound too exciting, but he's actually really passionate about it. I find that more attractive than someone's working at a big-time corporation but hating it.
Anyway, Matt and I have been on about six dates, and I've really enjoyed each one. But I'm starting to suspect that he's hiding something. I think that he doesn't have a driver's license.
Every time we've gone out, I've driven or we've taken public transportation or used a ride-hailing service. He's had excuses week after week. First it was that he'd lent his car to his little brother for two weeks to go on a cross-country road trip. Now it's supposedly been in the shop for over a month. He doesn't drink, so I have no way of sneaking a peek to see whether he has a driver's license when we go out.
I'm wondering whether I should confront Matt about the issue or just wait for him to come clean. I don't mind driving or taking cabs (he always offers to pay for my gas or the fares), but I don't like being lied to. What gives? — Mystified in Miami
Dear Mystified: It's possible there's a personal reason for his not driving that he's not ready to reveal at this stage in the relationship. For instance, he may have lost his license because of a DUI and then decided to stop drinking. Or he may just be telling you the truth. Wait a few more weeks to see whether he opens up on his own accord. If not, steer the conversation there yourself. Politely but directly ask him what's up with the no-driving thing. He'll come clean, or he'll reassure you that he's telling the truth. (Your gut will let you know whether it's the whole truth.) If he becomes defensive and enraged over a simple question, time to throw it in reverse and back out of this relationship.
Dear Annie: This is a comment on the letter from "Tea Party Planners," who were wondering whether they should note on the invitation that there is a charge. A reader subsequently responded that he or she thinks it's rude to charge guests for anything, saying that if you can't afford to throw a party, you should find something else to do with your friends.
When our daughter was getting married in London last summer, her bridesmaids wanted to have a tea in the bride's honor. Those women who would be traveling from out of town were also invited. When I first was contacted via email about this idea, the young woman told me upfront what the cost would be for me and the special rate available for my two young granddaughters. I confirmed that I would be paying for the three of us and chipping in to help cover the bride's part. Later, I received the "formal" invitation via email, and I RSVP'd.
I am from a generation that would never charge guests to attend a formal party (let alone invite guests via email), but I didn't have a problem with the approach at all. I could have declined right from the beginning of the plan. Being part of such a lovely British high tea at an elegant hotel was wonderful for all of us in attendance. I don't even like tea, but the tray of goodies was to die for. It would have been my loss if I had declined because it wasn't what I was accustomed to. — Glad I Attended
Dear Glad: I appreciate your open-minded attitude to the newer generation's ways. Your letter has reminded me that fun comes much more easily when we let go of hang-ups about how things "should" be done and trust in others' good intentions.
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