cereta: Chris Robinson, "You amuse me" (Chris is amused)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: My 25-year-old daughter suffers from Peter Pan Syndrome. Three years out of college, she wants to live an "extended dorm" lifestyle with other young men/women (and their girlfriends/boyfriends), instead of settling down and moving out with her boyfriend of two years.

She says she has "a high need for affiliation" (she needs a lot of people around 24/7). But she also has a high need for change/variety and rotates roommates every two to three years. Looking for a "mini commune" in a crowded city like San Francisco is very difficult. What makes matters worse is that she also has hobbies like sewing that require a lot of space.

Is there something wrong with this lifestyle preference? And if so, how do I help her break out of it? -- WORRIED DAD IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR DAD: At 25, your daughter is an adult. Many people her age live communally because it's less costly than living independently, and San Francisco has become so expensive that it's often their only option.

If she's already living in an "extended dorm" situation, it's her life to live and she'll learn lessons. If you feel compelled to offer her advice, suggest they relocate to a less expensive and crowded area, which may entail a longer commute, but with fewer roommates she will have more room for her hobbies.
cereta: Ellen from SPN, looking disapproving (Ellen)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: I bought my 11-year-old daughter a cellphone. My ex does not approve. We have been divorced for six years, and he still can't get over it. He despises me. He refuses to listen to why I want her to have a cellphone.

While I want her to be responsible with it, I realize she will make mistakes -- which she already has by being on her phone too much. (It has been taken away from her once.) I want her to carry the phone with her in case of emergencies. If it is confiscated at school, her dad will no doubt tell me, "I told you so."

Should I abide by his wishes and not allow her to have the phone, or do you think my points are valid? -- MOM WITH PHONE ISSUE

DEAR MOM: Wanting your daughter to have the cellphone in case of emergency seems valid to me. If you are her custodial parent, I think that prerogative belongs to you.

But I do have a question: Who took the phone away from your daughter? If you did it because she was abusing the privilege, then she will learn her lesson if you are consistent. If a teacher takes it away from her at school, there should be consequences and you should ensure that they are enforced.
cereta: Wendy Watson in Goggles (Wendy goggles)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR HARRIETTE: My ex-girlfriend is a little too invested in my family. My mother regularly texts her, and I get unnerved when I see her name pop up on my mom's screen. I haven't brought my new girlfriend home because of my mother's close relationship with my ex. Do I just ignore the fact that they are still in contact? My ex and I do not speak. -- Unnecessary BFFs, Denver

DEAR UNNECESSARY BFFS: You and your mother need to get on the same page. Visit her by yourself, and ask her if you can have a heart-to-heart talk. Honestly explain to her that it makes you uncomfortable that she and your ex are close. Acknowledge that you did appreciate how welcoming she was to this woman, but remind her that you are not in a relationship with her now, and you are not even speaking to each other.

Make it clear to your mother that you have a girlfriend whom you would like to bring around to meet your mom, but you have hesitated because your mother is so enmeshed with your ex. Ask your mother to sever or at least reduce her interaction with your ex so that she can create space for your new girlfriend. Further, make it clear to her that you do not want her sharing anything about your new girlfriend with your ex.

Just so you know, this situation is not as uncommon as you may think. Especially if you dated your ex for a long while and she spent considerable time with your mother, it is understandable that they developed a relationship. Still, you really do need your mother to honor your life as it is today. I will add that you should be mindful of whom you bring home. Your mother has already shown you that whomever you bring will be welcomed with open arms. Be conscious and intentional about who deserves to meet your family.
cereta: Paper Bage Princess, heading off into the sunset alone (Paper Bag Princess)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Almost all of the examples I now see on how to address invitations are totally different from what I was taught in school many years ago. Have the rules changed, or are young people these days making up their own etiquette rules?

I was taught that for a married couple, the correct address would be " Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Jones" and "Mr. and Mrs. Patrick White," not "Mr. Ben and Mrs. Elizabeth Jones" and "Mr. Patrick and Mrs. Taylor White." I was also taught that the male's name came first on the envelope.

Please set the record straight before too many young brides commit a faux pas and look uneducated.

GENTLE READER: Yes, some rules have legitimately changed, and yes, unauthorized people who make up their own rules are often unintentionally offensive. But come to think of it, the old standard that you cite also sends some people into a tizzy.

Miss Manners wishes everyone would just calm down.

There are couples who use the Mr. and Mrs. form you learned (the only one in which the gentleman's title comes first) and they should be so addressed. But there are others who prefer to be addressed more as individuals for various reasons, some of which are eminently sensible, although society used not to recognize them.

All that takes now is one extra line on the envelope:

Dr. Angelina Breakfront

Mr. Rock Moonley

or:

Mr. Oliver Trenchant

Mr. Liam Lotherington

or:

Ms. Norina Hartfort

Mr. Rufus Hartfort

Is that too much effort to ask?
cereta: Baby Galapagos tortoise hiding in its shell (baby turtle)
[personal profile] cereta
(Can you tell I'm catching up on Prudie?)

Dear Prudence,
I am 23, suffering from a degenerative disease, and mother to a toddler. My ex and I were a terrible match, but he adores our daughter, though he doesn’t put a lot of effort into their relationship. He has a solid income but is otherwise incapable of being a functional adult. He doesn’t pay attention to his bills or taxes and doesn’t clean, and he won’t even change the oil in his car until the engine blows (twice!). I have been dating a wonderful man for three years who loves me and my daughter and has asked me to marry him. He is starting a new job that will likely take him across the country, and he wants to be together. Despite his offer to fly her back as much as possible, I still feel guilty at the prospect of separating her and her father. Is it wrong to marry the good guy, who will take care of us, even if it means deeply altering my daughter’s relationship with her dad?

—Rethinking Remarriage

Get married, enjoy your wedding, take care of your health, and make sure that no matter where you end up, your daughter has regular visits scheduled with her dad. It will be hard for her to live far away from her father, but it would be much worse for her if you break up with your caring fiancé out of a twisted sense of guilt.
cereta: Bloom County, Opus typing "Maybe not that bad, but lord, it wasn't good." (it wasn't good)
[personal profile] cereta
Dear Prudence,
My sister won’t speak to me because I taught her daughter a naughty word. I was playing Scrabble with my 8-year-old niece, who is very smart. She always kills me when we play and it’s kind of embarrassing for me. But this one game was close. I had the opportunity to play all my letters to spell “fellatio” ensuring I’d win the game. I thought a bit about whether I should play this word or just lose graciously. Pride got the better of me and I played the word. My niece didn’t believe it was a word and looked it up in the dictionary. This lead to numerous questions about sex that I wasn’t prepared for. So I told her to ask her mother. When my sister found out what I’d done she hit the ceiling. She was furious at me that I’d taught her this word. Now she won’t speak with me. I’ve considered apologizing but I don’t think I did anything wrong. She would have learned the word eventually anyway. When I was a kid, I learned far worse words younger than that.

Bud! Fellatio is only 11 points in Scrabble! Even with the 50-point bonus for using all of your tiles, this was the wrong hill to die on. It is a bad idea to teach your 8-year-old niece about blow jobs, no matter how much you thought you knew about oral sex when you were a kid. (For everyone who doesn’t believe Scrabble can lead to a situation like this: Play with my family sometime.) I admire your commitment to winning and share your salt-the-earth strategy when it comes to gamesmanship, but you should know better. Apologize to your sister, and don’t play Scrabble with your niece again.
cereta: Classic silhouette of Nancy Drew (Nancy silhouette)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: I'm 57 and have been married for 25 years. My husband has retired and is ready for me to do the same. I enjoy my work, and I am delaying my retirement because he wants to move to another state.

Abby, all I can think about is how I will be forced to start all over with a new church, new doctors, new friends, etc. That's incredibly stressful for me, and I don't want to do it. It takes me a while to warm up to people, and I don't do it easily. To me, it would not be an exciting adventure.

I have told him I don't want to do this and why. He responds that if I want to visit my friends I can always "hop on a plane." He said he's tired of the cold and wants to move. All I can think about is having to sell our home, buy another one, learn a new area, make friends, find a new church. I have all of that here. Maybe he should be a snowbird? -- DON'T WANT TO START ANEW

DEAR DON'T WANT: If you and your husband can afford two places, perhaps you should both be snowbirds. It couldn't hurt to rent a place for a few months to see what life would be like in a new community. That's what I recommend to readers who contemplate making a drastic change -- such as relocation -- in their lives. If you do that, you might find that the "natives" are friendly and the community is congenial. However, if that's not the case, it could help you to avoid making a costly mistake.
cereta: Nightwing is pretty (Nightwing)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: Recently, my wife and I went dancing with my friend "Dick" and his wife. While I was in the middle of a conversation with Dick, my wife kept trying to interrupt. She even laid her hand on my arm to try to get my attention. I ignored her and told her later she had been rude to try to interrupt my conversation. She thinks I disrespected her and our marriage by putting conversation with my friend above her. This happens often when the four of us are together.

Am I being insensitive to my wife's feelings? We frequently disagree, but we have been married 44 years. Your input would be appreciated. -- ALWAYS A LOVING HUSBAND

DEAR LOVING HUSBAND: It is generally considered rude to interrupt someone when he or she is talking. The next time your wife does it, stop and ask her what's so important. (Could it be that the band is playing your song?)

However, if you have been droning on with your buddy for a long time, she may simply be craving some attention. If that's the case, perhaps it would be better if you saw Dick on a one-to-one basis without the wives around. That way you won't be interrupted.

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