“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Sep 2, 2014
DEAR ABBY: My son married an educated professional woman from another country. When their twins were born, my daughter-in-law immersed them in her native language so it would become their mother tongue. Although I understand and respect the benefits of being bilingual, this caused a lot of communication gaps and frustration between us and the grandkids during their early years.

They attend a bilingual elementary school now, and their English is superb and communication between us is great. The problem is, when we are together, my daughter-in-law speaks to her children exclusively in her native language. My son understands the conversation, but my husband and I do not know what is being said. We think this is rude and inconsiderate.

Are we being overly sensitive, or is this common practice in families with multiple languages? Our relationship with our daughter-in-law is polite and cordial, but not close or intimate. Any advice?-- LEFT OUT IN FLORIDA

DEAR LEFT OUT: This is not unusual in multilingual families, and I agree that it is inconsiderate. Have you spoken to your son and daughter-in-law about how this makes you feel? If you haven't, you should, because she may not be deliberately trying to make you feel excluded.

When you raise the subject, choose your words and tone carefully. Because if you don't, your relationship with your daughter-in-law could become a lot less cordial than it is.

DEAR ABBY: I'm a 55-year-old gay male who has been with my now-spouse, "Owen," in a loving, committed relationship since 2005. While earlier we could not legally marry, in 2006 we had a commitment ceremony bringing together close friends and family to acknowledge and celebrate our relationship. In 2013, Owen and I were finally able to legally marry in California.

My dilemma comes from people who don't know what to call us. People often refer to my spouse as my "friend" or "partner." At times I say nothing, but more often than not, I find myself saying, "Oh, you mean my husband." Some of them thank me for the clarification; others just look at me with a blank stare.

Owen never corrects them because he feels it isn't his place. I feel it's my responsibility to do so, first so as to not play down the significance of our relationship, but also to educate these people. Do you think this is inappropriate?-- MARRIED IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR MARRIED: Not at all. The people who refer to you and Owen as "partners" and "friends" are using terminology that is evolving because marriage among same-sex couples is still relatively new. As it becomes more commonplace, that will change. In the meantime, it's completely appropriate for you and Owen to speak up.

P.S. For any reader who may not already know, gay men refer to their spouse as their husband and lesbians refer to theirs as their wife.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#2 Sep 2, 2014
1 How about you ask the grandkids to teach you the language, make if a fun time for both of you.
2 I dont care, anytime I am introduced to gay's they are just x and y no mention of their relationship status.

Since: Oct 09

United States

#3 Sep 2, 2014
Yes, I agree that it's inappropriate, but it may not be deliberate. She may not realize that you can't comprehend her language, especially since your son does understand. Have you ever thought about stepping out of your comfort zone and trying to learn at least a little bit of that language? You could make it a family project and a way of getting closer to your grandchildren; they'd probably enjoy it. And you might stretch your brains a little, too, which would be good. And also consider what an advantage your grandchildren have, since bilingualism is becoming more and more necessary, as it should be, since it's the way of the future and every other developed nation is strong in it.

LW2: oh, noes, hide this letter from edog, it mentions the "g" word, horrors!

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#4 Sep 2, 2014
LW1: Itís not all about you. Instead of making it all about you, how about you just be happy that your kids have the advantage of being bilingual.

My polish great grandmother spoke 4 languages, including Polish, Bohemian (now referred to as Czech), English, and something else. My great grandparents on the other side spoke German. I wish some of that were passed down.

LW2: Chill out Bruce.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#5 Sep 2, 2014


L1: Its easier for the grandkids to talk in their primary language. Its not all about you.

Lw2: Most people really don't give a rat's ass.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#6 Sep 2, 2014
1- yeah it's rude. It's even ruder they refuse to learn our language and assimilate into our culture. Then they want free handouts and call YOU unamerican for not catering to them

2- get over yourself! No one gives a f*ck about you and your gay husband
not a ghost

San Antonio, TX

#7 Sep 2, 2014
RACE for the win.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#8 Sep 2, 2014
L1: I think Janie has it right. If the grandparents try learning the language, they can ask for help from the grandkids. Also, when they are missing something in the conversation, they can then ask what they said in that they want to learn that sentence/thought/words.

L2: I have never had an occasion where I needed to call a gay person other than their first name. I usually call my friends' spouse by their first names as well.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#9 Sep 2, 2014
RACE wrote:
anytime I am introduced to gay's they are just x and y no mention of their relationship status.
X and Y?

Neal and Bob?

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#10 Sep 2, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
Neal and Bob?
Is that an innuendo?
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#11 Sep 2, 2014
Judge Janie wrote:
Yes, I agree that it's inappropriate, but it may not be deliberate. She may not realize that you can't comprehend her language, especially since your son does understand. Have you ever thought about stepping out of your comfort zone and trying to learn at least a little bit of that language? You could make it a family project and a way of getting closer to your grandchildren; they'd probably enjoy it. And you might stretch your brains a little, too, which would be good. And also consider what an advantage your grandchildren have, since bilingualism is becoming more and more necessary, as it should be, since it's the way of the future and every other developed nation is strong in it.
LW2: oh, noes, hide this letter from edog, it mentions the "g" word, horrors!
1: I agree. It might be a nice surprise for them though if they go ahead and learn the basics of the language on their own by using a program such as Rosetta Stone. Then they can continue to round out their actual usage of the language with the help of their son and his family. I do think that doing this might help them grow closer to their d-i-l.

2: Hate to break it to you but edog already saw this letter since he was so kind as to post the column today as he often does. ;-) It's one of the things I appreciate about the guy. I don't always agree with him but he certainly has his positive points.

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