Dear John – Your Daughter Is A Brat, She Doesn’t Know Everything But She Talks Back

I recently traveled to Germany to help my 19-year-old daughter settle in for her semester of study abroad. I was in tears the entire trip home, not because I was sad to leave her, but because she kept lashing out at me for anything from using a cotton swab to following proper directions exiting the train, to asking simple — but, in her mind, ridiculous — questions. This is not new behavior. Her brother has also observed her overreactive behavior to minor things.

I treated her and her roommate to dinners out and stocked her apartment with groceries, in addition to making significant financial contributions toward her tuition. I’m also splitting the cost of her monthly rent with her dad.

I feel hurt, like she regards me as only an ATM. She wouldn’t even let me use her European electrical adapter to charge my phone before leaving for the airport.

Should I convey how hurt I feel and, if so, what are your suggestions? I feel if I have a phone conversation, she will sigh, tell me she doesn’t have time for this or accuse me of being a killjoy. If I put it in a letter, I’ll feel like a coward, but it will allow me to express my feelings without interruption or protest.

— UNAPPRECIATED IN VERMONT

Dear Unappreciated,

You definitely need to convey how hurt you feel! Your daughter is being a brat. You didn’t have to fly all the way to Germany to help her settle in. My parents didn’t do that when I went to Australia. They sent me off, lent me some money, and I took care of the rest once I got there. She is abusing you.

Write the letter. You said so yourself that you’ll be able to get all of your feelings out on paper without interruption, so do that. It is not cowardly. You will be communicating in the most effective way for you and that’s important! You will need to address her behavior and give her an ultimatum. You can’t continue to fund her life and be treated like that. It’s not right. She needs to learn how to act and behave like a proper human being.

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The Secret Spots of Knysna

I am posting a link to an article I wrote for a South African publican, WildSide Magazine, for their Spring 2014 issue.

WS Spring 2014 Cape Knysna Secrets Spots

Dear John – Woman Has To Get Something Off Her Chest

I have been in a relationship with a very special man who is five years younger. We met on an online dating site and have been seeing each other for several years. We are well suited for each other and very much in love. We have now decided to live together, with the possibility of marriage if it won’t jeopardize our retirement incomes.

My dilemma is I have breast implants. I had the surgery 20 years ago when I was newly widowed and about to start dating again. I never told any of the men I dated, and I don’t believe anyone suspected. My breasts look and feel natural and they have enhanced my love life tremendously.

Now that this relationship is serious, I wonder if I need to tell my guy. If he leaves after I tell him, then I guess he wasn’t The One. I’d prefer not to say anything. I’ve had the implants so long, I feel they are part of me, not something foreign in my body. I am afraid he may have an altered opinion of my body after I tell him. Please advise.

— OLD, BUT NOT DEAD

Dear Old,

I think you’re going to have to tell him eventually. If at some point you need to fix them because something has gone wrong then he might be very surprised to find out that they are not real.

If you tell him and then he bolts then it was never meant to be and he’s a shallow P.O.S. I suspect he won’t because you two have been together for so long. It’s better to get this off of your chest (HA HAAAA!) now and not feel guilty later.

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Dear John: Mom Feels That 3rd Time Is Not The Charm For Daughter

My daughter is on her third marriage to a pretty nice guy, but she’s also in regular contact with her first husband by text, email, and phone. And now, her present husband is also in contact with an ex-girlfriend (hanging out, having lunch, etc.). What part of this picture am I not getting?

— SUSPICIOUS MOM AND IN-LAW IN ARIZONA

Dear Suspicious,

You are getting the entire picture. Your daughter is either on the verge of ending yet another marriage or they are trying to get into swinging.

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Dear John: Friends Have Abused Free Rides To And From Airport

We are good friends with a couple who have taken two very nice vacations a year for the last several years. We are all in our late 60s.

When they book their trips, they intentionally fail to include ground transportation to and from the airport. They rely on having friends take them. The airport is about 45 minutes from where we live. They never offer to cover gas or parking for the trips. I feel it’s inconsiderate and poor manners. The wife is a very good friend. Her husband books the vacations, and she has to do the “begging.”

My husband and I take a limo to the airport. None of us lack the money for vacations. We now just make excuses to not accommodate them. I would appreciate your opinion. Should we just tell them the truth?

— AGGRAVATED IN ATLANTA

Dear Aggravated,

Goodness, gracious. These people!

I know these type of people.

These are the people who, in college, would ask for someone to pick them up from the airport when there was a FREE SHUTTLE that came every 10 minutes and dropped off directly across the street from campus! Whenever I would hear someone ask for a ride to and from the airport, I would always tell them “You know the shuttle is free and can be caught at the CalTrain station across from campus, right???” And they would stare at me with a Bus??? look and say they didn’t want to wait for the bus…SMDH. Gah!!! Now, I’m just getting mildly infuriated!

Anyway, back to you!

You should inform them of these businesses called a taxi or rideshare companies that perform the task of picking up and dropping off people at various places. They are truly remarkable.

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