Carolyn Hax: Friend offers setup with guy she once dismissed as a cad


Adapted from an online discussion.

Dear Carolyn: I’ve been friends with “Mandy” for a few years through work. Early in our friendship, she used to sometimes talk about her buddy and former roommate “Jack,” and how terribly he behaved toward women. I can recall several specific stories she told me about his dating life and how we would disapprove together.

She hasn’t brought him up in a while — years, at this point. The other day, we happened to be talking about our post-pandemic hopes, and I said I wanted to get my dating life back off the ground. Mandy said, “Oh, remind me to introduce you to my single friend Jack!”

I was very, very taken aback. I confirmed that it was the same Jack. She has apparently forgotten that she told me what a cad Jack is, and was totally planning to try to set us up.

We laughed it off; she says that Jack has matured some since then and that she thinks I would like him, but I’m still rather angry about it. Am I being too sensitive?

Taken Aback: Sounds like it.

Though I’m saying it only because you’re saying it. For the record. I won’t shut you down that way on my own.

For you, the complaining that Mandy did back then created only a snapshot of Jack. For her, it was just one point on a continuum; there was a “before,” and now there is an “after.”

Plus, pure speculation: She may have had a thing for Jack then herself and had been a bit reactive to him.

Anyway, her knowing him all this time means Mandy has some perspective you don’t on where he is now, and she’s okay with him. Fair enough.

You may decide you have enough information not to want to date Jack, and there’s nothing “too sensitive” about that — but that doesn’t automatically mean you have grounds to take Mandy to task any more than you already did.

For Taken Aback: A lot of women would have said that in his 20s and early 30s, my husband was Jack. We met in his late 30s after much therapy. He isn’t Jack.

Dear Carolyn: I’ve just entered the third trimester of a hard-won pregnancy after several miscarriages. For obvious reasons, I’ve been reticent to set up a nursery, even while every passing week increases the likelihood that we’ll get to bring this one home.

Can you tell me what the bare necessities are that we absolutely need to have when the baby arrives, and what things can wait until later? I don’t want to be caught off guard, but shopping is an emotional experience right now, and I’m trying to figure out how disastrous it would be to, say, assemble a changing table when the kid was already home from the hospital.

Reticent: There is actually very little you need immediately for a newborn. A bassinet, warm things — onesies and some blankets for swaddling — some diapers and wipes. Our hospital would not discharge us unless we showed them our car seat. That’s it. A baby monitor also helps if your child will be napping or sleeping in a different room, but now I’m getting hair-splitty. The kitted-out rooms (crib, changing table, mobile, hamper) are really for the care of older babies, so there is no rush and no guilt. There’s also no need for you to do this shopping, unless you want to. Delegate liberally. Big hug from me.

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