What Kind of Person Lies to a Child With Cancer?

I am part of a large friend group. One of us has a 13-year-old daughter with cancer; she lost her hair during treatment. Before she did, I found a company to make a wig using her hair. I raised the money to pay for it and sent it to another friend who is a stylist. She cut the girl’s hair and told us she sent it to the wig company. The girl texted our stylist friend several times for updates, and the stylist told her they were working on it. Finally, the girl’s mother contacted the wig company: The stylist never sent the hair. She’d been holding it for five months! She finally returned the hair and the money. But the girl is crushed! Her mom doesn’t want anyone to know what the stylist did; she doesn’t want the drama. But I think our friends should know what a lousy person she is. Should I respect the mother’s wishes?


You don’t need me to tell you that your stylist friend behaved badly. Irresponsibility and dishonesty are bad looks for anyone, and when they affect a sick child they can seem even worse. Of course, we don’t know what challenges the stylist may be living with. Still, it’s hard to imagine that she couldn’t devise a better plan than doing nothing for five months.

What you may need me to remind you of, though, is that you are not the main character here, and neither is the stylist. Put the child and her mother first. Your friend seems to have decided that chatter about this episode may create drama — for her — and that she may not have the energy to deal with it now. She is probably prioritizing her daughter’s health.

Respect your friend’s wishes and keep quiet about the wig. You are free to find another stylist. But I suggest that you redirect your energy to supporting your friend and her daughter during a rough time, by providing meals, transportation, lawn mowing or whatever else they may need to make their lives a little easier now.

Credit…Miguel Porlan

It’s His Party and I’ll Pay if I Want To

I want to invite two friends to join my husband and me at a restaurant for his birthday dinner. The four of us dine out occasionally and always split the bill. As the host of this special occasion, I believe I should pay for everyone. My husband disagrees. We can all afford the meal, but dinner — with drinks — for four foodies won’t be cheap. What’s the right thing to do?

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