Dear Pink Lady,
My best friend is currently the “other woman” in a relationship with a married man. She frequently kvetches about the fact he is not leaving his wife as he said he would. I want to support my friend, but come on, we’ve all seen this Lifetime movie before. What should I say?
—The Other Woman’s Other Guy
Dear Other Guy,
Supporting your friend is one thing. Encouraging her self-destructive behavior is another. Any single woman who gets involved with a married man, knowing that he’s still together with his wife, is doing it for one reason only: She on some level doesn’t actually want a successful relationship. Your friend knows her lover will never leave his wife for her—although for your friend’s sake, I really hope this isn’t a Lifetime movie, because otherwise she’ll end up as an abused, alcoholic prostitute dating a con man who plays the didgeridoo before he goes out to murder other prostitutes and kidnap her children.
Assuming your friend isn’t involved with the Clark-Rockefeller-Craigslist-Killer, you should invite her over for brunch. When she starts complaining about her man, serve her a “sherry shake” and tell her that this is what happens to the characters in Anita Brookner novels—they end up sad and alone and friendless and making their own sherry shakes at brunch. But because you love her (as a friend only, right? We’ll leave aside any of the When Harry Met Sally implications from your signature), you can’t take it anymore.
Tell her the problem isn’t him, it’s her. You love her and you want her to be happy, and so you’re lovingly suggesting she see a therapist (or see a new therapist if she already has one, because if her therapist hasn’t helped her work through her issues enough to see that adultery is a bad idea, then she needs a new one) so that she can deal with her self-esteem issues and realize that she deserves a true, full relationship with someone who is 100 percent committed to her alone. Tell her that because you’re her friend, you’ll still love her if she doesn’t go to a therapist, but if she brings up T.O.M.’s name one more time in conversation, you will never serve her anything other than sherry shakes until the day you die.
The Pink Lady
Mix 1 1/2 c. orange juice
1/2 c. lemon juice
1/2 c. lime juice
1 c. cream sherry
and 1/2 c. sugar in a blender.
Fill with crushed ice and blend. Serve in wine glasses.
(This week’s drink is from Recipes From Miss Louise (New Orleans, La., 1978).)
Have a problem in need of a solution? E-mail our columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a drink in need of a problem? You have a drink, what’s the problem? (Unless you have a drinking problem, in which case sherbet punch, followed by AA, is the solution. Because sherbet punch makes even the most serious problems happy.)