The times I have been unable to avoid people who insisted on coming over, they were rude and judgmental about the moving mess. Please advise me how to say “no” without offending those who are offending me.
Etiquette-Bound Homeowner In Kansas
Dear Homeowner: I’ll offer a tip. It is amazing what a person can get away with saying if it is done with a smile. All you have to do is smile and say, “Nope. NO ONE can see it until the unveiling.” And remember, it isn’t rude to stand your ground when someone is trying to encroach upon it. Even family members.
Dear Abby: My problem is my mother. My entire life (I am 50), she has made me choose between her and Dad for the holidays. They have been divorced for 30 years, and she still speaks ill of him. She has made every wedding or family event unbearable. It has reached the point that I feel guilty if I want to go and see him.
She is now doing the same thing with my boyfriend of four years. A lot has transpired between us, but we are on a good path and are very much involved in each other’s lives. She refused to spend this past Easter with us, including my children, if he was around. I told her that it was her choice and she is always welcome to attend.
With Christmas fast approaching, I don’t want all the drama and blackmail to continue. Help!
Weary In Wisconsin
Dear Weary: You handled Easter appropriately and you should do the same with Christmas. If your mother chooses not to attend, the choice is hers. Consider asking your father to join you if she won’t be there.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.