“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Nov 20, 2013
DEAR AMY: I have raised an idiot, albeit a kindhearted one. Two years ago, my then 34-year-old son got engaged to an attractive, 30-year-old, college-educated woman.

They moved to another city where my son restarted his mortgage business, which had grown moribund in the stagnant economy. His father and I have been helping him financially, but now he is getting back on his feet.

While he has struggled financially, his fiancee has steadfastly refused to look for a job. He continues to pay her bills, including her college loans.

I have asked him to either set the date or end the relationship, but he seems incapable of doing either. I realize that marrying her will not fix her work ethic, but he will also not move on.

I am eager to see some grandchildren -- I just celebrated my 70th birthday. It is heartbreaking to see him working 12-hour days six days a week, returning home to help get dinner ready -- and she refuses to help him financially.

To me, marriage is a partnership and she does not seem to be playing her part in this relationship.-- Failed Mother

DEAR FAILED MOTHER: On the one hand, this really doesn't have anything to do with you. On the other, your choices definitely influence your son. You refer to him as a kindhearted idiot, and he is doing his best to fulfill the role you have assigned to him.

If you had not helped him financially, for instance, he might have expected and required more of his fiancee. And your insistence that he make a choice between a lifetime of marriage and children (with someone you clearly don't think is deserving) or ditching her altogether could be exactly what is keeping him in limbo now.

Back off. Do not interfere. You do not have an automatic right to have grandchildren bestowed upon you on your timetable -- or at all.

DEAR AMY: I have had an up-and-down relationship with my husband's parents for the last 10 years; we don't see each other often. Despite my attempts to make things harmonious, I have always felt like an outsider.

They occasionally curtly email me to request photos and rarely thank me after receiving them.

It happened again this Halloween: I took a photo of my child in costume, and texted it to them right away, as I have learned that this is important to them. They never received the text, and I got an impersonal email request for a photo a few days later. I resent it. Once again, none of their emails had a please, a thank-you or a "Hello, how are things going with you guys?"

My husband is not particularly close to them either, so I'm not sure they would treat him much differently. But he rarely takes photos, so the photo-sending falls to me.

Should I try to communicate how undervalued and unappreciated this makes me feel, or try not to let it bother me?-- Unhappy Shutterbug

DEAR UNHAPPY: You have something your in-laws want, and if you want to continue providing photographs but change the dynamic, you may be able to retrain them.

Try attaching some questions along with the next photo you send. Example: "Is this the cutest thing ever?" "How are you doing these days?" "Do you have any photos of Bob from childhood you could send?"

If you try this and the dynamic does not change to your satisfaction, you can let them know, "I never hear back from you after I've sent photos, so now I don't have much motivation to continue."

Or you can let your in-laws know there's a new photo editor in town and train your husband to download and click "send."

DEAR AMY: "Dad" wrote to you, worried about his adult daughter's choice to go to Europe and stay with a guy she had met on a cruise.

While I agree with your advice overall, you chose to take a gratuitous dig at the French while delivering your tough love. Mon Dieu!-- French Lover

DEAR LOVER: Well, I figured the French could take it -- after all, they've got all the good croissants. But other readers agreed with you.

“What's it to ya?”

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#2 Nov 20, 2013
1: "Back off. Do not interfere. You do not have an automatic right to have grandchildren bestowed upon you on your timetable -- or at all."

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#3 Nov 20, 2013
1 Apple does not fall far from the tree eh? Your spending your coin paying off hid GF's loans. I forsee your idiot son being dumped once the loans are paid by his idiot parents.

2 I will let Tonka bash this person with his knowledge of FB/cloud/phone camera/etc. He will be able to say it much better than me.

3 ksara-sara, whatever.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#4 Nov 20, 2013
RACE wrote:
1 Apple does not fall far from the tree eh? Your spending your coin paying off hid GF's loans. I forsee your idiot son being dumped once the loans are paid by his idiot paren ts.
2 I will let Tonka bash this person with his knowledge of FB/cloud/phone camera/etc. He will be able to say it much better than me.
3 ksara-sara, whatever.
i don't have any tech talk to bash her with. I just don't get why she cares so much. They don't engage in pleasantries with her. So what. They don't do it with the husband either. They will never interact with her the way she likes. Get over it or simply let her husband be the sole point of contact with them.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#5 Nov 20, 2013
1- you call him an idiot, yet you're the ones supporting him and his girlfriend. But, I guess doing do gives you the right to dictate their behavior. So tell them to get married and give you a grandchild or you're cutting off their funding.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#6 Nov 20, 2013
1 When the letter started I thought she had a mentally retarded kid.
As the letter went along and he became a mortgage broker, I figured there was some substandard loan fraud issues lurking
As the letter concluded I figured out the mother never cut the apron strings and has no intention of doing so.
None of them are people I want to know.

2. I have a business acquaintance whom I have known for close to 40 years,. In person and on the phone, J is gravely courteous, politely humorous and a pleasure to talk to. His letters however, read like the last notice before sending the bill to collection. Nasty, abrupt and, standing alone, almost offensive.

Maybe your in laws don't like texting and emails as a communication method. Some people, often those my age and older, don't. Print the photos and send snail mail. It will cost you 50cents. See if that changes tings.
Blunt Advice

Suffern, NY

#7 Nov 20, 2013
1. Sucks when your children don't turn out how you would like, huh?
2. When you send pictures include "you're welcome" in the message.
3. Again adult children so often can't be controlled like puppets on a string. Suck it up.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#8 Nov 20, 2013
LW1: What Amy's intern said.

LW2: Stop trying to make nice. Send the photos and don't get offended by their rudeness. Just be glad you don't have to see them more often.

LW3: Merde

“What's it to ya?”

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#9 Nov 20, 2013
RACE wrote:
3 ksara-sara, whatever.
que sera-sera

“What's it to ya?”

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#10 Nov 20, 2013
squishymama wrote:
LW3: Merde
Je sais n'est pas?

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#11 Nov 20, 2013
Mimi Seattle wrote:
<quoted text>
Je sais n'est pas?
Non. Just a few words and phrases.

I took Spanish in HS and Italian in college. I gave my Italian teacher a good laugh almost weekly when I'd get flustered and answer her in Spanish.
pde

Homer Glen, IL

#12 Nov 20, 2013
Lw1: a marriage is a partnership defined by its participants. For whatever reason, what you think should be deal breakers, aren't deal breakers for your son. Either they have come to actual agreement on what their partnership is, or they have settled into what it is and your son has no desire to challenge the status quo.

Also, just because they get married or even if he moves on, is no guarantee you're ever going to get grandchildren. Ever consider that they aren't getting married because neither wants children, and neither wants the pressure that may be exerted on them after marriage ceremony to reproduce?

Lw2: It's email. I treat email as a method to send requests or pieces of information and rarely include any language beyond that.
Kuuipo

Salinas, CA

#13 Nov 20, 2013
LW1: Check the mirror to see the real idiot in this story. You cannot control other people. You are 70 and you don't know that yet.

LW2: Team squishymama. Your in-laws lack social graces, but trust me, it could be a lot worse. I also like Amy's advice to respond in a more friendly, chatty manner, without expectations.

“What's it to ya?”

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#14 Nov 20, 2013
squishymama wrote:
<quoted text>
Non. Just a few words and phrases.
I took Spanish in HS and Italian in college. I gave my Italian teacher a good laugh almost weekly when I'd get flustered and answer her in Spanish.
You said "merde" I said "I know, right?

C'est la raison pour laquelle je ne cherche pas faire espagnole. Les langues romanes sont assez proches qu'il me confond.

That's the reason I don't take Spanish. Romance languages are close enough it confuses me.

FWIW my French sucks enough I'll be taking yet another class over the winter quarter. Mostly it gets me out of the daily commute and still gets me my full scholarship money, but it definitely adds to my CV.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#15 Nov 20, 2013
Mimi Seattle wrote:
<quoted text>
You said "merde" I said "I know, right?
C'est la raison pour laquelle je ne cherche pas faire espagnole. Les langues romanes sont assez proches qu'il me confond.
That's the reason I don't take Spanish. Romance languages are close enough it confuses me.
FWIW my French sucks enough I'll be taking yet another class over the winter quarter. Mostly it gets me out of the daily commute and still gets me my full scholarship money, but it definitely adds to my CV.
I took reading French in undergrad. I live in Chicago where Spanish words abound and did so even in the early 70's. Like you, I confuse the languages. Therefore ( and it really is a therefore), I was the person most knowledgeable in Catalan at an otherwise credible publication in the early 70's.

Go figure
liner

Patchogue, NY

#16 Nov 20, 2013
L1: So your kid got engaged to an attractive, 30 year old college educated woman. What did she major in, grifting?
She shacks up with a schmuck who works his buns off all day, then comes home to do the cooking and cleaning while his idiot parents picks up the tab.
Sounds like she hit lotto.

“What's it to ya?”

Since: Mar 09

Location hidden

#17 Nov 20, 2013
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>I took reading French in undergrad. I live in Chicago where Spanish words abound and did so even in the early 70's. Like you, I confuse the languages. Therefore ( and it really is a therefore), I was the person most knowledgeable in Catalan at an otherwise credible publication in the early 70's.
Go figure
LOL

I grew up in the Bay Area and there's not a lot of French to be had. I started it with a HS elective. They gave us a first, second, and third choice. I chose Spanish as my first choice French second and German third. I figured Spanish would be most useful. Apparently by the time they got to my name Spanish was filled so they put me in French. I tried to start over with Spanish (which I got into) the next year. That lasted a week and I went back to French.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#18 Nov 20, 2013
Mimi Seattle wrote:
<quoted text>
You said "merde" I said "I know, right?
C'est la raison pour laquelle je ne cherche pas faire espagnole. Les langues romanes sont assez proches qu'il me confond.
That's the reason I don't take Spanish. Romance languages are close enough it confuses me.
FWIW my French sucks enough I'll be taking yet another class over the winter quarter. Mostly it gets me out of the daily commute and still gets me my full scholarship money, but it definitely adds to my CV.
HA! I told you I didn't know French. The spelling and apostrophes totally throw me.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#19 Nov 20, 2013
LW1: I also meant to point out that the LW may not know everything that she thinks she knows. She hates to "see" him come home after working 12 hour days only to have to help with dinner; how does she see him exactly? They live in another city. Maybe he's like my boss, who feels he has to work that much to get the job done and it has nothing to do with how much income they need. And maybe he enjoys cooking with his girl and specifically asks her to wait until he comes home to start dinner.

Whatever, I think she's a stripper.

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