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Category Archives: Relatives

POOR KITTY

A vexatious version of events: What can you say to shut someone down when they ask you really personal or inappropriate questions?  My brother-in-law routinely asks me and my husband how much money we make (we’ve never answered), and my sister asks WHEN am I going to have children or WHY don’t I have them […]

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PRAYERS FOR (NIMBY) RAIN

A political personage pontificates: I don’t care if you’re Republican or Democrat – I can’t stand the way people are saying “Oh, what’s Pat Robertson gonna say when the hurricane hits the RNC in Tampa,” or “We prayed to God to make the hurricane turn away, and now it has,” or anything like that.  I […]

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*LIKE*

A cautionary tale: Hi.  I am a partner in a small business, and the economy being what it is, we’ve been stretched pretty thin.  Last weekend, my relatives came to visit and we put them up, took them out to dinner – you name it.  It was a mostly enjoyable weekend, and in the course […]

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EN*G*R*AGED

A concerned citizen writes (yet again): I’m uncomfortable with the idea of gay marriage.  I don’t think it’s right to call it marriage, but I don’t want to discriminate.  Why can’t we just call it civil unions?  But then again, sometimes I don’t feel like I should even have an opinion as I’m not gay.   […]

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EQUINE OPPORTUNITY OFFENDER

An ungrateful ingrate whines: My brother in law – who has a LOT of money – always gives us the cheesiest and tackiest presents imaginable.  We have a lot of tasteful decorative things in our home, and it’s like he’s never even been there.  He could afford to buy much nicer presents, and I’ve half […]

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THANKS FOR NOTHING

A selfless soul suggests: Every year at Christmas, my husband and I trade pleasant, but ultimately useless, gifts with his family.  Things like scarves, gloves and throw blankets – things we each already have. Now, I genuinely like his parents (mine have passed away), but this last year they did something I think is really […]

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BALUT

A discerning citizen asks: What do you say when someone serves you something disgusting?  I spent the holidays at my in-laws and everything came out of a can. LISTEN: The trick is – what do you mean by disgusting? Is it undercooked or raw meat or fish?  It’s one thing if it’s chicken and another […]

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MAY I SHOW YOU THE WAY OUT?

A pertinent question: How do you tell someone, in the most polite way possible, that you don’t like anything about their personality and don’t ever want to see or hear them again? LISTEN:  By saying nothing.  Nothing really. There is no polite way to tell someone – anyone – that you don’t like anything about their personality […]

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JOCASTA

An Oedipenpal asks: When is it polite to shut your mother down when she is talking non-stop the way her mother does and the way you eventually will?  Should you allow her to ramble on, or nip it at the beginning of the conversation cycle? LISTEN: The easy answer?  Never. The practical answer?  As soon as possible. […]

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