For three days now, I have been running herd on two fourteen-year-old girls and two of their kid sisters, who are eleven. Most of the time they are okay, but every once in a while they start playing this annoying game of beating up on each other with insults.
They think it’s funny, until someone ends up crying. Then somehow or other everyone piles into the latest bully and makes them feel guilty for what all of them have been doing. What the heck am I supposed to do? I am an only child, and I never had to put up with this kind of pure meanness.
What can we expect, when the wet coast is really living up to its name and nobody gets out into the fresh air and they are all cooped up with each other? I imagine one solution would be to put them out in the rain for a while and not let them in until they are getting along. But the problem is that they could drown before that would happen.
These girls will probably all grow up to love each other dearly, never knowing how much their older relatives had to restrain themselves from killing them outright.
I am an elderly person who is trying to get along with my family and I don’t mean to be critical, but they are getting on my nerves. Especially my son’s wife. She has offered to clean for me. That would be okay, but she is clumsy and she’s broken two of my lovely fine china figurines. They are the love of my life.
I’d like to scream at her, but instead I have to smile and pretend that I don’t mind. But I do mind. What can I do?
Yours very truly,
Oh, it is hard, isn’t it, to put up with in-laws, particularly if you are on the receiving end of their “help”.
The only thing I can think of, is to put them away in a trunk and lock it. Not your in-laws – the figurines. But then you wouldn’t have the pleasure of seeing them.
Does she come regularly? Can you ask for some kind of warning about when she is coming, so you can do a sweep of the house and stash away your treasures out of her clumsy reach?
You know, sometimes people break other people’s stuff because they are mad at them. Have you been less than kind to her, or complained to your son about her? Could she be taking revenge?
Try being sickly sweet to her next time she comes in, and say nice things about her to your son.
Meanwhile, until you can make an agreement with her to let you know ahead of time when she will be arriving to “help” you, hide the china.
At least you don’t have to hide the silver. That would be a different problem.
For obvious reasons The Flying Shingle tries never to disagree with our Dear Gabby, but unfortunately sometimes we do.
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