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Ask Alice, with Alice McVeigh

Someone old enough to spell properly has orange eyes?
Classical Music Agony Aunt ALICE McVEIGH investigates ...

? ' Dear Alice,
I have what I believe to be an unheard-of problem with someone in my orchestra. He is literally stalking me. At first I thought it was coincidence but I literally see him everywhere.

First he showed up in the supermarket -- twice -- then he came in my hairdresser's when I was there (where they say they'd never seen him before) then he came into the drug store and pretended to be all surprised to see me and I swear I've seen his car following mine all over the place.

At work (in the orchestra) he never speaks to me but he's ALWAYS WATCHING. It's so embarrassing, and even scary. What should I do?
' (name withheld)

Ask Alice

Alice Dear Anon,

Actually, this has been heard of. A particular pretty cellist I know in a full-time orchestra was stalked after every concert by an audience member with a fixation -- and a violist who had been at Indiana University with me was stalked by a neighbor and he wound up killing her, despite the police knowing the whole situation. (They were useless, completely useless!!!!!)

I'm not implying that your admirer is a psychopath, but his behaviour is weird enough that something ought to be done about it, and he certainly needs psychological help. Your first thing to do is to talk to the orchestra manager, and to set up some kind of complaint. The fact being brought to his attention by a third party that you've noticed and don't enjoy it will make most people stop. (He's probably kidding himself that you haven't noticed or even enjoy the attention.) It's then up to the united forces of his doctor and the management to see that he gets help. If he doesn't -- or makes himself seriously unpleasant -- this is a police thing and he'll be given a formal warning of some kind.

I don't know where you live, or what the orchestra complaints procedure is, but it's just as important not to overreact as to dismiss it as 'one of those things'. At the moment it's only a nuisance, but he must be at least slightly unstable. Don't ridicule him; just be dispassionate, and, if he confronts you, be as indifferent as you can manage. It's just bad luck it's you -- it could have been anybody -- but you are right to take steps (for his sake as well as for yours).
Good luck!

Ask Alice

? ' Dear Alice,
My other friend is a lair, just because we didn't say hello to her. i mean we have avioded her a bit but now she has told the teacher a complete pack of lies!!!

' What should I Do???

Ask Alice

Alice Dear Anon

First of all, there are lies and lies. If I say I have orange eyes, we can both agree that I must be lying. But your friend (let's call her X) might see your admitted 'avoidance' of her (especially if she's supposed to be a 'friend,' for God's sake) as very hurtful. Then what she's said isn't a lie: it's one person's view of a situation being different from another person's view of the same situation. Does that make any sense?

If I were you, rather than feeling bad about this, I would talk to X, one to one (please note that I didn't say two to one or three to one. I don't know how many 'we' is, in your case, but this ONLY WORKS one person to another person). I would explain that she misunderstood what was going on, in your opinion, and that you would like to be friends again, as you were before.

If she's worth having as a friend she will agree to this. If she's genuinely a liar she won't. Either way, you'll feel better because you'll have put yourself right with yourself (you can also tell the teacher that you've done this). Your conscience will be completely clear, and you can move on, whether X chooses to or not.

And remember, growing up is hard enough without being mean to each other. Take it from someone old enough to spell properly.
Yours anciently,

Ask Alice

he! he! he! ' Dear Alice,
I thought you might enjoy these tuba jokes:

Q: What's a tuba for?
A: 1 1/2 X 3 1/2.

Q: There are two tuba players sitting in a car. Who's driving?
A: The policeman

' Your friend,

Ask Alice

Dear J,
Very brassy!!!!

Copyright © 22 February 2008 Alice McVeigh, Kent, UK

Ask Alice



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