It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Dealing with Clueless” whose guy friend was dating a younger girl whom everyone in their circle of friends considered “clueless” and made fun of. The LW wrote: “When things go over her head, should I continue to clue her in or just let her remain ignorant and mocked? Elise grates on my nerves something fierce, but I hate seeing someone made fun of. Yet, I don’t want to be attacked for helping her out either.” After the jump, find out where things stand with with the naive girlfriend.
While I don’t think I was cluing Elise in to make myself feel superior, I do agree with the commenters that I was doing it for my benefit instead of hers — basically so I wouldn’t have to listen to her whine.
I would like to say that no one initially ganged up on her or was mean to her. And the snarky comments weren’t malicious attacks, but usually pent up frustration. Someone plans a get-together and Elise complains, “This is stupid,” “I’m bored,” or “I’m too cold/hot/tired,” the entire time. Finally someone snaps and says, “Oh my God, my five-year-old doesn’t complain as much as you. Grow up/shut up.” While I think there’s a more diplomatic/mature way to deal with the situation, I honestly don’t think any of my friends say mean things to her just for the purpose of hurting her or embarrassing her. I have talked to them about finding better ways to express themselves.
As for Ken, about five years ago his fiancé (they were the same age) left him (partly because of his immaturity) and married someone else six months later. He took the breakup hard and ever since, the women he dates keep getting younger and younger. I don’t know if this makes him creepy, sad, or both. I tried to talk to him once about how he ignores Elise in a group setting, but I was told point blank that his relationship was none of my business. I butted out immediately.
I absolutely agree that Elise deserves better than Ken.
I no longer clue her in during conversations. Now that I’ve stopped, Ken has finally stepped up and will explain things to her — at least some of the time. I suggested to Elise that she invite a friend or two with her when we went to a haunted house last weekend. Ironically, we all got along really well. Both girls were also twenty. While Elise still whined about the haunted house being stupid, her friends called her out on it in a friendly, teasing way that seemed to work, and we all had a really great time. Except for Ken. He seemed annoyed by Elise’s friends and how her attention was focused on them instead of him. My thoughts: good for Elise.
Thank you to everyone who commented!
Thanks for the update. Sounds like you mean well for Elise and I do hope, for everyone’s sake, that she MOAs from Ken sooner rather than later.
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.