Daddy’s Little Girl

by admin on December 15, 2011

Last May, my beautiful goddaughter, Sally, turned 1 and I was blessed to be included in this event. I have known said goddaughter’s mom ,Barb, since high school and we are the best of friends. One year prior to this event I was in the delivery room as Sally was born and stayed overnight until Sally and Barb were released from the hospital. Ever since I have been supportive of Barb and Sally in every way possible causing most of Barb’s family members to refer to me as the Baby Daddy (and yes I am female!)

Sally’s real dad, Mike, lives two states away but has (for the most part) been present for the special occasions including Sally’s first birthday. The day started nicely with lots of sunshine and family members on their best behavior. I had come early to help set up and volunteered to help Barb’s sister collect a few last minute items at the store. Mike spent most of the pre-party day in the basement putting together a really cute wagon/tricycle. The day moved on and it came time for cake cutting. Barb’s dad asked who would like to cut the cake as Barb was busy with Sally (still nursing).  I said I would as I have much experience doing so as my grandmother has worked in the catering business for 60 years and has taught me how to cut cake swiftly. Suddenly Mike says that he wants to do it as it is his daughter’s cake. I said okay would you like some help.

Now just a small tangent. Mike and I are not friends. He has annoyed me in the past and I was putting on my friendly face to deal with him. He has made several small comments in the past (and present) about my relationship with Sally and Barb. Barb and I are very close and have been mistaken for a couple on many occasions. We aren’t a couple but have been friends for many years and the fact that I watched her give birth has made us even closer. (I often joke that I watched her give birth and she didnt!) Sally and I are very close as well and I spend a great deal of time with her including her spending the night at my house.

Now back to the story at hand. Earlier in the day, Sally refused to come to Mike and screamed when he tried to pick her up. She ran to me and would not let me put her down. (This has happened before.) Now I don’t know if this had something to do with his attitude but he responded with a firm, “No.” I left it alone and since Sally was not interested in cake we began opening her gifts. I looked over to Mike cutting the cake to see him using his fingers to place the cake on plates. I approached Mike and said, “Hey, you shouldn’t touch other people’s cake. Its unsanitary.” Mike replied, “Stop being a germaphobe. My hands are clean. I just washed them.” My reply was, ” Its still unsanitary. Use a fork.”  Mike then shouted, ” Look I got this. Its my daughter’s cake.” At that point I threw up my hands and went to help with the gifts. As gift unwrapping ended Barb mentioned that it was late and I needed to get going. ( I had just finished graduate school and was going to a party held in my honor) As I got up Mike stated, “You not staying to help clean up?”  I replied (curtly), “No, I have a party.” Mike, “Well I see where your priorities are.” I did not reply and simply walked upstairs to exit the house.

Now I had already cleared my early departure with Barb and her parents. This party was being held in mine and 4 other girls’ honors but they had stated they were not going to start the festivity until I arrived. As I exited,  Barb’s mom asked where I was going and before I could answer her husband stated, “Her graduation party.”   I stated (to them only), “And plus I need to leave before I commit murder and get blood on your newly painted walls.” (Barb’s dad is a cop) They both giggled and said have fun at the party.

The holidays are fast approaching and I am worried that Mike will get the best of me and my friendly face will disappear. So I need some advice on how to handle a P.I.T.A barely there father who gets pissed at me because his daughter does not know him? Thanks! 1209-11

I’m afraid you won’t like my answer one bit.     By your own admission, Mike has made the effort to travel from two states away to be there for important milestones in Sally’s life.  We can deduce from your story that Mike is not persona non grata or some nefarious influence but is being invited into Sally’s mother and grandparents’ home to participate in his daughter’s life.  The fact that you mention there will be future functions where Mike, Sally and Barb will be in attendance indicates that Barb and her parents are extending invitations to Mike and apparently will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

You further mention that everyone in the family is “on their best behavior”.  Everyone but you, it appears.  You are the one who initiates the conflict.  When Barb’s dad asked who would cut the cake, and Mike stepped up to take on that task and Barb’s dad delegates that task to him.  Mike declines your offer of help yet you can’t help interfering with criticism on how he is cutting and serving the cake.   Neither the host or hostess appears to have a problem with how Mike is executing this so why would you think you had the authority to assume oversight as if you were the host of this party?   If you don’t want Mike’s fingers touching your cake, simply wait til he’s done cutting the majority of the cake and cut your own piece later or decline to eat any.   A piece of cake isn’t worth the angst you created.    And Barb’s parents’ giggles may have been nervous titters one does when confronted with a comment that was quite inappropriate.    You appear to have been contributing to the tension in the party.

When Sally refused to go to Mike, you should have kindly told him that this is a common phase in small children to have stranger anxiety and then worked to encourage Sally to get  more comfortable with Mike.   I view it as a positive that Mike was upset that his daughter did not want to come to him.   I don’t view it as positive that you seem to relish this.

If you love Sally, you will do nothing whatsoever to undermine her relationship with her father.   She will need her father and you are not her father.   You should have a common goal with Mike, Barb and Barb’s parents to pursue what is in the best interests of Sally.  Being contentious with Mike in Barb’s parents’ home is not in Sally’s best interests since it has the potential effect of discouraging Mike from attending future events in which it is quite likely you will also be invited.   If you love Sally, you will not only not undermine her relationship with her father but should be encouraging it as best you can.

{ 165 comments… read them below or add one }

Emmerton December 16, 2011 at 6:59 pm

I don’t find the father living two states away as something punishable by death. My father lives over 1300 miles away, and tries his best to there to help me despite our tenuous and strained relationship.

I am going to offer this much; neither the OP OR the biological father are perfect. They both need to tkae a cue from one another in that one needs to step back, and the other to step forward.

Reply

Jennifer December 16, 2011 at 7:43 pm

I just caught in the OP’s update that she picked up Barbara from work everyday so she wouldn’t have to take public transportation while pregnant. As a lifelong public transit user (by choice, traffic and the environment outweigh other concerns) this is incredibly telling that your relationship is over the top. Really, you drove her to and from work every single day? That’s just nuts.

Reply

Melissa December 16, 2011 at 8:07 pm

High Five to the admin! The OP loves seeing the father squirm and making him uncomfortable when it is obvious he is making an effort….tell her to back off and stop being possessive. I see no reason why she made such an effort to make this child’s birthday all about her and her hatred of Mike.

Reply

Merry Mrs December 16, 2011 at 9:44 pm

To update. I’m not picking on OP friend but I’m not sure what very short relationship means (it’s very subjective) 4-8 weeks would be possible and then I can understand a man backing away quickly even possible thinking “it’s not my child” or “she lied to me and told me she was on the pill and became pregnant on purpose”. I can even see in some circumstances asking for a paterinty test before beoming invloved.

If he doesn’t pay child suport then your friend needs to go to court. If he’s not paying support becasue he is still in school then maybe not asking him to drop out to pay minimul support now with the plan he will earn more with a degree might be a better long temr solution.

OH and I would not recommend giving your friend the legal advise that since she has full legal and physical custody she can deny visits, since that’s not actually true. With the exception of his parental right being severed by him or by a court. Custody and parental rights are not the same thing.

But lets assume he is a jerk and all wrong about everything. You still don’t tell him how to cut cake. He actually might have some rights(excluding the aforementioned servering of all parental rights) to insist you are not there when he vists.

Reply

Kimberly December 16, 2011 at 9:50 pm

AFter reading most replies and both the op’s replies….

OP, it is time for Barb to grow up and deal with the consequences of her actions. She is asking you to be there and deal with everything with the baby’s father. She needs to start dealing with this on her own. Number one….take him to court for support. If she has not done so yet, do so now.

What is going to happen if something happens to you? She will have to deal with her daughter’s father.

It is nice for you to be there and support as much as you cna, but some things, she has to learn to do on her own and dealing with her daughter’s father and his visits is one of them.

Reply

Merry Mrs December 16, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Wink &smile.

FYI a will declaring LW or even Barbs parents guardian after “my death” is not binding, children are not property and can not be inherited. All those movies where the kid go to the child free friend (and hilarity and sappy emotion ensues) either skip the step where the other parent , grandparents and aunts and uncles agree or are dead is skipped. A deceased parents wishes are considered as a recommendation only.

LW is so far down the list ….Mike , both Barb’s and Mike’s parents and all of Barb’s and Mike’s siblings possible Barb’s and Mike’s own grandparents and aunts & uncles and their cousins. It would be impertinent for LW to broach the subject of LW raising the child in case of Barbs death , it might be ok for LW to suggest Barb make clear she wishes her parents to care for Sally.

Reply

--Lia December 16, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Wink-n-Smile– It’s up to the state to decide who gets custody anyway. Children are not property that can be left in wills and divied up by executors. Parents can make their wishes known as to what they hope will happen to their underage children; they can leave money with particular trustees with the directive to spend it on the children, but actual custody gets decided by the State.

That said, I can think of fewer more egregious etiquette misteps than telling someone you want their children after they die. If we thought saying we wanted the heirloom chandelier is bad or that you’d rather have your inheritance now, that’s nothing compared to saying you want an actual living baby human. Let’s hope nothing happens to either parent. Let’s hope everyone, grandparents and godparents, would step up to help if something tragic were to happen to the parents. Let’s hope advice could be given more graciously than how to cut a cake.

Reply

Melnick December 16, 2011 at 11:40 pm

OP the follow up post came across a lot better. Truth be told, I was expecting to see a very defensive post but it does seem as though you think about this a lot and are trying very hard to do the right thing. I too would step up if my best friend needed that from me and I would also find the situation somewhat confusing.

Sometimes it is hard to be objective when you are close to the one that has been hurt. I have a friend on the other side of this. His partner at the time didn’t tell him until 5 mths that she was pregnant despite him asking repeatedly if it was a possibility. In fact, 4 times they had ‘accidents’ (which the are both responsible for). The first time she fell pregnant was the month she had overhead him talking to a friend about being unhappy and thinking of breaking off the relationship. The last time, she told him at 7 mths. They had broken up and despite repeatedly asking if she was pregnant, she didn’t tell him. I know that there was a great deal of anguish on his part. But what was worse for him was the way women associated with his partner would glare at him etc. The versions of the stories she was telling them were so far from the truth it wasn’t funny and they believed it because they didn’t know him well if at all. The thing is, when it comes to a relationship, it’s very difficult to know the truth of what transpires between two people. They tend to vent to the people around them and keep the sweet stuff to themselves. And when people vent, the story is often skewed in their favor. But everyone needs to have friends that are firmly and unquestionably on their side. It’s human nature.

There may well be a reason for the problems between Mike and Barb that you’re not privvy too. My BF supported me through a marriage breakdown when I was 20. Clearly I sobbed in her arms and so she saw how he wounded my heart and I told her all the bad stuff etc. But at the end of the day it is my hurt to bear and it pains me that 12 yrs on, she will never let herself be in his presence though I have forgiven him and she still wants to hurt him. Sometimes it is far harder to be the bystander, standing helplessy by and picking up the pieces, especially if one of the parties has done nothing wrong (as may be the case with Barb in this story), than the person in the middle of it and it is harder to be forgiving.

It is admirably OP that you support your friend so well. I think we may have jumped to the wrong conclusions from the tone of the original post. And so you keep dealing the way you are. If Sally’s father isn’t much of a man, one day she will see this. We all see the truth of our parents at some point. And she will also see the way you supported them and she will appreciate that you tried to help her foster that important relationship with her father despite your feelings about him. Just smile, be polite and when he’s gone you can have a good ol’ vent!!! You will always be the better person if you make it easy for someone to make their way back into your life and step up to the plate like they should have at the beginning and the blessings that flow far outweigh the frustrations. Good luck and good on you for trying so hard! :)

Reply

OP December 17, 2011 at 12:14 am

OP Again!!!
Since people have been contemplating why Mike lives so far…

Barb and Mike live two states away because they met while they were in school in Barb’s hometown. After failing out he moved back to his home state. He does not want to move here because he has never lived on his own and has always been supported by his mother. Not a bad thing as I just recently moved from my mother’s home. He has a part-time job and has ceased paying child support.

And I have a life. I have a full time job and a boyfriend of 5 years. I am surprised to find that so many people do not have close friends that they care for in times of need. Barb is not manipulating or monopolizing me and I am not over protective of her. She has had boyfriends in the 10+ years we have been friends and I have never been jealous. And I have only heard talk of “possessiveness and obsession” on this website.

I am conflicted on whether to defer judgement because I did not receive the advice I asked for and instead received several typed lashings because I was a good friend. Oh well, no problem. Since my current behavior hasn’t gotten any negative remarks in real life I think I shall continue support in the same manner and let all of the Mike “issues” be sorted out by Barb. And for those who find my behavior “creepy, possessive and obsessive” you may want to look at your own relationships and figure out why my closeness is bothering you. And yes I am qualified as a licensed therapist to make that statement.

Reply

OP December 17, 2011 at 12:26 am

And PS I am not gonna ask my friend what happens when she dies. Now that is morbid and creepy.

@Melnick-Thanks for the actual advice on how to deal with the situation with the upcoming holiday. It is appreciated.

No he is not in school.

Yes I picked her up everyday. I did not drop her off as she rode with her Dad to the train. However as she got further along I did not want her on the train at night and picked her up which put me all of a mile out of my way. And she lives less than 3 minutes from me. We live in a dangerous and large city and I would pick her up pregnant or not. She now has a car so no more public transportation. Did I pick her up prior to being pregnant. Yes, when our schedules coincided and especially if the weather was crappy.

Reply

Rap December 17, 2011 at 1:56 am

OP, have you considered the obvious solution?

Don’t be there for the visit. Its not your family. There’s any number of red flags that indicate to me that you are way too involved in this family.

If Barb won’t invite Mike to visit his child without a condition that you have to be there, thats a red flag.

If Barb is asking your opinion of whether Mike should see his child at the holidays, and your opinion is the deciding factor in whether Mike is invited, thats a red flag.

If people mistake you and Barb for being a couple when you state that you are not, thats a red flag.

If you seriously think its funny and cute that people that know you and Barb refer to you as “the baby daddy”, thats a red flag.

If you seriously were the birthing coach and then spent the night with Sally and Barb in the hospital like a parent would, thats a red flag.

If you’re having Sally spend the night at your home because you’re so close, thats a red flag.

Barb, if she has sole legal and physical custody and can completely restrict Mike from seeing his child needs to be an adult and decide what she wants to do. The very fact that she’s asking you whether she should invite Mike to see his child means you are way too involved.

That doesn’t make you a bad person, your intent is obviously good, but this is not healthy.

Reply

Cat whisperer December 17, 2011 at 2:24 am

I’m with the moderator on this one: OP committed several etiquette felonies here.

The baby’s father has status as a co-host of his daughter’s birthday party. OP may be godmother, but for the event, she’s a guest, not a co-host.

Etiquette is very clear about the duties of a guest: you thank your hosts for having you there, you interact politely and with good manners with your host(s) and other guests, you offer assistance where it may be appreciated, and you leave after again thanking your host(s) for the hospitality you have enjoyed.

Publicly criticizing your host(s) for the way they are serving refreshments is so far beyond good manners that it’s jaw-dropping. While it isn’t elegant service for a host/hostess to use their fingers to assist in plating cake, it’s not cause for a guest to publicly berate them. Especially when, as the moderator indicated, the guest could have either politely declined the cake or served herself unobtrusively later on.

It seems pretty clear that OP has a chip on her shoulder about the father of her goddaughter being an “absentee parent.” Since OP is worried about losing her cool at other events hosted by her friend Barb at which the baby’s father may be present, I suggest she familiarize herself with what etiquette requires when you are invited to an event where you believe you may be unable to control yourself and behave with cordiality and good manners: you politely decline the invitation. That way you don’t ruin the party for the other people present and you don’t make a spectacle of yourself.

Reply

MellowedOne December 17, 2011 at 8:50 am

OP, thank you for your follow-up. I do have a question. You said,

‘ I cannot avoid seeing him as one of the conditions for Barb’s approval of his visit was my being at her house during some of time that he is there.’

That in and of itself could contribute to any negative feelings Mike has toward you. Why would Barb make that a condition of his visitation? Seeing his daughter has nothing to do with you, and it is only fueling a fire for Barb to insist he can only see his daughter if you are there some of the time.

As regards you not like hearing her constant complaints about Mike, here’s a suggestion I use when my friends tend to slip into that repetitive complaining mode. I ask them to come up with 2 options to solve it. And tell ‘em to take their time, since no one ever can come up with something on the spot. I will and do provide a listening ear, but if it’s the same ole’, same ole’ then it needs to be squelched, not nourished. I find that when I do this it actually helps my friends start using their brain cells productively, and if they choose not to do that well then they learn I am only interested in helping them, not hearing them repetitively complain. For the record, I also appreciate my friends doing this to me when I slip into that repetitive complaint mode. :)

Reply

Jennifer December 17, 2011 at 10:07 am

“And for those who find my behavior “creepy, possessive and obsessive” you may want to look at your own relationships and figure out why my closeness is bothering you. And yes I am qualified as a licensed therapist to make that statement.”

It’s not your closeness, its your defensiveness and need to meddle in other relationships. And as a therapist, you should know how difficult it is to navigate a relationship like Barb and Mike’s and should also know that you are seeing the worst in people when you hear about it from their ex.

Therapists are notoriously bad at looking at their own situations objectively. You are evaluating your relationship “baby daddy” relative to the biological father. I’m a lawyer (guess what! We’re trained to counsel and assess people too!), and I’ve seen so many people like you in court, trying to meddle in custody arrangements or insisting the guy shouldn’t have visitation rights.

Is Mike court-ordered to pay child support? First, not paying child support and visitation rights are not connected in many states, because you would basically be “paying” to see your child. Second, if he is court ordered and not paying his child support, the court can dock his pay.

I’m confused how you think you didn’t receive advice: you asked how to deal with Mike, and we basically told you it’s not your job to deal with Mike. How do you deal with him? You let Barb deal with him. It is appropriate for you to “deal” with him. He’s not just pissed at you because his daughter does not know him, he’s pissed because treat him, verbally and I’m sure nonverbally, like an object. If you legally have to be there (and I do not know HOW you got a judge to agree to that), leave the room if you are upset with him. Don’t engage. I’ve seen your type so many times in our offices and I can tell you, you are going to make things worse.

Reply

Gracie C. December 17, 2011 at 11:29 am

OP – no one in real life is going to tell you that your relationship is out of hand, so the lack of real life comments isn’t proof of anything. We do not know whether it is but can only judge by what you have told us. If you reread your original post and pretend it’s not about you (realizing that we know nothing else), you might see what we see when we read it. Perhaps you have simply worded it badly and explained the situation too narrowly, but I can’t image that if you were on our side of it (reading only what you originally wrote with no other information) that you wouldn’t at least have raised a brow at the post. In all honesty, there are three instances of rudeness in the post and two of them are yours. So, I’m not sure why you even submitted it. Perhaps the question of “How do I deal with my friend’s ex, who really annoys me, during the holidays when I’ll inevitably have to see him cause of their child?” should have been posted on the message board and left there.

As for none of us having friends we are close with, well, what an interesting assumption.

Reply

Enna December 17, 2011 at 11:55 am

1 MidoriBird – your brother should have spoken to his wife your sister about this if he had such an issue with it. Birth is a very stressful thing and maybe he was just stressed out at the time with becoming a dad however he should have mentioned it. That way your sister and him could have reached a comprimise.

A couple of posters as well as the OP have said it is disgusting that Mike touching the cake – when food is prepared espcially in the home often people will use their bare hands, so as long as Mike’s hands were clean I don’t really see how it could be disgusting. If the father is such a bad father why is the mother involving him? Maybe she is giving him a chance so over time they can have a better firendship in bringing up their daughter. If things go well he might change his mind and become a “better” father e.g. visiting more often and actually wanting his daughter and supporting her.

A firend of mine, her dad walked out on the family. Her mum made the point when we were applying to universities that my firend should buy him a father’s day card, even though my firend didn’t want to: her mother warned that by not doing so he might decided to make it diffcult with supporting her at univeristy and filling in the forms for the loans.

Reply

Edhla December 17, 2011 at 12:07 pm

OP, people ARE making comments about you being far too involved in this situation.

They’re calling you “the baby daddy.” I really don’t know why you think this is a compliment, because it isn’t. Strangers assume you are in a relationship with Barb. That isn’t a compliment either, when you actually aren’t.

I’m very disappointed that, instead of taking this stuff on board, you think that over 100 people- all horrified at your behaviour- must all be just jealous of your “closeness” to Barb instead of all identifying a seriously unhealthy dynamic between you, Barb, Mike and Sally. Because we’re not jealous. Trust me. Most sane adults would realise that what you are ignoring healthy boundaries in this friendship. Your professional qualifications don’t necessarily mean you are qualified to analyse your own situation, which is much harder to do. We all have our blind spots and are unable in some ways to identify an unhealthy situation we are involved with, no matter how quick we might be to point it out in the lives of others. Do you really assume that 100 people here all have dysfunctional relationships, but your relationship with Barb and Sally is healthy? As a “licensed therapist” surely you would realise that if EVERYBODY is saying the same thing, either there is something of substance in what we are saying or your initial representation of the situation was way, way off. And are licensed therapists qualified to provide therapy, or make ad hominem internet attacks? I always thought it was the former.

I’m also pretty disappointed that because you did not receive over 100 remarks on what a jerk Mike is, you intend to continue “support in the same way”, which seems to be you preventing any attempts Mike may make to build a relationship with his child. You did receive an answer to your question. How do you deal with Mike over the holidays? You step. Off. Don’t monopolise Sally, don’t interfere between Mike and Barb or Mike and Sally. Give Mike opportunities to spend time with Sally without you hovering over the child. Pick your battles. Don’t humiliate Mike and don’t get in Barb’s ear about how much you dislike him. Spend time without them. Have your own life and let Barb have hers. You received all this advice upthread, but because we didn’t jump in and applaud your starting a fight at a baby’s milestone birthday party over CAKE, you’re ignoring the advice given.

Reply

Toonces December 17, 2011 at 5:14 pm

OP, it sounds as if you are a wonderful friend. Sally’s dad sounds like a bit of a deadbeat, who wants to swoop in an act like “Daddy” when it will reflect positively on him. but isn’t interested in acting like a responsible adult when it comes to providing for his daughter. Like you, I am puzzled by people that are so threatened by close and mutually supportive female friendships, and why the other posters on this thread are hoisting Sally’s dad on a pedestal when in fact he is acting like anything BUT a responsible father. I suspect it is because many folks have unexamined prejudices about women not really needing a man around to get by, and the friendship you have with Barb, and how Sally is thriving under the loving care of her family and yourself, is triggering the outrageous comments. I wouldn’t give it another thought. I think you are doing everything right, and should continue to be a great friend to Barb and loving “Auntie” to Sally. If the father wants to truly be a part of his daughter’s life, then he will have to grow up, start providing for his child, and start acting more maturely toward the other adults in her life that are providing her with love and a sense of family. In the meantime, just follow Barb’s lead, offer her the emotional support she needs whenever he is around, and be the bigger person. And for what it is worth, I feel that touching other people’s food is a big faux pas, and I would have said something, too.

Reply

Lynne December 17, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Guess what? If the OP is a godparent, she IS part of the family, albeit not biological. There is no reason to criticize her for having parenting behaviors, when she was chosen to be — a godparent! Someone here said that that role is usually ceremonial. In some cultures and circles it may be, but in many others, it is of enormous importance, and comes with plenty of hands-on expectations. And in this family, it is clear that her role is also important.

That being said, I’m sure the cake situation and the tension between all parties could have played out differently, but I’m overhwhelmed by the number of people who are criticizing a godparent for playing an active, committed role in her godchild’s life. She is not a parent, but she is a godparent, and this is her job in her relationship with this child.

Reply

Cat whisperer December 17, 2011 at 7:41 pm

I read some of the OP’s comments and elucidations of the relationship between the parties involved, and I want to make a case for someone that seems to have been forgotten in all the relationship drama.

That is, the events that were posted occurred at a party at which people other than Barb, the OP, and the father of Barb’s baby were present.

However strongly OP may feel about her friend Barb and Barb’s baby-daddy, whatever the situation is about who is doing (or not doing) what to whom, these events occurred at a party at which there were people present who may have not wanted to become part of the drama. They. Were. There. For. A. Child’s. Party. Period, end of subject.

Having been an innocent bystander at some events where people’s private business blew up in public, I know how it feels to be caught in the crossfire of someone else’s public quarrel. It does not feel good!

If OP really wanted to do her friend Barb a favor, friend to friend, then OP would not provoke a quarrel at an occasion where there were people present who would be made to feel uncomfortable. If OP wanted to take the “high road” where etiquette is concerned, then she would remove herself from the party when she felt that she was not able to contain her ire at Barb’s baby-daddy. A quiet “I have to go now, thank you for having me, I’ve had a great time,” and an unobtrusive exit would have served the situation far, far better than fireworks and a snotty comment as she exits.

I would bet that there were people present at the party who became uncomfortable enough at the obvious tension that they might hesitate to accept future invitations to Barb’s events, or might decide not to include Barb– OR HER CHILD– in events they plan.

If there are issues that genuinely need to be worked out between Barb, her baby-daddy and the OP, the best place to work those out is in the privacy of a counselor’s office, where there is someone who knows how to mediate disputes and handle people whose emotions are out of kilter. And, I might add, where a 1-year-old child who has no idea what is going on but who can certainly pick up on the tension of the adults involved, is not present. Shame on all the supposed adults involved for inflicting their drama-llama antics on a toddler who didn’t have a choice about whether to be present or not!

There is no excuse for someone who is a guest at a party to disrupt the proceedings and make other guests uncomfortable. That’s just plain rude and crass. If there is a situation involving one of the other guests or the host(s) of the party that make it impossible for you to behave with courtesy and good manners, then the rules of etiquette are very clear: you do not go. You politely decline the invitation and avoid making your host(s) and other guests uncomfortable at what is supposed to be an enjoyable event.

Reply

smallonion December 17, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Wait…..is the OP a man or a woman? Reading the story, I thought OP was a woman, but now, thinking about it, if OP is a man, it adds a whole new dimension to the story and explains a lot…

Reply

OP December 17, 2011 at 10:50 pm

@ Rap
We have been mistaken for a lesbian couple on several occasions. Not because we were kissing or holding hands but because some people assume that Sally is our love child. I don’t know why people assume this but they do. And a few questions…Why does seeing my goddaughter born and then staying in the hospital for 2 days and having my goddaughter spend the night at my house sending up red flags.

@MellowedOne

Barb is not saying I have to be there the entire time that he is there but she would like me to come over for part of the time. Mike thinks that his showing up for the holidays is a ticket back into Barb’s pants. She would never deny his visiting due to my absence but she does not like being alone with him as he is always trying to kiss and hug Barb. He does not do this around me. And yes she has explained to him that she no longer wants anything to do with him if it does not pertain to their daughter.

Reply

MidoriBird December 17, 2011 at 10:59 pm

To those who commented on my first post–thanks a bunch. That does make me feel some better.

It has not altered my relationship with my sister’s children. I love them to pieces. (My niece is the only one of all my nieces and nephews who looks just like me, in fact…) I just felt that I had sort of ruined what was a joyous event for all involved. My ex-BIL had two children from a previous marriage and from what my sister described, was moderately involved with their births. He was a very domineering sort and there were a number of things that led to their breakup after ten years of marriage.

In the end I had felt I had been caught up in something not of my making that somehow ended up being my fault anyways because I somehow took away his “rights” at her bedside–no matter how much he was urged to take his place!

The one thing that was not ruined was the beauty of the moment when I got to witness a birth for myself. I do not have children of my own, and do not plan to have any, but I agree with the fact that the end wonder is worth all that effort.

Reply

Mina December 18, 2011 at 2:06 am

Hey OP,

I have a certain disorder which involves extreme clinginess and fear of abandonment and even I think you are too involved. Unless you and this woman are a couple. You may be a licensed therapist, but I think you’re too close to this situation to be objective. And you do come off as sounding bitter and hateful of the “real dad” and like you’re too invested in Sally. I would suggest you get a therapist of your own.

Trust me, I’ve had issues with a friend’s 20-year-old daughter resenting and being extremely jealous of how close I am to her mom, to the point she tries to sabotage our friendship.

Reply

Girlysprite December 18, 2011 at 6:39 am

Hello OP, I can understand why some people say ‘you are too close’, but I don’t agree with them.I have two friends who are very close with each other (they were friends before I befriended them). I sometimes hear people whisper behind their backs as well that it is odd. I find that hurtful.

Yes, it is the norm that while friends may be close, that they don’t ‘interfere’ with each other’s lives too much. An occasional cry on the shoulder, some fun visits, and occasional shopping together, that is appareantly the standard of what friendship to be. However, I know that some friends are just much more intertwined – that is the cae with you – and there is nothing wrong with that! As long as the boundaries are clear and you don’t try to push over family members who deserve a close spot too, it’s cool. And as far as I can read, you are doing just fine.

The only advice that I can give you, based on the original story, is try to be a bit more ‘pleasant’ when correcting someone. I mean, you are right about the cake, but the human mind always spring to defense mode when an ‘accusation’ is made, even if it is a correct one. What about ‘hey, I and some other people prefer our cake untouched. It would be nice if you could use a fork to put the cake on the plate. Thank you.’
Some people see it as ‘yielding’ to the rude ones, I see it as a practical way to make people do what I want them to do.

As for people who think that OP and her friend are too close, I wonder why? How can one be too close?
1: She seems to be respectful of other people who are close to her friend, with one some smaller issues arising towards the baby’s dad
2: Both people are happy with it.
3: They both seem to have good boundaries in their friend relationship.

Reply

acr December 18, 2011 at 1:36 pm

I can see some reason for resentment/frustration on the OP’s part – she’s basically this child’s second parent, and Daddy wants to swoop in a few days a year. That being said – I really think you should have just let him cut the cake his way, unless he had weeping sores on his hands or something.

Reply

Rap December 18, 2011 at 2:52 pm

“And yes I am qualified as a licensed therapist to make that statement.”

Then maybe you, as a licensed therepist, should know how to deal with a pain in the butt barely there father?

I stand by my earlier advice. You’re not family to Barb and Mike. Don’t be there. You obviously don’t like Mike, and Barb apparently has parents that can “chaperone” Mike as easily as you can. There’s supporting a friend and then there is your friend making your prescence a condition on whether or not the father of her child gets to see his child. You’re overstepping. I’m sorry you don’t like hearing that – and as I said earlier, I don’t think you’re doing this with a bad intent, but you are indeed, putting yourself between Mike and Sally.

If Mike is a piece of crap, Sally will eventually see that, without you standing over her, going “I was in the hospital when you were born, your mom only allows these visits because *I* encourage them, your mom won’t have your biological father here unless I, your baby daddy is here to be alert to your mom’s sensitive needs”. You say you have your own boyfriend and family…. why not spend the holidays with them and let Barb and her parents deal with Mike.

Reply

Shreena December 18, 2011 at 5:54 pm

OP – to me, this ” However as she got further along I did not want her on the train at night” sounds really.. possessive and weird. I live in a large city with a fair amount of crime and my friends with kids have all successfully managed to commute by public transport when pregnant. It’s really not that bad. But, setting that aside, what comes across as possessive and weird is the way that it kind of sounds as you think you get to decide things for her – you decided it was too dangerous for her to use a train when pregnant so you insisted on giving her a lift every single day. I’d think that was possessive and weird and creepy if you were her baby daddy, let alone from a friend.

Reply

Rap December 18, 2011 at 9:34 pm

“We have been mistaken for a lesbian couple on several occasions. Not because we were kissing or holding hands but because some people assume that Sally is our love child. I don’t know why people assume this but they do. And a few questions…Why does seeing my goddaughter born and then staying in the hospital for 2 days and having my goddaughter spend the night at my house sending up red flags. ”

You don’t find it odd in any way that you’re apparently often mistaken for Barb’s lesbian lover? Really?

I have some close female friends and am female myself and yes, I find it suprising that that someone with a boyfriend thinks being constantly mistaken for your best friend’s lover and “baby’s daddy” doesn’t indicate you might not have an appropriate relationship. There’s close and then there’s people assuming you’re the lesbian lover of your best friend. You say you have a boyfriend and a lengthy relationship with said boyfriend – how does your long term boyfriend feel about you being the “baby daddy” and “possible lesbian lover” of your best friend’s child?

Have you asked him?

Yes, I do find it odd for you to spend two nights with your best friend who is not your lover but who people often mistake for your lesbian lover and who call you the “baby daddy’ – apparently you don’t see that you’re acting a touch too close for someone who is just a best friend. I notice you’re not responding to my other comments – specifically why is Barb asking you if its ok for Mike to see his child and why is Barb setting the condition that you, the ‘baby daddy” has to be present in order for the ‘real daddy’ to see his child?

You have a family of your own, you have a boyfriend of your own, and Barb apparently has parents who can be with her and Sally. Why is this family visit in any way your business? If you are that special to Barb – then stop encouraging her to invite Mike into her life. She apparently doesn’t like him and you insist you’re the reason he’s visiting and you can’t stand him and yet Barb listens to you and apparently would NOT have him over if you insisted… Yes, you are way too involved and further, you’re the one making the problem since you’re the baby daddy encouraging the mommy to invite the real daddy for the holidays.

Or are you? I have my doubts.

Reply

kelly December 19, 2011 at 7:30 am

Read the update, and the Op still comes across as creepy and clingy. She even admits the mother of the child has told her she oversteps boundaries. the fact that she has been told this more than once should tell her something as should the fact she was reminded to leave the birthday party. I suspect that a lot of the closeness of the relationship is in the OPs mind, and that Barb will use her for transport, but probably says a lot more things about OP behind OPs back than she does about Mike. In fairness I think the only victims here are Mike and Sally. Op is clingy and oversteps boundaries, and Barb is a user who probably slags both OP and Mike off behind their backs. I seriously hope neither Barb or OP poison Sally against her father.
I also think it is disgusting that the OP thinks it is acceptable to deny the little girl Christmas with her father unless the OP is there simply because she has legal custody. Why do OP and Barb want to punish Sally in this way? What will they do if the father gets partial legal custody? The hypocrisey of crowing that Mike does not have legal custody, and then slagging him off because he does not see her very often is breathtaking especially as the OP admits that Barb has made problems with him visiting at Christmas. Although I cannot help suspecting that this demand of Barbs might actually stem from the OPs insistence she will be there with her as a true friend when barb was moaning about him, rather than Barb making a direct request with no initiation from the OP.

Reply

wolfgirl December 19, 2011 at 7:50 am

Having read OP’s update I feel a little clearer on the situation and I think I can shed some light, OP, on why a lot of people (myself included to a certain extent) are saying your relationship with Barb and Sally is ‘unhealthy’, ‘ too close’ etc. With the exception of a few posters perhaps, it IS NOT because you have a close and supportive relationship with Barb and want to help her out throught this tough period. Thats great, and a lot of people have told you so. I personally also think it’s fine that you were there when she gave birth as that was her wish which you were ok with, cool. Especially if her other option was giving birth alone, who wants to do that? The issue is based on a feeling or vibe in the way you describe your relationship with her, it does seem smug and a bit odd. So what we as readers cannot judge is whether this actually reflects your real attitude, or if it’s just the way it comes across due to your writing style/wording. Whilst I think your first update seemed more measured and reasonable (so partly a wording issue perhaps), I also think some of it must be the real situation, as to be mistaken for a lesbian couple on several occassions does seem odd. Pairs of women walk around with babies all the time (sisters, friends, mom and daughter wtc), without strangers drawing this conclusion about them. So unless you have some very judgemental people where you live, or a whole lotta gay couples having children, or some other extenuating local situation (I can’t think what?!) this does suggets that your relationship may be too close. But to be honest we really can only guess, based on what you tell us, so please dont get angry and judgemental. Whilst I think some posters were too harsh (myself before your update, Jennifer saying ‘people like you’ etc…), others have totally given you the benefit of the doubt!

Based on your update, I have revised by opinion of Dad even further downwards! :) Clearly not a good father by anyone’s definition. HOWEVER I agree, as do others, that you still need to let him and Barb deal with that issue themselves. He is not the father of YOUR child. FWIW I can totally imagine how hard it must be to see Mike’s poor parenting when you are so involved. But if you do wish to keep this level of support/relationship with Barb and Sally, you will have to accept that Mike is part of the deal as Sally’s (rubbish, but still having a vital role) Dad.

However if what you say about Mike’s inappropriate behaviour with Barb when alone is true, thats disturbing. If he does try anything she needs to take v firm action, report him to police for assault/harrassment if its serious. Not OK! However, bear in mind that this could maybe be a tactic from Barb to avoid time alone with Mike, or to punish him by insisting on your presence etc…not saying it is, but you have never seen it happen…

Good luck with everything!

Reply

MellowedOne December 19, 2011 at 8:51 am

@smallonion – OP is female, as she stated in her original post.

@toonces – I assume your comments represent that you are very supportive to your friends (a good quality). However, you really need to think about your comment, “If the father wants to truly be a part of his daughter’s life, then he will have to grow up, start providing for his child, and start acting more maturely toward the other adults in her life that are providing her with love and a sense of family”. A person is treading on dangerous ground to withhold child visitation rights based on the other parent’s lack of monetary support or maturity. And it is especially out of line for those not involved..ie those other than parents…to meddle in this or support someone who is doing this.

Additionally, I find your statement ludicrous regarding the overwhelming unified response on this story to be caused, as you said, “I suspect it is because many folks have unexamined prejudices about women not really needing a man around to get by, and the friendship you have with Barb, and how Sally is thriving under the loving care of her family and yourself, is triggering the outrageous comments.” I have heard such lines of reasoning before, when people have to justify the position they take on some deficit of the other person(s). All they end up doing is self-devaluing their reputation.

Reply

MellowedOne December 19, 2011 at 9:06 am

@OP thank you again for your response.

So Barb wants you there because the ex keeps trying to put the moves on her when there’s no 3rd presence? Again, this is Barb’s battle. She needs to let him know..in no uncertain terms..that she will not tolerate his behavior. Quite frankly, if she has already told him no, his attempted physical contact is not harmless, it’s the beginnings of s@xual assault.

If she doesn’t want to take on that battle, then ask her to find someone else. Enabling never accomplishes anything.

Reply

Rap December 19, 2011 at 10:08 am

Girlysprite – frankly a lot of my “you may be too close” comes from how the OP describes her interactions. Who is the deciding force in whether Barb allows Mike to see Sally? The OP. She makes it very clear that *she* is the one encouraging Barb to invite this man over, and Barb is so uncomfortable with it, Barb won’t do it unless the OP is there as well. People apparently mistake the OP and Barb for a lesbian couple, enough that the OP felt it was important in describing how close they are – she doesn’t know *why* people think they are lesbians but thats an appropriate tidbit to drop in a description of how close you are to your best pal? People refer to her as Barb’s “baby daddy”? The OP is deciding for Barb that Barb shouldn’t take the train? For somene with her own long term boyfriend and family, I really find myself wondering why the OP is spending holidays with Barb at all – she has her own family to visit and be with.

Oh wait, Barb won’t let Mike see Sally unless the OP is there at least some of the time, so the OP*has* to be there because she’s the Baby Daddy… That’s where its a little close. The OP isn’t a member of the family, she’s not Sally’s parent, she’s not Barb’s wife, and yet she’s critically involved in whether Barb allows Mike to see his child. I have really close divorced friends with kids and no, I do not insert myself in their custody issues.

Reply

Gracie C. December 19, 2011 at 10:28 am

My friend and I both love going to the zoo. I had a nephew that loved zoos as well. From the time he was a toddler we often took him together. Through the years we’ve taken many a little kid to the zoo. We frequently take her kids now. We would often have interactions with strangers when we were out that lead us to believe that they thought we were a family. No one ever came right out and said it, and it wouldn’t have been worth correcting if they did. If that’s that kind of thing the OP is talking about, fine. But if it’s people who know them, and they aren’t so much mistaking them for a couple, but *suspecting* that they are a couple despite the boyfriend, then that’s a different story.

Reply

Merry Mrs December 19, 2011 at 10:34 am

The description of Mike morphed so much from the OP ” we’re not friends , he has annoyed me in the past” and “he has been present (for the most part) for special occasions”…… to a deadbeat dad who dumped the mother to be , didn’t see the child for 7 months and can’t be trusted not to paw Barb if left in a room alone with her. It’s not easy to give advise how to handle a situation when the back story is constantly changing.

Reply

Xtina December 19, 2011 at 11:09 am

Unlike other posters, I don’t think the issue here is that the OP and Barb are too close or a couple–but I do think that Barb might be depending on the OP too much–for which the OP is enabling by being so available. But since the OP “wants to and is happy” helping out, she has since made it clear that she does not care to step down from that role. It’s their friendship–if that’s what they’re mutually happy with, well–it is what it is.

However, about Mike “wanting to get back into Barb’s pants”–that explains a lot. If this is the only reason he is trying to be part of Sally’s life, to get to Barb, then he is the jerk, and one that can’t be trusted on top of that. Barb should (pardon the expression) man up and take him to court for child support (more to establish a precedent and make his support a matter of the law than stick him for money) and make it abundantly clear that she is not interested in anything further than interaction where Sally is concerned. Because the fact of the matter is—if this is all he’s concerned about and his child is just a vehicle to get to Barb, then once he loses interest, he will also drop his relationship with Sally. Take steps to make sure he does the right things now. OP, please encourage her to take care of these matters, and to interact with him either in the presence of others or meet only to conduct business in public places.

However, I will stand by my earlier post as well—that whatever form the father-daughter relationship is in this situation, the OP still should not interfere between Sally and Mike. Continue to be there for your friend and her daughter, but as tempting as it may be, unless you sense danger in Mike, leave them alone to deal with their own issues.

Reply

Library Diva December 19, 2011 at 11:38 am

I’m curious: where did the other commentors purchase their Big, Big Book of What’s Appropriate? OP has stated that she has a full-time job and a long-term boyfriend, other things in her life besides Barb and Sally. She’s been doing a lot for Barb lately because Barb’s had a rough couple of years. I know of a group of girls so close that they all bought houses in the same neighborhood. They’ve been friends since college and see each other almost daily. They’re all married with children now, and are working moms, but enjoy being together a lot. What’s wrong with that? There’s all kinds of ways to live that are all right.

I don’t have any particular advice for OP, but I just wanted to say that I don’t see anything necessarily creepy or weird or inappropriate about her friendship with Barb. It’s just that in this era of people moving away from home for college, moving to another place for graduate school, and a third place for their careers, it’s hard to sustain this type of friendship for most people. It’s become rare in our society, that’s why it seems so weird to people.

Reply

Gracie C. December 19, 2011 at 12:50 pm

A couple people have pointed out that why should it matter how close the OP and Barb are as long as they are happy with the relationship. Thing is, we have no idea how Barb feels about the OP’s status. She could think she’s as intrusive as some of us think she comes across and just doesn’t know how to tell her to back off. Or, as other’s have pointed out, Barb could be a user, which then isn’t healthy for the OP in the long run.

Reply

Victoria P. December 19, 2011 at 2:17 pm

OP- you said this
“Barb is not saying I have to be there the entire time that he is there but she would like me to come over for part of the time. Mike thinks that his showing up for the holidays is a ticket back into Barb’s pants. She would never deny his visiting due to my absence but she does not like being alone with him as he is always trying to kiss and hug Barb. He does not do this around me. And yes she has explained to him that she no longer wants anything to do with him if it does not pertain to their daughter.”

There’s some weird dynamic here that I can’t quite put my finger on, and it doesn’t seem very healthy for YOU. All of the information you have about Mike being a bad father and person comes from Barb, including how he doesn’t provide for their child- and yet she hasn’t tried to get child support from him. She uses you as a shield between them, causing Mike to get mad at you, but ultimately you’re doing what she asks you to, while she sits back and looks uninvolved. Right now Mike’s aggression is aimed at you, yours is aimed at him, Barb is sitting on the sidelines watching it play out, and Sally is the innocent party who is going to end up being the person hurt if everyone can’t start acting like adults and being mature about this.

Your actions come across as being too involved, and overstepping your boundaries. You also say that Barb has told you that you overstep as well. Maybe you don’t see it, but if people began assuming that my best friend and I were in a relationship because of all the time we spend together and with her children, I would be slamming on the mental breaks and thinking “Whoa whoa whooooooa….something is not right here”.

Barb has other family who could be there if she is uncomfortable being around Mike alone.
You really should step back and let them work out their own drama.

Reply

Abby December 19, 2011 at 4:33 pm

I’ve read all the comments and all the updates, and while I still think some boundaries are being crossed here, I don’t think the blame solely rests on the OP. It sounds like Barb has majorly contributed to this drama by involving OP in all of her dealings with her ex, which has caused some bad feelings between Mike and OP. Barb is a big girl, and a parent, she needs to stand up to Mike on her own, and not rely on OP to ‘protect’ her from Mike or to confront him on his deadbeat ways.

Reply

kelly December 19, 2011 at 7:31 pm

The whole “i am a licensed therapist so qualified to say this” comes across as whatever I do is right because I am a therapist, anyone who says I am wrong has the problem. Any person would realise the OPs behaviour is odd, and it is not appropriate to crow at being called the baby daddy (I suspect this is a jibe against the OP which she does not get). I also love the fact that the OP is sneering at other people not being so close that people refer to them as baby daddy, whilst sneering at Mike for moving back with his family. Op and barb both sound like a couple of high school drama queens who love the tension, and do not seem to realise that they are involving a child in their drama.

Reply

Lynne December 19, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Hmmm… being mistaken for a couple seems to be absolute proof for some posters on this board that the relationship is too close. I say it depends.

In some areas where I’ve lived (San Francisco, Seattle) seeing queer moms out and about is not at all uncommon, and I also imagined situations similar to Gracie’s zoo example.

OP, since you are a godparent, have a parenting relationship in Sally’s life, and are so close to Barb, casual outsiders probably see a family unit when they witness your interactions together — to me it seems like an obvious (albeit mistaken) assumption.

However, I take great offense that you described their perceptions of Sally as your “love child.” Has anyone actually used this term, or is it one of your own?

Two queer moms and their kid? That’s called a “child,” whether said moms are married or not.

Reply

Hemi Halliwell December 19, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Barb is taking advantage of OP and using her as a crutch. OP should back off a little so that Barb can grow up a bit and learn how to take care of the Mike situation without OP running interference for her. If Sally continues to see this, see will use OP as a crutch. If mom won’t give Sally what she wants, she’ll run to OP to get it.
OP- take vacation with your BF and don’t contact Barb other than maybe a txt saying your vacation is great and see how she fares when you are not around.
BTW- how does your BF feel about all the time you have to spend with Barb to prevent Mike from “getting in her pants”?

Reply

Missy December 19, 2011 at 9:45 pm

@ OP – Thank you for your updates and explaining Mike and Barb’s relationship. That information should’ve been in your original post, though, for better understanding.

For the holidays and future birthdays and celebrations: be polite to Mike when you have to interact with him and ignore him when you don’t have to deal with him. Don’t ignore him like he’s not there; acknowledge his presence when appropriate. Don’t make remarks to him or behind his back. Even if you want to express your frustration to Barb’s parents, you’ll only add to the tension and drama of the situation. Save your remarks for after the party. And don’t toss your hands up in frustration ;)

As for Sally – Mike obviously cares about her even if he lives two states away and doesn’t pay child support. I agree that he should spend more time with her. Until arrangements are made, however, Sally should be encouraged to interact with him. If she screams, calm her down, and then help her go to Mike. Again, Mike needs to spend more time with her. You should talk to Barb about this. If changing custody arrangements isn’t possible, Mike should consider visiting Sally more frequently for bonding time.

As for the cake cutting – don’t make a big deal about it. It’s not worth it and it’s not important. Just cut your own piece later like the Admin suggests.

Barb should not ask you to be hostess for her child’s birthday party. She shouldn’t ask her parents to be host and hostess either. Unless you and/or Barb’s parents volunteered to host the party, Barb should be the one hosting and paying for it.

I agree with all the posters who say Barb needs to grow up. She’s a mother and a working woman; she shouldn’t rely on others to pay for her baby supplies and parties. As for Mike, she needs to talk to her lawyer about the situation because Mike is clearly not backing off and then there’s the issue of Mike and Sally bonding. It’s a difficult situation, but Barb’s an adult and should fight her own battles. It’s okay to be supportive of Barb, but for Barb’s sake and your sake, OP, let her fight this one. She needs to be an adult and you needn’t be in the middle of this mess.

Reply

OP December 20, 2011 at 2:13 am

OP here!

I agree that my original post sounds very weird and I wrote it from an angry place. I am not going to interfere with Mike visiting Sally but I will be visiting during the holiday because I was invited by Barb’s parents. I will also be visiting my boyfriend’s family, dad’s family and mom/stepdad’s family. All in one day. In my “family” we include all those we love and cherish not just those we share a bloodline.

As far as Barb riding the train at night, I did not decide for her. At the time her job was near mine and I would pick her up after work. We were on the same 9a-5p schedule. Since it was cold I offered to pick her up. She accepted. For those of you who navigated the public transportation system while pregnant in dangerous cities I am happy that you are safe. But it made no sense for her to be on the train and then the bus when I could pick her up in a warm car and drop her off at home. (Which is four blocks from my home)

My boyfriend does not have a problem with the closeness of Barb and I’s relationship. I asked after reading the comments. I am just as caring for him as I am for her.

Again I will repeat, Barb would NEVER keep Sally from Mike. She invites him, despite his numerous and unwanted sexual advances, because she wants Sally to have her father around. And yes she took Mike to court regarding child support. He told the court he would pay the child support and was but then stopped claiming he was broke. (But on twitter he talks about how he blew $300 at the mall.) Barb has filed so that the money will come straight from his check but the process is time consuming.

Barb is not a user. She has been there for me just as much. She was there for me when my boyfriend and I broke up, drove me to the hospital when he got into a horrible car accident right after we got back together and has lent me her shoulder on numerous occasions. We are good friends and have been for a long time.

For this holiday, after reading all of the posts I have decide to visit on Christmas but to limit my time as I have other houses to visit. I will not argue with Mike or criticize anything he does. I will be nice and not facade nice. Actually nice. I appreciate all advice even though I don’t agree with it all. Maybe an update after Christmas is in order? Thanks!!!

Reply

GroceryGirl December 20, 2011 at 2:43 am

I think this thing has gone a wee bit off course here. The original point of the story, the question of etiquette the OP was addressing was starting pointless, unnecessary fuss at a little girl’s birthday party. OP, regardless of your relationship with anyone involved, your behavior at the party was inappropriate, end of story.

Reply

--Lia December 20, 2011 at 11:32 am

The OP said: “For those who find my behavior “creepy, possessive and obsessive,” you may want to look at your own relationships and figure out why my closeness is bothering you. And yes I am qualified as a licensed therapist to make that statement.”

Ah, finally the crux of the problem. As long as one is a qualified therapist, one is above criticism. You can lash out, say anything, and you’re always right. Can anyone tell me where I can get such a license? It would come in handy some time. Hell, it would come in handy all the time. I’d get to set the rules on what was O.K. in every relationship, and any time someone pointed out that I was contributing to my own unhappiness, I’d have the perfect answer. I’d be sure they were wrong.

One thing is sure. This has gone far beyond etiquette. If this were an etiquette problem, it could stop on whether it’s okay to use one hands to cut cake and how to correct someone who does. If this were an etiquette problem, the discussion would revolve entirely on the roles of guests and godparents. There are so many vague and changing roles here that etiquette must be panting in a corner exhausted from the effort of keeping up.

(I notice something on the cake cutting question. When an individual finds someone morally disgusting, it is a normal human response to imagine that they’re physically disgusting as well. That’s obviously not rational, but a lot of us do it, and that holds true whether the person is actually morally repugnant or not. So if my best friend used her hand to serve a cake, I probably wouldn’t mind, probably wouldn’t notice. If someone I didn’t like did it, on some deep level I’d probably be wondering, not consciously, where else those hands had been. I’d imagine that they had to be dirty despite evidence that they’re not. That, I think, is at the bottom of a lot of these comments. We notice that the OP thinks this man must be dirty, and everything follows from there. )

Reply

Wink-n-Smile December 20, 2011 at 11:45 am

Gracie C. – Talking about a will is generally considered creepy, no matter the circumstance. People don’t like to talk about it.

It can be done, however, in a non-creepy way. The OP, while chatting with Barb and bouncing Sally on her knee, can say “So, I updated my will yesterday. My lawyer is really good, and pointed out all the things I needed to cover. So many of them, I never even would have thought of!”

This initiates the conversation of wills, in general, and plants the idea that Barb needs to make sure that Sally’s best interests are protected.

As an added clue, the OP can add, “I made a provision for Sally in my will, since we’re so close.”

You can’t badger the mother into doing a will, or naming a guardian. You can, however, speak about how important it is to YOU to make sure that your I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed, and your loved ones provided for, and how much that comforts you, to know that when you die (it’s inevitable, you just don’t know when it will happen), that things are already settled. And whenever your situation changes, such as you buying a home, or having a new little relative to include, you update the will.

Set the example.

As for guardianship, people DO specify that in the will. The father – IF he wants custody – could fight it. Or, he could be named in the will, itself.

Reply

Wink-n-Smile December 20, 2011 at 12:11 pm

PS. – I’m not saying you should ask for custody of Sally. That IS creepy. But let her mother know that you are willing to take her, if needed.

Just knowing she has someone she can rely on, who is younger and has the energy to deal with a small child, will be a load off her mind. Grandparents may or may not be willing OR able. And while the parent’s wishes are legally only a suggestion, that suggestion IS heeded, most of the time, because the parents know the situation.

If I were a single parent, and my child’s grandparents were older than 50, I’d be very concerned about them having to deal with the burden of my child, should I pass. They’ll already be getting on and have medical issues to deal with, as well as saving for retirement. I’d prefer a young, energetic guardian for my child.

So, I know I’m projecting here. Sorry if I came across as creepy.

I’ve also had a near-death experience lately, so the idea of wills is high in my mind. Everyone should have one!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: