I’m part of a group of high school friends, now pushing 70, who will be meeting at a cottage in August. The problem? At our last get-together, pre-COVID, one of the husbands - who sleeps naked - thought it would be OK to stroll to the outhouse in the buff. One of the other women was in the outhouse and when she opened the door to return to bed, she found him standing there naked. She suffers from anxiety and is totally freaking out that this will happen again.
Would it be appropriate to email this couple directly and say something cute, like, “looking forward to seeing you - just not all of you. Pack a robe, please.”
I’d appreciate your thoughts on this. I love your column.
Absolutely! If the couple don’t respond to your email, call the one you’re closer to and explain the reasoning behind the email. It’s fabulous that this man feels so comfortable in his own skin that he wants to let it all out. I applaud him. But there’s a time and a place, and this septuagenarian reunion isn’t either.
Anxiety is real, whether you agree with the issue or not. Hopefully, he’ll be empathetic to the other woman.
My 10-year-old son has grandiose visions of his life and how he should be living it, none of which I can afford. I’m a single dad, who opted to adopt when I realized it would be years before I found a healthy relationship, with another man who wanted to be a parent. So, I just went for it the best way I knew how.
We have a great life, my son and I. In his ten years, I have had one long, serious relationship, which ended abruptly when my partner was tragically hit by a car while biking. My son and I were devastated, but we have had lots of therapy, love and support from his family and mine, and we are moving forward.
My son will come home from school and announce that he would like to go on a cruise; or that he’d like to attend a particular private school; or that he’d like a pair of the newest, trendiest sneakers. My knee-jerk reaction is always a resounding NO, but I’m trying to discuss the issues with him so he can see why I say no.
I don’t think it’s working, and his requests are starting to get under my skin. Is my son spoiled?
Not Daddy Warbucks
The term “grandiose” is commonly used to describe spoiled children, however, it doesn’t sound as though you have overindulged your child, nor have you mentioned any behavioural problems. So, no. I don’t think your son is spoiled.
I do think that he must be hanging out with some other children who perhaps have had these experiences and have told him about them. For example, it’s summer, he’s at day camp, or the park with a friend, and that child has just come back from being on a cruise with his grandparents. He’s telling your son how fantastic it was, and now your son comes home saying he’d like to go. That’s very normal.
What matters now is the conversation you have with your son following this statement/request. If we continue with the cruise example you could then say to your son, OK, let’s save up and go on a cruise. You could turn your research into where you want to go, on which ship, with which company into a project for the two of you. You could get him to do chores around the house, pay him, and teach him about saving.
Turn the situation around to a teachable moment.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the dad that feels his young teen daughter is oversharing regarding her periods (July 4):
“To Dad: As a parent, you are responsible for providing for your daughter's well-being. Menstrual periods are a completely natural and normal phenomenon. Some females have difficult periods. It would behoove you to learn about menstruation, particularly because there are three females in your home.
“Just because you are male, you don’t get a pass on understanding how the body works. You should be educating yourself and providing your daughter with the support she needs, instead of shaming her and making her feel like she should not be discussing this normal process with you, a trusted adult.
“Our society has too long stigmatized periods - all people, regardless of gender, should be able to discuss normal bodily processes in a judgement-free and non-shaming manner.
“Dad, you need to step up.”