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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Apr 8, 2014
DEAR AMY: I need advice on a friendship issue involving my 14-year-old son. My son has been friends with a boy since fourth grade. Our families have been friends, and my husband and I think the parents are good people. The boys go to school together and we are carpooling this year.

The friend has changed. Every day I see instances of him slighting my son.

In the car, he is absorbed in his phone and barely grunts hello. When he gets to school, he hurries off and doesn't walk with my son. He makes plans on the phone with other kids, obviously excluding my son (who is sitting right there), and later brags about how much fun it was.

In my opinion, he is either deliberately trying to hurt my son, or clueless about his actions. I don't know which is worse.

The boys do talk some in the two classes they have together. They eat lunch with the same group, but it's obvious that they are growing apart.

My son's priority is doing well in school; the other boy is more concerned with trying to be popular.

I would like to end the carpool arrangement, but it might make the declaration that this friendship is over, instead of letting the boys work it out (or end the friendship on their own).

The other option would be to stick it out until the end of the year, and then let the boys go their separate ways. I have not talked to the boy's parents. I'm afraid of being too angry and judgmental about their son when I talk to them. What do you suggest?-- Carpool Mom

DEAR MOM: I realize how hard it can be for a parent to witness this sort of dynamic, but your son should be in the driver's seat in terms of his own relationships, even if his choice confuses or frustrates you and even if he is not being particularly "brave" in terms of standing up for himself.

Ask him an open-ended question: "What goes through your mind when your friend ignores you in the car?"

Your son may give you the brush-off. Fourteen-year-old boys don't always find it easy to express difficult emotions. If so, you can say, "Well, his behavior really bothers me. You are nice to all your friends, and I want people to be nice to you, too." Offer him the option of you terminating this carpool situation now. Otherwise stick it out until summer break.

I don't think there is any reason to intervene with this boy's parents or worry about what they think. But there is no reason for you to be host to this unpleasant dynamic either.

DEAR AMY: My husband and I have been invited to two weddings (with so far only a verbal invitation to both) on the same day in October.

The first invitation came last month from a casual friend we have known for five years; the second came last week from a close friend we have known for 28 years.

I immediately said, "Oh, we have a conflict on that date." She didn't seem upset but wanted to know whose wedding trumped hers so I told her.

I feel we should go to the wedding we were invited to first no matter how close the relationship is with these friends.

Do you agree?-- Cindy

DEAR CINDY: This is tricky because the invitations so far are verbal, the equivalent of a "save the date" whisper in your ear. I think you should wait to see if more permanent invitations come in (one or the other might have changed the date of the nuptials). Strictly speaking, the invitation you accept first is the one you should honor.

DEAR AMY: "Confused Partner" talked about "sister weekends" that excluded a sister-in-law. I can't imagine doing this. My sister-in-law is as much of a sister to me as my "blood" sisters are.-- Disappointed

DEAR DISAPPOINTED: Many families draw a hard and fast line between "real" and in-law relationships. This can cause people to feel excluded, but realistically it is not always possible to change the way families operate.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Melrose Park, IL

#2 Apr 8, 2014
1- Whoooop whoooop, a helicopter has been spotted in the area, proceed with caution!

2- I think they should go to the wedding of the closer friend

3- Bully for you

Since: Jun 09

Saint Petersburg, FL

#3 Apr 8, 2014
LW1: Do not go to the kids parents; I am a big fan of letting kids navigate these things themselves. It's a teaching moment and they need to learn how to deal with these issues, even when it's uncomfortable. Yes, try to talk to your son about it, but I wouldn't end the carpool. I'd honor the commitment till the year end then don't do it again next year. It kills you to see your kid might be hurting, so be there for him. But you can't fight his "battles" for him.

LW2: I agree that you should honor the first commitment, but invitations haven't been sent and RSVPs haven't been returned. I don't know if that counts.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#4 Apr 8, 2014
L1 It is April. Don't terminate the car pool arrangement now but do tell the other parents that you won't be doing it for summer school or in the fall.

Let the boys sort this out themselves. I assume the LW's son has other friends he does things with or other activities

L2 Its April. Those weddings are in 6 months. Lots of things happen in 6 months.

Me? I would go to the one of the person I new for 28 years, but I would not say that to the other bride
Slash

United States

#5 Apr 8, 2014
My neighbor offered me a blo job to take her kid to school. Should I take the blo job and stiff her, so to speak, or should I drive the lil brat?

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#6 Apr 8, 2014
LW1: Stop doing the carpool next year and stay out of it.

LW2: Since you haven't formally accepted any invitation, I would go to the wedding I wanted to go to most.

LW3: Imagine this ... not everyone is the same as you.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#7 Apr 8, 2014
Sublime1 wrote:
LW1: Stop doing the carpool next year and stay out of it.
LW2: Since you haven't formally accepted any invitation, I would go to the wedding I wanted to go to most.
LW3: Imagine this ... not everyone is the same as you.
Pretty much what everyone said on lw2. This lw is acting like her time is doled out like a mcdonald's cashier: first come firt served. If invitations have not gone out, commitments have not been made. You go to the weddibg of the person you are closest with.

Straw poll:
Who rsvp's to an invite (for any event) right away?

“An Apple a day”

Since: Jun 08

nil carborundum illegitemi

#8 Apr 8, 2014
1. You are a helicopter mom and need to mind your own business. You can't know what is going on in this friendship.

2. And for this you need to write an advice columnist???!!! Go to both weddings, one for the actual wedding, the other for the party. Problem solved.

3. Again, you had to write to Amy to explain that you are different from the LW. Nothing like being self-centered.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#9 Apr 8, 2014
1 Team Stina with a side of mutt.

2 I would go to the closer friends wedding, whichever one it was.

3 Yeah, bet your Inlaws dont say that....

Since: Jun 09

Saint Petersburg, FL

#10 Apr 8, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>Pretty much what everyone said on lw2. This lw is acting like her time is doled out like a mcdonald's cashier: first come firt served. If invitations have not gone out, commitments have not been made. You go to the weddibg of the person you are closest with.
Straw poll:
Who rsvp's to an invite (for any event) right away?
I do if I am sure I am able to attend. Otherwise, I might forget.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#11 Apr 8, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>Straw poll:
Who rsvp's to an invite (for any event) right away?
Have no clue. My wife handles that stuff.

If I were doing it, I'd be like Stina and do it as soon as I knew I could attend or else I'd forget.
pde

Bothell, WA

#12 Apr 8, 2014
LW1: Don't do the carpool for next school year, if that's how you want to play it. But really, my parents had us carpooling with kids who weren't our friends for years because the parents were friends or the carpool was convenient. If the carpool is useful to you, I see no reason to end it even if the boys aren't friends anymore (as long as they aren't at each other's throats or something).

LW2: As Amy said, I see those ("verbal" invitations to weddings) more as "save the date" type pieces of information than invitations. You haven't yet committed to anything. If they remain on the same day, go to the wedding of the friend you have the closer relationship with.

LW3: I think my SIL has met my sisters twice. Once at a holiday party at my house (the only one SIL ever attended) and once at the wedding where they were all bridesmaids.

I have met my sister's SILs twice. Once at her bridal shower, and once at her wedding. I have met her BIL a few more times than that, but that's because BIL tends to hang out with them more often.

Obviously, inviting SIL to a "sister's" weekend here would be definitely weird.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#13 Apr 8, 2014
Sublime1 wrote:
<quoted text>
Have no clue. My wife handles that stuff.
If I were doing it, I'd be like Stina and do it as soon as I knew I could attend or else I'd forget.
You never get e-vites sent to you?

My wife is terrible when it comes to checking messages. The general rule among our friends is that if you need a timely response, messages need to come to me. I never respond right away. I wait til the last minute. Keep my options open long as possible

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#14 Apr 8, 2014
LW1: Geez! Talk to your son and see if any of this bothers him and tell him what about this situation bothers you. A learning experience (for both of you). Do not give him the option of terminating the car pool; sometimes you just have to finish out something you've committed to even if it turns out to be a big pile of no fun at all. Another learning experience.

LW2: Maybe you and your husband should split up; you can go to the one you want to and he can go to the other.

LW3: Well, you disappoint me with your assumption that everybody thinks like you.
boundary painter

Waco, TX

#15 Apr 8, 2014
Glance into the future on LW1: In two years, those boys

(a) were still good friends, but avoided talking much to her.
(b) got top honors on a project they worked on together
(c) found the girl they had both liked chose some other guy--and were
dating two girls whom each liked even better than they had liked her.
or
(d) other
Slash

United States

#16 Apr 8, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>You never get e-vites sent to you?

My wife is terrible when it comes to checking messages. The general rule among our friends is that if you need a timely response, messages need to come to me. I never respond right away. I wait til the last minute. Keep my options open long as possible
Awesome. I bet your friends love you. An idiot that can't make up his mind so his friends can plan a party accordingly.
Kuuipo

Marina, CA

#17 Apr 8, 2014
LW1: This sounds pretty typical of young teens, I think pde nailed it. Talk to your son, but I'd bet that he's not too bothered by his friend's behavior. Continue the carpool until the end of the school year and see what happens over the summer.

LW2: You haven't accepted either invitation until you mail back the RSVP cards. So go to the 28-year friendship wedding with a clear conscience.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#18 Apr 8, 2014
Ha! Someone had a big bowl of snark for breakfast!
squishymama wrote:
LW2: Maybe you and your husband should split up; you can go to the one you want to and he can go to the other.
.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#19 Apr 8, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>
You never get e-vites sent to you?
My wife is terrible when it comes to checking messages. The general rule among our friends is that if you need a timely response, messages need to come to me. I never respond right away. I wait til the last minute. Keep my options open long as possible
We usually both get the e-invite. I let her handle the response if possible. Unless it’s an occasion I was involved in planning, I rely on her to keep track of dates for such things and tell me when to show up.

My wife is really good at checking messages and staying on top of dates. It’s very helpful for me, because I’m not very good at remembering dates unless I plan or help plan it.

She also does the gift shopping (she enjoys putting thought into such things), which I don't enjoy doing.

She complements me well.
boundary painter

Waco, TX

#20 Apr 8, 2014
RACE wrote:
Ha! Someone had a big bowl of snark for breakfast!
<quoted text>
Good idea, though:

Glance into the future on LW2. She and her husband decided:

(a) Each would go to one wedding and switch places to go to the receptions
(b) they would go to one wedding; then the other
(c) they would go to each reception, bringing a small, nice practical gift
or
(d) other

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