lilysea: Serious (Default)
[personal profile] lilysea
DEAR ABBY: I have been friends with a woman for the last 30 years. Our children are the same age. My daughter, who is in her late 20s, has a number of tattoos on her arm that she can cover with clothing if she chooses. However, she doesn't cover them often because she likes them and they mean something to her.

Recently, I showed my friend a picture of my daughter that showed one of the tattoos on her upper arm. My friend said, "Oh, I am so sorry about the tattoo," and proceeded to cover the tattoo with her hand, implying that my daughter would be attractive if it weren't for the body art. I was shocked.

I have always been supportive of my friend's children and have never criticized any of them, even though I haven't agreed with everything they have done. I was so hurt by her comment that I was speechless. I'm not sure I can continue the relationship feeling this way. But I'm hesitant to lose a 30-year friendship over something I might be overblowing. Am I being too sensitive? How do I resolve this? -- COMPLETELY THROWN BY THIS

For a friendship of 30 years to end over one thoughtless comment would be sad for both of you. Sometimes people say things without thinking, and this is an example. Resolve your feelings by talking to her in person and telling her how deeply hurt you were by what she said. It will give her the chance to apologize and make amends.
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: Claudia Donovan in goggles (Claudia)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: At 26, I am about to move in with my girlfriend, "Candace." I love her so much, and I'm confident she's the one I want to marry. Candace has her 4-year-old daughter, "Michelle," with her most of the time we are together.

I'm confident that moving in together is the right decision, but living with Michelle makes me nervous. Although Michelle is smart and well-behaved, like most kids, she can be bratty and demand a lot of attention from Candace and me.

Candace has the utmost patience with Michelle, and I trust her ability as a parent. What I'm worried about is my own level of patience. I don't want kids anytime soon, and I get annoyed with Michelle a little too easily. What steps can I take to assure longevity in this relationship? -- YOUNG STEPPARENT

DEAR YOUNG STEPPARENT: Feeling as you do, I am not at all sure you should move in together. I'm surprised that a man who doesn't want kids anytime soon is so eager to enter into a living situation where that very thing is guaranteed. Before changing your living arrangements, consider signing up for parenting classes. They may not only give you insight into what to expect, but also how to handle situations that may arise.
cereta: Comic book style pic of Barbie as SuperSparkle (Barbie as SuperSparkle)
[personal profile] cereta
Q. Bad Aunt? I Don’t Want My Nieces Staying Overnight: In a couple of weeks, my brother and his family (wife, two kids) are visiting the city where my husband and I live. They are unable to afford a hotel, so prior to booking the trip I informed my brother that our place isn’t set up for overnight guests. We live in a loft, and the only room with walls is our tiny bathroom. Fortunately they are able to stay with my brother’s friend. Then my brother mentioned via email—our usual means of communication—that it would be great if the kids could spend one night at our place. My husband and I are childless by choice, and it’s well-known that neither of us cares much for children. We of course love our nieces, though we don’t know them too well considering we see them maybe once a year for a day or two. On our last visit with them, one of the kids barely spoke a word to us, and the other is a teen whose only concern seems to be her phone. Neither my husband nor I is comfortable at the thought of having children as overnight guests. I told my brother this, and he finds it ridiculous that we are refusing to host his kids for a night. Am I a bad aunt for making such a decision?

A: You’re a bad aunt, but just embrace it. Lots of people are happy in their choice not to have children. But when you say you globally dislike all children, even your own nieces, because they’ve inevitably started out life as children, that makes you a bad aunt. You love them? Really? You don’t even want to know them. You’re offended that on the last visit they did nothing to charm you, but that’s generally how people, especially kids, react around others who have not only no interest in them but only contempt. (And no one should take personally a teenager’s focus on the phone.) You don’t want them to stay over, so just stick to that. However, maybe your brother and his wife would appreciate an afternoon or evening to themselves. So you could offer to take the kids to a museum, or a show, or a cool neighborhood. Keep your expectations low, and maybe these slowly emerging adults will surprise you.


Agony Aunt

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