Tag Archives: family

Mom and Sis aren’t happy being in a fight until I’m in it, too.

My mother and my sister get into these huge fights, and then both call me to complain about each other. I hate being stuck in the middle. In the course of being supportive, I inevitably end up saying something I shouldn’t. Like the other day, I was talking to my sister, she was complaining about my mother saying something condescending about her job, I let it spill that our mom thought she never should have gone to law school in the first place, and then all hell broke loose. Now my mom is mad at me for betraying her confidence, my sister is mad at my mom for not supporting her, and I feel terrible.

If you can do a better job of keeping your trap shut, this is a pretty good position to be in. They’re mad at each other, which means neither is mad at you, which is always good. Plus, you can learn some valuable information that might help you later, should blackmail or extortion be necessary.

Either they’re using you as a pawn in their silly arguments, by telling you things they know you’ll repeat, (like your mom telling you she thinks your sister’s career choice is a poor one? I think she just didn’t have the guts to tell your sister herself and knew you’d do it for her) or they’re just blowing off steam. In either case, just listen. No response. No, “Oh my God, she’s such a bitch, remember that one time when I was eight and she grounded me for spitting in her coffee?” and no “I know, she is a terrible lawyer. Did you know her law school is suing her for ruining their reputation?”

Just listen. No more talking.

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Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: if you don’t pass this on to 20 people right now you will die!!!!!

I have a family member with whom I like keeping in touch by email; we used to only speak on the phone occasionally, so it’s nice to hear from her more often. The problem is that she sends me about 10 forwarded messages, chain letters, prayers, jokes, and news items a day. Often the news items and religious forwards are directly in conflict with my personal beliefs, and she knows this, but doesn’t seem to care. Can I tell her to stop, and risk hurting her feelings, or should I just keep being annoyed in private and deleting them?

You can’t say anything. She sounds old. Older people like to do stuff like that and then feel bewildered and angry when you tell them to knock it off.

I seriously don’t understand why a person who loves you would burden you with an email that says, “If you don’t forward this immediately to 30 people, you’re going to have bad luck all week, horrible sex for 15 years, get really fat, and probably get hit by a bus within the next five to seven minutes.” You’d think your loved one would take one for the team, get hit by the bus, and allow you to live your life.

If you need some sort of personal satisfaction to offset the annoyance of constantly deleting forwards from Don’t Save the Whales! and Sarah Palin For President in 2012, just sign your email buddy up for a bunch of mailing lists. (Is that illegal? If it is, I take it back. But if it isn’t, do it…it’s totally funny.) Get her on the email list for Howard Dean, Say No to Proposition 8, PETA, Dr. Ruth’s newsletter, and the Huffington Post. Her head will explode.

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My sister’s boyfriend is a douchebag.

My sister is dating someone I absolutely cannot stand.  They live in another state so it’s hard to judge how happy she is in the day-to-day relationship.  When I ask how serious she is about this guy – she admits she is not sure.  How much leeway do I have to say, “You’re dating a douchebag”? I don’t want them to get married and have that come back to haunt me or drive a wedge between me and my sister.  Do I have to just shut up and deal with this chump?  He is rude to our parents, bossy, controlling and generally unpleasant.  I am not the only one in my family with this opinion.  I know I should be thinking about HER happiness… but what about meeeeeeeeeee (and honestly how can she be happy with this guy)?

Hire a prostitute to seduce him, have a handsome and sensitive private investigator videotape it, and then have the P.I. show it to your sister so she won’t have to know you’re the one who hired him. She’ll see the tape, be angry at the boyfriend, and the P.I. will comfort her. They’ll fall passionately in love and during their wedding toast you can reveal that you hired the prostitute, and since she’s so happy, she’ll forgive you and you can dance the last dance of the night with the hot P.I.’s hot brother.

This will totally happen. Or else this is the plot of a movie I saw last weekend on Lifetime.

Anyway, here, in short, are your answers:

1. You have no leeway. She’s your sister, not your alter-ego. You know the old saying…one girl’s douche is another girl’s treasure.

2. Yes, you have to deal with this chump, but no, you don’t have to shut up. I recommend the sneaky route. Fan the flames of your parents’ hatred of him. If they complain about the boyfriend, use every opportunity to say, “You know, you should really say something to him next time he’s rude to you.”

3. What about you? YOU are going to be a nice, supportive, sweet sister. You’re going to do what you can to make her realize her full dating potential without her knowing. Talk her up, make her feel good, listen quietly when she complains about her boyfriend, and have faith that in good time a girl as awesome as she is will realize there are too many great guys out there to be dating a crappy one.


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