Dear Amy: As my home state prepares to legalize recreational marijuana, I feel as if a lot of us are unsure of what to expect in certain social or familial situations.
As a middle-aged adult who saw both harmless pot smoking in college alongside plenty of truly frightening problems with marijuana and other substances, I am not a big proponent of using drugs for recreation.
In our family, we have an out-of-state close relative who is a daily user of marijuana, and from what we see on social media posts, he appears to be using from the moment he wakes up to right before falling asleep — seven days a week.
In his mid-20s, he is unemployed, lives at home, and relies on his parents to purchase his drugs (legal in his home state.)
When he visits relatives in states where recreational use is not legal, he insists on bringing his drugs and being allowed to smoke and consume them in our homes, or he threatens violence.
His parents do nothing to stop this behavior and appear to be detached from the issue, while clearly enabling his use of drugs.
We don't want to tell his family they are not welcome on major holidays, nor do we want to further exclude an adult child who appears to have mental health issues on top of problems with drugs. Nor do we want our young children (or our homes or ourselves) exposed to constant drug use during a multiple-day visit.
What is a good (and healthy) way to approach this and other holidays where this is always an issue?
Worried Relative: Many people don’t allow smoking of any kind inside their house, so that is one boundary you can easily establish.
If marijuana is still illegal in your state, then you should not allow it in your home or on your property.
Your younger relative is a daily user; his threat of violence if he can’t use is an indication of his substance use disorder/addiction (and/or other mental health issues, which apparently are not being addressed).
You should convey to these family members: “Marijuana use is illegal in our state. We don’t allow drug use or any smoking in our home. We are looking forward to seeing all of you, and we are giving you a heads-up about what our boundaries are. Please respond and let us know that you understand.”
Aside from the smoking issue, do not overly police this family member, or try to discern if he is high. If he threatens violence or is otherwise disruptive, you will have to ask him to leave your home; and, yes, his parents will have to face yet another consequence of their codependency.
I hope you can also urge his parents in the strongest possible terms to get help (for themselves). Nar-Anon Family Group meetings or online support (nar-anon.org) could be a supportive and nonjudgmental eye-opener for them.
Dear Amy: What happened to responding, "You're welcome" when you thank someone for their service? The typical response I receive is, "No problem."
While I am happy to hear that I did not cause them a problem (while performing their job), I do not appreciate the response.
I don't ever say anything because I think the next thing I would hear is, "OK boomer."
Common courtesy is definitely a thing of the past.
Just a boomer
Just a boomer: You have thanked someone for a service they’ve provided. The person has responded, “No problem.”
I realize that “no problem” is different from saying “you’re welcome,” but what does “you’re welcome” really mean, anyway? You’re welcome — to or for what?
“You’re welcome” is part of a politeness formula we North Americans have used for about a century, but the formula is changing, so when someone says “no problem,” they are not saying that they just did you a favor; they are saying that it was their pleasure to serve you, and they are acknowledging your appreciation.
Dear Amy: "Upset Friend" told the disturbing story of a longtime friend who came up behind her and grabbed her privates. I agree that this would constitute assault. However, all parties had been drinking. She also mentioned that the man was retired. I am wondering if he is a blackout drunk, or possibly showing some signs of dementia.
Worried: Either (or both) of your theories could be correct, which is why the person who was assaulted should speak her truth about what happened that night.