Thursday, January 09, 2014

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy,
We had an embarrassing  moment during  the holidays . My mother-in-law  made  horrible comments  to a family member, her son's wife. She made fun about her weight  to her face. It was ridiculously rude . To be honest, my sister-in-law has gained  a lot of weight  over the years. She is  huge, but who are we to judge  her ? My mother-in-law talked about how big her butt is and  how she really could use  two chairs. It was awful . When her son (the woman in question's husband) asked her to stop, she just got louder. She can be kind of crass, but this was awful. How can we get my mother-in-law to chill out ?
Beyond Embarrassed
Dear Beyond Embarrassed
Sadly, many families  have one person  who can be crude  and rude. People who don't naturally have  a filter to keep them from saying  certain things can prove to be hurtful on a regular basis . This is because  they usually  do not  realize  how their comments  are affecting others .
What one  of you may be able to do is talk to her privately, recount what  she has said  that was hurtful and ask her directly to curb such comments . Ask her  if she intends  to hurt this woman . Chances are the answer is no . If she acknowledges that this  is not her  intention, you may be able to  impress upon her  that making such comments  about this woman's body  is hurtful , regardless  of what she meant  by saying it . Perhaps her son can ask her to stop .
Dear Maxy,
A new friend  of mine is going on a cruise soon, and she asked  her friends  to make contributions  to her trip so that  she would have enough money . She asked  us to do this  instead of giving her a birthday present . I didn't like that at all . I don't usually give a birthday present to her. or to other adults, for that matter. I give only to  the children in my family . Whenever I have given her anything  for her birthday, it would be a token  of our friendship, costing only a few dollars . I chose not to contribute  to her trip . I did send her a birthday card as I always do . But I feel weird about it .
She even called and asked  if I was going to give her a contribution  for her trip . I didn't respond . What should I say ?
Stop the Shakedown
Dear Stop the Shakedown ,
Tell your friend the truth,  namely,  that you only give  gifts to the children in your life but not to adults . Wish her a wonderful trip  as you make it clear  that you have followed your gift giving plan, which is  to give cards to all and gifts to the young ones .
Dear Maxy ,
I have been widowed  for 19 years and belong to a support group of women who go out  once a month .
Before I married my late husband, I was an independent  businesswoman, who cared for an elderly parent, paid my own bills, pumped my own gas, bought my own cars, etc .
I was surprised  to learn how few of the women in my group  know how to do any of these things . They have no clue  what their family finances are . One of them had to learn how to drive when her husband died .
Please, please, please tell wives (and husbands) to take responsibility  for themselves while their spouses  are still  living and learn what their financial obligations are, when their bills are due, how to pump gas and all the other things  you will need  to know in order to be independent . It is hard enough  to transition from married  ife to widowhood  without  having to learn basic life skills at the same time .
Dear Kentucky ,
Thank you for the  knock on the head . Along with financial matters and  pumping gas, both men and women  should know how to cook a simple meal, sew a button, iron a shirt, load the dishwasher and do laundry . These are skills  that everyone  needs and it is shortsighted  to assume that someone  else will handle  them for you  for  the rest of  your life .

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