dahgts

United States

#1 Mar 3, 2013
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married for 30 years and will be visiting my mother-in-law again soon. Even though he is 50, she is obsessed with dressing him. As soon as we arrive, she searches through our luggage and announces that his clothes are not "good enough." Then she wants to put her son in her dead husband's clothes. She always threatens that she will have a fit if he won't wear the clothes she chooses. What should I do?-- BAGGAGE CHECK IN MONTANA

DEAR BAGGAGE CHECK: Your mother-in-law may still be in deep mourning for her husband. If your husband bears a strong resemblance to his father, it's possible that seeing him in those clothes in some way brings her husband back to her.

Frankly, her behavior is quite bizarre -- including the threatened tantrum if she doesn't get her way.(Could she be losing it?) When the subject comes up again, as it will when you arrive, you and your husband should stand your ground and let her throw her fit. It might be the beginning of some healing.

DEAR ABBY: I have a question regarding what to do when someone pays you a compliment. I was always taught that a compliment should be answered with a polite "thank you." So when my husband compliments me on a nice meal, I say, "Thank you."

He believes that you are not being humble enough when you say thank you, since it is recognizing that you did a good job. He thinks you should say, "I'm glad you like it," instead of thank you. What is the correct response?-- GRAMMATICALLY PERPLEXED

DEAR PERPLEXED: You are not a robot, and your husband should not attempt to program your responses by "correcting" you. Saying thank you for a compliment is the appropriate response when one is offered. When paid a compliment, I see no reason to feign humility by saying anything that lessens it, especially if it is deserved.

DEAR ABBY: About a year ago my sisters, a daughter and several nieces and nephews decided to get the word "family," in my mother's handwriting, tattooed on their bodies to memorialize her. I didn't do it because Mom didn't like tattoos and would not have approved of anyone getting one for any reason. I do a number of other things in her memory.

Should I feel guilty for not joining them in their endeavor to remember Mom, or is it OK to remember her in a way she would approve of?-- NO TATS FOR ME

DEAR NO TATS: The process of mourning is an individual one. There is no requirement that families do it "en masse." If you prefer to memorialize your mother in your own way, then do it and don't feel guilty about it. However, because your relatives chose to do something else in the spirit of family harmony -- which your mother would not approve of -- be careful not to criticize the path they took.

DEAR ABBY: My son's fourth-grade teacher can't spell. I have noticed at least a half-dozen errors not only in the handwritten notes she sends home, but also in assignment work! How should I handle this?-- ANONYMOUS IN PITTSBURGH

DEAR ANONYMOUS: Save the notes and assignment work with the misspellings and share them with the school principal. And if the problem continues, go to the school board about the problem teacher.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#2 Mar 3, 2013
L1 Here are some suggestions:
A. Arrive without luggage for him
B. Pack his suitcase with frilly sexy women's underwear or black leather bondage stuff
C. Have him snatch some of his father's clothes and change into them on the way to her house- all the better if Dad had monogrammed stuff.
D. Tolerate it because its old, you don't see her often and most people can tolerate a polyester leisure suit with a Nehru collar for a short time.

L4 Oh no no . Complaining about the teacher's spelling would violate her ADA rights to have her own learning disability accommodated in the workplace

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#3 Mar 3, 2013
L1: It is for your husband to do something, not you. Quit the power struggle. It's only clothes.
L2: You must be Catholic.:) Guilt. No. Let is go already.
L3: Oh, you are a grammar person that needs to correct everyone. If you must say something, say it privately to the teacher. Yes, she needs to be an example to her students. You need to be an example to your children. You don't correct someone publicly nor do you need to go right into tattle tale area. You first talk to the person.
dahgts

United States

#4 Mar 3, 2013
L1: sign mom up for online dating and look for a man who wears the same size. Sorry but mom is a nut.
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#5 Mar 3, 2013
LW1 - My 3yo sometimes threatens to throw a fit if he doesn't get want he want. I tell him to go ahead and do it. Sometimes he does, but most of the time he doesn't. Maybe you and your husband need to treat your MIL like a 3yo. Or your husband can threaten to throw a fit if she tries to get him to wear his dead father's clothes.

LW3 - Talk to the teacher first. There are several possibilities. One, indeed, is that the teacher may be slightly dyslexic or dysgraphic. That is not an excuse to misspell all the time. She should be rechecking her spelling precisely because she should know this is her weak spot.

Another possibility is that the teacher is ...well, less than adequately educated. Unfortunately, I see quite a few education majors in my classes (future elementary school teachers) who should never have been in college in the first place. Even more unfortunately, they are going to graduate, pursue a teaching credential, and then become teachers. Some of them are so awful that if - God forbid - they ever become MY kids' teachers, I am going to transfer the kids to a different class or even a different school.

Since: Dec 09

Smalltown, Colorado

#6 Mar 3, 2013
PEllen wrote:
L1 Here are some suggestions:
A. Arrive without luggage for him
B. Pack his suitcase with frilly sexy women's underwear or black leather bondage stuff
C. Have him snatch some of his father's clothes and change into them on the way to her house- all the better if Dad had monogrammed stuff.
D. Tolerate it because its old, you don't see her often and most people can tolerate a polyester leisure suit with a Nehru collar for a short time.
L4 Oh no no . Complaining about the teacher's spelling would violate her ADA rights to have her own learning disability accommodated in the workplace
For LW1 - Your suggestions are funny but there is something kind of creepy about the MIL's behavior. They should ask her if she has had a physical lately, then make the appointment to see if she is slipping into dementia. If she isn't demented then she will get the hint to stop with the madness.

Since: Dec 09

Smalltown, Colorado

#7 Mar 3, 2013
LW4 - Use the teacher's handouts as a learning aid. Play a game called "find the Ms Misspells mistakes".
Kuuipo

Salinas, CA

#8 Mar 3, 2013
PEllen wrote:
L1 Here are some suggestions:
A. Arrive without luggage for him
B. Pack his suitcase with frilly sexy women's underwear or black leather bondage stuff
C. Have him snatch some of his father's clothes and change into them on the way to her house- all the better if Dad had monogrammed stuff.
D. Tolerate it because its old, you don't see her often and most people can tolerate a polyester leisure suit with a Nehru collar for a short time.
HA! Perfect!

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#9 Mar 3, 2013
Kuuipo wrote:
<quoted text>
HA! Perfect!
Kuuipo- I thought if you the other day. Apparently there is a separate Hawaiian Sign Language, diferent from American Sign Language and they that identified the last 40"speakers" and videotaped/recorded it before the language dies. It was in use over all the islands. Neat

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#10 Mar 3, 2013
Shari23 wrote:
<quoted text>
For LW1 - Your suggestions are funny but there is something kind of creepy about the MIL's behavior. They should ask her if she has had a physical lately, then make the appointment to see if she is slipping into dementia. If she isn't demented then she will get the hint to stop with the madness.
Creepy, yes, but funny creepy. It rather reminded me of the old George Segal movie, Where's Papa?

Since: Dec 09

Smalltown, Colorado

#11 Mar 3, 2013
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>
Creepy, yes, but funny creepy. It rather reminded me of the old George Segal movie, Where's Papa?
Yes, but don't remind me of how old we are....

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#12 Mar 3, 2013
Toj wrote:
You don't correct someone publicly nor do you need to go right into tattle tale area. You first talk to the person.
I disagree. I would feel uncomfortable having a conversation that pretty much calls her an idiot to her face, especially with my kid still in her class. If your waiter f's up, you speak to the manager. If your mechanic f's up, you speak to the manager. I see no difference here. If you have an issue with how someone is performing their job, you take it to their supervisor.

Since: Mar 09

West Palm Beach, FL

#13 Mar 3, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>I disagree. I would feel uncomfortable having a conversation that pretty much calls her an idiot to her face, especially with my kid still in her class. If your waiter f's up, you speak to the manager. If your mechanic f's up, you speak to the manager. I see no difference here. If you have an issue with how someone is performing their job, you take it to their supervisor.
Agreed. And she's more likely to make changes if it's coming from her boss anyway.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#14 Mar 3, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>I disagree. I would feel uncomfortable having a conversation that pretty much calls her an idiot to her face, especially with my kid still in her class. If your waiter f's up, you speak to the manager. If your mechanic f's up, you speak to the manager. I see no difference here. If you have an issue with how someone is performing their job, you take it to their supervisor.
If my waiter brings me the wrong thing, I tell the waiter. If the mechanic f's up my car (one mechanic left tools in it), I usually don't know b/c I don't know about cars. When the one that left tools in it -- I drove off the car fix-it place and the car was making noise. I turned around and went right back. Everyone was gone except for the manager. He opened up the hood, found the tools and was really pissed at his guy. If the guy who fixed my car was there, I would have gone right to him. I have no problem facing a person who made a mistake. I don't go up all in their face, I talk to them about it.

But that's me. If a teacher did write a note with a lot of misspellings to my kid, I would talk to the teacher. Nicely. I would have the first conversation with the teacher. If it happened again then I would bring it to his/her superior. If after I correct the waiter and he gets belligerent, I would go to his manager. If the car mechanic gets snotty about his mistake, his boss would know about it from me. In each case, I would start with the person who was the problem, first. The thing is, you can't wait until it gets to be a big problem.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#15 Mar 3, 2013
I've said to snotty waitress and waiters before that are nasty for no reason -- "Having a bad day?". It usually gets them on track.
not a ghost

San Antonio, TX

#16 Mar 4, 2013
Wasn't LW4 in another column a while back?
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

#17 Mar 4, 2013
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>
Creepy, yes, but funny creepy. It rather reminded me of the old George Segal movie, Where's Papa?
I loved that movie! That was RUth Gordon, right?

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