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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Mar 15, 2013
DEAR AMY: I am lucky enough to have both parents still living and in general good health. They live independently in senior housing. I realize that with age comes a certain amount of "slowing down," however, one thing that seems to be slipping a little for them is general hygiene.

Sometimes they just smell a little "off," have greasy hair, bad breath or stray hairs growing in odd places. My mother has decided that they don't really need to wash their clothes often because they don't get dirty.

Well, they actually do get dirty -- sometimes with small unseen spills or with daily human body odor that builds up after several wearings. Their facility does not have care available, otherwise I would ask for an assistant to clue them in. How do I bring this up without hurting the feelings of my dear parents?-- Querying Daughter

DEAR DAUGHTER: Sometimes older people lose some of their sense of smell (medications can cause this), along with other changes in their perceptions.

You can broach this by offering to help with some of the little daily chores and hygiene issues which might have become difficult for them. Tell your parents: "Sometimes it smells a little stale in here when I come in. How about I do your laundry for you every Saturday? We'll change the sheets together and launder all of your clothes."

Go through their closets with them to make sure they have clothes that they like and are easy for them to put on. Make sure their toothbrushes, cups, etc., are easy for them to use (there are great "adaptive" products available).

Also -- please -- offer to help them with their hair, etc. It may be challenging for them to see clearly what is out of place, and it might have become physically difficult to wash thoroughly. In my experience this sort of personal care offers a level of intimacy that might be beautiful for all of you.

If all of this would be too tough for you (or them), hiring a caregiver to come in to assist them a couple of afternoons a week could be the answer.

DEAR AMY: I am a professional woman in my mid-20s, and I recently split from my boyfriend of three years. I am moving out of our shared apartment.

Prior to moving in together, I got rid of a lot of my household items. Now, in my single state, in addition to replacing those small things, I also find myself having to make some much larger purchases for furniture.

I have a birthday coming up and plan to throw a brunch party. Is it inappropriate or tacky to have a small gift registry for my birthday?

There are some things I really need. Is there a way to tactfully let them know that some household items under $20 would be preferred?-- Suddenly Single

DEAR SINGLE: You can approach this awkwardness by throwing yourself an "I'm Suddenly Single" birthday bash/apartment-warming party. Instead of a registry, you could ask your guests to help restock your kitchen with small implements. You cook the eggs -- they bring the wooden spoons, dish towels, etc.

This leaves some room for your friends to be creative and personal with their giving, which I think most people enjoy.

DEAR AMY: Regarding reader responses to the letter from "Joan," who wondered if she should use a monetary gift for a dream trip or play it safe and use it for retirement: I am a hospice social worker. I have talked with many, many people about life decisions and regrets. Not one person has ever said he or she regrets not having more money. Most people wish they had taken advantage of opportunities for experiences it is too late to have.

I'm not suggesting we all live like grasshoppers. I work some extra shifts to pay for long-term care insurance. But it also helps to realize none of us is guaranteed a tomorrow, no matter what we do or how well we plan.-- Hospice Worker

DEAR WORKER: Working with people at the end of life certainly gives you an important perspective on how to live. Thank you.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#2 Mar 15, 2013
1 good advise, but I aint washing anyones hair but mine.

2 Yes it tacky! Tacky tacky tacky. Ask for gift cards if your so worked up about it.

3 As squishy said, I wish this rehash would take a long trip far away.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#3 Mar 15, 2013
Race- you have talked about your brother who is nearby and your daughter who is up north. Are your parents alive?

Mine are aging rapidly, but tehy are in their mid 80's. Decreased grooming is often a sign of depression, something that can be addressed. I agree that bathing can be an intimate experience, but my boundariesare such that I don't want to don that for my parents unless I absolutely have to. Home health aides do that.

LW2- Salvation Army/Goodwill/thrift stores. We stocked one college daughter's kitchen with decent plates , tools and pots for under $50.00 all tolled. Bought her new knives and cutting board.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#4 Mar 15, 2013
LW1: Use your words.

LW2: I don't care whether she has a registry or not or what the etiquette is in this situation, but I completely disagree with this.

"This leaves some room for your friends to be creative and personal with their giving, which I think most people enjoy."

F that. If I had a choice, I'd much prefer people to get me exactly what I want, not be "creative".

LW3: "I have talked with many, many people about life decisions and regrets. Not one person has ever said he or she regrets not having more money."

Did you talk to anyone eating cat food and unable to afford their meds?

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#5 Mar 15, 2013
PEllen wrote:
LW2- Salvation Army/Goodwill/thrift stores. We stocked one college daughter's kitchen with decent plates , tools and pots for under $50.00 all tolled. Bought her new knives and cutting board.
Living single, you can really get what you need on the cheap.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#6 Mar 15, 2013
L1: "How do I bring this up without hurting the feelings of my dear parents?" I'm so tired of this attitude. You probably CAN'T avoid hurting their feelings. But you're a grown up and so are they and this conversation has to take place. You'd talk with your 12-year-old kid about this, right? Even if it might hurt his feelings? Same thing here.

L2: NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. Stop it. Just stop it. Grow up, buy your own stupid crap, and stop expecting other adults to find your life. STOP. IT.

Amy, you're fired.

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#7 Mar 15, 2013
L1: They're your PARENTS. TALK to them.

L2: NO! You made your bed, now buy a new one and lie in it. Jasper spent $4k on furniture for his new place when he moved out. Tough noogies.

L3: Are we STILL talking about this? Original LW, go to India already so we can drop this rehash!

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#8 Mar 15, 2013
I know you keep better track that that PEllen. ;)
PEllen wrote:
Race- you have talked about your brother who is nearby and your daughter who is up north. Are your parents alive?

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#9 Mar 15, 2013
1- Surprise, old people smell!

2- So now that you don't have a man to take care of you, you want your friends to take care of you? Here's an idea: WELCOME TO LIFE, NOW ACT LIKE A GODAM ADULT!!

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#10 Mar 15, 2013
L1: Mom, Dad -- is there something wrong with your shower because you smell rank. Okay, not that harsh but talk to them. Maybe start the conversation asking if there's anything wrong with the shower or bathtub for them.

L2: No. Never. You just don't do that.

L3: Are we done with this yet?

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#11 Mar 15, 2013
LW1:“Mom and dad, you kind of smell.”

LW2: Buy your own shyte. Both your idea and Amy’s are tacky as all hell.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#12 Mar 15, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
L1: "How do I bring this up without hurting the feelings of my dear parents?" I'm so tired of this attitude. You probably CAN'T avoid hurting their feelings. But you're a grown up and so are they and this conversation has to take place. You'd talk with your 12-year-old kid about this, right? Even if it might hurt his feelings? Same thing here.
L2: NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. Stop it. Just stop it. Grow up, buy your own stupid crap, and stop expecting other adults to find your life. STOP. IT.
Amy, you're fired.
stop expecting other adults to FUND your life

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#13 Mar 15, 2013
LW1: I would offer to help with the laundry long before I'd wash their hair. Changing the sheets regularly will help a lot. If you're not able to go regularly, pay for someone to help with that stuff.

LW2: It's either a housewarming party or a birthday party. You don't get both in one tidy package.

LW3: What RACE said.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#14 Mar 15, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
stop expecting other adults to FUND your life
While I would understand your take if she was planning a housewarming party for the sole purpose of getting people to buy her shit, she said she's got a birthday coming up. If she typically throws herself a party, its not a stretch to think people are going to get her gifts. I see nothing wrong with wanting people to buy her household stuff. To me, that's not "expecting people to fund her life". That's "hoping that people who are already going to spend money on her choose to spend it on stuff she really needs".

Not saying the registry is the way to go, but maybe she should have one friend start spreading the word that household items would be the most needed gifts. As a gift giver, I'd be heavily in favor of getting an idea like that, where I had a good idea that what I got her would be useful vs buying something with no cues on what she wants. As it is, I typically get people gift cards for their birthday anyway.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#15 Mar 15, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text> While I would understand your take if she was planning a housewarming party for the sole purpose of getting people to buy her shit, she said she's got a birthday coming up. If she typically throws herself a party, its not a stretch to think people are going to get her gifts. I see nothing wrong with wanting people to buy her household stuff. To me, that's not "expecting people to fund her life". That's "hoping that people who are already going to spend money on her choose to spend it on stuff she really needs".
Not saying the registry is the way to go, but maybe she should have one friend start spreading the word that household items would be the most needed gifts. As a gift giver, I'd be heavily in favor of getting an idea like that, where I had a good idea that what I got her would be useful vs buying something with no cues on what she wants. As it is, I typically get people gift cards for their birthday anyway.
I am completely against throwing yourself a birthday party and expecting gifts. Throw the party, but no gifts.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#16 Mar 15, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
I am completely against throwing yourself a birthday party and expecting gifts. Throw the party, but no gifts.
ITA. Go out for dinner and drinks, sure, but a party where people buy you gifts, who the f' does this ... only people who think they are 8 years old?

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#17 Mar 15, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text> While I would understand your take if she was planning a housewarming party for the sole purpose of getting people to buy her shit, she said she's got a birthday coming up. If she typically throws herself a party, its not a stretch to think people are going to get her gifts. I see nothing wrong with wanting people to buy her household stuff. To me, that's not "expecting people to fund her life". That's "hoping that people who are already going to spend money on her choose to spend it on stuff she really needs".
Not saying the registry is the way to go, but maybe she should have one friend start spreading the word that household items would be the most needed gifts. As a gift giver, I'd be heavily in favor of getting an idea like that, where I had a good idea that what I got her would be useful vs buying something with no cues on what she wants. As it is, I typically get people gift cards for their birthday anyway.
You and your friends buy each other things for your birthdays? Are you women trapped in men's bodies? Do you pick out special wrapping paper and get the ribbons to curl with scissors too?

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#18 Mar 15, 2013
Sublime1 wrote:
<quoted text>
ITA. Go out for dinner and drinks, sure, but a party where people buy you gifts, who the f' does this ... only people who think they are 8 years old?
ITA also.

My friends and I *have* brought gifts to each other's birthday dinners, etc. but it's not a requirement or an expectation. I hope my friends would call me a b1tch to my face if I ever suggested registering for birthday gifts.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#19 Mar 15, 2013
None of my friends exchanges gifts with any regularity. I may get something for my birthday if someone found something that made them think of me, but then I may not get a gift from them for another five years.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#20 Mar 15, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
None of my friends exchanges gifts with any regularity. I may get something for my birthday if someone found something that made them think of me, but then I may not get a gift from them for another five years.
I am having a birthday dinner tomorrow night with some old friends from grad school. We exchange gifts for birthdays and Christmas and have been doing so since at least 1977.

FWIW a wish list is solicited as well as request for the birthday girl's restaurant of preference. Amazon wish lists are very useful for this.

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