Tag Archives: sister

Baby showers: sucking the joy out of parenthood before it even starts.

I’m planning a baby shower for my sister, or at least I was. Her friend called me and said that it’s tacky for a family member to host a shower and that she’d like to take over responsibilities. She also said it’s rude to register for gifts, and has a million other opinions about acceptable shower etiquette. I don’t care about the proper etiquette. I want to throw my sister a baby shower and I want her to receive gifts that she wants and can use. At my shower I got a lot of useless things (Like bathrobes! What baby needs a bathrobe?) and it was a burden to have all this stuff I didn’t want or need and felt guilty about returning. Am I making my sister look bad by hosting the shower? Should I just let her friend take over?

Yes, you’re a real a-hole for wanting to throw a party for your pregnant sister.

No matter what the official rules are regarding this sort of thing, it’s far tackier to call someone and tell her what a cheeseball she is than to commandeer the shindig she’s trying to throw. I think you should tell her to shove her baby bottle party favors up her arse. Unfortunately, you can’t do this, because she’s your sister’s friend and you don’t want your sister to feel stuck in the middle.

What you can do is politely decline her offer, explain to her that you’ve already made all the plans and would love to have her help putting it all together. And then at the shower just spit in her punch.

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People with kids are rude on the phone.

My sister’s children are adorable, but I can’t seem to talk to her on the phone without one of them screaming, crying, or asking for something in the background. It’s so annoying but the one time I mentioned something about it she got very defensive and snapped at me. Am I being unreasonable to ask for a five-minute conversation with no interruptions?

Yes.

Don’t call her again until the kids go to college.

And I hope one day you, too, have children, and I hope when you do, you call your sister crying and apologizing profusely for being such an insensitive boob.

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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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