An Apartment or a Monastery?
Dear Margo: I met my girlfriend six years ago online when I was in college. I lived in the U.S. at the time, and she lived in Europe. After speaking regularly for two years, leading up to eight-page letters every other day, we decided to meet in person. When we did, we began an official romantic relationship. We visited each other twice a year for three to four weeks in our respective countries.
The problem came from my roommate’s reaction when I informed him she would be visiting (her first time) and staying in our apartment. We three roommates at the time were all Christians, but apparently with different views on what is acceptable behavior. One roommate, “Bob,” objected to my girlfriend’s visit on the grounds of moral impropriety. He was so adamant that he told me that if she stayed, even if I slept on the couch, he would have to leave our apartment during that time. Part of me felt that the apartment was his, too, and therefore he should have a say, but another part felt that as a grown man in a committed relationship, I should not be forced to divide my already minimal time with her by having her stay elsewhere. Ultimately, I allowed Bob to live elsewhere during her stay.
To this day, I wonder whether I made the wrong choice in choosing my desires (and my girlfriend’s) over Bob’s. We are still friends, but the friendship does seem to have been silently fractured by the incident. — Lingering Thoughts
Dear Ling: It is nice to have principles, but I find it onerously judgmental to lay them on other people. I’m glad Bob removed himself from the burgeoning Sodom and Gomorrah situation in the apartment. I mean, it’s not like you brought home three strippers. This man sounds like a prig to me, and I wouldn’t give the matter any more thought. — Margo, maturely
A Bishop Who’s a Lemmon
Dear Margo: I recently was baptized and joined the Mormon Church. I really enjoy my new “family” except for one person: the bishop. This feeling is taboo because people act like he walks on water. I say he is just a man appointed to a position. This man didn’t like me the minute he met me.
When I started at this church, I was in crisis, and I told a couple of people about it. They said go to the bishop. He turned me down flat-out and said, “We don’t help people financially.” That was a bald-faced lie, and I knew it. The excuses I got were that I was not a member yet, that he was stressed, blah, blah, blah. As time progressed, my problem became worse. Again, I was turned down, and he didn’t even call me by the right name. I corrected him twice about my name, and he still got it wrong, which was proof to me that he was doing it on purpose.
Do you think I am making something out of nothing? And to whom do I go to let someone know about this person? I think he treats me badly because I am disabled. (I think this because there are other disabled people who also dislike him.) — Disillusioned
Dear Dis: As in the Catholic Church, Mormon bishops are not at the top of the executive chart, and they are, indeed, appointed. Should you feel like voicing your displeasure with this man (which I don’t recommend, because I think it will prove fruitless), you can choose from among his superiors, as listed at this site: http://www.mormonhaven.com/chain.jpg.
While I don’t think you’re making something out of nothing, I also don’t think you should throw away the baby (the Mormon Church) with the bathwater (the bishop). Steer clear of him, and enjoy your “family” in the church you chose. I would look to public service agencies that are perhaps not church-connected. — Margo, evasively
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Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via the online form at www.creators.com/dear-margo.html. Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.
COPYRIGHT 2011 MARGO HOWARD
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