Monthly Archives: January 2015

“Jaw With John” – She’s Got Pregnancy Brain

My college friend is pregnant with her first child. When I found out she was having a baby, I was thrilled for her and offered to throw the shower (I also hosted her bridal shower a few years ago).

Her first response to my offer? “That would be great! Husband and I have already been talking about this and want to have an evening party with men and women, something nontraditional and more of a party before our lives are turned upside down.” She then started throwing out dates and other details.

I had envisioned an afternoon tea party or a mommy yoga class, but hadn’t made any firm plans. After hearing her response, I immediately got hung up on the etiquette of the situation (wait! doesn’t the hostess determine these details or at least have some input?) and my (sometimes too strongly held) principles.

With her specific and immediate expectations, I feel she would be better off hosting herself! All I want to do is excuse myself and retract my offer, but I don’t know what to say. Should I stick to my guns and refuse to host when she is dictating the terms right off the bat? Or am I being too sensitive and haven’t realized that moms-to-be are totally entitled to plan their own showers? — Old-Fashioned

Dear Old-Fashioned:

I’ve said this before but it bears repeating: no man wants to be a part of a baby shower. So this “non-traditional” party that she wants is a pretty dumb idea. She clearly has “Pregnancy Brain” and is suggesting things that are just plain illogical and downright stupid. “Mommy yoga” isn’t a good idea either, but you’ll think of another one.

You asked if you cold host/plan the party and now she has provided insight into what she wants, which is a dumb party idea, and now you don’t like that she’s pretty much planned the entire thing? Huh? Grow up. She’s taking all of the horrible parts about planning a party (planning) and has told you what to do. How much easier do you need it?

The only problem is that you need to convince her that the men & women baby shower party is an bad awful idea. Other than that, you are being too sensitive. Nudge her in a different direction.

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“Jaw With John” – Sounds Like Middle Child Syndrome To Me

When do parents quit paying for their children? We live frugally and put all three of our children through expensive schools so they could graduate debt-free. My son is 33 and getting married for the first time. His fiancee was married before.

They decided to get married at an expensive all-inclusive resort. Our son thinks we should pay for his rehearsal dinner for all 35 wedding guests. He says if we don’t do this, it won’t be fair to him.

We paid for the rehearsal dinner for my eldest son 10 years ago. We gave my daughter $5,000 for her wedding. We both had well-paying jobs at the time. We also spent $18,000 for attorneys for our eldest son’s divorce (he risked losing custody of his kids).

We are both retired now and living off Social Security and savings. My son has a well-paying job and his fiancee is interviewing for jobs. When will this stop? — Strapped Parents

Dear Strapped:

“When will this stop?” When you’re dead.

As far as the rehearsal dinner goes, I feel that he’s old enough – and you said he has a “well-paying job” – that he can fit the bill for the dinner. He’s already put the event at an expensive resort so why must you now pay. Isn’t the Father of the Bride supposed to pay for these things? Or was Steve Martin leading me on for all these years? I don’t know wedding protocol so this goes beyond my expertise, but I do know when someone is being taken advantage of, and that someone is you and your husband.

He knows you’re retired and on limited funds and yet still asks for moolah. Is he a middle child? This sounds very middle childish to me. He’s the last one married, wants the same that his brother and sister had, wants to make up for it by getting what he wants, blah blah blah.

Tell your son how you feel and maybe you guys can compromise. If not, order pizza or something and see how it goes.

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“Jaw With John” – It’s A Nice Day For A White Wedding, Without His New GF That Is

My fiance and I recently got engaged. About five years ago, his parents divorced when his dad announced he had been seeing someone else and was leaving. His mom has had a very difficult time with this. My fiance only sees his dad every few months despite being in the same city, although they text back and forth somewhat frequently. However, he has never liked his dad’s girlfriend, since he views her as the reason for his parents’ marriage ending.

Soon we are going to be making guest lists and sending out invitations for the wedding. My fiance does not want his dad’s girlfriend to attend, not only because he doesn’t like her, but because he doesn’t want to make his mom uncomfortable or cause any drama on our wedding day. I am afraid his dad might tell him that if his girlfriend isn’t allowed to come, then he won’t come either, and my fiance will regret his father not being there on his wedding day.

Do you think it’s fair to ask that his dad’s girlfriend not attend our wedding? — Wondering Fiancee

Dear Wondering:

You’re afraid of something that hasn’t happened yet. I think it’s perfectly fair to ask her not to attend. If he doesn’t want to attend because she wouldn’t be welcomed then screw him. That decision would lead m to believe that it was all about him and not about your wedding. Let the Dad know that she is not welcome and if he causes a fuss then he’s an asshole. But cross that bridge when you get to it.

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“Jaw With John” – Unfaithful Roommate Has Made His Bed

I recently found out that my roommate cheated on his girlfriend with one of our co-workers. He did this two times!

When I confronted him about his unfaithfulness he was honest and forthcoming. He also told his girlfriend (who lives in another country) and she decided to stay with him and work things out.

However, he still hangs out with the “other woman” on a one-on-one basis and she comes over to the apartment and lies on his bed with him.

I told him this is wrong and unfair to his girlfriend. I don’t want to keep challenging him on this, but I’m not sure what else I can do. — Trying to Stay Loyal

Dear Loyal:

He’s not going to change so why waste your breath? Let him reap what he sows when and if his actual girlfriend returns. You’ve done the honorable thing already in confronting him yet he has kept on doing what he’s been doing. Stop trying.

You can always give this “other woman” the stink eye or glare at her whenever she is over. You could try that…but that’s not going to change anything. She’s just as bad as he is. He’s living in a burning house but hasn’t smelled the smoke or felt the heat. He’s oblivious and should be left to burn.

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“Jaw With John” – Son Has Something Brown On His Nose

Before winter break, my 12-year-old son wanted to do something nice for his teachers during the “time of giving,” and he baked cookies that he made from scratch (sweet!). He created decorative bags, handmade name tags and had them placed in his teachers’ mailbox area.

I was amazed that only one out of the eight wrote him a thank-you note. I have taught my children that receipt of a gift from someone always deserves a handwritten thank-you. It takes but four sentences, can be written in six minutes (or less) and speaks volumes of appreciation for someone’s thoughtfulness, time and generosity.

He was touched by the one teacher’s kindness. This incident made me notice that we are becoming a very wanting but truly thankless society, and I find it sad. I was assuming teachers would set a better example. Am I old-fashioned? — Thankful

Dear Thankful:

Two words come to mind when I read this: Brown Nose. Is it nice and thoughtful? You bet your sweet ass it is. But it also comes off as someone who is being overly nice to his teachers and trying to gain favor. That’s how I would view it as if I were in his grade. Hell, it’s how I view it as an adult!

Maybe one of the teachers is allergic to one of the ingredients in the cookie. Or didn’t know what was in it and decided to not take the chance. Maybe they are gluten intolerant, and not the fake kind where they are “just trying it out to see how [their] body feels”. There are numerous external factors here that could contribute to them not writing back. But it all comes back to your son trying too hard to be nice and coming off looking like a Teacher’s Pet.

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