Unwanted Advice, January 29, 2010 Edition
In some ways I feel that one's educational level should not matter. In other ways I feel that attending college rounds you out in ways that can't happen without that experience. My daughter is somewhat uncomfortable about the disparity in educational levels, and my husband is quite upset about it. His feeling is that we have put too much of a premium on education in our family for my daughter to even consider dating someone who is not college educated. Any thoughts on how we should deal with this?
--- HAPPY FOR MY DAUGHTER, BUT WORRIED
THE UNWANTED ADVISOR SAYS
Yeah, I think you should butt out before you turn your daughter into an old maid. If you two put such a “premium” on education and she still dared to look outside the lecture hall for a mate, then she’s clearly putting her “premium” on something else, and it ain’t a mortarboard. But the fact that she’s “uncomfortable” with his lack of education indicates that your intellectual snobbery may have bled through enough to win out in the end.
If it doesn’t, and this liaison does end in marriage, you and Mr. Einstein can make yourselves feel better by giving the groom a See-and-Say toy as a wedding gift on your way to the Mensa meeting.
DEAR ELLIE: I dated a young lady for eight months and thought we were both in love. Last summer, she travelled in Europe and had a 3-week long affair (including sexual intercourse) with a man from Australia.
Two weeks before she left, I’d given her an expensive promise ring and helped her pack. Our relationship had no signs of trouble.
When she confessed (I’d known something was up) I broke up with her. She immediately displayed extreme remorse. She visited me (four hours away), removed the guy from her Facebook account and said she’d do anything I requested, even move to my hometown.
I knew that’d only provide temporary relief. She then proposed a threesome with any girl of my choosing; I rejected this offer, too. For months, she was extremely remorseful. I remained unconvinced.
Yet, I constantly think about her and am starting to think that, maybe, her commitment to me is genuine. And I’m hoping she’ll never cross the infidelity line again.
Are these offers signs of a woman who’ll go to the ends of the earth to keep her relationship intact? Or is this a larger problem dealing with self-respect, self-confidence, trust and self-worth?
(She’d previously said that her father was “non-existent,” leading her to make poor decisions and choices regarding men and relationships. An ex-boyfriend also physically abused her).
Should I give her another shot and start fresh?
THE UNWANTED ADVISOR SAYS:
How about this? You give her a nice big shot of saltpeter, then “start fresh” without her.
Your instinct is correct—anybody who accepts an expensive ring, then bonks the first guy she meets Outback is not going to hesitate to do it again once she gets the real ring on her finger and the money in her bank account. I suspect her “remorse” is more “regret” that she shat where she ate and alienated a good breadwinner. Her use of psycho-babble to explain her actions is also a big red flag (“non-existent” father—please!). Pay attention to it.
And how exactly does a “threesome” fix things? They must have used The Happy Hooker as her Sex Ed text book in school.
DEAR AMY: My daughter-in-law is constantly telling me that I raised my son wrong. They have been together for 20 years and have two teenage children. My son has been the sole provider during this time. She believes that it is her place to stay home with the children.
I get to hear how my son does not do enough for her. She says I raised a thoughtless brat. There are variations on this theme, but it is something I hear over and over. I smile and tell her I did the best I could at the time. She smiles and lets me know that I failed miserably.
It never fails to hurt and make me a little angry!
I can't tell her to stop, because no matter how I word it, she will feel hurt and take it out on my son.
I never mention that her children have police records and that they don't know how to make decisions because she decides everything for them. I love these kids, but they are not too bright, if you know what I mean.
How do I tell her that no one is perfect? How do I let her know that after 20 years, maybe she has helped to make him the person he is now?
— No. 1 WORST MOTHER
THE UNWANTED ADVISOR SAYS:
Stop smiling and tell the bitch that once she married your son, it was her turn to start “raising him right,” and that you’re sorry she was too dense to figure that out. Whatever the problems are, after 20 years, they’re hers now, so she can just damn well lump ‘em.
And if she’s a full-time stay-at-home mom and still can’t keep her kids out of the pokey, she has precious little room to criticize anyone else’s parenting skills. Tell her to cram it.
DEAR ABBY: My 31-year-old son, “Joey,” who needs a heart transplant, almost died a few weeks ago. On what we thought was his deathbed, I told Joey I would give him anything he wanted if he pulled through. He wanted a very expensive sports car.
Well, my son pulled through but has other physical challenges. My husband and I are sending him $500 a month until he starts receiving money from Social Security. It’s the best we can do right now. The problem is, Joey keeps hounding me about the sports car. I cannot afford this gift.
It’s eating me alive that I can’t give my son what I promised. On the other hand, his request is unreasonable. Please help.
— JOEY’S MOM IN LAS CRUCES
THE UNWANTED ADVISOR SAYS:
I can’t fault you for making what was obviously a very dangerous promise: when someone we love is in peril, we’ll give anything in our power to pull them out of it.
The key word is “in our power.” It’s obviously not in your power to give your son this car. He should have realized this and known better than to ask for it. (Frankly, at 31, he’s already too old to be so immature.)
Since he keeps badgering you about it, you’re going to have to ‘fess up and tell him you can’t buy it for him.
What’s he gonna do, die just to get back at you??