Thursday, August 13, 2015

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
I got a call over the weekend from a guy I used to have a crush on . Nothing ever happened and this was years ago , when I saw his name on the phone , my heart fluttered . I did not answer because I was busy hanging out with my family . I'm sure he called for a business reason . We have worked on projects together in the past . He is totally on the up-and-up. It's me who is all hot and bothered about it . I know it's professional for me to call back , but I don't want to sound crazy . How can I get my professional voice on when I automatically think about dating him ? We are both in long term relationships. It my body that kind of takes over and gets me all upset . 
Hot and Bothered
Dear hot and bothered ,
It's good that you have acknowledged your sexual attraction to this man . You have to come to grips with your libido rather than your colleague? It is completely normal to be attracted to another man while you are in a long term relationship.
However, give some thought to the future. Things that start off hot generally cool down quickly and what is left can get quite uncomfortable in these situations, especially if you have to work with him again. So restrain yourself if you are considering seeing this man clandestinely.  Remember that only 10% of affairs go on to be long-term relationships. 
If you cheat on  your partner, you will likely end up with no one.
Before you return his call, take a minute to cool down, consider the consequences and put your professional face on. Converse with him in a friendly but detached way and if he wishes to collaborate on a project, give yourself a little space to consider it before you decide.
Passion for a colleague is exciting but hardly a terminal condition and if you keep a level head you'll find that it fades away.

Dear Maxy ,
My stepmother never went to college . Now that my sister has almost graduated and I am headed off to college , she has gotten hostile whenever we mention higher education . she rudely questions us whenever we talk about what we want to learn about or even read . My mother and father both have master's degrees , but my stepmother worked after high school , she works in a skilled trade that she learned , and she really loves it . She makes good money , and we have never belittled her . How can we deflect her cattiness when we are doing anyting wrong ?
Scholarly Struggles 
Dear Scholarly Struggles , 
Chances are your stepmother has always felt somewhat
insecure and a bit inferior, scholastically, to your father and mother, who have master's degrees.  This situation was exacerbated when you and your sister also exceeded her level of education. And so she is acting out her feelings with hostility.
Put yourself in her shoes and you may feel a little empathy for her situation. 
Have your conversations about school with your sister more discreetly and privately. If your stepmother happens to hear you, just tell her you are trying figure out what to do with your life just like she did. Remind her that she made her own choices in life, did very well, and is happy with her decisions and you are merely trying to do the same.

Dear Maxy ,
I had my high school graduation party at a local restaurant (because our house is too small) . My father claimed he was unable to pay for it and insisted I cover the bill , close to $1,300 saying he will pay me back later .
I realize that my parents business goes through hard times , but dad still manages to eat out frequently . He's terrible with money and I'm not sure he will ever pay me back . I told him That I expected complete repayment by the middle of August and if I didn't get it , I'll start by selling his vast collection of unused music instruments . He dosen't believe me .
I am paying for my first year of college through grants , scholarships , from savings and the money I earn from my job .
I never expected anything from my parents because I knew they can't afford much . But I had no idea I was going to be stuck with the bill for the party . 
What do I do ?
Farmer's Daughter
Dear daughter , 
Don't turn this situation into major rift between you and your dad . He should not have stuck you with the bill for a party neither of you could afford . But selling his musical equipment isn't the answer either . In fact it would create a worse situation.
Try to remain calm  and work out a payment plan with Dad , in writing , with the amount he needs to pay each week until an agreed total is reached . It may take longer than mid-August , and you might also consider paying for part of the bill because the party was for you . But it's better than the all-out war you are contemplating  .
I suggest you  involve your mother in this transaction since she  too has a say in the family finances and may bring a more level head  to the discussion .
I understand your disappointment in your father but 'he is who he is' and will never change. He's the only dad you will ever have and I know he loves you in his way. It may be hard to remember sometimes, but you love him too.
It sounds like you are working very hard to assure your future, with no help from family. I wish you the very best of luck.

Dear Maxy ,
My husband's parents lives several states away . They both are in poor health , one worse than the other . I fear that when one passes away , my husband will want us to move and take care of the other one . 
We have two young children and this would involve us leaving our jobs . When we visit I am miserable the entire time and have no desire to move .
We could not ask the remaining parent to move , either , because they both have jobs as well .
Our marriage is struggling right now , so living in separate states would not help us repair our problems . And then there's the fact that I would want my husband to do this for his parents . So how can I deny him this ? 
Unhappy Wife 
Dear Unhappy ,
In all fairness , you cannot deny him helping his surviving parent.  But that doesn't mean all of you moving across the country . If the parent is near retirement age, it makes more sense for her/him to relocate to where you live, upon retirement. Your  family and your home is already established. You and your husband need to stay in your jobs to support a growing family. And you would have to uproot your children's lives and schooling . It is more logical to move one person than four. 
You and your husband should have this conversation  now and talk about realistic alternatives, including retirement facilities or assisted living  communities nearby, and the type of medical facilities and senior assistance  in the area . If the two of you cannot reach an agreement , I recommend asking an unbiased, third party to act as mediator .

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