Dear Amy: My son has brought his long-term high school sweetheart, "Terry" to our home for dinner now for a couple of years.
Terry was not brought up with tableware and she doesn't even own a dining table. They eat in front of the TV or in their bedrooms alone. She comes without saying hello, picking up her food, and worst of all she chooses nails and splits ends before and after the meal at the table.
I have not said anything to not make a gap between us. Behavior is thoughtless and rude. She seems like she couldn't care less about our family dinner time.
Please advise me how to kindly advise her. My husband and I have had enough!
DEAR SABOTAGED: Poor girl! I can understand why she spends so many supper on your house – her own seems to be without important meal time.
Although "Terry" seems rude and disconnected while you're at the table, it's likely because she simply doesn't know how to behave otherwise she may be embarrassed by the contrast between your households.
Because she did not receive self-rated training or guidance at home, you should offer it to her in your house. You could do this in stages, just as you would with a young child. Start by asking her (and your son) to help you set the table. Show her where the tools and glasses go and ask her to fold the napkins and place them under the fork. Engage her in various cooking tasks such as chopped vegetables and make a salad. Ask her what her favorite dishes are and see if she and your son could cook from a recipe for the family.
During the meals, engage and engage her in conversation (remember, she has never done so before!). The more engaged she is, the less she will fall back on her anxious (or unconscious) behavior, like fingernail and split-end studies.
After the meal, she and your son have to depend on who made the cooking table and look after the plate.
I hope you will continue to approach this with patience. If you are able to bring her together, it can have a big impact on her.
DEAR AMY: A dear friend recently died and left a very unworldly 32-year-old daughter with a big money and property.
Until he was very ill, she was unwilling to be kind to me. After his death, she brought her to our home, a five-hour drive away. The idea was to get peace in the area where I live.
I paid for everything: gas, toll and food. It was never once for her to offer any financial help or to pay for a meal.
She only wanted to shop (over an hour away), where again it was my money for gas, my driving etc. is 68). There was no gratitude for any of my problems.
I invited her again four months later. The same situation prevails. No offer to help with expenses. Basically, a requirement to shop, followed by no "thanks."
I'm damned. This time, when she came home, I wrote, "I think there's a small sentence missing:" thank you. "She replied," Oh, I thought I said it. Thank you. "She has not shown any gratitude or willingness to pay the others who give her rides (she does not) or who helped her through her father's disease !
I'm done, but I'm fussed about whether to write her to put her just about gratitude and how much a "thank you" means.
What do you think?
DEAR INCENSED: After you were burned for the first time, you replied by issuing another invitation. You are either an eternal optimist – or a slow student.
Regardless, you've already put this person right in terms of expressing gratitude – and good for you!
You have been expansive, generous and appropriate. You don't like this person. You will not spend time with her. Burning her with a corrective communication can make you feel better – but I doubt it. Consider this social circle now closed.
DEAR AMY: Huzza for your answer to "Gaslit", so stressed out how to make her husband cut the lawn!
My 94-year-old mother beats her; I (70) cut my, and my 45-year-old daughter (working, married and busy mother) also strikes her.
Do It Yourself
DEAR MAKES YOU YOURSELF: I struck my yesterday. It's my favorite chore.
You can contact Amy Dickinson by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Readers can send mail to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.