Amy 10-4

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“Derecho”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#1
Oct 4, 2012
 
DEAR AMY: My husband and I live frugally and have saved our money. The problem started when we pooled our resources to buy a nice hobby farm for rescue animals (a dream we both shared). Although we both work full-time jobs and do all the work on our farm ourselves, family and friends seem to think we are rich.

Amy, we have stopped going out with friends because we always end up picking up the tab for one reason or the other. We receive endless graduation and baby shower invitations from people I don't even know!

For the past 10 years, I dutifully sent a card with a check when we receive these announcements (of course we are never thanked, but that's another story). Honestly, I think most of these couples should stop having children if they can't afford them. Sometimes I think we are only another form of revenue for them!

I like to use the little spare money I have to buy things for our animals, not other people's kids. I know how this must come across to most people, but I don't care anymore. How should I handle this?-- Not Rich

DEAR NOT: You're already "handling" this. Badly, mind you, but you're handling.

The way you describe your problem, you are constantly sending checks to strangers just because they have graduated from something or given birth to someone. If that is the case, then give me your address, because I have a few life events I'd like you to help me celebrate.

You obviously prefer the animals you know to the people in your wider circle. All you have to do to lessen your load and stop the heinous burden of invitations from human beings is to stop attending these life events (and/or sending money). You've already stopped socializing with friends rather than ask them to split the check. Now a consistent "No" answer to these invitations should stop the flow.

DEAR AMY: My husband and I have been friends with another couple since our children were in day care. Each family has two children.

"Sandra" is very successful in the corporate world and is very image conscious. She is also very negative regarding the achievements of our kids. For example, Sandra consistently dismisses the overseas volunteer work both of our kids have done, even while her kids really haven't done much. It is the same story with academic achievements. They are a great couple otherwise. Should I mention how it bothers me that she implies that our kids are never good enough?-- Proud Mother/Good Friend

DEAR MOTHER: If this mom is a true friend, versus a preschool rival, then of course you should be honest about how her attitude affects you.

One nice thing about growing up alongside other families is that you can bask in the accomplishments of the kid collective and also offer a supportive shoulder if any of them are struggling.

This presents an opportunity to examine your own behavior. Are you talking about the kids too often? Do you frame every choice they make as a triumph? If your friend's children are underachieving -- at least according to your standards -- a negative reaction to your kids could be her (inappropriate) way of trying to change the subject.

DEAR AMY: The letter from "Heartbroken" in your column really spoke to me. I chose to have a "destination wedding" as a way to run away from and shun my dysfunctional family. I was a part of the problem, although I didn't realize or admit this at the time.

Perhaps Heartbroken's daughter will be the bride in one or two more weddings (like I was) before she figures it out.-- Finally Functioning

DEAR FINALLY: I have received an outpouring of responses to the question from "Heartbroken," who described the family's sadness over the planning of an over-the-top European destination wedding that many guests and family members could not afford to attend.

Prospective brides and grooms should be aware that these "fairy tale" events don't always work out for guests.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

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#2
Oct 4, 2012
 
Parents ,especially moms, do tend to boast about their kids achievements,and it starts with competitiveness about when the first tooth came through, Johnny sat up by himself, walked, talked, read, what college they got into. LW should have figured this out 20 years ago.

It is a pet peeve of mine that some parents take responsibility for their kids achievements or attribute the kids achievements to the parents, at that is what I see happening here.

LW probably needs to start thinking of her own accomplishments instead of her kids'. That is where the grouch lies- that Sandra is described as big in the corporate world.

I suspect that this is really a FTWM vs SAHM issue 20 years down the road.

Since: Jan 10

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#3
Oct 4, 2012
 
L1: Sigh. The real dummies write to Amy. You don't have a "duty" to send checks to every invitation/announcement you receive. That's not frugal: IT'S STUPID. You don't have to pick up the tab, YOU CHOOSE TO. You sound like one of the most spineless people ever. Stop blaming other people's alleged perception of you for your own inability to be a grown up.

L2: Since you opted to not provide a single example of her comments, I'm going to say you need to stop feeling like you have to defend your adult children's choices. If she's bashing your kids, quit being friends. My goodness, why stay friends with someone like that?

l3: So your own inability to stand up for what you wanted was at the financial expense of others. Got it.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#4
Oct 4, 2012
 
1 You are rich, a working couple with no kids...To your friends with kids, your rich.

2 So your kids working for free is better than her kids working for money. Got it.

3 Mmmmm rehash and grits!

“Licensed to Ill”

Since: Aug 08

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#5
Oct 4, 2012
 
LW1: Why do you always pick up the tab? Why not just take the lead, speak up, and ask the wait staff to split the bill? In terms of gifts, if they arenít close to you, donít send anything. This shouldnít take a letter to an advice columnist to figure out.

LW2: I need more details to give any decent advice. How are you presenting your kids accomplishments? For her to constantly dismiss it, requires that you constantly bring it up? Why do you do this, especially if you know she doesnít think it is such a great thing? Why not talk about other things?

LW3: I think the couple being married can do what they want, but I also think you would have to be clueless to not realize that a destination wedding is going to put a big financial burden on a lot of folks, when they may not wish that. Itís really comes down to who you feel the wedding is all about. Sure itís about the couple being married, but what was most important to me was that my bride and our guests (that's also why I would not let one person's, who has an alcohol problem, wishes dictate whether alcohol is served or not - why make everyone else have just an okay time because one person has no self control) had a nice time. I would have had a nice time under most any circumstances. So that wasnít my primary concern.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#6
Oct 4, 2012
 

Judged:

1

LW1: "family and friends seem to think we are rich"
"we always end up picking up the tab for one reason or the other"
Who's fault is that?

"We receive endless graduation and baby shower invitations from people I don't even know!
For the past 10 years, I dutifully sent a card with a check when we receive these announcements"
Who's fault is that?

"Honestly, I think most of these couples should stop having children if they can't afford them."
You think people can't afford kids because they send you a birth or graduation annoucement? WTF?

"I like to use the little spare money I have to buy things for our animals, not other people's kids."
What's stopping you from doing that? Besides your own stupidity.

LW2: Your kids are adults. Its not like they are underfoot and always around. Have you tried, oh I don't know, differnt topics of conversation?

Since: Jun 09

Madison, WI

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#7
Oct 4, 2012
 

Judged:

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I'm glad you guys had the same reaction to the letters as I did.

L1: Seriously lady, if you're sending checks to strangers, it's no wonder people think you are rich. Take control of your own life.

L2: In this letter, it seems like you're bashing her kids. Her kids haven't really done much? I hope you didn't say that to her. I suspect you *only* implied it to her. I also suspect you both repeatedly try to bolster your own kids' accomplishments while diminishing the others.

However, if she truly is saying negative things about your children, call her out on it. "That's not a very nice thing to say."
animaniactoo

New York, NY

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#8
Oct 4, 2012
 

Judged:

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So LW2, you realize you just basically completely dismissed her kids' accomplishments, right?

I wonder why she feels like dismissing yours is fine in light of that that...

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

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#9
Oct 4, 2012
 

Judged:

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LW1: I see why you like your animals better. They don't ask for money.

LW2: They both sound petty and jealous.

LW3: Pass the butter, RACE. I gotta have butter on my grits 'n' rehash.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#10
Oct 4, 2012
 

Judged:

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L1: The ungrateful lot! Start writing more checks to people you don't know. That'll help!

L2: That's horrible! The betch is bashing your great kids when hers are nothing. Nothing!

L3: If you have a destination wedding, be sure to invite LW1.:)

“It made sense at the time....”

Since: May 09

Schaumburg, IL

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#11
Oct 4, 2012
 
LW1 - well, stop sending checks, ya dummy... especially if you don't kwno who they are! or send a card and say a donatation has been made to <name of your hobby farm here> in honor of hteir acheivement. that may stop teh announcemetns from coming in. as for picking up the check, that's also on you. keep track of what yiou order and when the cehck somes pull out enough cash to cover and say here's my share. or ask for your own tab.
Julie

Skokie, IL

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#12
Oct 4, 2012
 
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
L1: Sigh. The real dummies write to Amy.
Hardly surprising---they're reaching out to one of their own...
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
You don't have a "duty" to send checks to every invitation/announcement you receive. That's not frugal: IT'S STUPID. You don't have to pick up the tab, YOU CHOOSE TO. You sound like one of the most spineless people ever. Stop blaming other people's alleged perception of you for your own inability to be a grown up.
THIS.

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