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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Jun 21, 2013
DEAR AMY: My girlfriend and I have been in a close relationship for more than five years, and all signs point to marriage way down the road.

However, I keep a few close friends, both male and female, and one in particular has my girlfriend irked. I have never had any romantic interest in this girl, and I have been honest and open about my meetings with her to catch up.

My girlfriend sees this as an issue, and it has caused us a fair amount of stress as we debate whether this is OK.

While I care strongly for my girlfriend, I care about keeping my friends as well. Your thoughts on the matter? Can close friends of the opposite sex be maintained in a relationship?-- Good Guy

DEAR GUY: This question (or a version of it) is asked so frequently lately that it leads me to diagnose a new relationship ailment: CFC -- chronic friendship confusion.

So listen up. It's not really that complicated.

Close friends of the opposite sex can be maintained while in a "couple" partnership.

Close friends of the opposite sex cannot be maintained exclusive (or outside of) the "couple" partnership.

After five years together, your girlfriend should be comfortable with all of your other friendships. How would you make her comfortable? You would include her in your friendships. You would be completely transparent, inviting your opposite sex friend to your home or to go out with you and your girlfriend.

You would give both women ample opportunities to get to know each other in case they, too, wanted to strike up a friendship. You would not spend time alone with this opposite sex friend unless your girlfriend was comfortable with it.

And if after doing all of these things your girlfriend was overly jealous or possessive of you, you wouldn't marry her.

DEAR AMY: As a mom of several children ranging in age from newborn to young adult, I am often in conversations with the parents of my children's friends. Often, their children will repeatedly and rudely interrupt our conversations. These interruptions are not important, sometimes repeatedly telling the parent they want to go, they are hungry, they are bored, etc.

These interruptions are not preceded with an "Excuse me" or anything.

At what point is it OK to tell the offending child something along the lines of, "I'm talking with your mom right now. Please have patience, and we'll finish our conversation, and then you can have your mom all to yourself."

I've taught my kids to start with "Excuse me" and then wait until I acknowledge them.

I just can't stand trying to train an adult who is interrupted multiple times by her children. Are other people not teaching respectful conversational skills to children?-- Frustrated Mother

DEAR MOTHER: It's not appropriate to try to train or actively parent other people's children when the parent is standing there, but you have leeway (and leverage) when you are involved in a conversation and a child interrupts you.

If you are speaking, and the child interrupts, you can say, "Wait a minute, honey, I need to finish my sentence before you speak."

If the other person is speaking, and the child interrupts, you'll have to be tolerant about how she handles it.

I agree that parents don't teach respectful conversational skills to kids, but I'm not sure this is a recent development. Many adults I know seem to lack these skills too.

DEAR AMY: Responding to "To Work or Not to Work," I have been a stay-at-home mom for 22 years.

I've heard it all from people telling me I should work. People should never feel guilty for taking care of the family. You will reap far better rewards being there and guiding your children. All the material things cannot replace time spent raising your family. Life is too short; kids grow up too fast. Enjoy every moment!-- Happy at Home

DEAR HAPPY: My mother was also a stay-at-home mom for 22 years, and then my father left. Without a profession, it was a struggle to find decent work. Staying at home is a privilege many moms do not have.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Darby, PA

#2 Jun 21, 2013
1- And if the genders were reversed, Amy would be saying the man is controlling and obsessive.
liner

Brooklyn, NY

#3 Jun 21, 2013
L1: From newborn to adult? Perhaps it's time?

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#4 Jun 21, 2013
my girlfriend and I have been in a close relationship for more than five years, and all signs point to marriage way down the road.

She is not the droid you are looking for, dont even bother.

2 Exactly, if the kid interrupts you shut them up, it their interrupting their mom, just roll your eyes and make her feel like the loser she is.

3 This rehash is so old, the kids in question are now in college.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#5 Jun 21, 2013
L1: "You would not spend time alone with this opposite sex friend unless your girlfriend was comfortable with it." WRONG, Amy. So so so wrong.

L2: " Are other people not teaching respectful conversational skills to children?" Duh. Your letter is *all about that*. Here's your pat on the back for doing a good job, mommy. Since that really is why you wrote.

L3: Don't break your arm patting yourself on the back.(Yeah, I get it, materialism is bad. Have fun paying for college on one income.
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#6 Jun 21, 2013
LW2 - You are such a good mother! You deserve a medal. The rest of us are parental failures. Thank you, thank you, thank you for setting us straight through Amy's column.

LW3 - Sigh. Aren't you smug? This argument can go both ways.

I've heard it all from people telling me I should be "raising my own children." People should never feel guilty for bringing in a paycheck to provide for their children. You will reap great rewards (not up to me to say if their are *better* or not) making sure that your son and daughter don't have to share a bedroom until they go to college and that you can actually put them through college without saddling them with tens of thousands of dollars in debt that they will be paying off until they are 50. All the touchy-feely assurances that you "raised your family" cannot replace the financial security you provide to your kids and the sense of intellectual and professional fulfillment you get on the job. Life's too short; the ability to find employment that will support you and your kids should your spouse not be there to provide a paycheck dries up amazingly fast when you are out of the job market.- Happy Having a Job.

So stop bloody patting yourself on the pack for what works for you, but does not necessarily work for others. And stop preaching about "reaping far better rewards." YOU don't know what constitutes a better reward for SOMEBODY ELSE.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#7 Jun 21, 2013
Yeah, but how about you tell us how you really feel!
Cass wrote:
LW2 - You are such a good mother! You deserve a medal. The rest of us are parental failures. Thank you, thank you, thank you for setting us straight through Amy's column.
LW3 - Sigh. Aren't you smug? This argument can go both ways.
I've heard it all from people telling me I should be "raising my own children." People should never feel guilty for bringing in a paycheck to provide for their children. You will reap great rewards (not up to me to say if their are *better* or not) making sure that your son and daughter don't have to share a bedroom until they go to college and that you can actually put them through college without saddling them with tens of thousands of dollars in debt that they will be paying off until they are 50. All the touchy-feely assurances that you "raised your family" cannot replace the financial security you provide to your kids and the sense of intellectual and professional fulfillment you get on the job. Life's too short; the ability to find employment that will support you and your kids should your spouse not be there to provide a paycheck dries up amazingly fast when you are out of the job market.- Happy Having a Job.
So stop bloody patting yourself on the pack for what works for you, but does not necessarily work for others. And stop preaching about "reaping far better rewards." YOU don't know what constitutes a better reward for SOMEBODY ELSE.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#8 Jun 21, 2013
L1: Just how hot is this one particular friend?

L2: Yay for you and your kids. Yes, I agree that you can only say somethin if you are the one being interrupted.

This drives me nuts and it's basically why I'm on a texting-only basis with my good friend in Texas. I can only take so much kid-yammering in the background of a phone call.

L3: Da fuq does one do for 22 years as a SAHM? That's a lot of laundry and sh1tty casserole preparation.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#9 Jun 21, 2013
I'm feeling lazy today: what Red and Cass said.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#10 Jun 21, 2013
L1: What Matilda said. That's what popped in my head when I read it.

L2: But have you taught your children humility?

L3: I think Amy ran the letter AGAIN so she could mention her mom. We also now know why Amy tends to bash men.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#11 Jun 21, 2013
Matilda77 wrote:
.
L3: Da fuq does one do for 22 years as a SAHM? That's a lot of laundry and sh1tty casserole preparation.
Here is the schedule:

Age 21(college grad to birth- work, date, get married, etc) Get pregnant at, say , 28.

Birth to age 5 - stay with kid, keep play dates, read to kid, monitor TV usage, clean house to remove germs, cook, bathe kid , do laundry, etc

Age 5-16 Make breakfast and school lunch, clean house, volunteer at school or similar activities between 9 and 3 so that you are involved in kids education and life, drive kid around to activities, cheer at b-ball and t-ball and dancing practice, make dinner (casseroles), monitor computer use, TV watching, cell phone use and homework. Do more laundry

Age 16-18 Make breakfast, make school lunch, volunteer in school activities like booster club at the high school, monitor computer use, cell phone use, TV and video game watching, stay at home while kid uses your car.

Age 18 forward now what? Schools don't let people without enrolled kids participate in booster type activities; people whose kids are not in the game or don't have a public role in the sport are looked at askance if they continue to show up at football, soccer and ballet etc

Add 5 years in case you have more kids.

You gave birth at 28. Everyone is out of the house 23 years later. You are now 51 and you can gripe about entry level jobs, no one appreciating your life experience skills. You can derive secondary gratification from the accomplishments of others , i.e. the kids which more or less denigrates their own role in their accomplishments.

You have roughly 30 years left to live.How's that working out for you?

(The group here knows I was a FTWM with now-grown kids. Take my bias into consideration)In my neighborhood, the mom would add tennis or golf into the equation.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#12 Jun 21, 2013
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>
Here is the schedule:
Age 21(college grad to birth- work, date, get married, etc) Get pregnant at, say , 28.
Birth to age 5 - stay with kid, keep play dates, read to kid, monitor TV usage, clean house to remove germs, cook, bathe kid , do laundry, etc
Age 5-16 Make breakfast and school lunch, clean house, volunteer at school or similar activities between 9 and 3 so that you are involved in kids education and life, drive kid around to activities, cheer at b-ball and t-ball and dancing practice, make dinner (casseroles), monitor computer use, TV watching, cell phone use and homework. Do more laundry
Age 16-18 Make breakfast, make school lunch, volunteer in school activities like booster club at the high school, monitor computer use, cell phone use, TV and video game watching, stay at home while kid uses your car.
Age 18 forward now what? Schools don't let people without enrolled kids participate in booster type activities; people whose kids are not in the game or don't have a public role in the sport are looked at askance if they continue to show up at football, soccer and ballet etc
Add 5 years in case you have more kids.
You gave birth at 28. Everyone is out of the house 23 years later. You are now 51 and you can gripe about entry level jobs, no one appreciating your life experience skills. You can derive secondary gratification from the accomplishments of others , i.e. the kids which more or less denigrates their own role in their accomplishments.
You have roughly 30 years left to live.How's that working out for you?
(The group here knows I was a FTWM with now-grown kids. Take my bias into consideration)In my neighborhood, the mom would add tennis or golf into the equation.
I don't mean to bash it or anything, really. Whatever works for each family, but I personally think it would suck once the last kid was in school full time. I know my mom was bored out of her gourd being home all the time. Even Mrs. Brady had Alice to do all the grunt work while she got to go out and get her hair did or whatever.

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#13 Jun 21, 2013
Matilda77 wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't mean to bash it or anything, really. Whatever works for each family, but I personally think it would suck once the last kid was in school full time. I know my mom was bored out of her gourd being home all the time. Even Mrs. Brady had Alice to do all the grunt work while she got to go out and get her hair did or whatever.
Ha! Alice!

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#14 Jun 21, 2013
Is everyone on the same page about L1 and that's why we're not discussing/debating it?

FTR, I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all answer as Amy seems to imply. I do wonder about the hotness of the friend and whether or not she has an SO. I have several guy friends who I've never thought of it any romantic or sexual way... but are guys different about that stuff?

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#15 Jun 21, 2013
*in, not it.
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

#16 Jun 21, 2013
LW3, Cass, Matilda and PEllen voiced my take on it EXACTLY! But don't forget, PElly, that not only does golf and tennis get mixed in the equation, but you must also add the gym, salon, shopping, lunches, etc. More of that than the volunteering at school, for the most part.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#17 Jun 21, 2013
j_m_w wrote:
but are guys different about that stuff?
So I'm told. If they're friends with you, they want to bang you. I...wish I'd known that in high school...
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

#18 Jun 21, 2013
j_m_w wrote:
Is everyone on the same page about L1 and that's why we're not discussing/debating it?
FTR, I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all answer as Amy seems to imply. I do wonder about the hotness of the friend and whether or not she has an SO. I have several guy friends who I've never thought of it any romantic or sexual way... but are guys different about that stuff?
I was actually annoyed about the girlfriend being so controlling. Yeah, the gf should meet the girla nd all, but she shouldn't tell him who is or isn'this friend.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#19 Jun 21, 2013
Stina wrote:
<quoted text>
I was actually annoyed about the girlfriend being so controlling. Yeah, the gf should meet the girla nd all, but she shouldn't tell him who is or isn'this friend.
ITA. Does she trust him or not? Apparently not. But she'll dress it up as "I don't trust HER."

“I looked, and behold,”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#20 Jun 21, 2013
LW1: If you arenít interested in her in that way, your gf has nothing to worry about. Either she trusts you or she doesnít, and so long as no inappropriate behavior is going on, she has no right to control who you're friends with.

LW2: Itís not your place to speak up. Itís the parentís job to speak up, as I would do if and when my children have done that.

LW3: Whatever. Different strokes for different folks.

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