BG - I am writing on behalf of a friend.
The two families involved are the families in this thread:http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=106504.0
Since the time of the previous incident, the two families are still close, but the overall friendship has cooled quite a bit.
Lina - the lady whose vehicles got damaged, is the mother of Conner.
Sylvia - the lady involved in the accident, is the mother of Anna.
The only relationship that hasn't cooled is that of Connor and Anna. They have been in a relationship for 4 years and have made plans to marry - probably later this year.
Sylvia, the mother of the bride, can be very giving, will bring you food when you're sick and is very involved in community groups.
She is also very controlling (especially of her children!) and is never, ever wrong. Ever.
Anna moved away, mostly to get out from under her mother's thumb and is trying to distance herself from her overly-involved mother.
Lina, the mother of the groom, is trying to help Anna draw boundaries and encouraging her to maintain a relationship-with-boundaries with her mother.
To make things even more complicated, Lina and Sylvia now work together, and Lina is Sylvia's supervisor.
Anna recently said that she wanted to invite Lina (and possibly a few others) along to look at wedding dresses. Lina was of the opinion that it was Anna's decision, so that was fine with her.
Syliva *announced* that only she and Anna would go dress shopping because she wanted it to be a mother-daughter thing.
Sylvia got quite mad at Lina for Lina maintaining that it was Anna's decision, not Sylvia's. Lina is desparately trying to help the young couple get some boundaries set up - she has visions of Sylvia being the interfering mother-in-law from EHell.*
Lina is looking for phrases she can use to deflect Sylvia and that she can help the young couple use to maintain some space.
*Examples of the kind of control Sylvia exerts include:
Showing up at Anna's apartment on New Year's Eve, when Connor is also visiting.
The couple are dressed to go out.
Sylvia and Mr. Sylvia invite themselves in and stay. For hours.
Anna and Connor didn't know how to express to them that they had plans, and end up missing their event.
Connor calls on Monday to ask Mr. Sylvia if Anna is free for a movie on Friday.
"I don't know, I'll have to think about it."
Connor calls back on Wednesday. Same response.
Thursday. Same answer.
Friday afternoon "I haven't decided".
15 minutes before the movie starts, Sylvia or Mr Sylvia makes a decision.
(Note - at this point, Anna is 17 or 18)
Sometimes, Connor gets permission to take her out, but when he shows up, there is "family time" and she's not allowed to leave.
(And yes, MrSyliva and Sylvia like Connor very much. They just want to control Anna.)
How can Lina help this get things off to a good start for Anna and Connor?