Ask Wendy

Jewish World Review May 31, 2001 / 9 Sivan 5761

Couple he fixed-up is in a nasty breakup; overwrought over ring

By Wendy Belzberg -- I like to play matchmaker and to introduce single friends to one another. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I recently set up one of my close women friends with a work colleague; they dated for about six months, but their relationship ended in a nasty breakup. Now my friend won't talk to me. What should I do?

You know what they say: No good deed goes unpunished. If you knew there was something seriously wrong with your colleague (you were aware that he was an alcoholic with violent tendencies, for example) and you didn't disclose this in advance, your friend would have cause to be upset. If, on the other hand, things just didn't work out, your friend is being ungrateful. In the former case, you owe your friend an apology; in the latter, she owes you one.

In either case, you probably should recognize that doing others this kind of favor is a risky business. Stick to your day job. (Or make your friends sign a waiver in advance of a first date.)

My father passed away a year ago. He promised me a ring but every time I ask my mother for it she has a new excuse about why I shouldn't get it: It's a man's ring, it won't fit your finger, you have others sisters who would resent your getting it. My mother says that she never heard my dad promise it to me--even though he did so in front of her. I think my mother harbors bad feelings toward me, is resentful of the close relationship I had with my father and is trying to hurt me.  

It is also possible that the ring has sentimental value to your mother, every bit as much as it does to you. Perhaps she is not ready to part with the ring but does not know how to tell you; perhaps she is not ready to let your father go and this is one way she continues to hold on.  It does sound to me as if your mother is withholding something from you that you desperately want.

You and your mother have more to work out than the matter of your father's ring. Many mother-daughter relationships are less than ideal, but if you truly believe that your mother would intentionally try to hurt you, it is time either to get a professional involved to help the two of you work out your problems. Or to walk away. Better to leave the ring on the table but to have your peace of mind.

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05/16/01: The gift was counterfeit; settling for the daughter; the lush and the ostrich
05/02/01: 'Jew questions' and falsifying faith; magic marker mayhem; I want kids
04/25/01: Anti-Semites everywhere?; shilling for gifts; my kid is the 'weakest link'
04/05/01: Celebrating when Passover is inconvenient; What's wrong with the name 'Melvyn,'?; Difference dilemma: Husbands and wives and Passover observance levels
03/19/01: 7-4=insensitivity?; baby showers and tempting fate; Splitsville before or after marriage?
03/12/01: Passover party-pooper; slapped by a moral dilemma
02/14/01: Human 'mutts,' getting over it, same-sex kesubas
02/08/01: Bar/bat mitzvah blues, homework he-l, from potty to potty-mouth
01/24/01: Naughty neighbor, unprofessional colleague is dead, I'm a Jew, now what?
01/15/01: Rabbis who won't; when the rules of the 'game' change; ungracious grannies
01/08/01: My kid hates Hebrew school; Stay single or abandon heritage?
01/02/01: A Jewish Grinch? Baby bigots and when grandparents call it quits
12/18/00: Babes in Chanukah Land; my husband the kvetch; bad hair marriage?
12/04/00: My niece is a no-goodnik, when lifecycle events become dangerous, Orthodox v. Reform education
11/28/00: My ex is ruining my kids' souls; the mouth that won't stop
11/21/00: Battling brothers; how to keep a nanny
11/08/00: OY VEY! my son wants to become Orthodox; kiddies should avoid family therapy
11/08/00: Rabbi v. therapist, grandparents bearing gifts, I want my son's teacher for a sister-in-law
10/24/00: Let him enlist?, 'My son the actor'? Eating with the 'help'
10/10/00:Tipsy teens, protective spouses, kosher common-sense
10/03/00: I'm not Jewish --- not that there's anything wrong with it; mezuza machlokes; when granddad has cancer
09/25/00: I can't take Rosh Hashanah! Something for nothing? My husband needs a dinner mate
09/18/00: 'My kids' Jewish education stinks', boyfriend bandit, and single mother not by choice
09/11/00: Bris brouhaha breaks my heart, LET ME SLEEP! --- and Why can't I hold a job?
09/05/00: Righteous anger, 'dissed' daughter --- and how not to make a match
08/21/00: When one spouse becomes more religious than the other; "But the cleaning lady is part of the family!"; Why He invented 9-month gestation periods
08/21/00: 'Fessing up to granny about abandoning one's people, non-kosher sis-in-law, and 'my niece is marrying a loser'
08/14/00: Marrying 'in' for questionable motivations; Should a do-gooder be reimbursed?
08/07/00: Communing with the clouds, betrothal, and banishing bosses
07/28/00: Small-city guys, self-centered siblings
07/21/00: When a child takes religion seriously, marriage obsession, and guests who just don't get it
07/14/00: Divorcing brother-in-law, uncampy kids, and a dot.comer who makes it big time
07/07/00: Hypocrites, reality checks, and the 'real estate challenged'


© 2001, Wendy Belzberg