As some of you already know, we’ve started a new series here in the Fishbowl where we help Washingtonian out with their advice column “Ask Harry and Louise.” As we’ve noted before, it’s not that we don’t LIKE the Harry Jaffe and his wife, Louise. It’s just that if THEY are qualified to write an advice column, then WE are qualified to write an advice column. Here’s this week’s question from “Feuding Father.”
QUESTION: Four years ago, we were visiting my parents in Florida when my brother-in-law had a run in with my son, who was 11 at the time. My son was running across the living room when my brother-in-law stuck out his foot and tripped him. My son wasn’t hurt badly, but he came up crying. “Why did you trip me?” he asked. My brother-in-law thinks of himself as a jokester, and he probably didn’t mean to hurt my son. But he said, “I didn’t trip you. You’re a klutz. You fell down.” My son, who’s small for his age, couldn’t believe it and said, “Uncle Stu, you stuck your foot out.” Instead of admitting it or laughing it off, Stu replied, “You’re a liar. Don’t be such a girl!” I didn’t see this, but my wife was in the room. She was aghast. I asked my brother-in-law to apologize so we could move on. He refused. We have not spoken since. My mom has invited us to Thanksgiving dinner. It would be the first time we would be with my brother-in-law. My wife wants to make peace, but my son is still wounded, and I never got my apology. Should we go to dinner?
OUR ANSWER: Your brother-in-law sounds like the type of ruthless, psychotic maniac that is perfect for a management position at Politico. But, that doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy. I’m sure he thought he was being funny. It was four years ago. It’s time to move on. If a reporter for Politico Pro held onto a grudge like that every time Tim Grieve did the journalistic equivalent of tripping them up or making them feel badly about themselves, we’d have no more reporters in Washington. I guess what I’m trying to say is… While being somewhat of a dick and a sexist, Uncle Stu has a point. While I wouldn’t make fun of a kid like he did, you are being sort of a baby. Now, suck it up, schedule dinner with him and WIN THE DAY!!!