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How can I tell my mother-in-law to buzz off?

My partner and I live on the west coast. Our family lives on the east coast. When we get home, we make a detailed plan to meet our parents to keep our visits evenly divided and fair. But for the last few years, when we visit our families, my partner’s mother has a habit of stopping by and spending the day without notice. (Once she stayed overnight!) This upsets me. She prevents me from spending time alone with my parents. Recently reserved for my family, she told her that her parents wouldn’t break in at the designated time with her son, but she keeps stopping by. I want her to respect her private time with my family. Any advice?

daughter in law

You want to conclude that your partner’s mother is a rule-breaking monster. (And she might be!) After all, what’s fairer than splitting a 6-day visit into 3 days with your family and 3 days with your partner? However, there is a problem here. Neutral rules (like you) can have very different implications for people in different situations.

Let me give you an example of my marriage. My mother was a widow and a little lonely. My husband’s parents have a lively social mom necessary Our visits were more than my in-laws. So we spent more time with her. Well, this may not be your situation — and more importantly, it may not be what you and your partner want. (That’s also important!)

According to your own explanation, you and he are clearly asking you to stop stopping at your mother. So ask again, and this time find out why she is having a hard time respecting your demands. Alternatively (and this is just an idea), you and your partner can easily separate and spend time individually with your family and then with your family. Additional Bonus: A mini break from our partner (the one we love)!

My boss regularly buys lunch for all the staff. Whenever he does so, there are people in the office who order appetizers, entrees and desserts. Everyone else just orders a sandwich or salad. One day, this person told me: “This is my dinner tonight!” When she ordered a Penne alla vodka meal. Is this appropriate? Why does this bother me so much?


Let’s start with a more interesting question: why does this bother you? I think your sense of fair play is offensive to colleagues who take advantage of the generosity of their boss. (I don’t think she would order a 3-course lunch when the company didn’t pick up the tab.) If your boss still doesn’t care, why should you? Let’s make it MYOB here.

I agree that your colleague looks gravy. On the other hand, this occasional desire may help her feel better regardless of the number of dissatisfactions at work. And rest assured: your boss has reimbursed the cost of lunch from the company (or they have been deducted as his tax operating expenses).

I am a caregiver of my husband who has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma. He also has leukemia and inoperable brain tumors. Our neighbor recently installed a large wind chime in the immediate vicinity of our house. They awaken us day and night! My husband needs his rest, and I have to give him 30 tablets a day, which is difficult when I am sleep deprived. Since their home is like a fortress, we wrote to them (including a miserable diagnosis of my husband). But nothing changed. My husband is a doctor, but he doesn’t seem to care. Earplugs and noise machines are useless. Any advice?

And i

We apologize for the inconvenience. Apathetic neighbors are like the last thing you need. For now, forget to contact them again. There may be noise regulations in your town. Call the non-emergency number of the administration office or police station and ask if they can help you.

Also, tell the medical team that is treating your husband what is happening. Maybe social workers can participate. Alternatively, someone on your husband’s medical team may know the doctor’s husband and be able to call you on your behalf. If the reader has other ideas, please send them, and I will pass them to Andy. good luck!

My friend was on vacation in a small town, waiting for a local restaurant to open. It was raining and the streets were dotted with puddles. Their teenage daughter stabbed her toes into one and found a diamond ring with a stone of the right size. Her parents forced her to protect it. Do you think this is the “finder keeper” situation?


To many of the regrets of playground veterans, the law is often more complex than “finder keeper, loser weeper.” Our common law (a law created by proceedings and legal decisions of judges) recognizes the doctrine of finderkeepers.

However, many states have passed legislation requiring discoverers to confirm that property has really been abandoned — not just lost. This often includes police reports. So it’s a complicated situation. (And how much can you really enjoy the ring that caused someone else’s sadness?)

For troublesome situations, SocialQ @, Facebook Philip Galanes, or @SocialQPhilip On Twitter.

How can I tell my mother-in-law to buzz off?

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