DEAR AMY: For the past two years, my daughter and her boyfriend “Rick” have been living in my house. They do not pay rent, but they pitch in toward utilities.
My daughter cooks for her boyfriend and herself. In the two years they have been with me, they have never invited me to have a meal with them. I believe they are being rude and petty, and recently I told them so.
Rick has a wonderful relationship with his father (his mother passed away a few years ago). I asked him if he would do something like that to his father, and his answer was that his relationship with his dad was different than my daughter’s relationship with me.
I feel sad and angry about this. I have been a generous person with them, and the least I expect is for them to share a meal with me. Am I overreacting? What are your feelings? -- Sad Mom
DEAR MOM: This isn’t really about a meal or two, but about the fact that you are providing housing to two people (presumably adults) who are not showing sufficient, or any, gratitude.
“Rick” gave you a clue when he outlined that his relationship with his father dictated or promoted a different kind of behavior from him. Notice where Rick lives? With you! And notice who he respects? Not you!
You will not receive gratitude by demanding it. But you can receive rent. You are not happy with this arrangement, so you should change the terms. Either charge this couple rent (in which case gratitude won’t be a factor) or tell them it’s time to find other housing.
DEAR AMY: My friend “S’’ and I have been friends since sixth grade — almost 40 years ago! I’m politically conservative, and S is a die-hard Democrat. I have been posting political items on my Facebook page, in favor of my presidential choice.
Recently S sent me a private message saying she has temporarily “unfriended” me because she doesn’t want to see all of my political drivel. She ended her message by saying that she will “see me back online after November.” We live 1,300 miles apart, so it’s not like we see each other often (three times in the last 30 years). We mostly communicate online.
How can I possibly accept a “friend request” from her after the election and allow things to go back to normal, after she basically kicked me to the curb? I am so confused as to whether I should stay in touch with her after this. I would never do this to someone I call a friend. -- Sad, Angry, Confused
DEAR SAD: Your friend S could have handled this in a way other than by “unfriending” you. She could adjust her Facebook settings to “hide” your postings until after the election and you would be none the wiser.
But S isn’t really kicking you to the curb. She is rejecting your candidate. This is one hazard of promoting your political viewpoints online: You are basically broadcasting a point of view, and some consumers (be they friends or Facebook friends) can be turned off by this. Others push back or pick fights online.
S is trying to handle this privately, and she has been honest with you. She doesn’t seem to think this should bother you, but it does. So you should be honest with her too. Consider this a Facebook “poke” from me and respond to her message honestly.
DEAR AMY: “Sad in Sausalito” said her husband had “mini-tantrums” whenever she wanted to make an unscheduled stop while out together. Another reader said the best solution would be for each of them to trade off choosing a stop. The actual best solution, which I learned early during 26 years in the military and which I’ve used for some 15 years of marriage, is to always carry a boredom killer, usually a good book. -- Jerry
DEAR JERRY: If you’ve got a good book with you, you’re never bored (or alone). Thank you!
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