Sharing and not caring
Dear Annie: I made contact with my birth mother several years ago, but we are not close. Recently, I found out from my sister that my birth mother has been reposting photographs of my children from other friends’ pages. I have set privacy guidelines for posting photos of my children and she has totally disregarded them.
I have tried to be civil with this woman, who blatantly doesn’t care who she hurts. I understand that I can’t make my friends and relatives remove these photos, but am I wrong to be so guarded about who and how pictures of my children can be shared on social media? Mind you, this woman is not part of my life and has no rights to me or my children. — Outraged Mother
Dear Outraged: You can ask your friends and relatives to put privacy settings on their photos so that your birth mother does not get to see them, let alone repost them. You also can try explaining directly to your birth mother why you have these guidelines and ask her to respect them.
But we’d guess she feels marginalized and excluded from your life and that of your children, and she is desperate to be "grandma." You might be able to convince her to remove the pho- tos from her social media pages by promising her an old-fashioned printed photo of your family that she can frame and keep at home. A small amount of consideration from you could go a long way to encourage her to reciprocate. You obviously don’t owe her any photographs, but she is finding and posting them anyway. Better on your terms than hers.
Dear Annie: I’d like to respond to the letter from "Soulless," who said her group of "soul sisters" celebrate each other’s birthdays and make a wish list for presents, but one of them always buys something different.
Before I moved away, I belonged to a group of 13 friends and we always celebrated our birthdays together. The birthday girl would choose the restaurant. One of us would be in charge of buying a card and we’d all sign it and put in $10. The birthday recipient then had $120 and could buy something she really wanted.
It was a wonderful way to re- member the birthday girls and I am still enjoying some of the things I purchased with my $120. — The Villages, Florida
Dear Florida: Many readers suggested something similar. Here’s one more:
Dear Annie: My husband and I were invited to join a "birthday club" with three other couples with whom we have been close friends for decades. We alternate hosting dinners or eating in restaurants. All of our celebrations have been wonderful.
The eight of us reached an agreement to present the celebrant with a card and a consumable, such as a bottle of wine or some chocolates, to be shared by all of us during the meal. This idea keeps costs down, and we don’t go home with anything we have to dust or give away to charity. — Best Friends
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