AMY: My son has been bringing his long-time girlfriend to Terry's High School for dinner for a few years.
Terry was not raised with good manners at the table and, in fact, his family does not even have a dining table. They eat alone in front of the television or in their room. She arrives without saying hello, takes her food and, above all, takes her nails and forks before and after the meal at the table.
I did not say anything to keep us apart. The behavior is thoughtless and rude. She acts as if she does not care about our family dinner time.
Please, advise me how to advise her nicely. My husband and I have enough!
Dear Sabotée: Poor daughter! I can understand why she's having so many suppers at home – hers does not seem close at mealtime.
Even though "Terry" seems rude and disengaged at your table, it's probably because she just does not know how to behave otherwise and that she's perhaps embarrassed by the contrast between your households.
Since she has not even received training or guidance at home, you should bring her home. You can do it in stages, just like with a young child. Start by asking him (as well as your son) to help you set the table. Show him where the accessories and glasses are going and ask him to fold the towels and place them under the fork. Engage her in various culinary tasks such as cutting vegetables and preparing a salad. Ask her what her favorite dishes are and see if she and your son could cook from a recipe for the family.
During meals, engage her and include her in the conversation (remember that she has never done this before!). The more engaged she is, the less she will resort to her anxious (or unconscious) behaviors, such as nail exams and splits.
After the meal, according to the cook, she and your son must clean the table and take care of the dishes.
I hope you will continue to approach this with patience. If you are able to take it, it could have a profound impact on it.
AMY: A dear friend recently passed away, leaving a very strange 32 year old girl with a lot of money and property.
Until he was very sick, she did not want to be friendly with me. After her death, I brought her home, five hours away. The idea was to get some peace in the area where I live.
I paid everything: gas, toll and food. She had never offered him any financial help or a meal.
She only wanted to shop (more than an hour), again, it was my money for gasoline, my driving, and so on. (I'm 68 years old). There was no gratitude expressed for any of my problems.
I invited her again, four months later. The same situation prevailed. No offers of help for expenses. Basically, a request for purchase followed by a "thank you".
I am furious. This time, when she came home, I sent a text message: "I think there is a short sentence missing:" thank you ". Thank you. She showed no gratitude or willingness to pay the others who drive her (she does not drive) or who helped her overcome her father's illness!
I'm done, but I do not know if I should write to him to clarify it, about the gratitude and how much a "thank you" means.
What do you think?
DEAR EXPENSE: After you were burned for the first time, you responded by sending another invitation. You are either an eternal optimist or a slow student.
Whatever it is, you have already made this person clear regarding the expression of his gratitude – and all the better for you!
You have been expansive, generous and appropriate. You do not like this person. You do not want to spend time with her. By burning it with corrective communication, you may feel better – but I doubt it. Consider this social circle now closed.
AMY: Huzza for your response to "Gaslit", who was so stressed by the way to convince her husband to mow the lawn!
My 94-year-old mother is shaving his; I (70 years old) I mow mine and my 45-year-old daughter (working mother, married and busy) shoots hers too.
Do it yourself
Dear, do it yourself: I mowed mine yesterday. This is my favorite chore.
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