“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Dec 17, 2013
DEAR ABBY: My mother-in-law sent my 7-year-old son a gift and a card for his birthday. They arrived about a week early. A few days before his birthday, she called and asked if he had received them. He said he had, but before he could explain that he hadn't opened them, she started talking about the gift inside, revealing the surprise.

I have now "heard" she's upset with me and my son for this awkward moment. She says that from now on she would like a phone call when her cards or gifts arrive, so she can "hear his enjoyment over the phone even if they arrive early." I don't think my son did anything wrong.

When a gift arrives in advance of an occasion, must it be opened immediately? Or can it wait for the actual birthday or Christmas? Sometimes he likes to open one present at a time, write a thank-you note, then open the next, stretching out his gift-opening over a few days. Is this a social no-no?-- WONDERING IN WASHINGTON

DEAR WONDERING: Gifts are usually opened the day of the occasion. When the occasion is a birthday, the usual expectation is that the presents will be opened at the party. At that time a verbal thank-you is offered. A thank-you note should be written a very short time later.

Your mother-in-law may have called for reassurance that her gift had arrived. She should not have revealed what it was. You did nothing wrong. The mistake was hers.

DEAR ABBY: My good friend "Derek" is in his 30s and just started his first serious relationship. He told me after a week together that she was "the One" and that he loved her. I told him I was happy for him and suggested he take things slow so they could really get to know each other.

I had a party two nights ago where he introduced his new girlfriend. They spent most of the time making out like teenagers in front of everyone. Some guests were so uncomfortable they left early.

I haven't seen Derek since, and I'm worried not only that he's moving too fast to make up for lost time, but that he's doing it with someone who also is oblivious to how socially unacceptable their behavior was. I'm not sure how to express my concerns to my friend without hurting him.-- CONCERNED IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR CONCERNED: It would not be rude or hurtful for you to mention to Derek that you think the girl is "great" -- but the show they put on at your party made some of your other guests so uncomfortable they left early. Let's hope the "hint" is sufficient.

DEAR ABBY: My 10-year-old daughter told a friend she would go to a concert with her a few months ago. Since then, my daughter decided to end the friendship because the girl was clingy, dramatic and controlling.

Do I insist my daughter go to the concert as she said she would, or let her off the hook? The friend seems to be hoping she will go so they can renew the friendship, but my daughter has no plans to do it. Please help!-- MANAGING DISCORD IN MINNESOTA

DEAR MOM: If the girl is expecting your daughter to go to the concert with her, your daughter should tell her she does not plan to attend so the girl can invite someone else. Do not insist that your daughter associate with anyone who makes her feel uncomfortable. Her reason for pulling back from that relationship showed good judgment.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#2 Dec 17, 2013
When things arrive from Grandma, send her an email or call after Jr has gone to bed and tell her the gifts will be opened X date and hers will be on the top of the pile.

Derek's girlfriend is not the only one lacking social skills. She wasn't making out with herself.

You were the host? The words are "Get a room".Use them.

I agree. But... who paid for teh tickets and how close to the concert are you?To me, that makes a difference.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#3 Dec 17, 2013
1 Next time just say it has not arrived yet.

2 MYOB He's a grownass man!

3 ...the girl was clingy, dramatic and controlling.
Really? Your 10yr old daughter said that?
Stay out of your daughters friendships, time to land the helicopter mom!

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#4 Dec 17, 2013
PEllen wrote:
I agree. But... who paid for teh tickets and how close to the concert are you?To me, that makes a difference.
I don't think it makes a difference at all. What does their distance to the concert venue matter? The friendship is over. She should not be held to an arrangement they made months ago while they were still friends
not a ghost

San Antonio, TX

#5 Dec 17, 2013
LW1 has a demanding MIL. Since she sends gifts with strings attached, reassuring the son that he may as well call that grandmother
to let her know he is opening her present and thank her is probably the
best way to stroke her easily ruffled feathers.

Since LW2 was at this party, we, the readers, don't know if the guests
left because Derek and girlfriend were "closer than publicly polite" or
if the guests simply left because they wanted to go home.

LW3 looks like it came from a sitcom. Was it "Full House"? "Growing
Pains"? "The Brady Bunch"? "The Simpsons?".......
Blunt Advice

Brooklyn, NY

#6 Dec 17, 2013
1. Just be grateful mil lives far away. Get a caller I D and you will never have to speak to her again.
2. He must be her first boyfriend too. Wait till they hhae been together a year before inviting them to parties. Theyd rather be alone anyway.
3. Tell the girls mom that your snotty little tween brat doesnt deserve to have as nice a friend as the girl who invited her to the show so they can invite someone more deserving of her friendship.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#7 Dec 17, 2013
PEllen wrote:
When things arrive from Grandma, send her an email or call after Jr has gone to bed and tell her the gifts will be opened X date and hers will be on the top of the pile.
Derek's girlfriend is not the only one lacking social skills. She wasn't making out with herself.
You were the host? The words are "Get a room".Use them.
I agree. But... who paid for teh tickets and how close to the concert are you?To me, that makes a difference.
lw2 did not pin things on the girlfriend alone. He said 'also'

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#8 Dec 17, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't think it makes a difference at all. What does their distance to the concert venue matter? The friendship is over. She should not be held to an arrangement they made months ago while they were still friends
If other girl or her parents bought the tickets a while back and it is now a week before the concert, I am less inclined to tell LW or her kid to drop it.

There are always 2 people in an interaction and both play a role and should be polite.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#9 Dec 17, 2013
LW1: Oh, she's just acting poorly because she was embarrassed. Tell her what your rules for gift-opening are and that you expect her to follow them.

My mother insists on my children waiting to open their gifts until the actual event. She leaves for AZ in January and always leaves Nunu's February birthday present with me before she goes with the expectation that I will not give it to her until her actual birthday. Heck, we went to the American Girl Place last Saturday, the girls picked out their dolls and accutrements, and she still insisted on wrapping them for under the tree.

I guess that was a roundabout way to say I totally do not understand this grandma.

LW2: You should be able to handle this with some humor yet still get your point across. Like "hey, I think liked your new girlfriend, but you gotta stop sucking her face long enough for me to be sure! Let's go out to dinner soon so we can actually talk."

LW3: To me, this is almost like going to a dance. Tickets have been purchased, plans have been made, and if the concert is next week, that is hardly enough time for the parents to resell the ticket or find someone else to take. Your daughter made a commitment, and part of growing up is realizing that when you make a commitment, you have to follow through on it. Just like going to the dance with the boy to whom yes, even though the boy you really want to go with just asked you.

And have you had no communication with this child's parents? Do they know there is a problem or are you just going to spring this on them at the last minute? It is not only your childs feelings that are involved here.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#10 Dec 17, 2013
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>If other girl or her parents bought the tickets a while back and it is now a week before the concert, I am less inclined to tell LW or her kid to drop it.
There are always 2 people in an interaction and both play a role and should be polite.
The girl can take someone else. Tough sht

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#11 Dec 17, 2013
squishymama wrote:
LW3: To me, this is almost like going to a dance. Tickets have been purchased, plans have been made, and if the concert is next week, that is hardly enough time for the parents to resell the ticket or find someone else to take. Your daughter made a commitment, and part of growing up is realizing that when you make a commitment, you have to follow through on it. Just like going to the dance with the boy to whom yes, even though the boy you really want to go with just asked you.
And have you had no communication with this child's parents? Do they know there is a problem or are you just going to spring this on them at the last minute? It is not only your childs feelings that are involved here.
It's also a fact of life that plans can change, and you need to learn to deal. And the lw never said the tickets were already purchased

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#12 Dec 17, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
The girl can take someone else. Tough sht
if the other girl or her family paid for the tickets and its too late to find someone else to go, would you at least feel any obligation to pay for he ticket you/ your daughter is not using?

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#13 Dec 17, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
It's also a fact of life that plans can change, and you need to learn to deal. And the lw never said the tickets were already purchased
Don't be so obtuse. You know how concert ticket purchasing works.
Kuuipo

Monterey, CA

#14 Dec 17, 2013
LW1: So from now on, you call her when the gift arrives and tell her that your son will open them on his birthday (Christmas, etc.).

LW2: They'll settle down when the new wears off. Grin and bear it until then.

LW3: Normally, the rule is if you promised to go somewhere with someone, you keep that promise. This situation is a bit more complex, but I think I would lean toward encouraging my daughter to keep her promise, as uncomfortable as that may be. I would tell her to just enjoy the concert and not discuss the friendship situation at that time. The two girls should sit down at a later date and determine if the friendship can be salvaged.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#15 Dec 17, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>if the other girl or her family paid for the tickets and its too late to find someone else to go, would you at least feel any obligation to pay for he ticket you/ your daughter is not using?
It would probably be the right thing to do, but I don't think they're under actual obligation. What, is this her only friend? How hard is it really to find someone else?

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#16 Dec 17, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
It would probably be the right thing to do, but I don't think they're under actual obligation. What, is this her only friend? How hard is it really to find someone else?
If the other girl is clingy and emotionally needy, the possibility exists that LW's daughter is her only friend.

I am with Squishy on this. She accepts the invitation. she keeps the obligation and has as much fun as possible. Part of learning to be a grownup.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#17 Dec 17, 2013
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text> If the other girl is clingy and emotionally needy, the possibility exists that LW's daughter is her only friend.
I am with Squishy on this. She accepts the invitation. she keeps the obligation and has as much fun as possible. Part of learning to be a grownup.
She's ten. You can't expect her to act with the finesse of a mature adult. I think it's more cruel to force her to go somewhere with someone she doesn't like.

The friendship is over! She is not required to hold to obligations made during the friendship months ago.

If me and chunzy planned to go to a Bieber concert and then she dumped me a week before the concert, I would not expect her to still come anyway.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#18 Dec 17, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
She's ten. You can't expect her to act with the finesse of a mature adult. I think it's more cruel to force her to go somewhere with someone she doesn't like.
The friendship is over! She is not required to hold to obligations made during the friendship months ago..
I disagree.

The other girl didn't do anything overt. It is not a dating relationship which was formally severed.

You are supposed to help your kids learn this sort of thing at age 10 because teh parent can still guide them and coach them how to handle this sort of situation..

(And you should have known better than to get Bieber tickets with anyone over the age of 12 in the first place)

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#19 Dec 17, 2013
PEllen wrote:
The other girl didn't do anything overt. It is not a dating relationship which was formally severed.
I don't think that matters. A severed relationship is a severed relationship. The lw's daughter is gonna suffer too. Now she won't get to see Megadeth.
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#20 Dec 17, 2013
1: Rude. Hearing the excitement in his voice? Spare me. Does he fake it if he's not excited? Selfish...and unable to laugh off a stupid goof.
Yes, you train others how YOU want it done.
I wuld probably send a very curt email next time, "Gift arrived. To open on b-day." Do not force son to appease his crazy granny.

2: I could never call someone a friend that I could not use my words with.

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