“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Aug 14, 2014
DEAR AMY: We recently moved out of state and have an open-door policy, which means a steady flow of visitors. Many of them can barely afford the trip, so we usually pick up food and other costs.

I try to save money (to pay for outings) by cooking the majority of the meals. With today's diet trends, I'm cooking four or five different dishes per meal (each with special ingredients) that are not only costly but not our normal usage.

I generally accommodate 95 percent of their needs (vegetarian, vegan, lactose) but sometimes will slip with an ingredient. I don't mean a main ingredient, but for example: gluten/nongluten soy sauce; white/raw sugar, etc.

With friends who stay for a week or longer, three meals a day is costly and a headache. I'm overwhelmed.

The worst is when we take them out because I don't have a special ingredient and they order something not within dietary constraints (that I could have made) and say, "Today is a cheat day!"

I should feel honored they want to spend their free time with us, but the gratitude is being overshadowed by my frustration.

Should we forgo paying for outings to cover the extra cost of food? Is it OK to expect a little bit of wiggle room on their side?-- Fed Up

DEAR FED UP: You are demonstrating the twin tiers of the overwhelmed host: overfunctioning followed by resentment.

If you do less, you will enjoy your guests more.

The first day of your guests' visit should be a trip to the organic market or "pick your own" farm. Say, "Can you pick up ingredients that work for your diet?" Be honest about your food budget. If they want raw sugar instead of the sugar at home, they should pay for it.

Ask your guests to purchase ingredients and prepare one home-cooked meal for the entire household during their stay, and involve them in food prep each day to pull together a salad or another favorite.

Also -- learn to say "no." Ultimately this will be the monosodium glutamate that preserves your friendships.

DEAR AMY: My husband and his friend, "Buddy," have been pals for over 60 years. Buddy was single for a long time and dated extensively. He and his current lady friend have been together for several years, and now live together.

Recently Buddy told my husband that he anonymously lists himself on Internet dating sites.

He says he's happy with his current relationship, and isn't looking for another woman, but just "likes to see what's out there."

I say Buddy is an immature cad, and deceitful. I'm not sure if he has a huge ego, or is tremendously insecure.

I don't know this lady very well. If I were in her place, I'd want to know what's going on. She says she is very happy with him. I think she deserves more respect than he is giving her. My husband is disgusted with his friend's actions, but suggested that we ask you.-- Couple in a Quandary

DEAR COUPLE: If Buddy's girlfriend was your sister or your roommate from college, you would have more of an intimate and personal stake in this, but really -- the primary connection to this couple is through the two husbands. So my message to your husband is: Your friend is being a snake and a cad, and you should tell him, rather than tell on him.

DEAR AMY: After reading the letter you published from "Frustrated," the working woman whose lazy, retired husband expected her to clean up, pick up and put things away for him after she got home from work each day, I just had to write and tell you about my husband of 46 years.

When my wonderful guy retired from his lifelong profession, he decided that his new "job" was to look after me, the house, the dogs. I still work, and at home I'm treated like a queen. It's too bad for Frustrated's husband that he doesn't know the secret my husband figured out many years ago. I assure you, neither of us is frustrated!-- Happy Wife

DEAR HAPPY: You give some -- you get some. This is a delightful balance.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#2 Aug 14, 2014
Lw1: I think you're nuts. Making ONE meal for everyone is plenty. Making individual meals for each person? Oh hell no. I get annoyed at having to do that for my own children when they don't like what I cooked for dinner, I damn sure ain't doing that for guests.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#3 Aug 14, 2014
1 Ditch your friends.
2 Ditch your husbands friend
3 Maybe your a better person than the original LW, so you get treated better?

“I looked, and behold,”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#4 Aug 14, 2014
LW1: Eff that shyte. Iíd try to make reasonable accommodations when cooking food for guests, but stop acting like you are a restaurant.

LW2: MYOB. Your husband didnít share that with you so that you could go blabbing.

LW3: OF course itís a delightful balance to Amy, but if it were a woman writing in about how sheís a SAHM and that her husband doesnít do anything around the house and expects to be treated like a king when heís not working, Amy would say heís a jerk.

I work and I still cook sometimes, do dishes sometimes, help clean sometimes, and help take care of the dogs. I donít expect to be treated like a king. I donít expect it to be equal, but I donít expect to have my wife be my servant.
boundary painter

San Antonio, TX

#5 Aug 14, 2014
LW1 needs to close that open door.

LW2 needs to keep her nose out of a potential hornet nest. Buddy and his girl friend can take care of themselves.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#6 Aug 14, 2014
2 Buddy and your husband are at least 60 and probably older. The girlfriend is probably a bit younger . She knows what she has. MYOB.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#7 Aug 14, 2014
L1: Great that you like visitors. I wonder about these people's visitors, though. I would not impose myself on the hosting couple like that. They really need to set some ground rules that they will make them happier. This needs to come from them and not outside sources. Setting boundaries is not mean, it's making things clearer for people.

L2: The only thing that saves this from MYOB to the wife is the fact her husband said write Amy. I'm guessing it was the LW's idea, though. Anyways, if anyone says anything to anyone in this situation, it should be the husband to the offending guy. The LW needs to leave it to her husband to handle and let it go.

L3: Nice to her about a happy marriage instead of one falling apart. Everyone has their comfort zone and how they want to live their life. The LW found hers. Doesn't mean every husband has to do this in order to show his dedication and love.
boundary painter

San Antonio, TX

#8 Aug 14, 2014
Toj wrote:
L1: Great that you like visitors. I wonder about these people's visitors, though. I would not impose myself on the hosting couple like that. They really need to set some ground rules that they will make them happier. This needs to come from them and not outside sources. Setting boundaries is not mean, it's making things clearer for people.
Thanks. Love it.
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#9 Aug 14, 2014
1: I go out of my way to do more than I need to because I have a bizarre need to please people. I feel taken advantage of but have never learned to use my words in many decades as an adult. How do I stop being a doormat?

2: Hubbby is a weenie. I would tell my friend if I thought their behavior was repugnant. He's involving LW so he doesn't have to.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#10 Aug 14, 2014
cheluzal wrote:
1: I go out of my way to do more than I need to because I have a bizarre need to please people. I feel taken advantage of but have never learned to use my words in many decades as an adult. How do I stop being a doormat?
I about spit my drink all over the computer when I read this and thought you were talking about yourself.
Julie

Chicago, IL

#11 Aug 14, 2014
LW1: There is something *seriously* wrong with you that you feel compelled to provide all this for every single visitor, even when it is a psychological and financial hardship for you.
--You have a sick need for approval.
--Your so-called "friends" are completely taking advantage of you.
--You need counseling. Desperately.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#12 Aug 15, 2014
Right? The first sentence had ya going...
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>I about spit my drink all over the computer when I read this and thought you were talking about yourself.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#13 Aug 15, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>I about spit my drink all over the computer when I read this and thought you were talking about yourself.
Yeah, me, too.
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#14 Aug 15, 2014
Ya'll are crazy...but I might translate more letters in the future. It's fun.

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