It’s time for this week’s installment of NOT Harry and Louise. Hell, as long as Washingtonian continues to give Harry Jaffe and his wife, Louise, an advice column, we’ll continue to help them answer reader questions. Because if THEY’RE qualified to give relationship advice, WE’RE qualified to give relationship advice. Let’s help them out and answer this week’s dilemma from Brother’s Keeper.
QUESTION – I need advice on what could be an awkward and uncomfortable situation. I am going to a friend’s wedding in a few weeks, and she has recently reconnected with an old high school friend of hers, who will also be at the wedding. Here’s where it gets interesting. I was almost the maid of honor to this old high school friend. She was engaged to my brother, but she had an affair and ended the engagement. I haven’t seen her in four years, and I’m not sure how friendly—or unfriendly—to act.
RESPONSE – OK, so we are going off the rails this week. Instead of giving our advice to Brother’s Keeper, we are going to offer free, unsolicited advice to Harry Jaffe. Because Harry’s response to this question in his advice column is so weird, we couldn’t ignore it. So, please read his advice to the question:
HARRY’S ANSWER – A few years ago, Louise and I attended a swank national book award ceremony and dinner at the Folger Library . . . so haute intellectual. Across the room, I spotted a writer with whom I had once been very close. Though we had become alienated because he thought I’d behaved badly with a woman, he still affected a faux closeness and always greeted me as if we were still tight. This phoniness had been festering for four years. So that evening, I crossed the room, tapped him on the shoulder, and told him he could take his false friendship and shove it.
I felt great—for about an hour. We haven’t spoken since. I regret my impulsive reaction.
Perhaps my short-lived self-satisfaction will help you through your unexpected meeting with the woman who brought your brother low. If you confront her, it might make you feel better for a few minutes, but it won’t last. Best to be cordial, perhaps chilly. She did unto your brother, not unto you. Besides, there’s no need for drama. It’s your friend’s wedding. Do nothing to ruin her day.
OUR ANSWER – Wait, really? THAT’S your great advice? Apparently, we need to try and help Harry, too.
First of all, yes we all caught the not-so-subtle brag about being part of the “haute intellectual.” Way to crowbar that in. Second, you “behaved badly with a woman??” Details please! You know your wife is the co-author of this advice column, don’t you? Third, we do applaud you on having an aversion to phoniness. But Harry, the point of an advice column is to HELP other people. Not to to try and impress us with the fact that you won’t back down from an altercation, even at hoity toity events around town. Although, we would like to see how long a “haute intellectual” like you would last in a fistfight.
You can read more Harry and Louise here