Dear Readers: In my (almost) 17 years of writing the Ask Amy column, I have been seriously, thoroughly, and publicly pranked two times.
I assume I might have been fooled with other “faux” problems, but the following two questions created viral gotcha moments that, while embarrassing for me, were highly entertaining for the scores of readers who immediately recognized the spoofing. I reacted to both columns by owning my gullibility and doing my very best to laugh along with my readers.
I rerun these two questions (and my original answers) today, with the reminder that — even in this very serious world we inhabit — it’s important not to take yourself too seriously.
At the end of this column, I’ll reveal the original sources of these problematic plotlines.
I’ll be back with original Ask Amy Q and A next week.
Dear Amy: I have a serious problem with my future wife. She has not been faithful to me. I recently overheard her talking to her friend about how she was unfaithful to me. When I confronted her, all that she said was that she couldn’t talk right now. I feel like I have to record everything in my own house just to learn the truth.
To make things even more stressful is the fact that she recently told a couple of people that I hit her, but it’s not true. I did not hit her. I’m not sure why she has been acting like this lately. She did just find out that her mother has breast cancer, and that might be playing a role in her behavior.
We still always find time to make love, so I don’t know why she would go out seeking it from someone else. I just can’t believe she would do this to me. I love her so much, she is my everything, and I don’t know that I could go on without her. She is tearing me apart.
What should I do? — Devastated
Dear Devasted: The first thing you should do is to NOT get married. Your fiancee’s behavior and your response are the very essence of dysfunction. If you are correct and she is stepping out on you, this is a huge problem. Your declaration that you feel like you “have to record everything ... just to learn the truth” is chilling. Her counter-accusation that you hit her is potentially very dangerous for you.
Because of an escalation in behavior I sense in both of you — and the seemingly toxic connection between you two — it would be wisest for you to separate. Seek the support of close friends, family, and a professional counselor to help you deal with this loss and change.
Dear Amy: I recently ran into a famous local sports figure at my gym.
I didn’t want to bother him, but much to my surprise he approached me. Turns out he knew me from my profession. He asked if I wanted to go out for coffee, and we exchanged numbers. A few days later we had coffee, and I thought it was pretty cool that he considered us friends.
Then everything changed. He told me he was interested in taking out a woman we ran into. She is my ex-girlfriend and we’ve remained good friends. He asked me a couple of times if I wouldn’t mind if he asked her out. I reluctantly said no. I made plans with him, and then after talking to my ex I found out that he ditched our plans to go out with her.
The next day he called me and asked if I could help him move some furniture. I barely know the guy, next thing he will be asking me to drive him to the airport. Two friends of mine warned me not to trust this guy. What’s the deal — am I being too rash, or should I dump the guy as a friend? — Feeling Foolish
Dear Foolish: The good news here is that you won’t have to dump the guy as a friend because he is not a friend. He’s an opportunist who just keeps asking you for stuff.
I suspect that when you turn down his generous offer to let you move furniture for him, you’ll likely never hear from him again.
Dear Readers: The first question (from “Devastated,”) is from the cult movie “The Room,” which is widely beloved and possibly the worst movie ever made.
The question from “Feeling Foolish” is based on a famous “Seinfeld” plotline co-starring Mets star Keith Hernandez.