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“Checks and Balances”

Since: Apr 13

Location hidden

#1 Apr 19, 2013
DEAR AMY: My wife and I live in a conservative part of the country, and our problem has to do with the rudeness of (mostly) strangers in public.

We are a same-gender couple and we do not make a show of affection in public. However, that doesn't stop people from scowling or sneering at us.

When people are staring or glaring, I tend to smile at them, and my partner tends to wink. Both are vaguely effective in stopping stares. But I'm wondering if you could recommend a better way of dealing with it. It gets so old.

What wisdom can you offer that is greater than kindness?-- Fed Up

DEAR FED UP: There is no wisdom greater than kindness. There is no response to scowling better than a smile and a wink. You two sound like treasures.

However, you should not feel you always have to respond positively when you're out in public. It is not your job to charm or win over doubters, haters, scowlers or sneerers. Simply going about your business with a neutral attitude should be enough.

DEAR AMY: I live in a wonderful city that people like to visit. How do I say no to people who invite themselves to my house? For example, I have longtime "friends" with whom I have little in common who email once a year to say they're coming.

This year they actually termed it "our annual trip to your house." Unbelievable! They are loud and negative, and talk about people I don't know from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. without stopping; it is beyond stressful, especially considering that I love my privacy.

I'm a widow, but they used to drive my husband nuts too. It's not about the expense (although I feel I have to come up with new things for them to see and do and new dishes to cook every year); it's about the invasion and the assault to my ears.

Sometimes they tell me not to worry about taking them touring, that we can just "stay home and visit." That is 90 percent of the problem. How can I tell them that the hotel is closed -- permanently?-- Over-visited

DEAR OVER-VISITED: The nice thing about email is that you can compose your response carefully. I'm going to try to help. Try writing, "I have many great memories from your annual visits, but honestly I'm just not up to having you stay with me anymore. I have gotten to a point that I treasure my privacy; having houseguests is too much for me. If you visit the city, I'd love to see you for an afternoon. Let me know if that would work for you."

DEAR AMY: You published my letter recently. When I read your response (to my question about my son who is angry with me for charitable donations I've made and plan to make), my first reaction was, "How dare she?"

How dare she tell me I am being manipulative?

And yet, I see it. I have long said that I would keep learning until I draw my last breath. This is another learning experience for me.

I've been asking myself, "Why did I do that?" and "What did I get out of it?" The answer is somewhat messy; I have work to do.

My deepest thanks!-- Charitable Mother

DEAR MOTHER: Thank you so much for getting in touch to let me know you read my answer to your query. Oftentimes I wonder if people who write to me see my response and understand my point of view. I especially appreciate that even though you did not necessarily like my response, you are open to it.

Your money is your own to spend as you please. Your choice to force your son to react to your spending (even when you knew he disagreed with it and would react poorly) made me wonder why you would repeatedly confront him with it. So yes, this did seem like an attempt to manipulate him.

The answer is almost always "messy." We all have work to do. I applaud you for facing this reality and thank you for getting in touch.

“Checks and Balances”

Since: Apr 13

Location hidden

#2 Apr 19, 2013
LW1 - I love this answer! Great job, Amy's intern!

LW2 - If they visit you every year, then technically it is an annual trip.*sigh* Why is it so hard to grow a backbone?

LW3 - If Amy is going to print responses to letters, it would be helpful if she printed the date of the original letter. Of course, I'm too lazy to look it up right now.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#3 Apr 19, 2013
1 Next time they scowl or sneer, ask them if they have something in their eye. When the say No, just reply, Oh, then it must be something up your azz.

2 No, that wont work, just say you're too old and crotchety to have house guests, Period!

3 Thanks for taking the credit for our reply's lamy!

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#4 Apr 19, 2013
L1: I like Amy's response.

L2: You're a bigger clod than the self-invited guests. Until you learn to speak up and stop letting people take advantage of you, I have absolutely no sympathy for you. You are too helpless to be helped.

L3: And yet you couldn't grasp the simple concept of NOT sharing your financial matters with him and others.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#5 Apr 19, 2013
LW3 was the woman whose son didn't like that mom was spending HIS money (his inheritance) on charities. But she also sounded like she tells everybody her financial business.

Since: Oct 09

Wagner, SD

#6 Apr 19, 2013
LW1: Edog, just bite the bullet and be nice to them once in awhile, will ya? And tell your friends to do the same.

I, too, live in a conservative state and hubby and I have gay friends (some aren't out, yet, for understandable reasons) and some of their experiences are enough to curl my hair. Often either outright hatred and threats, or constant, condescending proselytizing.

LW2: I HATE people like this, both who invite themselves without actually asking and who yak and yak and yak and won't leave you alone or let you be alone at all during their visit. The LW sounds like my mother, who hates to ever "hurt" anyone at all, so she puts up with crap, then takes her misery out on her family. Both sides suck here.

LW3: Yes, the mother was manipulative, but the son was a doosh also. It isn't "his" money until she's gone, and even then it isn't "his" money unless she leaves it to him (and I'd be tempted not to do so if I were her). She has the right to do whatever she wants with her own money, both in life and in death. People who expect and demand inheritances from their parents and who try to control the parents' spending while they're alive because it's "their" money really, really pizz me off.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Melrose Park, IL

#7 Apr 19, 2013
1- I think the LW is full of sht, Janie. If they're not publicly affectionate, how do people know they're gay? Unless they're flaming and strutting around in their shoet gold shorts and pink feather boas. THAT might be why people are starring. Otherwise, I simply don't belive they're getting sneers and dirty looks. I just love how they paint "conservatives" with a broad brush, too. Who's intolerant of whom? Think these men love to hate?

“Checks and Balances”

Since: Apr 13

Location hidden

#8 Apr 19, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
1- I think the LW is full of sht, Janie. If they're not publicly affectionate, how do people know they're gay? Unless they're flaming and strutting around in their shoet gold shorts and pink feather boas. THAT might be why people are starring. Otherwise, I simply don't belive they're getting sneers and dirty looks. I just love how they paint "conservatives" with a broad brush, too. Who's intolerant of whom? Think these men love to hate?
First of all, they are women. Secondly, there are quite a few people who assume that if you see two adults together, they must be a couple. Also, long-term couples tend to relate to each other in such a way that they don't have to be shoving their tongues down each other's throats for people to get the sense that they are together.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#9 Apr 19, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
1- I think the LW is full of sht, Janie. If they're not publicly affectionate, how do people know they're gay? Unless they're flaming and strutting around in their shoet gold shorts and pink feather boas. THAT might be why people are starring. Otherwise, I simply don't belive they're getting sneers and dirty looks. I just love how they paint "conservatives" with a broad brush, too. Who's intolerant of whom? Think these men love to hate?
The LW did not say "conservatives", she said a "conservative part of the country."

And couples tend to behave like couples, even if there's no PDA.

And you have the wrong stereotypical clothing. The ladies like the workout pants and tshirts.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#10 Apr 19, 2013
LW1: I hate it when I agree with Amy.

LW2: Use your words, but expect to lose these people as "friends."

LW3: How DARE she! Truth hurts, don't it.
Errm

Nashville, TN

#11 Apr 19, 2013
LW1-
Ironically enough, a generation ago straight women could hug,kiss and hold hands and only the rudest, most juvenile folks would have thought they were gay much less said anything. Straight women could travel together or even live together without folks making unwarranted assumption . However; thanks to the gay movement straight women nowadays face exactly the same kind of crap straight men have always faced if they dared show any kind of non hostile interaction with each other.

“Checks and Balances”

Since: Apr 13

Location hidden

#12 Apr 19, 2013
Errm wrote:
LW1-
Ironically enough, a generation ago straight women could hug,kiss and hold hands and only the rudest, most juvenile folks would have thought they were gay much less said anything. Straight women could travel together or even live together without folks making unwarranted assumption . However; thanks to the gay movement straight women nowadays face exactly the same kind of crap straight men have always faced if they dared show any kind of non hostile interaction with each other.
Um, what? Thanks to the gay movement? How about we just stop being so judgmental in general and all start minding our own business?

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#13 Apr 19, 2013
I have heard that in some parts of europe it is not unusual for straight men who are friends to hold hands or walk arm in arm, nothing sexual about it, just buds hanging.

Dont we have someone in europe right now who could verify this?
ScarletandOlive wrote:
<quoted text>
Um, what? Thanks to the gay movement? How about we just stop being so judgmental in general and all start minding our own business?

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Melrose Park, IL

#14 Apr 19, 2013
ScarletandOlive wrote:
<quoted text>
Um, what? Thanks to the gay movement? How about we just stop being so judgmental in general and all start minding our own business?
Maybe in a world of rainbows and unicorns but here in the real world, Errm makes a valid point.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#15 Apr 19, 2013
RACE wrote:
I have heard that in some parts of europe it is not unusual for straight men who are friends to hold hands or walk arm in arm, nothing sexual about it, just buds hanging.
Dont we have someone in europe right now who could verify this?
<quoted text>
This also is true of much of the Middle East and parts of eastern Asia.

“FD&S is no way to be.”

Since: Feb 13

United States

#16 Apr 19, 2013
1. Wen people stare, just give each other a big kiss and smile.

2. The nice thing is that, seeing how rude they are, you don't have to worry about appearing to be rude. Just tell them you are not up for hosting anymore. You know a few good hotels nearby, and you'll gladly make time to visit, but you just can't host.$10 says they don't come at all.

3. Didn't care then, don't care now.
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

#17 Apr 19, 2013
LW1: How do people know if you are a couple if you aren't showing any affection? Now I wonder if people think I am gay every time I hang out with one of my girlfriends. I can't help but think LW is being a little paranoid. One of those people that thinks everyone is looking at her and talking about her if someone happens to glance their way.

LW2: Say you haven't been well and can't do it this year.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#18 Apr 19, 2013
LW1: Start by always leaving the pink feather boas at home. Then ...

LW2: Just tell them a visit will not work out for you this year. Don't even leave the door open a crack.

“Colorful Beyond Words ”

Since: May 11

" Live, Laugh, Love "

#19 Apr 19, 2013
L1 People look/stare at things that are unnatural. Just the way it is ....

L2 Use Amy's words. People who invite themselves without regard for their host are clods.
Kuuipo

Marina, CA

#20 Apr 19, 2013
LW1: Good answer from Amy. Your other choice is to move to California. In San Francisco, you and your wife will be the conservative couple.

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