Ask Amy: Dad wants to ‘Meet the Parents’
Dear Amy: My wife and I share your column at the breakfast table. Can you settle this for us?
Our son, a senior in college, claims that he has found the love of his life. “Ashley” is also a senior. They have been going out for over a year, and it is clear that he wants to marry her.
It seems like since he has made this emotional commitment, perhaps it would be time to meet her parents and family.
I wanted to invite them out to our suburb to enjoy a round of golf, the pool, and a fancy dinner at our country club, but my wife didn’t think that was a good idea. She claimed it was too soon to “meet the parents.”
They live in a very upscale area, and I’m supposing that my wife has looked up what they paid for their house, how much fancier their country club is than ours, and is probably afraid that our standard of living won’t live up to their standards and will sour their outlook on our son.
This is hurtful.
Is there an appropriate time for our families to get to know each other in this situation, especially given this perceived difference in financial net worth? — Eager Dad
Dear Eager: Even though you have submitted your question during a global pandemic, where — for some — a trip to the grocery store is considered a luxury, I’m going to pretend (along with you) that none of this is happening right now, and that life is more like a John Hughes movie than a zombie apocalypse.
Your son’s attachment to his girlfriend seems to have compelled you to do a lot of projecting.
First of all, you are using this column to communicate with your wife. Please, lower your paper, laptop, tablet or phone and speak directly to her.
Is she really so shallow that she would research another family’s net worth before inviting them to meet? Or perhaps you are so insecure about your own (enviable) privilege that you have forgotten that this is really supposed to be a human moment? Yes, two families meeting is nerve-wracking, no matter what, but you are making this about you, when it really should be about your son.
You and your wife need to realign your values, and simply tell your son, “We would like to spend more time with ‘Ashley,’ and also meet her folks when you two are ready.”
Also, in my opinion, an entire day at the club is way too much time to slot into a first meeting. If you happen to be on campus at the same time as this other family when/if the students return, a quick coffee with all of you at the campus cafe might be the best way to meet.
Dear Amy: My husband and my core group of friends are all in our early to mid-70s. We are all practicing our state’s mandates for people in our age group, which means safer-at-home, masks and social distancing when we do go out in public.
Because we are also isolated from our children and grandchildren, my husband and I have been communicating with each of these friends to see how they are faring and whether they need assistance obtaining groceries, medications or other necessities. However, only one other person reciprocates!
Our friends usually say they are lonely, but they don’t seem to recognize that the same is probably true for the rest of the group.
Recently when I called one of these friends, she chastised me for not contacting her for a while. I responded that perhaps she could have reached out to me and she didn’t respond. We will continue to keep in touch, but am I selfish to wish they would call us once in a while to see how we’re doing? — Feeling Forgotten in Colorado
Dear Feeling Forgotten: You are doing a laudable job initiating this contact with friends. You should be more transparent now in describing your own feelings, followed by a specific ask: “I’m feeling lonely, too. Could you do me a favor and call me sometimes, too? That would really make me happy.”
Dear Amy: Thank you for your response to “Concerned Mom,” regarding a vegan diet. We raised our children on a vegan diet and they’ve done very well and have never been sick! — Proud Vegan
Dear Proud: I raised mine as omnivores and same result! But yes, a vegan diet is safe and healthy for growing children.