Amy 11-21

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“Derecho”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#1
Nov 21, 2012
 
DEAR AMY: An acquaintance and "Facebook friend" has recently returned to her hometown to care for her mother in what is assumed will be her final illness.

She has asked for the online love and support of her friends, which we are most willing to give. However, I am horrified that this friend shares the most personal details of her mother's ordeal, including her incontinence and paranoid hallucinations, in regular posts.

Exposing an ill and defenseless woman in this way to hundreds of strangers seems a deeply disrespectful act by an otherwise loving and self-sacrificing daughter.

I'm so upset by this that I have considered drawing up legal papers stating that if I ever need this type of care, and family members aren't willing to respect my dignity and privacy, that I be cared for by professionals who are bound by patient confidentiality. What are your views on this, Amy?-- Mortified

DEAR MORTIFIED: I share your mortification. And having experienced the joys and stresses of caretaking, I attest that the caretaker doesn't just see to someone else's medical needs; protecting the loved one's privacy and dignity is also important.

The thing is that when you are taking care of someone in extremis, that person's symptoms become your own ticker tape news feed. And just as some new parents overshare, it seems that illness and caring for someone at the end of life can lead to similar impulses.

Your friend might not realize that every post she writes is seen not only by her Facebook friends but by a potentially almost limitless number of other people who occupy her friends' Facebook circles. Or this is simply the only way she has to relieve her own anxiety and stress.

You might ask your friend if she wants help to adjust her privacy settings to limit the circle of people who can see and share this deeply personal information.

I agree you should use this experience as an opportunity to explore this issue with your own family. They should be told how you feel about this and respect your wishes to the end.

DEAR AMY: Last Saturday we invited some old friends to our home for dinner. We have known this couple for 35 years but have not seen them for a while. They were in town for a few days, so we invited them over.

I worked quite hard to prepare a lovely dinner and pride myself in my culinary skills. When they arrived, they came empty-handed. I initially did not give it a second thought, but later I wondered why they did not even bring a bottle of wine.

My husband and I were taught to always bring a small token of appreciation to our host. Have times changed? Should I adjust my thinking?-- Linda

DEAR LINDA: It might help for you to remember why you hosted this dinner. Surely your motive was to extend your own hospitality and generosity. I know of no requirement to bring a gift to a meal. It is definitely a polite and gracious gesture, but it is not necessarily rude to come empty-handed.

Focus on the success of the meal and generosity of your own gesture, and cut your friends some slack.

DEAR AMY: "Anguished Mother" wrote about her daughter-in-law's efforts to completely isolate her husband from his family. This mom said the daughter-in-law kept a "grievance journal" outlining what she perceived were the parents' slights over the years.

There were many unanswered questions in this letter, and I take issue with your conclusion that this husband is an abused spouse. I can't help but wonder what part the parents have played in this estrangement.-- Wondering

DEAR WONDERING: As I noted in my answer, the "grievance journal" sent a shiver up my spine. I took that as evidence that this wife was particularly vindictive.

“bELieve”

Since: Jun 09

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#2
Nov 21, 2012
 
LW1- find an online support group or chat room where you can share these details instead of FB. Yes, it helps to get things off your chest, but not with people you know IRL or people who don't understand what it is to be a caregiver.

Come over here! We need more stories and we can skip any posts we don't want to read. Plus, reading other people's posts here are a nice distraction sometimes.

“bELieve”

Since: Jun 09

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#3
Nov 21, 2012
 
LW2- it didn't bother you at the time because it wasn't something to get upset about. Did you have a good time? Were they gracious guests? Did they say thank you as they left?

Get over it!

Since: Dec 09

Smalltown, Colorado

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#4
Nov 21, 2012
 
LW1 - Next time this "friend" posts personal details about her mother reply to the post, "TMI, TMI, TMI". Maybe she will get the message.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#5
Nov 21, 2012
 

Judged:

1

1 Team Shari23. Last thing I want is my kid telling the world how I crapped my pants.

2 Oh you poor thing! Never invite them again.

3 I dont remember this, she sounds wacked!

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

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#6
Nov 21, 2012
 
L1: Yeah, I don't get that. But the LW can block her posts, so... And Amy, as usual, dropped the ball. Nowhere did the LW say that her friend had an open FB profile, just that she was sharing TMI with people she did know.

L2: So your friends came from out of town and you expected them to bring something? I usually ask, but maybe that wasn't convenient for them to run to a store? Maybe they're in town for a funeral and are grieving? You sound like a petty witch.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

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#7
Nov 21, 2012
 
L3: Oh, and the 'grievance journal'? Maybe that original LW is harassing her DIL and the DIL is writing stuff down for legal purposes. I really felt we were not getting even close to the full story on that one.

Since: Jan 10

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#8
Nov 21, 2012
 

Judged:

2

1

L1: Eh, I don't know, I can see more than one side to this situation. I'm more annoyed by parents who overshare horrible stuff like their toddler's first poop in the toilet. Knock it off, parents.

L2: No dinner guest is required by etiquette to bring anything. This expectation is tiresome, inappropriate, and not at all dignified.

L3: Yup, the DIL is controlling. And the husband *chooses* to be with her and stay with her.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#9
Nov 21, 2012
 
L1: Everyone has a different line of what they think is okay to share. If you don't wnat to read it, don't. It doesn't seem like you are a close enough friend to have a discussion about it with her so I would not take Amy's advice. Just block the posts or skip. Dying is a part of life. I would not post all that crap but I don't go around controlling other people's lives either.

L2: I am surprised and pleased if someone brings something. It's not required you nitwit. Get over yourself.

L3: We don't know. Who cares. There could be so many variations. MYOB and move on.

“It made sense at the time....”

Since: May 09

Schaumburg, IL

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#10
Nov 21, 2012
 
LW2 - tomorrow is teh annual observance of "what in hte world will MIL bring this time" day. as usual, there are those i know i can count on to bring what is reqested or offered, and those who i know i can count on to bring SOMETHING, just maybe not what was asked for, offered, or enough of whatever. Because of this, i plan to have everything i need when i have a dinner party, and make room for whatever is brought.

i too thoguth taht the dinner guest in the letter were from out of town, so cut them some slakc. on the flip side, even if i'm an out of town guest, i'll look for a convenient grocery store adn pick up a bottle of something.

but that's me. <shrug>

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

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#11
Nov 21, 2012
 
Aisle Sitter wrote:
LW2 - tomorrow is teh annual observance of "what in hte world will MIL bring this time" day. as usual, there are those i know i can count on to bring what is reqested or offered, and those who i know i can count on to bring SOMETHING, just maybe not what was asked for, offered, or enough of whatever. Because of this, i plan to have everything i need when i have a dinner party, and make room for whatever is brought.
i too thoguth taht the dinner guest in the letter were from out of town, so cut them some slakc. on the flip side, even if i'm an out of town guest, i'll look for a convenient grocery store adn pick up a bottle of something.
but that's me. <shrug>
Can you assume she will NOT bring FIL? That is a start.
Anonymous

Plant City, FL

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#12
Nov 21, 2012
 
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
L1: Eh, I don't know, I can see more than one side to this situation. I'm more annoyed by parents who overshare horrible stuff like their toddler's first poop in the toilet. Knock it off, parents.
On stfuparents, w mother surreptitiously took a pic of her 10-12 y/o old son on the toilet doing HW and posted it! I would consider that child abuse.
The desire to grab a camera and show the world every detail of life is disgusting to me. I had to delete my FB.
My cousin took a pic of my bro and I told him was NOT allowed to put it on FB. My bro in his state was not a freak show to be gawked at.
Anonymous

Plant City, FL

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#13
Nov 21, 2012
 
2: Good grief, NOT bringing something is the norm in these here parts and with my friends and family. Unless it's a very special occasion like a holiday.
I love not having pressure to bring something (I hate wine as a gift and would never spend my moneyon alcohol for you anyway) when a "friend" invites me over.

Of course, in all my circles, we invite people out all the time and it's always known we will all *gasp* pay our own way!
Kuuipo

Monterey, CA

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#14
Nov 21, 2012
 
LW1: Team Shari23. Just tell her that she is oversharing. Or hide her posts.
OT: I have a FB acquaintance who has taken to posting grisly war pictures to support his political point of view about Israel and the Palestinians. I'm talking dead and bloody children! I hid about a dozen of them earlier in the week.

LW2: Here's my POV. If you want to be gracious, you offer to bring something. If you are hosting a party, you don't *expect* people to bring anything.

LW3: I agree with Amy. Grievance journal? Wow. My ex-MIL was a piece of work, but the thought of writing everything down and throwing it in her face never occurred to me.

Since: Jan 10

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#15
Nov 21, 2012
 
cheluzal wrote:
<quoted text>
On stfuparents, w mother surreptitiously took a pic of her 10-12 y/o old son on the toilet doing HW and posted it! I would consider that child abuse.
The desire to grab a camera and show the world every detail of life is disgusting to me. I had to delete my FB.
My cousin took a pic of my bro and I told him was NOT allowed to put it on FB. My bro in his state was not a freak show to be gawked at.
I saw that picture you're talking about. Not ONE of those dipshit mothers would have a similar pic of themselves posted, but it's okay if it's their kid?

Since: Jan 10

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#16
Nov 21, 2012
 
"Grievance journal" just screams "Festivus for the Rest of us" to me!

“It made sense at the time....”

Since: May 09

Schaumburg, IL

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#17
Nov 21, 2012
 
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>
Can you assume she will NOT bring FIL? That is a start.
that's the one thing she WILL bring.... they're rather co-dependent in their retirement in that way. luckily, she's phobic about driving in Illinois, even though they live closer to Lake COunty than I do, so he has to drive here. I haven't decided yet how many of his favorite beers to chill; i do fear his over-imbibing and getting into a wreck. he won't drink anything else.

although, for someone who is still conscious after a case of miller lite, he does seem to know when he shouldn't drive. or she does. or she has him on a short leash in front of "outsiders".

“It made sense at the time....”

Since: May 09

Schaumburg, IL

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#18
Nov 21, 2012
 
cheluzal wrote:
2: Good grief, NOT bringing something is the norm in these here parts and with my friends and family. Unless it's a very special occasion like a holiday.
I love not having pressure to bring something (I hate wine as a gift and would never spend my moneyon alcohol for you anyway) when a "friend" invites me over.
Of course, in all my circles, we invite people out all the time and it's always known we will all *gasp* pay our own way!
i've been known to bring flowers instead. or, if i'bve been baking, some bread (since so few people home bake bread) or cookies for later.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

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#19
Nov 21, 2012
 
Aisle Sitter wrote:
<quoted text>
that's the one thing she WILL bring.... they're rather co-dependent in their retirement in that way. luckily, she's phobic about driving in Illinois, even though they live closer to Lake COunty than I do, so he has to drive here. I haven't decided yet how many of his favorite beers to chill; i do fear his over-imbibing and getting into a wreck. he won't drink anything else.
although, for someone who is still conscious after a case of miller lite, he does seem to know when he shouldn't drive. or she does. or she has him on a short leash in front of "outsiders".
(Face plant) I was thinking Matilda as I was replying to you.

Do they get mellower with alcohol?

“It made sense at the time....”

Since: May 09

Schaumburg, IL

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#20
Nov 21, 2012
 
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>
(Face plant) I was thinking Matilda as I was replying to you.
Do they get mellower with alcohol?
MIL can't/doesn't drink much. her husband gets "sentimental" aroud a dozen beers, and slides into slack jawed oblivion after that. we watched him go through the arc at the nieces wedding, did some math and were a little horrified at the results. ok more htan a little. at least he just sat there, he's not loud, not beligerant, not much of anythign... i guess he's in a near constant state of pickled-ness by now.

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