“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 May 11, 2014
DEAR AMY: I work at a large high-tech firm in Silicon Valley. My co-workers and I are all in our 30s.

I enjoy shopping and put a lot of effort into finding clothes and accessories that are affordable, fun and unique.

Every time I wear something new into the office, my co-worker "Bob" asks me where I bought it. A few days later, Bob comes to the office wearing the identical shirt, pants, jacket, shoes, socks, watch, sunglasses, electronic gadget, workout bag, etc.

I resent that I spend hours looking for the perfect item, only to have Bob race to the store and purchase the same thing.

I now flinch every time he asks where I bought something. While I recognize that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, this is beginning to feel stalker-ish.

Should I just chalk this up as a weird compliment, or should I start saying new purchases were gifts and I don't know the source? He is rather persistent.-- John

DEAR JOHN: Thank you for the reminder that even high-tech workers in Silicon Valley have very human dilemmas, i.e.: "Stop copying me!"

You should respond to "Bob" with equal doses of good humor and inscrutability. Tell him, "I'm flattered that you're jumping onto my style, but I've decided that my look is part of my personal brand and so, well -- you're on your own."

The fact is, it is very easy to find just about anything online (or 3-D print it, as your colleague knows), so he really doesn't need you to lead him by the hand or "run out to a store" in order to copy you.

DEAR AMY: I have been married for four years, and my husband and I live in another country (an eight-hour flight from our families). We see my family about once a year, either at their home or ours for a few days, and this is fun and relaxing for everyone.

My husband's parents want to see us constantly. They have flexible schedules and are wealthy, so there are no constraints on their visiting us whenever they want to, regardless of our objections. My husband agrees that their visits are too frequent, but it is hard for him to enforce boundaries, as they are very aggressive.

My mother-in-law has already planned three trips to see us this year, even though we have also planned two trips to visit them for family occasions. Last year she visited despite my husband's clear and repeated statements that we were unavailable at the time.

She bought a ticket anyway and stayed elsewhere. We refused to see her. She berated my husband with nasty messages and also misrepresented the circumstances to the rest of his family.

I don't want to go through this again but she has just picked dates and bought tickets again for an upcoming visit without consulting us.

She said she has reserved a place to stay elsewhere, but she also assumes we will make time for her.

How shall we proceed? I want to support my husband being close with his family, but this puts a lot of stress on our relationship.-- Vexed

DEAR VEXED: If your mother-in-law doesn't stay with you when she visits, then there is no reason for her to clear her plans with you far in advance, certainly when she doesn't respect your schedule, anyway.

You should behave as if she lived 10 minutes away. If you can get together, then do. If you can't (or don't want to), then don't. It sounds like your husband is capable of building a boundary and if this results in his being trashed by his mother to other family members, then he is probably not going to want to spend much time with her. He should tell her so.

If you feel better about the boundaries you can establish, you will feel more tolerant toward her. This is a relationship you will be in for a long time. Your in-laws might even buy a condo in your home country, all the better to be near you.

DEAR READERS: Don't forget to hug a mom today. We literally would not be here without them.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#2 May 11, 2014
1- I doubt it, how about you get over yourself?

3- They want to see you "constantly?" They fly to you three times a year, you fly to them two times a year... That's really too much for you?

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#3 May 11, 2014
1. Maybe this is old fashioned of me ( i.e. sexist) but I was a little bit skeeved to realize LW is a guy.

This sounds soooo much like high school. My era of high school..

2. 5 times a year for a (presumed) week at a time is overkill. If Mommy wants a reason to visit Paris on a regular basis let her rent an apartment.

Just wait for grandkids. It will get worse.

Hancock, NY

#4 May 11, 2014
1: Oh for goodness sake! You're an adult. Just say no. You don't have to tell anyone where you buy anything if you don't want. Just say you went to a whole lot of places and bought a number of things and can't recall where you actually bought what and he needs to do his own shopping for stores he likes.

2: I can see why you live so far from home. You really don't like your in-laws. Too bad. As you've found out, there's no escaping your m-i-l. look, if they lived in your town, you'd figure out a way to keep them at a distance. Like I said to lw 1: Just say no. BUT, unless they say mean things to you constantly, you should make time for them once in awhile. Go out to dinner with them or invite them to your house once or twice during their visit. Do you have kids? You may find yourselves in your in-laws' situation some day and you may be wishing you'd been kinder to your in-laws and had been a good role model to your kids.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#5 May 11, 2014
1 Bob is trying to get in your pants vicariously. Just tell him you already have a boyfriend. Maybe you guys can just paint your nails together or something.

2 Be nice, the are rich.

Salinas, CA

#6 May 11, 2014
LW1: Oh, this old thing? I've had it for years. Can't remember where I picked it up.

LW2: Five times a year doesn't seem too over-the-top to me, but you didn't mention the length of the visits. They're not staying with you, so what's the problem? Make time to have one lunch and one dinner with them and be on your best behavior during those outings. Then allow your husband to spend time with them alone once or twice.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#7 May 11, 2014
LW1: These dudes must be gay. Hetero males don't give a shit.

LW2: What dog and kuuipo said. really, 5 times a year is too much to see them? 3 of which they are the ones doing the traveling? And now they are visiting but not even staying with you and you still think its too much of an imposition? You sound like assholes.

BTW: Kuuipo, you probably meant nothing by it, but really?

"Then allow your husband to spend time with them alone once or twice."

Allow? Just a poor choice of words, right?

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