Ask Amy: Family spends the holidays in fantasyland
Dear Amy: Due to the pandemic, my husband and I have decided that we won’t see any extended family during the holidays. Of course, we want to, and our four kids will for sure be disappointed, but we’re just not that sure if it’s worth the risk.
I expressed as much to my sister-in-law, and she responded that they’ve decided that their family wouldn’t be gathering for the holidays, either, so they understand.
Then, my mother-in-law clarified that the reason my sister-in-law’s family won’t be gathering for the holidays is because they have decided to take a trip to Disney World, instead.
She added that because it’s “dirt cheap right now” and likely won’t be crowded, it just made the most sense for them to go there at this time.
Amy, I am upset and disappointed that my sister-in-law and her family are choosing to do this.
I feel that it’s extremely irresponsible to come from what is right now one of the biggest coronavirus hotspots to a crowded place. Behavior like this is why we as a nation are still dealing with this virus after so many months.
I know from past conversations that they are not worried for their family because they say they are perfectly healthy, and also they feel that anything outdoors is totally fine.
I really feel like saying something to them, but is it worth it?
I know that everybody is struggling to deal with this pandemic, and I don’t want to judge the way anyone else is coping. I also wonder if my negative judgment will impact our relationship. — Self-righteous sister-in-law
Dear Self-righteous: You are getting this information about your sister-in-law’s choices second-hand. Given both the reality of the pandemic, and your opinion about what they are doing, you should mainly be glad that you aren’t planning to see these family members anytime soon.
As Dr. Anthony Fauci has said, traveling any long distance creates multiple possible COVID exposures. So, while families may believe they are safe outdoors — masked and maintaining distance from other groups — getting to Florida and back carries a risk of exposing them to the virus.
Unless your sister-in-law seeks you out to tell you about this trip, asking for your opinion, why would you volunteer it? This family has access to the same information you have access to; they have evidently put together their own risk assessment and have decided to plow ahead with their plans.
Dear Amy: My dilemma involves a group of women who I am friends with on an online sobriety site.
We met virtually over five years ago, have traveled together, and share our lives daily with our blogs and Zooms.
I’ve noticed that the members, mostly from the UK, often poke fun at America and Americans, calling us “the colonists” and posting degrading videos regarding our political situation, etc.
I was raised to respect other people’s countries and traditions.
Except for this, these women are very kind and have good manners.
So how can I get them to stop this. It hurts!
I would never make fun of them or their leaders or country!
I did speak to one of them about my feelings and she said that the others would be mortified if they knew that their comments bothered me.
So why do they do that? Can you offer me a fresh perspective?
I would never make fun of the Queen or their classist views. — Confused American
Dear Confused: My take on this is that these other women diss America because the pot sometimes enjoys calling out the kettle.
My point is — are you aware of how messed-up things are right now in the UK? (Have you been watching “The Crown”?)
These friends also do this because they don’t know it bothers you, and they don’t know it bothers you because you have not told them.
So, tell them! Say, “I have a confession to make: Your contempt toward America really bothers me. Honestly, I find it hurtful. I should have said something before, because I know if I had, you would have stopped. Things are tough everywhere right now, so can we call a truce?”
Dear Amy: “Sexless at 60” said that she and her husband had stopped having sex.
I hope they both get their hormone levels checked!
My husband and I had a similar problem. Working it through with our doctors helped to restore our libidos. — Happier
Dear Happier: Absolutely. Many readers have responded with similar success stories.