“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Jan 10, 2014
DEAR AMY: My husband and I occasionally meet my friend and her husband for dinner. They are younger and have one child who is just starting elementary school. They never get a baby sitter. They bring their child with them to some very nice restaurants.

My friend and I always have a lot to talk about. However, her husband was seated next to my husband and pretty much ignored him and was very involved with the child.

My husband really doesn't want to go out with them anymore. I understand. I can meet her separately for lunch. But I would really like to keep them as "couple" friends too. My husband wants me to suggest that they get a sitter. They both have advanced degrees and have excellent careers, so they can afford a sitter. However, I don't really know how to suggest that they hire a baby sitter so we can have an adult conversation.-- Unsure

DEAR UNSURE: It might not be realistic for you to keep these people as "couple" friends, because they aren't a couple -- they're a family, and their practice is to include their daughter in adult events.

It doesn't matter how educated they are or whether they can afford a sitter. Some families simply don't leave their child at home and more or less submerge their individuality for 15-20 years while they pour everything they have into their children. This can be especially true with career couples who don't spend a lot of time with their kids during the day.

If your friends are in this category, suggesting they leave their child with a sitter will be like suggesting they leave her in the car with the window cracked.

If this is the case, you should accept this child as part of a package deal. And once in a while, this might be completely enjoyable for all of you.

Otherwise, ask, "Do you ever leave 'Lucy' with a sitter? We enjoy her but we would also love to go out with just the two of you."

DEAR AMY: I loved your answer to "Feeling Betrayed," the homophobic parent wanting her/his son to "stop being gay."

The part of your response where you addressed this parent forgetting the son's birthday for three years in a row hit a tender spot in me.

My husband has forgotten my birthday for the last two years. He has also forgotten it a few other times. We have been married 12 years. The second year in a row was very painful.

How would you respond to my husband?-- Sad Wife

DEAR SAD: I heard from thousands of people after that letter ran. While supportive of the main part of my advice, many people said, "How could a parent forget a child's birthday? This doesn't happen." Others said, "My mother/father forgot my birthday and it hurt so much."

I think that anyone who forgets a beloved and close family member's birthday is disrespecting that person and in a basic sense negating that person's identity.

Granted, people are flawed and sometimes forgetful.

But here's the thing about birthdays: Birthdays mark a person's presence in the world. I'm not talking about receiving loads of gifts. I'm talking about someone taking a minute to say, "I celebrate you. I'm so happy you're here."

You should talk to your husband about this and remind him in advance of the day. I realize this is not what you want to do, but he sounds like a guy who needs an annual "heads-up."

DEAR AMY: "Flummoxed" wrote about her niece posting disrespectful comments about her own secretary on Facebook.

"Dignity resides in the person, not in the job." This is taken from a quote uttered by the character Spock on "Star Trek."

Facebook seems to be a breeding ground for petty tyrants. Perhaps it is because Facebook is a place where some are always busy minding everybody else's business, and acceptable boundaries, for all types of behaviors, have become irreparably blurred.-- Steve

DEAR STEVE: I disagree with you about Facebook, but I agree with all things Spock. Thank you for the wise quote.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#2 Jan 10, 2014
1 If the husbands wanted to talk, they would. The kid is not preventing a conversation. They are just not into each other.

2 Forgetting a birthday is not the same as ignoring a birthday, which is what the original LW's parents did.

3 WTF does spocks quote have to do with anything?

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#3 Jan 10, 2014
RACE wrote:
1 If the husbands wanted to talk, they would. The kid is not preventing a conversation. They are just not into each other.
2 Forgetting a birthday is not the same as ignoring a birthday, which is what the original LW's parents did.
3 WTF does spocks quote have to do with anything?
Heh. Batting .1000.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#4 Jan 10, 2014
1- Don't presume to know what they can afford, maybe they're upside down on their mortgage. But it sounds like you're friends with the woman, then want to force a couple's friendship by involving the husbands. Just catch up with your girlfriend over lunch and keep the husbands out of it.

2- I'm bad with birthdays. Hell, I forgot my own once.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#5 Jan 10, 2014
LW1: When faced with a problem, first ask what you yourself can do to make it better.
If I were your husband I would just join you and your female friend in conversation even if that meant catching up on what’s going on with your mutual friend Becky and her new hairstyle. I could make it entertaining, nonetheless.

LW2: This is one thing women and men are just wired differently in regards to. I almost forgot my own birthday this year. That doesn’t mean I don’t care about myself. I also have a hard time remembering dates and stuff ... even meetings ... I have to put them in my iphone calender and give myself reminders ... I can remember I have an appointment tomorrow and through the course of the day forget by the time the next day rolls around. It's just not a strength of mine. I think a lot of men are similar. So, realize this first.

Give him a reminder(s) leading up to important dates and if he forgets let him know how it makes you feel. How he responds will tell you how he feels about you. If it's something that he knows hurts you he should be remorseful and making it a point to put more effort into remembering.
not a ghost

San Antonio, TX

#6 Jan 10, 2014
LW1's friends probably have their reasons for wanting to protect their
child. What's wrong with meeting them--or LW1 meeting the wife-- while the child is in school?

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#7 Jan 10, 2014
LW1: What RACE said.

LW2: "I think that anyone who forgets a beloved and close family member's birthday is disrespecting that person and in a basic sense negating that person's identity."

WTF? Birthdays are only as important as you make them. For millenia, people didn't even know when their birthday was and people rarely knew how old they were. If your identity is so wrapped up in the celebration of one day, then you have bigger problems, imo.

I'll even misquote Spock on this one "Dignity resides in the person, not in the DAY."

LW3: Very illogical.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#8 Jan 10, 2014
Sublime1 wrote:
LW1: When faced with a problem, first ask what you yourself can do to make it better.
If I were your husband I would just join you and your female friend in conversation even if that meant catching up on what’s going on with your mutual friend Becky and her new hairstyle. I could make it entertaining, nonetheless.
LW2: This is one thing women and men are just wired differently in regards to. I almost forgot my own birthday this year. That doesn’t mean I don’t care about myself. I also have a hard time remembering dates and stuff ... even meetings ... I have to put them in my iphone calender and give myself reminders ... I can remember I have an appointment tomorrow and through the course of the day forget by the time the next day rolls around. It's just not a strength of mine. I think a lot of men are similar. So, realize this first.
Give him a reminder(s) leading up to important dates and if he forgets let him know how it makes you feel. How he responds will tell you how he feels about you. If it's something that he knows hurts you he should be remorseful and making it a point to put more effort into remembering.
Re: Remembering stuff

I choose not to try to remember stuff if I cn easily get a reminder some other way. My dad and I were out running an errand and were going to stop and get drive thru dinner for everyone. I told my wife to email me what everyone wanted. She raised a fuss that I should just remember it. Said I'm not even gonna try. Email me.Then my dad, wanting to play hero, listened to what they wanted. We drove off and had not made it out of the neighborhood when I asked him to repeat what they wanted. As expected, he could not. Called them and told them. Better email me or I decide what you eat.:)

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#9 Jan 10, 2014
Lw1: Maybe cost is not an issue. Maybe they simply don't leave their children with babysitters. I have a number of kid-free friends that we simply don't go out to dinner with anymore. I have no problem with it. I'm not gonna make special arrangements just to go to dinner with them. But sometimes I'll meet them out by myself. Or we'll go out when grandma'a in town. Its not a big deal. Just life. Just like everyone does not want to be around kids, not every parent feels compelled to make specoal arrangements just for a leisurely dinner.
Blunt Advice

Saddle River, NJ

#10 Jan 10, 2014
1. They probably work so much they don't get much time with the kid let alone anyone else. You mention them being younger than yourselves. Do you have kids who babysit or nieces or friends kids? How about bring a daughter or niece along to dinner who can entertain the little girl?
2. A husband forgetting his wifes birthday, whether it be disrespect, ignorance, or just a guy being a forgetful guy, is not as bad as a mother ignoring her son.
3. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#11 Jan 10, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>
Re: Remembering stuff
I choose not to try to remember stuff if I cn easily get a reminder some other way. My dad and I were out running an errand and were going to stop and get drive thru dinner for everyone. I told my wife to email me what everyone wanted. She raised a fuss that I should just remember it. Said I'm not even gonna try. Email me.Then my dad, wanting to play hero, listened to what they wanted. We drove off and had not made it out of the neighborhood when I asked him to repeat what they wanted. As expected, he could not. Called them and told them. Better email me or I decide what you eat.:)
From what you've said about your dad. He kind of reminds me of mine. Thinking he knows better, involving himself in stuff that isn't his business, and trying to be hero in stuff that is really between my wife and me.

So annoying and I don't like it. I've gotten into a few arguments before with him over it. Last time he was down, I said this is my effing house ... mine ... and I don't want to listen to it.

It's like when we spend to much time together he reverts to treating me like my bro who lives with him. Uh, no. That's not going to happen. It's gotten worse the older he's gotten and now that he is retired and has nothing better to do.

I skipped going back last summer, but I gotta go back there this summer. <sigh>

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#12 Jan 10, 2014
Sublime1 wrote:
<quoted text>
From what you've said about your dad. He kind of reminds me of mine. Thinking he knows better, involving himself in stuff that isn't his business, and trying to be hero in stuff that is really between my wife and me.
So annoying and I don't like it. I've gotten into a few arguments before with him over it. Last time he was down, I said this is my effing house ... mine ... and I don't want to listen to it.
It's like when we spend to much time together he reverts to treating me like my bro who lives with him. Uh, no. That's not going to happen. It's gotten worse the older he's gotten and now that he is retired and has nothing better to do.
I skipped going back last summer, but I gotta go back there this summer. <sigh>
Too much time with my dad and he annoys the sht outta me. But he only acts like the knowitall with me, sister, and mom. With my wife or anyone else, he's on his best most accomodating behavior

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#13 Jan 10, 2014
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text> Too much time with my dad and he annoys the sht outta me. But he only acts like the knowitall with me, sister, and mom. With my wife or anyone else, he's on his best most accomodating behavior
My dad is like that with his boys (me and my two bros). Women in the family ... they can do no wrong, unless it's something between him and my mom, in which case he's right.

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