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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#1
Oct 8, 2012
 
DEAR AMY: I am an only child and recently married. My husband has a sister who has two children. One is a toddler and the other is in elementary school.

My husband and I agree that the Christmas spending tradition has been overblown and that even though we are financially stable we do not want to participate in gift exchanges with family and friends. We've also agreed that when we have children gift-giving will not be a part of our holiday celebrations.

Recently, we communicated our decision to family and friends. We explained that while we want to celebrate the holiday with everyone, in lieu of gifts we will be making additional donations to charity. My sister-in-law vehemently disagrees with our stand. She complains that we are "ruining Christmas" for everyone, in particular her children (to whom my husband previously gave gifts each year).

My husband says we should make an exception for children (even though he agrees that if we had our own children it would be OK not to give them gifts). Do you have any advice on how to respond to my sister-in-law or how to persuade my husband to hold firm to our otherwise agreed-upon beliefs?-- Not A Scrooge!

DEAR NOT: You and your husband are from small families, so even if you chose to give gifts, the burden would not be too great. But I get it -- it's the principle of the thing.

I like your idea of taking the materialism out of the holiday, though you do sound like a humorless Scrooge. Your sister-in-law is wrong to accuse you of "ruining" anything, although you are forcing the family to adjust to your style. And what if your husband decides to continue to give gifts to these children? Will you permit him?

One way to celebrate without giving material gifts would be to start a tradition involving the extended family. You could host a wintertime bonfire with skating or sledding, or treat the kids to a holiday concert or a production of "A Christmas Carol."

If you decide to have children, it will be challenging to continue your vise grip on this issue. What you are learning here is that you cannot control other people, especially about something as emotionally loaded as gift-giving.

DEAR AMY: Almost three years ago, I started seeing a man who was separated from his wife. At one point, we broke up but got back together when he said he would file for divorce. That was a year ago. We've since gone on trips to visit members of his family, and in every case, he has introduced me as his girlfriend.

All five of his grown children and grandchildren accept me graciously. He finally got divorced four days ago. Hooray! Now he says he's embarrassed to say we're "in a relationship" on Facebook because he just got divorced.

The only people who know his divorce date also have known me for a year and know we are seeing each other. Am I crazy to be hurt? Is he just avoiding commitment? I'm old enough to be a grandmother for goodness' sake! What should I do?-- Confused

DEAR CONFUSED: Your guy is embarrassed to reveal to the world that he has bounced quickly into another relationship. He may even feel that to reveal this would be embarrassing to you. You obviously don't feel embarrassed in the slightest, and so the answer is for you to post your own status as "in a relationship" and let him do so when he's ready.

DEAR AMY: "Concerned" didn't want people giving her 5-year-old daughter Barbie or Bratz dolls. I'd like to reassure her. I grew up playing with these dolls and am now an avid reader, expect to graduate near the top of my class and have a very healthy self-image.-- Better Than Barbie

DEAR BETTER: Thank you for pointing out that these dolls might not be as "dangerous" as this mother thinks.

Since: Jan 10

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#2
Oct 8, 2012
 
L1: Right. Why do I think you'll see the magic of Christmas once you have your own kids and rethink your stance on Christmas gifts? Why do I think this is all you and you got your husband to agree?

L2: What should you do? As a grown woman, what you should do is not rely on social media to announce who your boyfriend/girlfriend is. Grow up.

L3: That mother was psycho.

Since: Mar 09

United States

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#3
Oct 8, 2012
 
L1: You DO sound like a Scrooge and I'm not buying your excuses. And I think it's mean to not give your kids ANY gifts for the holidays - it will alienate them among their peers.

L2: Please... make it stop... I can't get away from Facebook relationship status drama lately!(Not me... my friend A and her controlling boyfriend).

L3: I played with Barbies too but the jury's still out on how I turned out....
;)

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#4
Oct 8, 2012
 
1 You You You! It's all about you. I hope you never have kids, you will make a terrible mother. Your already the wicked aunt.

2 Old People FB crap, dont care

3 I still chuckle over the Gary Larson cartoon where the brother takes the barbie and tells his sister it is committing suicide by falling out the window.

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

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#5
Oct 8, 2012
 

Judged:

1

L1: I whole-heartedly disagree with all. She and her husband have every right to give or not give Xmas gifts to the little kids.

The sister is being histrionic. How you celebrate is nobody elses' business.

L2: Whatever...facebook dilemmas bore me.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#6
Oct 8, 2012
 
LW1: "Not A Scrooge!"
BS. You are a Scrooge. You wanna not give gifts? Fine. Its your money. But don't expect people to see things the way you do.

LW2: "I'm old enough to be a grandmother for goodness' sake!"
BUt you have the mentality of a school girl. Facebook status is really an issue at your age? WTF?

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#7
Oct 8, 2012
 
j_m_w wrote:
(Not me... my friend A and her controlling boyfriend)
Share the drama. Is this the same one who got drunk and was talked down to for it?

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

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#8
Oct 8, 2012
 

Judged:

1

L1: I'm torn on this one. I never got jack shyte from any of my aunts and uncles for Christmas or any other holiday, so I don't think that's so weird. That would have gotten complicated and stupid, and expensive. But good luck not getting your own kids gifts.

L2: Like, OMG, Becky.

L3: I did *not* have Barbies and I'm kind of weird. Take from that what you will.
PEllen

Chicago, IL

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#9
Oct 8, 2012
 
There is pleasure in giving gifts and they need not be expensive. LW missed that and that is why she is a Scrooge

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

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#10
Oct 8, 2012
 
Saluki, I see your alma mater stomped ISU in our homecoming game this weekend, he he he.

I say *our* as in, I live in the area. I've never been to a game and only briefly attended the school.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#11
Oct 8, 2012
 
Saluki Rod wrote:
L1: I whole-heartedly disagree with all. She and her husband have every right to give or not give Xmas gifts to the little kids.
The sister is being histrionic. How you celebrate is nobody elses' business.
I half agree with you. But here's how it likely played out. In the past, they all exchanged gifts(which she confirmed at least as far as the children). They made the decision to not do a gift exchange. WEll, it would be pretty shitty to just stop and not tell the others, cause they are likely to still get you something, so this is not just a unilateral decision. They had to make it known to others that this is their intent, so don't get us nothing. Sister didn't like the idea as is her right. The traditional gift exchange is important to her so she voiced her opposition to the idea. That opposition is not simply about the LW as the EXCHANGE affects both parties.

So yes, LW can spend her money however she chooses, but she will be judged for it and there is no getting around that. That seems to be the common thread about many letters. "I want to do X, but I don't want anyone to have a problem with it." Sorry, but you can't control how others percieve you and your actions.

Since: Mar 09

United States

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#12
Oct 8, 2012
 
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>Share the drama. Is this the same one who got drunk and was talked down to for it?
Yes. He wanted to be "in a relationship" with her on Facebook after like 2 weeks... she said let's wait, there are some people I want to talk to first who'd be hurt if they found out on Facebook (her mom, her best friend up north, etc). So 2 weeks later, he brings it up again. She says fine, okay, go ahead. He tells her to send the relationship request (I've never done this so I didn't even know this is how it works), she says no, you want to be Facebook official, you do it. They go back and forth a few times and he finally does it.

The latest about the drunk thing... if it happens again, they're through. And he told his best friend (who's a woman) about the whole incident and she said "that's why you should date within your own race." Which not only doesn't make sense, because last time I checked, all races drink, but is a racist thing to say. And I can't believe he repeated it to my friend.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#13
Oct 8, 2012
 
Wow. Facebook just creates so much drama out of nothing.
j_m_w wrote:
He wanted to be "in a relationship" with her on Facebook after like 2 weeks
I don't get this.
j_m_w wrote:
there are some people...who'd be hurt if they found out on Facebook (her mom, her best friend up north, etc)
I don't get this.
j_m_w wrote:
He tells her to send the relationship request... she says no, you want to be Facebook official, you do it. They go back and forth a few times and he finally does it.
Is this like holding out to see who says I love you first?

“Licensed to Ill”

Since: Aug 08

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#14
Oct 8, 2012
 
LW1: I donít agree with the sister saying that it will ruin Christmas, but at the same time if I had a sister or sil like the LW, I would tell her just to keep her money, and I donít want money donated to a charity in my name. It seem obnoxious to me. Itís really her who is making the donation. So I would say you just do it in your own name and leave me and my children out of it.

LW2: Whatís up with folks wigging out over facebook relationship statuses?

LW3: You also paid for your college tuition by being an escort, I bet.
PEllen

Chicago, IL

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#15
Oct 8, 2012
 
j_m_w wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes. He wanted to be "in a relationship" with her on Facebook after like 2 weeks... she said let's wait, there are some people I want to talk to first who'd be hurt if they found out on Facebook (her mom, her best friend up north, etc). So 2 weeks later, he brings it up again. She says fine, okay, go ahead. He tells her to send the relationship request (I've never done this so I didn't even know this is how it works), she says no, you want to be Facebook official, you do it. They go back and forth a few times and he finally does it.
The latest about the drunk thing... if it happens again, they're through. And he told his best friend (who's a woman) about the whole incident and she said "that's why you should date within your own race." Which not only doesn't make sense, because last time I checked, all races drink, but is a racist thing to say. And I can't believe he repeated it to my friend.
Best friend clearly has an agenda and your friend is not on it. Not a good predictor for a calm long term relationship.

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

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#16
Oct 8, 2012
 
Matilda77 wrote:
Saluki, I see your alma mater stomped ISU in our homecoming game this weekend, he he he.
I say *our* as in, I live in the area. I've never been to a game and only briefly attended the school.
Yeah, my boys play fairly well if the coaches can keep 'em sober...

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

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#17
Oct 8, 2012
 
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>I half agree with you. But here's how it likely played out. In the past, they all exchanged gifts(which she confirmed at least as far as the children). They made the decision to not do a gift exchange. WEll, it would be pretty shitty to just stop and not tell the others, cause they are likely to still get you something, so this is not just a unilateral decision. They had to make it known to others that this is their intent, so don't get us nothing. Sister didn't like the idea as is her right. The traditional gift exchange is important to her so she voiced her opposition to the idea. That opposition is not simply about the LW as the EXCHANGE affects both parties.
So yes, LW can spend her money however she chooses, but she will be judged for it and there is no getting around that. That seems to be the common thread about many letters. "I want to do X, but I don't want anyone to have a problem with it." Sorry, but you can't control how others percieve you and your actions.
I bet you're right. When my wife and I had to bow out of the family Christmas exchange it was due more to distance than budget. Since then though, we've re-vamped the faily Xmas traditions so its more about the get-together than the gifts.

SalikiWife and I eschewed a Xmas tree for several years before we had kids, mainly due to the hassle. We do the full-blown bit now.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

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#18
Oct 8, 2012
 
LW1: I totally agree with not getting adults christmas gifts, but the kids? Come on! They're really little and that's what christmas is to them.

If you really wanted to teach them about giving/donating to charity, get them involved with picking some charity they would like support. Just donating in their name means jack sh!t to them.

LW2: What Tonka said. You are way too old to be concerned with this BS.

LW3: Yup, it's just a doll.

Since: Mar 09

United States

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#19
Oct 8, 2012
 
Mister Tonka wrote:
Wow. Facebook just creates so much drama out of nothing.
<quoted text>
I don't get this.
<quoted text>
I don't get this.
<quoted text>Is this like holding out to see who says I love you first?
My original comments are gone but I don't know enough HTML, so bear with me....

You don't get that he wanted his Facebook status to say "in a relationship with Soandso"? Apparently he could have just changed HIS Facebook status to "in a relationship" without 'tagging' anyone else... I think that's how it works. But he didn't. So I guess I don't get it either.

As far as why she wanted to wait, she didn't want to hurt her mom's or her best friend's feelings by not talking to them specifically to tell them the news that she has a boyfriend. I get this, but I do think it adds to the drama of Facebook in general.

And as far as who initiates the relationship request... I guess it's a junior high way of saying I love you first... ugh.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#20
Oct 8, 2012
 
I guess instead of saying "I don't get this", I should have said "this just seems silly to me".
j_m_w wrote:
You don't get that he wanted his Facebook status to say "in a relationship with Soandso"?
Oh, I get that's what he wanted. I just don't get why its such a big deal to anyone, especially after 2 weeks. Just silly facebook drama.
j_m_w wrote:
As far as why she wanted to wait, she didn't want to hurt her mom's or her best friend's feelings by not talking to them specifically to tell them the news that she has a boyfriend.
I get her objective, but it seems silly to me. Is that because I'm me or because I'm a guy? My relationship status(pre-facebook) was never anything I discussed with my parents. They got no special heads up. So the idea that she needs to specifically tell her mom and others personally or they would be hurt seems silly to me. My mom didn't know I was dating my wife until I brought her down for a friend's wedding.

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