Mary later married John Winslow, Edward’s brother, so there is a tie to the Winslow family. Lindy West. On that front, at least, your unpleasant neighbor is in the right. ... Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family and friends. I have never stayed at anyone’s house except for a few slumber parties as a kid.—Good Towels, You didn’t do anything wrong. I don’t want to be the one responsible for ruining the holiday here. But if the idea of spending Thanksgiving by yourself doesn’t appeal, I think you still have options. Join Slate Plus to continue reading, and you’ll get unlimited access to all our work—and support Slate’s independent journalism. I spend a lot of … I had never heard that version before. It is simply the nature of moving on that as the years go by, the void left by the dead is filled with the chatter of the concerns of the living. Dear Prudence, This past Thanksgiving I hosted dinner, and enjoyed roasting the turkey and preparing all the side dishes. I Only Get Angry on Rare Occasions, but When I Do, It’s Really Bad. Let me know if you make this for Thanksgiving by leaving a comment below. Earlier this week on Slate.com (preface: Slate thinks vegan stories make for good click-bait), Dear Prudence printed a letter from a grandmother. You have welcomed her companion into the family, so he should be grown-up enough to respect the memory of the man who came first. Annie just told me that she would like to be invited to Thanksgiving." Prudie counsels a letter writer whose atheist husband coopts Thanksgiving grace to rant about God. We are never specifically invited by my sister-in-law, who doesn't phone or invite us personally; she does not speak with us throughout the year. What bothered me about it was that in that moment, everyone was full of joy and excitement over our new niece, and you’re the only one who felt the need to draw attention to yourself by making a joke about how unhappy this was eventually going to make them. But by allowing one person to smoke, you have arrived at the perfect solution to making everyone unhappy—except your grandmother. (Questions may be edited.). I think the best way to correct this is to be brisk and upfront: Once the chatter has died down after the dessert course, grab a few plates and say, “Every time I host a dinner party, it’s always women who want to help me clean up afterward. He’s lodged several complaints about kids coming into his yard without permission and sent notes to everybody warning that he was not prepared to take on any liability for their safety on his property. Is there anything I should know about what she wants her guests to do so I don’t accidentally offend her?”. All contents © 2020 The Slate Group LLC. We moved in together a year ago. You’ve found—as is so often the case—that relying on an all-volunteer army usually means that the women notice you need help and offer to jump in, while the men seem to think dishes magically appear clean and tucked away in the cabinets the next day. My grandmother remarried, and I love and admire my grandfather, who is still living. He grew up in a community where all the moms had to work. Ask yourself, too, what your goals are in reaching out to your grandfather in particular. His sister lives in the Deep South, while we live on the coast. I told him my family would not be amused by that at all, and he answered that it was just a joke and we were all “way too uptight.” I’m upset, both by his comment in the hospital and by his attitude toward my feelings about it. Emily Yoffe -- a.k.a. My husband is an atheist. Emily Yoffe I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. ... You’ve got little time to address this so that Thanksgiving is not a debacle. Her 17-year-old granddaughter, who lives on the other side of the country, is a vegan. I have tried to explain that one smoker is different from 15 of them. There are serious potential downsides here, but you have a material interest in this discovery that is separate from your father’s. Sometimes I stop and cry because something reminds me of him. You don’t have to get into a conversation about sex in order to say no to this request. Given the age and precarious health of your relatives, you might want to explain to your beau that your family comes a little unglued when they get together, so you need to join them solo for the meal, but you would love it if he and his brood could come by for dessert. Dear Not,Your letter is a perfect example of how moving in together can get you further away from your life goals if a clear plan for achieving those goals is not part of the discussion you have before signing the lease. Advice columnist Mallory Ortberg shares her tips for how … Do I reach out to this stranger? He began coming to our family events, which was fine at first. There will be other Thanksgivings—it happens every year—and right now it sounds like you’re pretty overwhelmed by the family pressure to be more “over” your father’s death than you are. Dear Prudence Butter Brawl Prudie counsels a woman who lost her cool after being fat-shamed at Thanksgiving. It took me a while to get back to dating. I was taken aback, because I’ve always thought of that as pretty normal guest behavior. on Nov 23, 2020 at 12:17 am. Slate relies on advertising to support our journalism. If a host says, “Here’s the guest bathroom” and nothing else, no reasonable person would assume, “Before I use the towels and toiletries provided by the shower, I should ask if there is a secret backup stash of towels and toiletries I’m supposed to use instead.” It’s fine to be a little fussy as a host, but then it’s incumbent on you to tell your guests what they can and can’t use. This salad would also be a good option for Thanksgiving. You could also tell him that the discouraging way this holiday is playing out is making you realize that after three years together, you two really need to talk turkey. Dear Prudence, My father had an affair many years ago, and I found out about it. Dear Prudence,Whenever I host large dinner parties, only the women offer to help with dishes. Dear Prudence answers more of your questions—only for Slate Plus members. Slate's advice columnist Dear Prudence takes your questions on manners, morals and more. Dear Prudie,I’m in my early 30s and have been dating the love of my life for three years. This runs the gamut from telling him that there is no Santa Claus to a detailed description of the crimes of serial killers to an explanation of how animals are butchered for meat. I don’t suppose you could tell Granny you want her to quit her habit because you’re worried it will shorten her life. Here’s a recent Christmas-themed letter from Dear Prudence you might enjoy, with my advice to follow: My husband and I have two grown daughters, “Holly” and “Ivy.” I also have another much older daughter, “Gertrude,” born during my brief first marriage. Tell her that your guest bedroom only has twin beds, and if that doesn’t meet her standards, she should find a nearby hotel. Thursday may seem like it’s going to be an official day for family civil wars. We encountered an issue signing you up. All rights reserved. For the record, my parents have invited his over for parties, dinner, and holidays. Maybe your previous talk with your mother felt like an accusation to her, and it hit a nerve, because she may be simultaneously happy and guilty about finding a new love so soon after her husband’s death. I can’t imagine that “bringing charges” against a 7-year-old for wandering into his front yard would result in any actual consequences for you and your family, but he’s made it very clear that he doesn’t want your son to knock on his front door or to play in his yard, and you should make sure that your son doesn’t, even if it means monitoring him a little more closely. What should I do? I am the only one still grieving for my dad. Do you want to try to facilitate a reunion? Her in-laws are staying over, so my mother and her new boyfriend are staying with me. But don’t be afraid to name a conspicuous dynamic, and don’t worry that you’re breaking some sort of hosting etiquette by pointing out the obvious and asking for a solution. Are there any men who can help me out?” Hopefully—I’m assuming the guys you socialize with are more passively than actively sexist when it comes to kitchen cleanup—you’ll see a few chastened faces, followed by a hasty offer or two. The thought of my mother having sex with her boyfriend in my bed makes me want to vomit. Across the Universe - Dear Prudence - Jim Sturgess; Evan Rachel Wood; T.V. Daniel Mallory Ortberg, Slate’s Dear Prudence, is co-founder of the Toast and the author of Texts From Jane Eyre and The Merry Spinster. 17 adults and 5 kids spent a week together under one roof; fights over kids, politics, you name it ensued. My sister-in-law always takes credits for the pies I bring every year. This man sounds dreadful to be around. I’m not asking him to crawl at my feet, just a little acknowledgment that his remark was inappropriate. This would be the first time most of my family will meet him. I gained one other thing: an appreciation for the hard-earned Pilgrim values of prudence and thanksgiving. Carpio; Dana Fuchs Get More Prudie! I asked my boyfriend whether, if we were married, my parents would have been invited, and he said yes, which made me wish I hadn’t asked. • Send questions for publication to prudence@slate.com. I’m hosting a Friendsgiving, and some people will bring their own dishes or booze, so I don’t even know if it’s appropriate to ask for help if they’ve contributed something to dinner. But soon he was coming to every single celebration we had as a family. My guest room has twin beds. You can cancel anytime. Accept that what seems interesting and a bit removed for you may feel fresh and painful for him, be prepared to listen, and take your time. The problem is, I said my grandmother could smoke inside. He won’t apologize, either to me or my family, which is infuriating. We spoke daily, and I did my best to make holidays and special occasions as fun as possible. That doesn’t mean you have to harangue everyone, but it’s perfectly appropriate for a host to say, “So lovely to see you. I was appalled and let my boyfriend know it later when we were alone. Every year, millions of people across the nation take to the roads, rails and skies to make it home in time for this special day. Slate relies on advertising to support our journalism. Dear Prudence advises that we respond with regrets to a host that may cook a delicious turkey but casts repulsive ballots. Reply . She’ll be online at Washingtonpost.com to chat with readers each Monday at 1 p.m. I appreciate this, but when I take them up on their offer, there’s a gender imbalance in the kitchen I’m uncomfortable with. When it comes to this newfound fear of serial killers, you can keep reminding him that he’s safe with you, that there are very few of them, and that your neighbor was trying to scare him—which may lead to its own conversation about how to give a wide berth to someone who clearly doesn’t want company. My mother, younger brother, and I took it hard. Is there a way around this cleanup issue, or am I forever doomed to do all the dishes by myself the next morning?—Thanksgiving Cleanup Anxiety. We’d been friends for a few years before we started dating months ago. Because he did so well, he is being courted by the local party to run in another local election in 2012. Recently my sister phoned me in tears, stating that the family is upset that my date would be bringing his family, and so the dinner is canceled. Am I a bad daughter for wanting to go to my boyfriend's at Christmas?" Last year, he volunteered to give the blessing at Thanksgiving. Dear Prudence, My girlfriend is the chef and owner of a local restaurant that’s recently become extremely popular. I worried constantly about my mom. Alternately, you could explain to your sister that you’re going to eat with your boyfriend, and then you alone (or your whole group, if it’s all right) will come over once the meal is finished. The nonsmokers will have to cough their way through the meal. "Dear Prudence: Thanksgiving at my family's was a nightmare. Kevin Kuenkler. Or do I leave it well enough alone and say it was never meant to be?—Family Ties. You’ve run out of free articles. Dear Smoked,Smoked turkey is a delicious dish. My sister is hosting Thanksgiving this year. He’s had particular difficulty with my 7-year-old son, who seems drawn to his home, and he’s gone from complaining to me to saying horrible things to my child. Slate is published by The Slate Group, a Graham Holdings Company. It was hard to see, but my sister and I acknowledge that our mother did much of her grieving before our father died. Cooking stressed her. Send me updates about Slate special offers. You can manage your newsletter subscriptions at any time. Surely everyone will benefit from the fact that the Thanksgiving meal tends to put even the most volatile among us into a stupor. If you wanted to get in touch with some of your (likely) newfound cousins, aunts, and uncles, you would be able to do so in your own right as their relative, even if your father didn’t want any part of it. Isn’t that disgusting?” Posted Aug. 27, 2009.”Lunchroom Bandit: My co-worker is stealing everyone’s food” Posted Dec. 3, 2009. “On the off chance he eats your kid PLEASE SUPERVISE HIM.”Daniel Mallory Ortberg and Nicole Cliffe discuss this letter in this week’s Dear Prudence Uncensored—only for Slate Plus members. Photos by Jasmin Schreiber on Unsplash. Your situation is designed for the drop-by. Dear Prudence, My large, extended family—including my 96-year-old grandmother and my ailing parents—is getting together for Thanksgiving at my sister’s house. By joining Slate Plus you support our work and get exclusive content. I’m Too Hot for My Age: Prudie counsels a woman whose youthful looks bring her nothing but problems—and other advice seekers.” Posted Feb. 8, 2010.”The Pervy Principal: Prudie counsels a school worker whose boss trolls Internet porn on the job—and other advice seekers.” Posted Feb. 1, 2010.”Sticky Fingers Can’t Stop Stealing: Prudie counsels a good Samaritan gone bad—and other advice seekers.” Posted Jan. 25, 2010. Why is my guest room not acceptable? Before we began dating, I explained to my boyfriend that I was looking for marriage and children. And, if you love this recipe for a shredded brussels spouts salad, check out this recipe for cornbread panzanella salad with peaches. Submit your questions and comments here before or during the live discussion. If she tries to argue further, you can just say, “I love you, Mom, and I know we’re all dealing with Dad’s death in different ways, but this is my final decision, and I’m not going to argue about it anymore. And yet, for many, Thanksgiving Day often ends in tears—or a visit from the fire department. Should I tell Grandma not to smoke, either? I feel as though I have lost both parents, and I am dreading the upcoming holidays. I never thought I’d find a living man. Tell your boyfriend either his family finds two more seats at the table, or you are going to have to decline their invitation and spend Thanksgiving with your parents. Dear Prudence, Recently, my husband and I were arguing over something trivial, but it escalated and I suddenly found myself spinning out of control. You can tell your boyfriend about it, not in the interest of causing trouble but to find out if his sister has any other quirks you should know about before visiting again: “Last time we stayed with your sister, she got really angry with me for using the shampoo and towels in the guest bathroom. I don’t mean to downplay how totally out of proportion and distressing this man’s behavior has been, but for someone this intense and unreasonable, the best way forward is to avoid him as much as you and your son possibly can. He refuses to see that there’s anything wrong and tells me to get over myself. We have been invited to his cousin’s house for Thanksgiving. It would be one thing for your sister to say there is simply no room for your party of four—which would be awkward—but I can’t get over her threat to scrub the holiday. If your mother has made talk of your father verboten because of her friend, then you need to explain to her that while you’re not going to dwell on your father’s death in their company, neither are you going to wipe him from your memory. Maybe someone needs to slip a tranquilizer in her cranberry sauce. I felt as though she cared more about not hurting his feelings than about hurting mine. Submit your questions and comments here before or during the live discussion. This upsets me: I got married at 20, separated at 29, and divorced at 31. If you’re not, it might be better to close the lid on this Pandora’s box. Daniel Mallory Ortberg, Slate’s Dear Prudence, is co-founder of the Toast and the author of Texts From Jane Eyre and The Merry Spinster. I actually don’t understand why, after two years together, you would agree to an open-ended cohabitation. About a year after my dad’s death, she started dating a nice man. 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