Your Husband Wants To Do What?!
Dear Margo: As a favor to my mother, I agreed to host her mother (my grandmother) for a week or two while my mother and siblings clean her house. I was the logical choice to do this because I’m a stay-at-home mom with a child in school and I live several hundred miles away, so Grandma can’t suddenly leave. (Her dementia is just bad enough that we can’t send her on a cruise.) I try to make things easy on my mom because she’s wonderful and does so much for my family and me.
However, my grandmother is controlling, hoarding, manipulative, narcissistic and a snoop. Seriously, she will go through every drawer, cupboard and box if left unattended. Going through the bathroom cabinet and cupboards is small potatoes for her; she’ll check your nightstand, file cabinets and hall closets. Whatever she finds she discusses with her sister and her bridge buddies. Since we don’t have anything to talk about, my husband and I were thinking of buying a huge sexual device (and I mean huge, like as big as my arm and anatomically correct) and leaving it in his top dresser drawer. My husband thinks the worst that could happen is she’ll try to use it, while I am concerned that she will have a coronary and I’ll have to explain it to the police and my family. What do you think? –Killjoy
Dear Kill: Forgo the fun and games, hon, and tell you husband, the jokester, that planting a sex toy is a bad idea. While I agree that it’s annoying to have anyone going through your things, I wouldn’t provide the old girl with anything more to talk about than your brooms, aspirins and check stubs. –Margo, maturely
Re: The Accessory Dog
Dear Margo: I never thought I would be writing to you, but I need an outside opinion. I have a friend who seems to like disposable dogs. She made the conscious decision to get a puppy from her mother, a breeder of miniature poodles. The puppy lasted fewer than two months before it was given back to her mother. That was a few years ago. Last spring, she decided to acquire a new puppy with her (then) boyfriend. They picked the biggest monstrosity of a puppy I had ever seen — a cross between a lab and a Saint Bernard! Fast-forward a few months: Her relationship ended, she got “stuck” with the dog, and that lasted maybe four more months before she got rid of this dog, too.
This is my dilemma: I am a responsible pet owner, and having worked in the pet industry for four years in my younger days, I know the responsibilities involved in being a “pet parent.” I was taught by both parents (and my experiences) that once you get an animal, “returning” it is not an option. So, I harbor some anger toward individuals who treat pets like disposable playthings. How can I continue to have a friendship with this person when all I can think about is how irresponsible she is? –Responsible Dog Owner
Dear Res: I suspect the well of this friendship has been poisoned by your feelings about her behavior toward her dogs. If she is responsible in other areas of her life, you might put the friendship on a better footing if you tell her of your concerns and perhaps try to educate her. You could point out that her history with dogs is not good, that animals are not to be tossed out like used toys, and that perhaps she’d be happier with no pets. I was going to suggest goldfish, but then I had a vision of them floating on top of the water. Just tell her everyone is not cut out to have pets, and you believe she is one of those people. If she gets what you’re saying, then I think you can be friends again. –Margo, conscientiously
Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.
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