Mom and daugh­ter launch into pre­ma­ture ring-shop­ping

The Washington Times Daily - - LIFE - ABI­GAIL VAN BUREN

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I have been dat­ing for al­most eight months. We love each other and talk of­ten about mar­riage, fam­ily, etc.

The other night — just for fun — I looked on­line at rings and showed my mom a few I re­ally loved. She quickly dis­missed all of them, and started telling me how I need a big stone and that it needs to be ex­pen­sive. Then she went on­line and looked her­self and was telling me which ones I should be in­ter­ested in. Mom of­fered to take me to a jew­eler’s to find the “per­fect” ring.

She has al­ways been a heli­copter par­ent, but now, as my boyfriend and I are be­com­ing more se­ri­ous, she’s go­ing into warp drive. How can I tell her gen­tly to butt out? Also, what’s your ad­vice on the ring sit­u­a­tion? — DAUGH­TER OF A HELI­COPTER MOM

DEAR DAUGH­TER: You and your mother are both jump­ing the gun. “Talk­ing of­ten of mar­riage, fam­ily, etc.” is not an en­gage­ment. If you al­low your mother to in­volve her­self in this, I pre­dict you will never get en­gaged be­cause your boyfriend — if he’s smart — will run for the hills. When and if you do de­cide to tie the knot, the two of you should go to a jew­eler to­gether and se­lect some­thing he can af­ford and you will en­joy wear­ing. Pe­riod.

DEAR ABBY: I’m a young woman in my 20s. I have been blessed with a lov­ing fam­ily, lots of op­por­tu­ni­ties and peo­ple who care about me. My prob­lem is, I don’t feel wor­thy of any of it. A lot of the time when I’m around peo­ple, I feel like I’m on the out­side look­ing in. When I join groups and lis­ten, I feel like I’m eaves­drop­ping. When I try to pitch in, I feel like I’m an­noy­ing ev­ery­one. I try to be like peo­ple who other peo­ple like, but I feel I fall far short of the mark.

I wish I could change and be less ir­ri­tat­ing and more in­ter­est­ing, but I don’t know how to change my per­son­al­ity, or even if I could. I’m just tired of not feel­ing wor­thy enough. I know this feel­ing isn’t ra­tio­nal, but it’s here to stay, ap­par­ently. What should I do? — UNWORTHY

DEAR UNWORTHY: There is noth­ing so de­feat­ing to so­cial suc­cess than low self-es­teem — feel­ing un­de­serv­ing and not good enough. The first thing you should do is stop try­ing to change your­self to please oth­ers be­cause it doesn’t work. Then try to pin­point where these feel­ings of un­wor­thi­ness orig­i­nated. If you can’t man­age it on your own — many peo­ple can’t — make an ap­point­ment to dis­cuss it with a li­censed men­tal health pro­fes­sional. You de­serve to feel good about your­self and what you con­trib­ute.

DEAR ABBY: Years ago, it was con­sid­ered im­proper to send a hol­i­day card to a friend or fam­ily mem­ber who ex­pe­ri­enced the loss of a child or spouse dur­ing the year.

What is cor­rect to­day? And what about an in­vi­ta­tion to a party? — CARE­FUL IN CAL­I­FOR­NIA

DEAR CARE­FUL: If there was a “rule” that peo­ple who have suf­fered a loss should not re­ceive a hol­i­day card, I have never heard of it. One would think that those who are griev­ing would ap­pre­ci­ate know­ing they were be­ing re­mem­bered.

As to invit­ing the per­son to a party — not ev­ery­one grieves in the same way or for the same length of time. Un­less re­li­gious cus­tom pre­vents it, if you think the friend or rel­a­tive might en­joy the event, by all means ex­tend an in­vi­ta­tion. The in­vi­tee can al­ways refuse if it’s too soon.

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