We have a very high maintenance, not to mention rude, relative I’ll call Susie. She says she has all sorts of “ailments” , none have been proven and they always seem to crop up when another relative is in the hospital. She’s had several for years with no symptoms.   And says she is allergic to tomatoes. Sshe may be, I don’t know. But she is a compulsive liar, so who really knows.

We were at a cousin’s wedding and no choices were given for the meal, like at some weddings. The wedding was lovely, but Susie tried to snag a front row seat, so “she could see”. I was under the impression the front row is reserved for the immediate family, parents and siblings, not cousins. Susie knows this and was not happy to be relegated to the 3rd row where she couldn’t see as well.

When the meal was served to Susie, the dish had tomatoes in it. Susie and her daughter were highly offended that her dish had tomatoes in it as did everyone else’s. It’s not like she was singled out. Her daughter made a stink to the wait staff and even went to the bride’s father to complain! The bride should not have to keep track of her 150 guests dietary restrictions and needs. Especially on her wedding day! That is the responsibility of the guest. The wait staff was very accommodating and replaced the dish with one sans tomatoes. But, her daughter was still fuming over it the rest of the night! I do understand people have allergies and I am very sympathetic to that. But, Susie has lied so many times over the years and likes to have all the attention on herself, it’s hard to know if she really is allergic or just wanting attention. 1203-16

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Moocher Week Continues…..Business Mooching

by admin on January 17, 2017

Moocher Week?! I’m ready.

My husband did some accounting work for a small limousine company (friend-of-a-friend). Instead of paying, the guy offered us a free limo ride. A couple of weeks later, our car was in the shop, so we took him up on his offer and he agreed to pick us up at 7:30 a.m. to drive us to church. Sunday arrived, 7:30 arrived, he didn’t. Eight o’clock, no show. Eight-thirty passed. DH called him to find out what the problem was and, when he answered, it was clear we had awoken him. He insisted he could pick us up and get us there in time for the second church service, and he did. To make up for being late, though, he offered to take us out for dinner to the new (and very popular) steakhouse the next weekend and we accepted.

He called us the afternoon of the dinner date and asked us to meet him at the restaurant because his limo’s in the shop and his girlfriend (he’s married) agreed to pick him up but doesn’t want to drive all the way out to where we live to pick US up. DH agrees.

We meet them at the restaurant. New restaurant + the weekend = 2 hour wait for a table. Our host offers to get us drinks from the bar, we decline, and he gets drinks for himself and his girlfriend. We chat while waiting for a table. We get a table, our host orders a couple of appetizers for him and his companion, entrees from the high end of the menu, a couple bottles of wine, and tells us to order anything we want. We order an appetizer to share and, of course, entrees “from the middle”. We sit, eat, and chat for a while, then DH thanks him for the dinner and says we have to go home and relieve the babysitter. The server brings the check, our host gives him a credit card, the server returns…and says the card’s been declined. Our host asks us if WE can pay for it!

At this point, DH (who’s usually extremely patient and forbearing) decides he’s taken enough of this guy’s excuses and says, “No, we can’t. We left the credit cards at home and I’ve only got enough cash to pay the babysitter. Thank you again for the lovely dinner, and [Girlfriend], it was a pleasure meeting you, but we have to leave now.”  As we were leaving, the guy was asking his girlfriend to pay the bill.   0111017

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Sympathy For The Late Man’s Ex-Wife

by admin on January 16, 2017

I don’t have an example of a faux pas yet — I just want to avoid one. I just received news that one of my uncles has passed away. He was married to my Aunt (Father’s sister) for many years, and they had 4 children, 3 of whom are still living. Growing up I was quite close to the older cousins (the youngest was born shortly before I went to college). My Aunt and Uncle divorced a few years after the youngest child was born, and he remarried. I still keep in touch with my Aunt, but haven’t seen her ex since their youngest daughter’s wedding. I always got along fine with him, and I feel badly for my cousins who lost a loving father.

I am planning on going to the calling hours to show support for my cousins. My dilemma has to do with whether to send my Aunt a sympathy card. She wasn’t mentioned in the obituary (which is sometimes standard with an ex-wife?). I don’t really know the details of their divorce, but as far as I know they remained civil since their youngest was still very young when they split. Would it be better to send a “thinking of you” card to my aunt? My sister thinks it would be weird to send a card, but I feel weird doing nothing.   Suggestions appreciated! 0113-17

If I were you, I’d be inclined to call or make a point to chat with Aunt if she happens to be at the funeral and ask her, “How are you doing?”   Based on that answer, I’d make my decision as to whether to send a bereavement card to the ex-wife of the deceased.

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Furniture Store Folly

by admin on January 12, 2017

After many miserable years as a corporate sales executive, I’ve begun to follow my dreams as . . . a furniture salesperson. That’s right, working in a furniture store has always been my quirky dream and I’m loving it!

We had a bit of an eyebrow raising moment yesterday.

Mom, Dad, and Grandpa came into the store with two kids who looked to be between two and four years. The kids LOVED our big store and they tore all over the place like a couple of little hurricanes while Mom, Dad, and Grandpa pursued our wares. Now while we try to make our store safe and attractive for everyone, this is a high end furniture store. Our pieces are not cheap. Most of our customers know and respect this and the average person is just fine. This family though? My coworker and I watched with increasing concern as the kids went from spinning with their arms wide open to cartwheeling attempts and wrestling matches to hide and seek.

I got pulled away for a few minutes to help with something and suddenly heard a loud crash.

The younger of the kids had somehow managed to get behind a display. Then he got behind an end table in the display and knocked over a vase. It was broken. He was amused and perfectly fine.

My coworker was helping the family and at this point he stopped everything, explained to the family that they were going to have to pay for the vase (good thing it wasn’t one of the hand blown ones that cost a few hundred!) and that these people would have to either watch their kids or shop elsewhere. He was polite and firm.

Mom was annoyed. Dad was embarrassed and immediately reached for his Visa with an apology. And Grandpa? Grandpa began to argue that IKEA never makes them pay when the kids break things. He also started to insist that a lot of his friends buy from us and that they wouldn’t any more.

The worst part? Our store is two levels and we have a massive staircase. While Dad and Grandpa were trying to sort out the case of the broken vase, mom was on her phone and completely oblivious to her daughter and the fact that she was playing and jumping right next to the stairs. We all let out a massive sigh of relief when that family left with the threat (promise) of never returning.

Please parents, watch your kids. You don’t want to have to pay for things that get broken and you certainly don’t want your kids to be hurt.   1125-16

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I have been friends with Amy for 5 years now. We met in college and she lived nearby my house. She has now moved to another town 2 hours away. We are still very close and see each other often. She has not finished graduate school so she has to come once a week in town. I gracefully invited her to my house once a week because I have a guest bedroom and own my house. She accepted and went on and on about how she would pay me back in buying a bit of groceries or bringing me baked goods because she would be eating three meals at my home. Each week, I would make her dinner, breakfast and give her a homemade lunch, so the cost of having her over is not anything.

The weeks went on and she never brought anything. I understand that money may be tight for her and that all of that traveling every week is costing her money. However, she is always going to restaurants and is planning several international trips for the next few years.

I’m not asking for a lot but a hostess gift at the beginning would have been nice and well as a few baked goods once or twice.

Come Christmas, she had me believe that I would have a bigger gift than my other friends because of my generosity. However, it was maybe worth $5 more than my other friends’ gift.

How do I bring it up without seeming greedy? We are in our twenties, and money doesn’t grow on trees for either of us. However, I am more frugal than her, rarely go out, and am watching my spending carefully so travel is out of the equation. I don’t want money retroactively but her treating me to lunch would be more than enough.

Thank you in advance for your input.  0109-17

{ 60 comments }

Moocher Friends Strain The Relationship

by admin on January 9, 2017

My partner is friends with another man, and was best man at his wedding. The couple are quite nice, a bit uptight and anxious but we do see them quite regularly. The problem comes when it is time to pay for things. On three occasions now, we have paid for something and they say they will pay us back. It has never happened. I don’t know if they have simply forgotten that they owe us money, but by now they owe us over $120. My partner and I are not fabulously wealthy, so we would appreciate the money that we are owed. The trouble is, how to ask? Should we simply write it off and never pay for their stuff again? I feel like directly asking for the money is rude, but I have other friend who have the money the very next time we see them. What to do? 1211-16

Write it off and be determined to never pay another cent for this couple.  They clearly have no entertainment budget and rely on you and your partner to fund these things.  It’s a bad habit to have in a relationship.  Your resentment will continue to mount when there is no reciprocity and the inequity in the relationship grows.  This will require some planning on your part.   If you dine at a restaurant with this couple, be sure to tell the waiter prior to ordering that there will be separate checks and say it firmly and loudly enough that the other couple hears it. When the checks come and your friends look piteously at you to please pay theirs as well, you explain that in order to save money (for a house, etc) you have switched to a cash only budget and you are carrying only enough cash to pay for your meals.

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Feel Good Friday – Bad Lip Reading of The Empire Strikes Back

January 6, 2017

I love this video so much. Click to share:

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Update: “Sharing Holiday Food and Recipes Brings Joy”

January 5, 2017

I thought you might like an update from my submission last year (View HERE). In the comments, I had informed all that my DH and I were expecting, and we’d asked Lena to become a member of our family, being a grandmother to our baby. Lena happily accepted. In May, we had a beautiful baby […]

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