Mother of ex­pect­ing daugh­ter wor­ried son-in-law is an al­co­holic

Cape Breton Post - - OUR COMMUNITY -

Dear An­nie: My son-in-law drinks too much. Over the years, I’ve seen “ Ted” overindulge at wed­dings and I no­tice he con­sumes a tremendous amount of beer. Lately, my worry has turned from con­cern to alarm.

They live far away, but we spent a few days with them over the hol­i­days. Ted now starts with wine in the af­ter­noon and has half a dozen beers ev­ery night while watch­ing TV. When­ever they go out, my daugh­ter is the driver. When he goes out alone, he takes a cab.

I don’t be­lieve this is nor­mal be­hav­iour. My daugh­ter says noth­ing about his drink­ing, al­though she made one com­ment about his not help­ing around the house. She is ex­pect­ing their first child soon and he will have to drive her to the hospi­tal. What if he’s been drink­ing?

Ted re­cently lost his job. (I’m not sure why.) I thought my hus­band, who has been a re­cov­ered al­co­holic for more than 30 years, would be the per­fect per­son to talk to him. But he thinks we shouldn’t get in­volved. I am wor­ried sick about the safety and emo­tional health of my daugh­ter, not to men­tion their fi­nan­cial fu­ture. If I bring this up, am I be­ing a car­ing mother or an in­ter­fer­ing mother-in-law? — Wor­ried Mom

Dear Wor­ried: At least Ted knows not to get be­hind the wheel, which gives you an op­por­tu­nity to say some­thing: Ask your daugh­ter who will be driv­ing her to the hospi­tal when she goes into labour. Be very mat­ter-of-fact when you make sure it’s not Ted. She’ll un­der­stand why. Then sug­gest she call AlAnon (al-anon.ala­teen.org) at 1888-4AL-ANON (1-888-4252666). You can call them, too. If she tells you to back off, say noth­ing more.

Dear An­nie: I started a small ca­ter­ing busi­ness a few years ago. My hus­band’s sis­ter asked me to cre­ate some Christ­mas food gifts for some fam­ily mem­bers. I sent catered meals to the ones who live nearby and shipped gift bas­kets to the two out-of-town­ers.

I spent time shop­ping for the bas­kets, as well as spending money of my own to mail them. My sis­ter-in-law sent me a cheque for the cost of the bas­kets, but did not in­clude any­thing for my time or the cost of the ship­ping. In the past, she has al­ways re­mem­bered to send ex­tra when I have done this for her. She also did not send my hus­band or me a hol­i­day gift, even though she has be­fore.

I know this sounds petty, and she has done many nice things for us over the years, but I can’t help feel­ing used and slighted. I don’t want to cause a scene, but it makes me an­gry. Should I say some­thing or let it go for the sake of peace in the fam­ily? — In­sulted

Dear In­sulted: Please let it go. Since your sis­ter-in-law has al­ways been good about th­ese things in the past, we as­sume they slipped her mind this time and she meant no of­fense. If you make bas­kets for her again, gen­tly re­mind her of the cost of ship­ping when you dis­cuss the food items.

This is your ca­ter­ing busi­ness. It’s a good idea to make your prices clear, even to fam­ily mem- bers.

Dear An­nie: In your re­sponse to “ Just Won­der­ing in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia,” you used the word “ger­mo­pho­bia.” Is it some­thing that you made up, or can you cite a source?

I did a Google search, and “ ver­mino­phobe” may have been a bet­ter choice to de­scribe some­one with a fear of germs. — A Crossword Puz­zle Solver

Dear Puz­zle Solver: We have used “ger­mo­pho­bia” be­fore, and so have our read­ers. We have no idea what the et­y­mol­ogy is. It’s a slang term, al­though you can find it in Wikipedia and other on­line sources. (Ac­tu­ally, an ir­ra­tional fear of dirt and con­tam­i­na­tion is myso­pho­bia.)

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