Dear Abby: My husband is very political, and around election time he becomes engrossed in news shows. He has a habit of showing his favorite political news clips to friends when they visit.
I am uncomfortable with this, as I feel our friends are too polite to decline, and they allow my husband to preach politics to them out of courtesy to the host. They are like-minded, politically speaking, and the few who aren’t are not going to be swayed by comedy news shows.
I excuse myself from the room when he begins his sermons. I have asked him to stop doing this when friends visit, but he refuses. How can I persuade him to just have “friends time” with no politics?
Dear Politically Unmotivated: You can’t. You aren’t going to change your husband. Fortunately, most of your friends are politically like-minded. Those who find his entertainment to be offensive will postpone seeing you until after the election is over. So stop stressing.
Dear Abby: Is it OK for a person who went to AA a few years ago and has gone totally alcohol-free, to start having a beer every other night or even keep a bottle of vodka around to have every now and then? Or should you stay alcohol-free to be sure that this issue doesn’t happen again?
Dear Alcohol-free: For some individuals it may be possible to have an occasional drink without falling completely off the wagon, but I wouldn’t recommend it. And as to keeping a bottle of vodka around to nip into “every now and then,” I think that makes as much sense as keeping a box of chocolates in the house if someone is addicted to sweets. (And many of us are!)
Dear Abby: My sister-in-law wants to choose the gifts we give them. She doesn’t have enough manners to smile, accept a gift and say “thank you” as we were raised to do. She told us, “All those educational toys you gave my son, I donated them!” I have donated much of what she has given us, but I would never tell her that.
She’s now ordering toys and having them delivered to our home for us to wrap and give to her son. I had already bought a kaleidoscope, books, racetrack and a huge jar of little cars to use as rewards since he’s 4 and still not potty-trained. She sent us a thank-you note (the first one ever) for the gifts THEY sent us to give my nephew, but did not mention the eight items I bought! Please help me cope with this extremely rude sister-in-law.
Trying to Cope
Dear Trying: I’ll try. As I see it, you have two choices: The first is to decide to “go along with the program.” The second would be to tell her she has taken all the joy out of gift-giving and, in the future, you will not be participating in the charade.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.