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Dear Urban Diplomat: what’s the proper dinner-guest etiquette for Ramadan?

Dear Urban Diplomat: what's the proper dinner-guest etiquette for Ramadan?

(Image: Rebecca Winzenried/Flickr)

Dear Urban Diplomat,
My wife and I were asked to a dinner party by some neighbours. The invite said 7 p.m., but it will be during Ramadan, when we can’t eat or have a drink until after sunset—so around 9 p.m. I mentioned this, and they said to just come along and they’ll serve dinner late. We don’t want to be the recipients of sideways glances from famished, clock-watching guests all evening. Should we decline, go over after 9 p.m., or what?

—Unfashionably Late, Upper Beach

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Dear Urban Diplomat: how do I get my boyfriend off my sports team?

Urban Diplomat: Ultimately Embarrassed

(Image: Nathan Rupert/Flickr)

Dear Urban Diplomat,
After dating this great guy for three months, I invited him to join my ultimate team. Turns out he’s the John McEnroe of Frisbee. He makes terrible calls and then argues with the opposing players for what seems like forever. He’s lovely otherwise, and I don’t want to stop dating him. How do I jettison him from the team without deep-sixing our relationship?

—Ultimately Embarrassed, Chinatown

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Dear Urban Diplomat: what do I do about that unscooped doo-doo?

Dear Urban Diplomat,
I live kitty-corner to St. James Park. There’s a mobility scooter–bound senior in my building who leaves his dog’s doo-doo unscooped every morning, often on the main park path, which is also my route to work. I don’t enjoy navigating a minefield every day, but what can I do?

—Crappy Commute, St. Lawrence

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Dear Urban Diplomat: should I tell my new husband that his teen daughter’s on the Pill?

Dear Urban Diplomat,
I recently married a man who has a 15-year-old daughter, and I accidentally discovered she’s on the Pill. Her dad would be apoplectic if he knew. She begged me not to tell him and said she’d never forgive me if he found out. What should I do?

—Contraception Interception, Bennington Heights

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Dear Urban Diplomat: how do I tell my neighbours to cut their axe-throwing out?

Dear Urban Diplomat,
My neanderthal neighbours—three 20-something roommates—have caught on to the recreational axe-throwing phenomenon and have begun doing target practice in the backyard. There’s a six-foot fence between us, but that’s small comfort for my wife, toddler and me. An indoor league exists for this kind of thing. Surely there’s a law against doing it alfresco. They won’t take kindly to my cease and desist request. Any advice on how to go about it?

—Axe to Grind, Crescent Town

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Dear Urban Diplomat: is it wrong to let a big box store undercharge me?

Dear Urban Diplomat,
My husband and I were at a big box store looking for office chairs recently. They only had floor models of the one we liked, so we negotiated a 25 per cent discount. I went to pay while my husband wandered off to another section. Somehow, the cashier charged half of the after-discount total. We just about got the chairs for free. I said nothing, paid and left. When I told my husband the good news, he said he was ­disappointed in me. I argued that it’s not like I caused the under-billing, and besides, big box stores are awash in profits. Deep down, I know he’s right, but in a way, so am I. Right?

—Chair Lift, Leaside

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Dear Urban Diplomat: is it okay to demand weird things from restaurant servers?

Dear Urban Diplomat,
I recently went to the Octagon steak house with a friend, who asked that her rib-eye be cooked in milk and red wine. Weird, I know. The waiter politely refused, explaining the process is carefully thought out by the chef. My friend bitched about it the whole meal. I think her outrage was unjustified, but I could use some backup. What say you?

—Minor Beef, King West

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Dear Urban Diplomat: should I tell my friend her boyfriend is on Tinder?

Urban Diplomat: Tinder AppDear Urban Diplomat,
I use the Tinder app to find eligible guys in my area. Last week, up popped my friend’s long-term boyfriend. His profile said he was “looking for a hookup.” I know they’re not in an open relationship. Should I tell her? If so, how?

—Bait and Snitch, St. Clair and Spadina

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Dear Urban Diplomat: should I confront my brother-in-law over a shoddy home inspection?

Dear Urban Diplomat: My Brothers Keeper

(Image: tamasrepus)

Dear Urban Diplomat,
I hired my wife’s brother, a certified home inspector, to look at a west-end semi. He gave it a full pass, so we bought it. Trouble is, we’ve since discovered a leaky roof, cockroaches in the kitchen and cracks in the foundation. It’ll cost upwards of $20,000 to fix it all. My wife wants me to suck it up and not confront him. What do you suggest?

—My Brother’s Keeper, Runnymede

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Dear Urban Diplomat: should I stop my atheist roommate from joining a Christian talent agency?

Dear Urban Diplomat: Jesus Would Freak

(Image: David Clow)

Dear Urban Diplomat,
I’m sure you’ve seen the billboards around town for the Christian talent agency AMTC (Actors, Models and Talent for Christ). My roommate, a struggling theatre grad and devout atheist, auditioned because he’s desperate for work. He even prepared a speech about being a “follower of the Lord all his life.” I’m appalled and think he’ll get outed. What do you recommend I do?

—Jesus Would Freak, Corktown

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Dear Urban Diplomat: what do I do about my wife’s erotic CBC fan fiction?

Dear Urban Diplomat: CBC Fan Fic

(Image: Peter Rogers)

Dear Urban Diplomat,
I discovered my wife’s erotic fan fiction starring a certain personality from CBC’s The National. It’s astonishingly steamy stuff. What should I make of it?

—Fiction Friction, Summerhill

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Dear Urban Diplomat: how do I tell my boss that he’s not welcome in my carpool?

Dear Urban Diplomat,
Two of my coworkers live near me in the suburbs, so we drive in to work together. Our boss just moved into the neighbourhood and is poking around for a carpool. He hasn’t straight-up asked us yet, but it’s only a matter of time. The problem is, the commute is the only chance we get to vent about him. We can’t swap that cathartic bliss for two hours of awkward silence. What should I say if he asks?

—Shark in the Pool, Too risky to say where I live

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Dear Urban Diplomat: how do I keep well-meaning neighbours from touching my newborn baby?

Dear Urban Diplomat: how do I keep well-meaning neighbours from touching my newborn baby?

(Image: Ben Spark)

Dear Urban Diplomat,
My husband and I live in a condo and just welcomed our first baby, a girl. Maybe she’s just irresistibly cute, but every time we load her into the stroller and bring her in the elevator, someone grabs her hands or strokes her cheeks. It’s really bad when newborns get sick. How can we pre-empt these well-meaning strangers without seeming like germ­aphobic nutters?

—Babe Alert, Liberty Village

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Dear Urban Diplomat: what should I do with neighbours who still have their tacky Christmas decorations up?

Dear Urban Diplomat,
Christmas 2013 is long gone, and yet the house on my corner remains festooned with yuletide paraphernalia: a giant Santa, an inflatable candy-cane archway and reindeer—plus, inexplicably, Cookie Monster, Big Bird and Snoopy figurines. The scene looks like some hillbilly carnival and is no small source of agitation for my wife and me. I want to tell these purveyors of bad taste to pack it up. How should I do it, and is there some bylaw with which I can arm myself?

—Ixnay on the Xmas Stuff Already, Beach Triangle

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Dear Urban Diplomat: should I let my son’s 18-year-old friend drink while he’s travelling with us in Mexico?

Dear Urban Diplomat,
My wife and I are taking our son and our good friends’ son to the Mayan ­Riviera. They just told us their kid is not to have a drop of booze under any ­circumstances. But since they’re 18—the legal drinking age in ­Mexico—and we don’t intend to hover over them, we can’t promise no liquor will touch his lips. Plus, we’re okay with our son having the odd beer, as long as he’s responsible. What do you suggest?

—Niños Will Be Niños, Rosedale

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