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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Nov 1, 2012
DEAR AMY: More than 50 years ago I met a girl, and we started dating. A few months later she told me she was expecting a baby, but she said the child wasn't mine. We got married and had two more children and a nice life but divorced after 15 years.

We stayed in touch until her death. All three children have also passed away over the years. The oldest son died three years ago. This son was married and had a family, but they didn't include me in many family events. These grandchildren are young adults.

His widow wants me to be a grandfather to people I really don't know and who are not actually related to me (genetically). I guess I need to keep it to myself, but I'm not their grandfather and really don't want to become one at this stage in my life. I don't want to tell them why because it will cause them pain, but this secret is a problem, emotionally, for me. I think about it every day.

How do I come clean about this and not affect his family? I have already affected them by keeping my distance, but I just don't feel like a part of them.-- Struggling Grandfather

DEAR STRUGGLING: I suspect this is not really about genetics. You sound very sad and alone. You seem bitter about the estrangement from your children -- and perhaps this son in particular because you were a generous presence in his life. This family -- his widow and her children -- is already hurting. Their husband/father is gone, and now you are rejecting them.

The truth could not hurt them any more, and it might hurt them less to know that you have this incredibly burdensome secret that causes you pain and confusion.

The moment you disclose this, you will discover why you needed to. The burden will be lifted, and then you can commence the discovery of what a family really is. If you want a family, you may find this one waiting for you.

DEAR AMY: Several months ago, a colleague I've worked with for many years verbally invited my wife and me to her daughter's wedding and reception.

We agreed to attend. However, recently she stopped by my office and told me that the reception would be semiformal requiring a full-length gown for my wife and equally appropriate attire for me.

My wife and I are casual people. The cost of a substantial gift (they are requesting money for their new house) together with semiformal wear we'll never use again, is more than we want to invest in this function. We have no problems attending the wedding if we are not expected to wear semiformal attire.

Can you suggest some words I could provide to the bride's mom to bow out of the reception gracefully without damaging our strong working relationship?-- Casual Colleague

DEAR COLLEAGUE: It sounds as if all the communication about this wedding is being done verbally, and so the best thing to do is to quickly approach your colleague to say, "We would love to attend your daughter's wedding ceremony but unfortunately can't attend the reception. I know you need to get a firm head count, so I wanted to let you know quickly. Is this going to be OK?"

DEAR AMY: I can't let your response to "Heartsick" regarding her rekindled relationship with a French man stand without a challenge.

Her daughter, who said, "Follow your heart," gave better advice than your callous remarks about cheating on her husband and putting her long-lost love "in perspective."

I know your advice is wrong because I was in the exact same position 16 years ago. I followed my heart, and as a result I am happier than I ever thought possible. It isn't an easy road, but it is one that has transformed my life.

The only positive comment you made was to work with a counselor.-- Happy in Portland

DEAR HAPPY: "Heartsick" thought her life was happy before this rekindled relationship threw her off course. Perspective is definitely called for, and counseling -- not cheating -- is the best way to gain it.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#2 Nov 1, 2012
1- I disagree you should tell the family the truth. That ship has sailed long ago. You raised him, he started his own family, now he's three years in the grave. I don't think you should drop this bombshell on his family now.

2- Dude, you can rent a flippin suit. You and your wife don't own any formalwear? Do you show up at funerals in shorts and a tank top? Make a trip to the Men's Warehouse, ya cheap bassterd.

3- Yeah, glad you left your marriage for some long ago crush in a foreign land. Loser.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#3 Nov 1, 2012
L1: " you were a generous presence in his life" amy, you have no clue whether or not that's the case. I dare say this eldest child may have had very good reasons for not including the LW in his adult life and in his family. And I don't see how the widow will be "hurt" by this information. TEll her the truth. " If you want a family, you may find this one waiting for you." He SAID he doesn't want it. Respect that.

And is this family cursed? All three kids dead by age 50?

***

Over at the Wapo, a few people think the widow could see grandpa as an inheritance source, now that her kids are the last surviving "relatives."

***

L2: This woman is clueless. First of all, a verbal invitation? Second, "semiformal" is not a floor length gown. Ignore ALL the demands. Dress nicely, give whatever gift you want and can afford. Or, if you can't do even that, just tell her you can't make it. Don't ask her "Is that okay?" Amy's advice is horrible.

L3: Well, Amy is one for three today.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#4 Nov 1, 2012
1 Just move and leave no forwarding address

2 You sound very cheap not casual.

3 So what worked for you is the only correct answer?

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#5 Nov 1, 2012
LW1: So if I have the chronology right, the oldest child, the one that is not yours, the one that just died, he was over 50 years old. He died in 2009. His children are grown.

At this stage in their lives, I find it odd that hte widow is pushing you to have some bigger relationship with these adults. It would be different if they were still children. What does she expect from you as far as "being a grandfather"? Do you even know if they have any real desire for a better relationship with you than they already have? I would not push them away, but at the same time, I would not be the driving force behind creating a new relationship with them. They are adults. If they want a relationship with you, they know how to find you. Its none of their mother's business. She's probably feeling guilty over how estranged they kept you all these years.

LW2: "Can you suggest some words I could provide to the bride's mom to bow out of the reception gracefully without damaging our strong working relationship?"
Lie. Plain and simple. You're parents are renewing their vows. You're dad is scheduled for open heart surgery. Your sister is getting inducted into the Birmingham Women's Softball Hall of Fame and you have to attend. And Amy's answer is dumb. If the communication is verbal, then you can guarantdamntee that if she verbally says, "we can't make it to the reception" the next question will be "Why not?". Better be ready to give them a reason, truth or lie.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#6 Nov 1, 2012
edogxxx wrote:
You and your wife don't own any formalwear?
This seems odd to you? I own a suit because my primary form of vacation is going on cruises, and there's usually one or 2 nights when a suit is recommended in the dining room. Other than that, I have just about zero need for a suit. Been at my current job for 10 years and my previous one for 7. Have not worn a suit to work ever.
edogxxx wrote:
Do you show up at funerals in shorts and a tank top?
Who says he's been to any funerals lately? In my adult life, I've been to 1. I wore dress pants and a dress shirt. Something I'm guessing the LW was planning on wearing to the wedding.

Is a suit the only suitable attire for a funeral?

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#7 Nov 1, 2012
Nick wore nice pants and a button down shirt to the last funeral we went to, and plenty of men were dressed similarly (some in polo shirts and dress pants).

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#8 Nov 1, 2012
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
L1: " you were a generous presence in his life" amy, you have no clue whether or not that's the case.
I don't think her statment is off base. The dude married a girl that got pregnant by someone else after they had been dating just a few months. I think most guys would have said hell no to raising someone else's child with a cheating girlfriend. The fact that he married her under those circumstances defines "generous presence" to me.
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
" If you want a family, you may find this one waiting for you." He SAID he doesn't want it. Respect that.
No shit. Dummy has it all figured out that he is a lonely old man without knowing anything else about his life.
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
Over at the Wapo, a few people think the widow could see grandpa as an inheritance source, now that her kids are the last surviving "relatives."
That crossed my mind.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#9 Nov 1, 2012
LW1: I donít know why you agreed to marry that woman all those years ago if you were not going to be a father figure to the boy and treat him as one of your own.

LW2: Just tell her something came up and you canít attend.

LW3: Yes, of course, by all means do whatever you need to do and hurt whoever you need to hurt to achieve your happiness.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#10 Nov 1, 2012
RACE wrote:
2 You sound very cheap not casual.
Since you and the dog are of one mind today....

POLL TIME!

Weddings and funerals. Are they events that

1) require a suit & tie
2) require at at least a jacket and dress shirt
3) Phil Collins Style - No Jacket required, but still need long sleeve shirt and a tie
4) Dressy short sleeves will do
5) No rules. Come as you are.

I'm at 3.5. I say 3, but lean towards 4 depending on the weather. It gets hot down in Fla. I ain't wearing long sleeves to no outdoor event unless it is 100% required.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#11 Nov 1, 2012
Mister Tonka wrote:
Weddings and funerals. Are they events that
1) require a suit & tie
2) require at at least a jacket and dress shirt
3) Phil Collins Style - No Jacket required, but still need long sleeve shirt and a tie
4) Dressy short sleeves will do
5) No rules. Come as you are.
I'm at 3.5. I say 3, but lean towards 4 depending on the weather. It gets hot down in Fla. I ain't wearing long sleeves to no outdoor event unless it is 100% required.
For Nick:#4. I love a nice tie, but I *hate* things around my throat, so I am not going to push it and "make" him wear a tie. He wore a tie once, when we were first dating, to a friend's dressy cocktail party. Since then, at least two funerals and three weddings, not a tie to any of it.

And I wouldn't expect him to wear long sleeves in hot summer weather.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#12 Nov 1, 2012
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>
Since you and the dog are of one mind today....
POLL TIME!
Weddings and funerals. Are they events that
1) require a suit & tie
2) require at at least a jacket and dress shirt
3) Phil Collins Style - No Jacket required, but still need long sleeve shirt and a tie
4) Dressy short sleeves will do
5) No rules. Come as you are.
I'm at 3.5. I say 3, but lean towards 4 depending on the weather. It gets hot down in Fla. I ain't wearing long sleeves to no outdoor event unless it is 100% required.
I wear a suit and a tie to those things - always to a funeral. Of course it depends on the type of wedding, tho. I went to one last year that was a beach motif and outdoors. I've also been to one that was more of a barbeque. Didn't wear a suit and a tie to that, but if it's at a hall or something, then yes.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#13 Nov 1, 2012
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
And is this family cursed? All three kids dead by age 50?
***
.
Where does it say that?

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#14 Nov 1, 2012
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
For Nick:#4. I love a nice tie, but I *hate* things around my throat, so I am not going to push it and "make" him wear a tie. He wore a tie once, when we were first dating, to a friend's dressy cocktail party. Since then, at least two funerals and three weddings, not a tie to any of it.
And I wouldn't expect him to wear long sleeves in hot summer weather.
I just pulled up pictures from my wedding. Other than us who were in the wedding and a few of the older generation, none of the men had suits or jackets. Shirt and tie.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#15 Nov 1, 2012
Mister Tonka wrote:
Is a suit the only suitable attire for a funeral?
I never said it was. And yes, I find it odd that someone doesn't own any nice clothes.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#16 Nov 1, 2012
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
Where does it say that?
"More than 50 years ago I met a girl, and we started dating. A few months later she told me she was expecting a baby,"

Using that as a baseline, the oldest kid was born over 50 years ago. Sure that could mean 55 or 60, but its probably a good bet that he just chose the nearest round number. So we can assume the oldest kid would have been a little over 50 today. But he died 3 years ago. So probably dead around 50.

"All three children have also passed away over the years."

If the oldest one just died 3 years ago around age 50, the other's obviously died at younger ages if they died before him.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#17 Nov 1, 2012
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
I never said it was. And yes, I find it odd that someone doesn't own any nice clothes.
Where did he say he does not own nice clothes? Does casual = not nice to you? You've jumped from him not having a suit and his wife not having an evening gown to them only having shorts and flip flops. There's a lot in the middle that you are completely jumping over.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#18 Nov 1, 2012
LW1: Have you asked the widow why she suddenly wants you back in their life? Seems odd to me...

But I think if you want to tell her your "secret" then go right ahead.

LW2: What Tonka said.

LW3: I feel like farting in your general direction.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#19 Nov 1, 2012
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>
Since you and the dog are of one mind today....
POLL TIME!
Weddings and funerals. Are they events that
1) require a suit & tie
2) require at at least a jacket and dress shirt
3) Phil Collins Style - No Jacket required, but still need long sleeve shirt and a tie
4) Dressy short sleeves will do
5) No rules. Come as you are.
I'm at 3.5. I say 3, but lean towards 4 depending on the weather. It gets hot down in Fla. I ain't wearing long sleeves to no outdoor event unless it is 100% required.
Dickie would definitely wear a suit and tie to both events.

He'd even break out the french cuffs/cuff links and a pocket square. He likes getting dressed up.
pde

Homer Glen, IL

#20 Nov 1, 2012
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>Where did he say he does not own nice clothes? Does casual = not nice to you? You've jumped from him not having a suit and his wife not having an evening gown to them only having shorts and flip flops. There's a lot in the middle that you are completely jumping over.
Not just an evening gown, but a full-length gown. I own one full-length gown. It's from my PROM in 1994. I actually can still wear it, but seriously, I'd never wear it to a wedding. That's over the top.

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