lilysea: Serious (Default)
[personal profile] lilysea

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My stepfather’s grandson’s wedding is black-tie optional, and my stepfather’s children are renting him a tux. My mom, who is 90, thought she would wear a nice pants outfit with a dressy jacket, and is resistant to buying something new. She has been through a lot this year (treatment for lymphoma, cancer surgery, and she recently fell and broke her pelvis, so she is in a lot of pain).

I and my three sisters (my mom’s only children) live on the opposite coast, but we are now being pressured by the mother of the groom (my stepfather’s daughter) and my stepfather to see that she is outfitted appropriately -- not just for the wedding, but also for the rehearsal dinner (cocktail attire) and the wedding breakfast to be held the day after the wedding.

They have also expressed concerns about the shoes my mother prefers (very safe, comfortable, but not at all dressy). My sister even heard my stepfather tell her that if she doesn’t get something new to wear, she can stay home and not attend the wedding or other events.

My mother doesn’t stand up for herself, unfortunately. Two of us will be traveling to see her soon, and plan to take her shopping. My sister is even purchasing a few things for my mom that she will bring with her, in the hopes that maybe something will fit and work for this event.

Personally, I think it is extremely superficial of them to dictate what she wears (especially since the wedding is six months from now!). If it were me, I would just be thrilled they are both well enough to attend, regardless of how they are dressed.

Is my mother wrong to resist the request to buy something more formal? Or should the step-family back off?

GENTLE READER: What happened to the “optional” part?

While Miss Manners always advocates dressing properly for the occasion -- and generally abhors “optional,” as it just invites chaos -- the particulars of your mother’s dress seem to be unduly fixated upon here. There is certainly a lot of undue angst being put into this poor woman’s wardrobe that seemingly requires three separate outfits and uncomfortable, possibly dangerous, shoes.

If your mother can reasonably be jollied into the shopping expedition or accepts one of your sister’s choices for one new outfit, fine. But if not, please talk to your stepfather about “backing off.” Surely this cannot really be worth all of this fuss.

cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
[personal profile] cereta
Dear Annie: For the past year, my wife, "Janie," has been getting hot flashes. She is always broiling in the house while the rest of the family freezes. She insists on keeping the temperature at 70, while the rest of us are most comfortable at 74. She recently purchased warm slippers for everyone and suggested we wear long sleeves.

Annie, I like to wear T-shirts and walk barefoot. I work long hours, and when I come home, I like to shed most of my clothes. I pay the mortgage and should not be freezing in my own home. Our family doctor said the hot flashes could last for years. I say she is disrespectful to all of us. She says I am insensitive. We are at an impasse.

I found out she is looking for an apartment. I love my wife and beg you to help us before it's too late. — Upstate New York Where It's 20 Degrees Outside

Dear New York: You think you're uncomfortable? Imagine how your wife feels with an internal thermostat that periodically sets her on fire. The U.S. Dept. of Energy recommends that your home thermostat be set at 68 degrees in winter (78 degrees in summer). You can warm up more easily than your wife can cool down.

We recommend a compromise. You offer to be comfortable in sweats if she will speak to her doctor about medication to control her hot flashes or visit a health food store for more natural remedies. A pair of slippers and some hot cocoa seems a small price to pay to save your marriage.
cereta: Cover of Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots (do princesses wear hiking boots?)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: I am the mom of two sons, ages 13 and 14. When I took them for their annual physical last summer, their pediatrician said this would be the last year I would be in the room while he examined my sons.

I don't understand why I should have to leave if my children are OK with my being there. My sons are comfortable with me, and I am an only parent. It seems to me that more and more rights are being taken away from parents. Am I out of line for feeling this way? -- EXAM ROOM OFF-LIMITS

DEAR OFF-LIMITS: Yes, if you trust your sons' doctor, which I hope you do. By ages 13 and 14, your sons are maturing into manhood. As their hormones and bodies change, they may have questions and concerns they would be more comfortable -- and less embarrassed -- talking to a male doctor about than their mother. Privacy in the examination room would give them the chance to do that.
cereta: two blue clay tea cups with tan flowers (tea cups)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: I have been married to my soul mate for 25 years. We get along great -- she's my best friend and a good mother to our three kids. (She takes care of my mom who lives with us, too.) The only problem is, she loves to sleep.

She will do anything for us except wake up a few hours early without being mad at the world. She gets our kids off to school with no problem, but then returns to bed. I run a small construction company and need someone to answer the phones and do secretary stuff. Our books are a mess, the house is decent, but she won't let me hire a part-time secretary.

She gets up at noon and spends the rest of the day "catching up." It's driving a wedge in our marriage. My friends and their wives do things together on weekends, but not mine. She sleeps until 2 or 3 p.m. on the weekends.

I work a lot of Saturdays, and when I go to customers' homes and see the wife outside gardening, it breaks my heart. I have threatened to leave, and she works on it for a couple days and then falls back into the same old habits. Help! -- HURTING HUSBAND IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR HUSBAND: Not everyone requires the same amount of sleep in order to function. Some folks may be fine with five hours, but others need eight, nine or even 10. If your wife needs more than that, there may be an underlying problem of some kind that she should discuss with her doctor.

In marriage there needs to be compromise. If you are experiencing stress because you don't have enough help in your business, then you need to hire someone because your wife is already doing all she can taking care of three kids and your mother. And you shouldn't need her permission.

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