Chloë is our new ‘agony queen’. She invites you to take a chair, tell her your problems and await her judgement.

Dear Chloë,

I have entered the spirit of the times and decided to reconnect with a lot of old friends, some of whom I have not spoken to since I left school twenty years ago. One of my old pals from my netball club responded to a post I’d put on my school memories Facebook group, and it transpired that she’d married one of my old neighbours. We chatted for an hour one evening, when they suddenly asked if they could call back the next day. I of course said ‘ok’, but Skyping the next day I was met with their five year old boy. She made an excuse asking if I wanted to chat to him, but she went away for an hour! At first I thought they had an emergency, but the next evening it happened again, and the next. She now says I am her boy’s best pal, and persuaded me to spend a virtual day with him, teaching him songs and writing. It was a struggle keeping his attention but I was left furious when he said his Mum was out drinking in the garden! She is now claiming to be dyslexic and needing my help to teach him, but I don’t recall her being a dyslexic at school. What should I do?

Hi Ruth. I suggest you take out a pen and strike off this devious pair from your Christmas card list. You went twenty years without contact and suggest you don’t give them another thought. It’s one thing being asked to help and support a friend in need, but asking you to be their virtual babysitter without so much as a ‘thank you’ should be a red flag as to how they will treat you in the future, should you let them.

If they were in trouble or she genuinely suffers from Dyslexia, then they should have been honest and upfront with you from the start. I’m sure that you would have been more than willing to help out if you’d known the full facts. Instead, they took advantage and overstepped the mark.

Put the whole nightmare down to experience and vow to be a lot less trusting and available in future. It’s sad that things have turned out like this, but some people do try it on.

 

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