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The Vine

The Tomato Nation advice column addresses your questions on etiquette, grammar, romance, and pet misbehavior. Ask The Readers about books or fashion today!

Home » The Vine

The Vine: May 4, 2000

Submitted by on May 4, 2000 – 9:49 AMNo Comment

Sarah,A good friend of mine was invited on a date with a "nice guy." On their first (and only) date he showed up with a $1000 bottle of perfume and was offering to do more.

He drives new and expensive cars, has million-dollar homes and has asked her not to sleep with anyone else – he doesn't like damaged goods. When he asked if there was anyone who was bothering her, she realized she had a serious problem.

Turns out the man is a member of a famous crime family and now is harassing her at home and at work. She's returned his ATM card with the $10,000 balance and is refusing his phone calls, but how do you tell a man who tells you to shush at the slightest comment that you want out of this relationship?

Sincerely,
A Friend In Need

Dear Friend,

I assume that your friend has told the goombah point-blank that she wants nothing more to do with him. If she hasn't, she needs to do so, and then she needs to cut off all contact with him. It isn't a relationship. He's stalking her.

Tell your friend to continue to refuse his phone calls, and not to give him an inch even if she gets frustrated. Tell her to let everyone she knows – her bosses, her family, her friends – in on the fact that the guy is a possibly dangerous associate of organized crime who is giving her a hard time. Get on Amazon.com and buy her a copy of Gavin DeBecker's The Gift Of Fear and make her read the whole thing. If he's really harassing her, she should go to the authorities.

I can't tell from your letter exactly what he's doing or how far he's taking his harassment, but the situation is a potentially serious one. Some people really can't take "no" for an answer, and if he's one of those people, your friend needs to take the appropriate steps to protect herself from him.

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