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July 31, 2000   CONTINUED e-mail e-mail to a friend in need


Dear Breakup Girl,

I am a Polynesian dancer. Ori is my favorite spare time activity, and it's important to me. This weekend, an annual Ori dance festival/competition is taking place. My performance group has been rehearsing for two months. So, I invited this really neat guy whom I've been dating for the past three months. We get along very well, have a great time, and are quite honest with each other. I invited him to watch the performance as we started preparing for the festival. Last week, his roommate got the idea to go camping and, forgetting about the competition, he accepted. Upon reminder of the competition, he still decided to go camping.

Now in practice, this does not bother me too much. I will not demand that he come watch us perform, and I would actually feel a little bad if he skipped this trip just to watch me dance. But in principle, well, I'm kind of ticked off. I have told him that it meant a lot to me, but that I understood. He's still going camping. I'm still ticked off. How do I get over this? I don't want him to cancel his trip and drag his feet to watch this festival, but I do want him to stop talking so giddily about camping this weekend and feel a little shame or look apologetic or something. Am I conniving? Or is he insensitive? Or both? I need your advice.

-- Ori Hips

Dear Ori Hips,

So I asked our spunky new Kim to find me a little more information about Ori. Her notes read, "Stresses intricate hip isolation. Sounds pretty sexy. What guy would rather go camping?"

That said, we can all understand why you'd want things both ways. Or neither. Or something. You feel bad that he's not coming to your event, but you'd feel bad if he did. But if he's gonna go camping, he should at least feel bad about it. Right? All of this is totally human, Ori; your job is to not let one misstep -- right? -- become a thing. Two people have two schedules; sometimes they conflict; sometimes people space out. I think it's good that you two have two separate cool hobbies to begin with. And that you did tell him how much the event means to you, rather than suffering in he-should-be-psychic silence.

So ideally, he'll remember to wish you the best before he goes and ask you about it first thing when he gets back. And actually write down the next one (hopefully there are some events that aren't only annual). Just step back and make sure he's conscientious about other commitments, calendar and otherwise. You don't want to browbeat, but the point is, you shouldn't have to. And not just because of that hip thing.

Breakup Girl

"My best friend's boyfriend keeps hitting on me and everyone thinks it's a joke!"


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