Lighten up, it’s a party!
Dear Amy: Birthdays were important in my family growing up, and we always celebrated with organized birthday parties.
My husband has always known I think these big events are important.
It is now time for our first child to turn 1.
My husband has been having serious health issues, and planning the party for our son has been a bright spot for me.
His parents are also aware of how important this party is to me.
I even had a heart-to-heart talk with his mom about how upset and disappointed I was when my own father initially said that he would not be coming because he did not want to buy a plane ticket.
I told her that I expected him to say “I wouldn’t miss my grandson’s birthday for anything” and was really disappointed when his reaction was so different.
My husband just informed me that his parents are skipping the party because they are tired from coming here so much due to my husband’s illness. I am really disappointed. I know that my son will not know, but it was important to me to have our immediate families in attendance, and I am really hurt because his folks know exactly how I feel.
I feel that they are being inconsiderate.
I am also hurt by my husband, who immediately agreed with his parents’ choice.
I am disappointed by their decision. My husband says that I am being totally crazy and completely overreacting.
Dear Disappointed: I agree with your husband. You are behaving like a crazy “Momzilla.” You’re completely overreacting. I’m exhausted just reading your letter.
Your in-laws might be reacting to the stress you’ve heaped on them over this. Stating your expectations is one thing. Stating your disappointment is another.
Completely freaking out and hyping this event into the stratosphere makes me worry about the high stakes you will place on your child to fulfill your expectations once he’s old enough to make his own wishes known.
Lighten up. Handle your disappointment like a big girl. And try to have fun.
Dear Amy: One of my neighbors is driving me nuts. She lives across the street from me.
I am a widow, and this neighbor (who is married) tells me she worries about me.
She rings my bell in the afternoon and calls me repeatedly on the phone (three times last Sunday).
I appreciate her attention, but not daily.
If I go to the mailbox she is there and we might talk for 10 to 15 minutes.
On a typical day, I sit with my blinds closed, trying to make it look like I am not home.
I am tired of this and really don’t know what to do.
I would still like to be on a somewhat friendly basis, but I don’t want her showing up to check on me.
This past weekend I went out with a friend. When I came home, I had three messages from her.
Now I try to screen the calls and not answer them.
Do you have any suggestions?
Dear Exhausted: Because your neighbor doesn’t read your cues, you’ll have to be explicit in drawing boundaries around your contact.
Say to her: “I know you are being neighborly, but I am feeling overwhelmed and need more space. I’m doing fine and will call you if I need anything, but otherwise, it would be great if you would not call and visit so often because it’s just too much for me.” Send questions to Amy Dickinson by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.