Newfound lesbian love of marriage

Dear Ms. Behavior:

My friend Cindy has always made fun of lesbians who marry. It’s been her main comedy routine at dinner parties and cocktail hours for years. She recently met a perfectly nice woman (I’ll call her Nan) and moved in with her. All is well and good, except that the big bomb was dropped last week when Cindy — without consulting any of her long-time friends — got on her knee in front of the Grand Canyon and asked Nan to marry her. We, Cindy’s circle of friends, are utterly flabbergasted. Of course, we’re also concerned that Nan (who has a notice on Facebook announcing her engagement) may have pressured Cindy into it. Without seeming like total drags or sourpusses over this, can we all get together and confront Cindy about what changed her mind so suddenly? My partner says it’s unfair, but most of us are dying to know. Don’t we need to rescue Cindy from a huge mistake if she is being pressured into the engagement? — Skeptical

Dear Skeptical:

Your collective assumption that Cindy has gone crazy may be wrong; falling in love may actually have altered her strong feelings about marriage. You haven’t mentioned anything that suggests that Cindy’s love for Nan has rendered her insane. Perhaps the location of her proposal was tacky, but it hardly indicates that she was kidnapped or lobotomized.

Even if Cindy is under Nan’s hypnotic spell, you and your friends will have to endure it without “rescuing” her. Save the dramatic intervention for when a friend takes to the crack pipe or carves a song into her arm with a razor.

Dear Ms. Behavior:

I have worked in the same place for nine years and am tight with Eddie, the guy who owns the place. Recently, due to financial challenges, Eddie asked me to keep an eye out and help the organization figure out who should be let go. I’m not ratting out colleagues who occasionally take long lunches or waste time in minor ways, but I’m supposed to watch out for major inefficiency. My problem is my officemate, Jake. The guy is good at his job, interesting and great looking. So, what’s the problem? Jake surfs gay porn obsessively during work hours. Oddly enough, his superb multi-tasking skills make it so that his work is not affected by his preoccupations. If I didn’t think he was such a high contributor to the company, I’d have brought it up to management long ago. I’ve made a few subtle comments to him about the impropriety of porn in a shared office, but he only smiles sweetly and winks at me. He simply doesn’t seem able to curb his appetites.

Should I mention Jake’s porn problem to Eddie and let Eddie decide if it’s reason enough to add him to the downsizing list? Or should I mind my business and pretend not to notice, based on his excellent performance? What do you think? (I’m not interested in Jake; I just like having him around.) — Confused in the Office

Dear Confused in the Office:

Normally, employee performance is evaluated based on how well a worker meets the requirements of the job, not whether or not the worker is operating at his or her personal best. It sounds like someone else without a porn hobby wouldn’t necessarily do a better job than Jake.

Since you’re taking your role as Office Snitch so seriously, Eddie should provide the criteria he wants you to use to evaluate your coworkers instead of letting you guess. But it also sounds like you need to ask yourself a few questions: Why are you a tattletale? If Jake were perusing cars or casserole dishes (instead of man meat) during work hours, would you still be tempted to turn him in? How would you know that Jake was looking at porn if you weren’t either looking over his shoulder or sneaking onto his computer to check his browser history?

Your inability to decide what to do suggests that you’re a) harboring internalized homophobia concerning the porn, b) feeling jealousy and unconscious lust for Jake, or c) both a and b. You’ll figure it out. But meanwhile, try being a little less creepy. If you want to reduce your own discomfort, you might suggest to Eddie (without implicating Jake) that he block porn sites from the work computers.

Meryl Cohn is the author of “‘Do What I Say’: Ms. Behavior’s Guide to Gay and Lesbian Etiquette” (Houghton Mifflin). E-mail her at [email protected] or visit