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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Mar 20, 2013
DEAR AMY: My husband Stefan's large family is tightly knit. They aggressively attempt to spend every celebratory occasion with us. We don't mind sometimes, but avoiding their constant intrusions was a major reason we moved to another state.

Last holiday, we spent half the day traveling to celebrate with my in-laws and were shocked to find they had invited Stefan's ex-friend, Gerald. Gerald was always trouble, and after one too many debacles, Stefan ended their friendship.

The ambush upset Stefan for several reasons, including being forced to reject Gerald again. Stefan's family thinks we were unkind and unappreciative. I take issue with them derailing our holiday.

Stefan's family wants to spend the next holiday together, of course. He is still angry but feels his only choice is to put this behind him (unaddressed). I feel that since my in-laws can't understand why we feel betrayed and besieged, why travel to see them?

Any advice?-- No Trespassing Please

DEAR TRESPASSING: You two are seething over this intrusion (understandably), and yet you are not willing to share your honest reaction with these family members. He wants to sweep it under the rug, and you want to avoid them. You can't expect these relatives to understand your feeling of betrayal unless you at least attempt to describe it to them.

If avoiding your in-laws is on the table, can't you decide to address this issue directly and then act based on how they handle the issue?

An invitation has been issued. Stefan should respond by saying, "Mom and dad, I don't know yet about traveling to see you again, but I really do need to discuss what happened last time we visited."

You both have an opportunity to try to retrain his family and simply try harder to teach them how to treat you. Moving far away doesn't help much as long as they can continue to yank your chain from a distance.

DEAR AMY: Have the guidelines for connecting by telephone changed in recent years? I'm not yet a fogy, being part of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll generation, but I was taught that a caller should always identify oneself first.

This "rule" seems to have been turned on its head. Instead of, "RING" "Hello?" "Hello. This is the cable company. May I speak to Tim, please?" the universal dialogue seems to be: "RING" "Hello?" "Hello, is Tim there?" at which point my response generally is something along the lines of, "Who are you?" while struggling to avoid throwing in an F-bomb.

I understand that medical providers may have reasons of patient privacy for ducking identification, and I suspect bill collectors would find their lives easier (although I don't consider that a valid reason), but everybody is doing this now.-- Tim

DEAR TIM: The rules may not have changed, but telephoning behavior certainly has. Although we may still teach our children to identify themselves when placing a call to a house phone (remember those?), there are sometimes legitimate reasons not to identify oneself unless asked.

In the age of cellphones, many people have a (reasonable) assumption that they are speaking to the person they are trying to reach, which negates the necessity for asking. This is all the more reason to identify oneself before launching into a conversation, in my mind.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#2 Mar 20, 2013
DEAR AMY: You recently encouraged a grandmother to tell the truth about her son's poor choices to her 16-year-old granddaughter. You are totally correct in your answer.

I would go beyond that and say that this grandmother has the opportunity and responsibility to let her 16-year-old granddaughter know not to make her father's choices.

My mother was on speed and a sex addict. My father and stepfather were alcoholics. My stepfather went to jail when I was 16 for sex offenses.

I was able to avoid that pattern because of my grandmother. I will be eternally grateful to her for the invaluable guidance she gave me. So often, the pattern of your childhood gets repeated. I did not do that, and I give Gram all the credit in the world for that.-- Grateful for Gram

DEAR GRATEFUL: What a hero! Thank you for telling your story.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#3 Mar 20, 2013
LW1: This is Stphan's problem to deal with. It is HIS family, not yours. You just need to follow his lead.

LW2: "I was taught that a caller should always identify oneself first."
I've NEVER identified myself first, and I don't particularly like it when the person on the other end asks(though I will tell them). I'm not calling to talk to you. I'm calling for Tim. Either he's there or not. Who I am is none of your damn business. Unless you're Tim.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#4 Mar 20, 2013
1 Not team Tonka. The husband is NOT dealing with the issue, so she is not required to follow his lead. She needs to hand him back his nutz and tell him to put on his big boy pants and then deal.

2 Not team Tonka. eff that! You called me, I have every right to know who the hell you are before I let you speak to anyone in my house.

3 Mmmmmm Speed freak sex addict....

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#5 Mar 20, 2013
L1: "we feel betrayed and besieged" No, your HUSBAND feels betrayed and besieged. What does your HUSBAND want? Why are you trying to fix everything? He's an adult. I think you should remove yourself from between your husband and his family and let him talk to them.

And you know, you don't have to go home to visit such obnoxious people. It's not mandatory. Try staying home one year, turn off the phone(s) and enjoy each other's company.

L2: Hyperbole is not your friend. NO, not EVERYBODY is doing this. And you DO sound like an old fogey. What's next, shaking your fist in the air at the kids on your lawn?

L3: Oh please. If grandma can teach granddaughter to learn form *other people's mistakes* it'd be a miracle. many people never learn from their OWN mistakes, let alone others'.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#6 Mar 20, 2013
My husband has a friend like Gerald. He lives in teh ame town as my in-laws. We are 500 miles away which suits me fine. I just avoid Gernad and teh in laws- two birds with one stone and all that. When we go out as a family, I ask that if husband is going to see Gerald ( and he does) that it not be as part of a family gathering.

I wish Gerald would disappear. When he is in jail he can oly make collect calls and I pay the phone bill.

L2 Phone manners are phone manners regardless of time and context.

L3 There was a piece in the NYTimes the other day that kids who grow up in tough circumstances seem to do better if they know their family hstory- good and bad. It was cast as resilience and knowledge of the family myhology but included things like jail, adoption, how your parents met, etc.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#7 Mar 20, 2013
PEllen wrote:
L2 Phone manners are phone manners regardless of time and context.
L3 There was a piece in the NYTimes the other day that kids who grow up in tough circumstances seem to do better if they know their family hstory- good and bad. It was cast as resilience and knowledge of the family myhology but included things like jail, adoption, how your parents met, etc.
I heard about that on NPR!

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#8 Mar 20, 2013
PE, From what I remember, they said a big part of it is about connection, feeling connected to past and future generations of your family, and that you're a part of something bigger.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#9 Mar 20, 2013
Like knowing your grandma was molested.
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
PE, From what I remember, they said a big part of it is about connection, feeling connected to past and future generations of your family, and that you're a part of something bigger.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#10 Mar 20, 2013
RACE wrote:
2 Not team Tonka. eff that! You called me,

No. I called Bob. You just happened to pick up the phone.
RACE wrote:
I have every right to know who the hell you are before I let you speak to anyone in my house.
Like I said, when asked, I will say who it is. I never denied that you have the right to ask. I just don't like it.

You view it from the perspective of me calling YOUR HOUSE.
I view it from the perspective that I am calling BOB. If you ain't Bob, it ain't your business who I am. If Bob answers the phone, its not like he's gonna announce to you who he's talking to. Its none of your business. Hell, he might even take the phone to another room so as to have a private conversation. But apparently, you feel that by being closer to the phone and answering before Bob can pick it up makes you entitled to know who's calling. I can only subscribe to this notion when the caller wants to speak to your child. But other adults? Nunya.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#11 Mar 20, 2013
RACE wrote:
1 Not team Tonka. The husband is NOT dealing with the issue, so she is not required to follow his lead. She needs to hand him back his nutz and tell him to put on his big boy pants and then deal.
I subscribe to the notion that my family is MY problem to deal with(or not) and vice versa. I have no problem with wife giving her opinion to husband on how he should handle things with HIS family, but in the end, she needs to follow his lead on whatever he decides to do.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#12 Mar 20, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>I subscribe to the notion that my family is MY problem to deal with(or not) and vice versa. I have no problem with wife giving her opinion to husband on how he should handle things with HIS family, but in the end, she needs to follow his lead on whatever he decides to do.
Also, this problem really isn't hers, and it doesn't affect her directly, only through her husband. If they were being spiteful/mean to her and he wasn't doing anything, then disregarding her husband's role in it, i could better support her speaking up.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#13 Mar 20, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
LW1: This is Stphan's problem to deal with. It is HIS family, not yours. You just need to follow his lead.
They are married, his family is now hers. And he is NOT dealing with it.

“I looked, and behold,”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#14 Mar 20, 2013
LW1: I thought Stefan was supposed to be Urkle’s alter ego? It sounds like she married Urkle, not Stefan.

I don’t understand why you are writing on behalf of your husband. If Stefan is pi$$ed at his family let him man up and deal with them instead of hiding behind his wife or you assuming his role for him.

LW2: What is so hard about saying,“may I ask who I am speaking with?” Much easier to do that than to take the time to write Amy about it and stew over it endlessly.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#15 Mar 20, 2013
Mister Tonka wrote:
Who I am is none of your damn business. Unless you're Tim.
The "polite" thing to do when you call someone is identify yourself, no matter who answers.

"Hi, this is edog, is tonka there?"

Mannerisms, son.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#16 Mar 20, 2013
Your overlooking one little factiod...
If I answer the phone and then announce to Bob that someone wants to talk to him....The first thing Bob is gonna say is "Who is it?"

And you are right. I view it as your are calling my domicile, and I have the right to screen any and all calls. Am I supposed to just hand the phone to my wife so some perv can make smut talk to her? or somebody wanting to sell her on buying a new roof or driveway? Hells no!
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>
No. I called Bob. You just happened to pick up the phone.
<quoted text> Like I said, when asked, I will say who it is. I never denied that you have the right to ask. I just don't like it.
You view it from the perspective of me calling YOUR HOUSE.
I view it from the perspective that I am calling BOB. If you ain't Bob, it ain't your business who I am. If Bob answers the phone, its not like he's gonna announce to you who he's talking to. Its none of your business. Hell, he might even take the phone to another room so as to have a private conversation. But apparently, you feel that by being closer to the phone and answering before Bob can pick it up makes you entitled to know who's calling. I can only subscribe to this notion when the caller wants to speak to your child. But other adults? Nunya.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#17 Mar 20, 2013
Or she could just say she does not want to deal with the drama and stay home.
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>I subscribe to the notion that my family is MY problem to deal with(or not) and vice versa. I have no problem with wife giving her opinion to husband on how he should handle things with HIS family, but in the end, she needs to follow his lead on whatever he decides to do.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#18 Mar 20, 2013
L1: Amy's right, they're neither are dealing with it. While it isn't the wife's problem, it becomes her problem when her husband is upset and disrupts their holidays/visits. She should push hubby to speak up, although I don't think you should treat your husband as if he can't do for himself.

L2: It sounds like the LW is taking a poll.

L3: Each person is different with different personalities -- including grandmothers. I'm sure sometimes that works, sometimes it does not.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#19 Mar 20, 2013
RACE wrote:
Your overlooking one little factiod...
If I answer the phone and then announce to Bob that someone wants to talk to him....The first thing Bob is gonna say is "Who is it?"
Between college and now, I have lived with 23 people over a number of houses/apartments. While asking that question HAS occurred, it was never common practice.

"<answers phone> Hello. <listens> Yeah. Hold on. HEY, THE PHONE'S FOR YOU"
"<picks up other line in another room> OK, I GOT IT! Hello"

That is my most common experience from both sides of that conversation.
RACE wrote:
Am I supposed to just hand the phone to my wife so some perv can make smut talk to her? or somebody wanting to sell her on buying a new roof or driveway?
And these are typical calls that you have had to deal with? Is the wife not permitted to answer the phone when you're not home? How would she handle such calls were you not there to run interference?

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#20 Mar 20, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
The "polite" thing to do when you call someone is identify yourself, no matter who answers.
"Hi, this is edog, is tonka there?"
Mannerisms, son.
To me, polite is

"hi, can I speak to edog, please"

vs

"edog there?"
or
"lemme talk to edog"

Identifying yourself does not make it any more polite in my book.

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