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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#1
Sep 11, 2012
 
DEAR ABBY: I am a 62-year-old lady who has been a dedicated mother, helpful grandma and a good wife. I don't mean to imply that I'm perfect, but my heart has always been in the right place.

I'm writing now because I have a problem. I have been so used to being a mother that now I don't know how to break the habit. My children think I do too much for them, and it hurts me when they call me "annoying" and "impossible to deal with."

I wish I could act differently, but I don't know how. I've been told I need to do something with my life other than help my kids when they don't seem to need it -- and even when they do. I know I deserve to be happy, but I don't know how to start. Can you tell me what to do, Abby?-- MELANCHOLY MAMA, WENATCHEE, WASH.

DEAR MELANCHOLY: You are a successful wife and mother, having raised independent children. Now it's your turn.

Think back to before you were married and had children -- what were your interests? Was there a class or subject you wanted to take at a community college? Did you want to act in a play, paint a picture, photograph a landscape, read Shakespeare, join a hiking club, travel the U.S., learn to dance? Learn to speak French, plant a garden, raise rabbits, write a novel or the story of your life, study architecture, learn more about the stock market, raise funds for your favorite charity, or (you fill in the blank)?

If you still can't get the urge to "mother" out of your system, consider becoming a foster parent -- or volunteer at a school, children's hospital or as a literacy tutor at your local library. The possibilities are endless and the need is great.

Please let me know what you decide to do from the hundreds of options available. You have a lot to offer.

DEAR ABBY: "Jamie" and I have been close friends for almost 50 years. She has always been there for me when I needed her and vice versa. However, I can't get past her continual bragging about herself every time we meet for lunch or talk on the phone.

Jamie always manages to bring up how some person told her how young she looks, or another told her she's a wonderful manager at work, etc. Yesterday at lunch I mentioned how much I love doing crossword puzzles. I said I love learning new words and if I don't know the meaning, I look it up in my dictionary. Jamie replied she doesn't need a dictionary because she knows the meaning of all words!

Jamie is a good friend, but lately I've been wondering why she feels the need to spin tales. She is always out to impress everyone with how smart, young, savvy and sophisticated she is. She even told me some of her co-workers compare her to Jackie Kennedy, which is nowhere near the truth. Why do you think she has to act like this?-- PERPLEXED IN PHILLY

DEAR PERPLEXED: Jamie's behavior is a sign of extreme insecurity. People who are comfortable with themselves do not feel the need to constantly self-promote as she does. When your friend announced that she doesn't need a dictionary because she knows the meaning of all words, you were kind not to contradict her, because it's obvious she doesn't appear to be familiar with the definition of "humility."

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#2
Sep 11, 2012
 

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LW1: Tell your kids that you don't know how to regulate how much help to offer to a point where its not annoying, and you will therefore no longer offer to help them at all. Let them know that you are willing to help them, but from here on out, they need to ask, otherwise you will assume your assitance is not needed.

Since: Jan 10

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#3
Sep 11, 2012
 
L1: When you die, your obituary will say "retired homemaker." "I deserve to be happy." I disagree. You deserve the right to PURSUE happiness.

L2: "Jamie replied she doesn't need a dictionary because she knows the meaning of all words!" This is your clue that she's a compulsive liar.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

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#4
Sep 11, 2012
 
Mister Tonka wrote:
LW1: Tell your kids that you don't know how to regulate how much help to offer to a point where its not annoying, and you will therefore no longer offer to help them at all. Let them know that you are willing to help them, but from here on out, they need to ask, otherwise you will assume your assitance is not needed.
This is not a non sequitur. Did you ever see the movie Dr Strangelove? Telling this woman not to help at all is the equivalent to telling the Doctor to quit doing that thing with his arm.

No one wants to be on the receiving end of busybody who sticks her nose into everything.I pity the poor charity cases she might try to "help"

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

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#5
Sep 11, 2012
 

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As soon as I hit Post it dawned n me. She should be a social worker with Officer Krupke

Since: Feb 10

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#6
Sep 11, 2012
 
Maybe L2 should create a personalized crossword for Jamie. The clues could be narcissist, vain, braggart, etc, and all the answers would be JAMIE

As for L1, I really wish they would stop suggesting f'ed up people become foster parents. Kids in the system need strong advocates, not someone smothering them to fulfill their own needs.
RACE

Miami, FL

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#7
Sep 11, 2012
 
1 What the intern said.

2 I know who your talking about!

Since: Mar 09

United States

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#8
Sep 11, 2012
 
Raise rabbits? Really, Abby?

Since: Aug 08

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#9
Sep 11, 2012
 
LW1: Crocheting and Bingo!

LW2: After the crossword puzzle comment, I'd tell her if her head gets any bigger, she won't be able to fit through the door.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

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#10
Sep 11, 2012
 
LW1: I'm going to suggest you start with something small, like a yoga class. Pick something that is only for yourself since you have been focusing on others for so long.

LW2: Start calling her when you can't figure out the crossword puzzle. Demand that she tell you the word since she knows all of them and then call her on her BS when she can't.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Brooklyn, NY

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#11
Sep 11, 2012
 
j_m_w wrote:
Raise rabbits? Really, Abby?
What do you have against rabbits?

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#12
Sep 11, 2012
 
L1: She'd be a perfect volunteer at a homeless shelter, soup kitchen, a school, etc.

L2: How do you stay friends with her without slapping the crap out of her? She's a habitual liar and narcissistic.

Since: Jun 09

Madison, WI

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#13
Sep 11, 2012
 
L1: It's not your "help" that bothers them, it's you being annoying and impossible to deal with. Don't you listen? I suspect not. Do you follow their lead and instructions on how to handle their children? Do you follow their lead on rules of their home? I suspect not. I suspect you are ingrained in your ways and can't stop pushing them on your family. Are you critical of the way they do things?

If you really want things to change, you are going to have to take a critical look at your own behavior. Perhaps if you're willing to admit your faults, your family will help you to become less impossible to deal with.

L2: "Jamie replied she doesn't need a dictionary because she knows the meaning of all words!" HA! Your best friend is 4 years old. This is exactly something my kid would say.

Since: Jun 09

Madison, WI

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#14
Sep 11, 2012
 

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edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
What do you have against rabbits?
They like to eat the produce in the garden. Oh, and they make a mess when my cat beheads them!

Since: Mar 09

United States

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#15
Sep 11, 2012
 

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edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
What do you have against rabbits?
They multiply! And poop everywhere.
;)

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#16
Sep 11, 2012
 

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Bunnies. They're cute when you first see them. Then they eat all your flowers, vegetables, etc. There are tons of them. What my neighborhood needs is a few feral cats to take down the bunny numbers.

Since: Feb 10

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#17
Sep 11, 2012
 
cycle003 wrote:
<quoted text>
Oh, and they make a mess when my cat beheads them!
Sooooo thoughtless of them! ;-)

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#18
Sep 11, 2012
 
My dog doesn't seem to catch the bunnies but does get a chipmunk from time to time. Got a mouse in the back of the property a few weeks ago. Puppy received a few extra treats for that one (after I convinced him to drop it).
animaniactoo

New York, NY

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#19
Sep 11, 2012
 
LW1: Dear MIL, keep collecting the junior generation of grandkids, nieces, nephews, and let others come to you.

I promise, we appreciate you. But we don't offer the same way you do because we've seen that offering too much feels like an imposition rather than helpfulness. This is also why you sometimes feel neglected: it's not that we're not willing to help, we just do not and will not work on the same assumption of "jump in and do it, offer it, be pre-emptive about it." We love the time we spend with you otherwise, and your willingness to help.

Since: Jan 10

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#20
Sep 11, 2012
 
I like bunnies and never cared when they ate my flowers. I throw unsalted peanuts in the shell out my kitchen window each evening for squirrels (the cats enjoy watching). Sometimes I throw more out before I go to bed for the bunnies that come out late at night.

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