Hubby undermines plans, wife goes ALL CAPS
Dear Amy: My husband has a habit of getting involved in family or social events, and at the last minute, making changes to the plans.
Prior to the "last minute," he has NO involvement.
What he actually does is just mess everything up a day or two beforehand.
This Father's Day was my last straw.
Our GROWN children had planned a cookout at one son's house. The kids had coordinated it and assigned various dishes for each to bring.
Friday evening, my husband asked what time Father's Day dinner was on Sunday, I said, "I didn't know." So he started saying, "I want Father's Day here! This is my holiday and my house, and I want it here."
Amy, my father passed away last month. My husband said, "So are we never having Father's Day for the rest of our lives because your Dad died?"
I was shocked and angry.
I replied, "I am not having it this year, and I NEVER PLAN ON HAVING IT, as you have FOUR ADULT CHILDREN, and I do every birthday and holiday. They can do Father's Day!"
He then said, "I'm not comfortable anywhere but my own house," which I know is UNTRUE.
What's wrong with him?
-- No Father's Day
Dear No Father's Day: I don't know what's wrong with him, but let's try to figure out where you went off the rails:
Your kids had planned a dinner for their father at your son's house.
Your husband attempted to derail it by changing the venue. You could have said, "Honey, call your son. This isn't my holiday to arrange. It's called 'Father's Day,' not 'Husband's Day.'"
I am sincerely sorry you two had this dust-up so soon after your father's death. These days are emotionally loaded, and your husband was not compassionate or supportive. He was outright unkind to you.
I hope you can create some healthy boundaries so that his behavior doesn't affect you so much. Try calmly saying (no ALL CAPS), "The plans have been made. If you want things to be different, you'll have to step up, take some responsibility, and plan them on your own."
Dear Amy: We live in a national historic district, and some of the neighboring homes have been featured in films and television series. People come from all over the world to see the houses and take pictures of them.
Almost every day, other tourists come in massive recreational vehicles and vans. They park right in front of these sites, blocking not only the sight lines of their camera-toting peers, but also those of the patient people who live in and maintain the houses.
I've also seen this behavior at national parks and the like, not to mention those who park so close to corners that their vehicles completely block drivers from safely seeing cross traffic.
Can you get the word out to your readers, please?
Dear Frustrated: A giant RV is the ultimate photo-bomb.
I'm happy to spread the word.
Dear Amy: Thank you for your thoughtful reply to "Needs an Intervention," the woman whose daughter appears to have a hoarding disorder.
As you stated, this is a complex, chronic condition that requires patience and the ability to try lots of options.
In addition to the mental health conditions you list, people with hoarding behaviors may also be challenged by executive function deficits, such as chronic disorganization seen with ADHD and other processing problems. This is acerbated in older age.
The biggest challenge will be to find someone low cost who can work side by side with the daughter to teach her how to make decisions about belongings and what is OK to discard, and how to organize the rest.
This is especially true for those people who do not have HD, but Chronic Disorganization -- they literally don't see it. This type of help is very difficult to find.
If there is a "Buried in Treasures" workshop near her, it can teach skills and help reduce acquiring behaviors and clutter by up to 30 percent, while providing a supportive network of people who "get it."
I work with people who have clutter and HD in their lives. Rarely does anyone want to live that way; they are overwhelmed with the process of how to dig themselves out. Thanks for helping this family get started.
-- Mallory von Kugelgen, RN, PHN
Santa Clara Senior Center
Santa Clara, CA
Dear Mallory: I applaud the work you do with seniors. Thank you so much for the recommendation.