Emily Yoffe, aka Dear Prudence, is on Washingtonpost.com weekly to chat with readers about their romantic, family, financial, and workplace problems. A transcript of this week's chat is below. (Read Prudie's Slate columns here.)
Emily Yoffe: Let me state that I deplore violence, but I wish I'd been there to see your husband do his Russell Crowe on your brother-in-law's camera! It's a good thing he did it, too, or else millions might be enjoying the YouTube video of said lady parts. I'm glad you've been able to let it go. I agree a meeting to clear the air might help, but it's a bad idea to put the pre-condition that they have to "behave themselves forever." It's better to go into one of these summits simply with the desire to have them hear why you feel as you do. Dictating how they should respond is likely to prolong the difficulties.
Washington, D.C.: The mom who hates her in-laws—I'd also point out that she gave in at the hospital. She didn't stand her ground. That's not their fault. If she wanted to stand up to them, she should've, but she didn't, so it's time to get over it. For reals. That is anger way out of proportion to the offense.
Emily Yoffe: It's hard to stand your ground when you're on your back pushing out the newest family member. Whatever the in-laws did, they should not have done. And when your cervix is dilating, you should be exempt from having to defend yourself from intrusive in-laws.
New York, NY: Re: Cleveland, whose friend is getting married...
My friends did the same thing for me before my wedding, and I really did think that no one cared about me before the "big day." Although it was a wonderful surprise when it happened, and I did really enjoy myself at their well-planned party, I spent the couple of weeks before my wedding re-thinking years of (wonderful) friendship, because I thought that they didn't care enough about me to plan anything. So I think you guys should re-think your plans
Emily Yoffe: This is exactly the problem with the surprise bachelorette party. To carry it off, all the friends have to pretend they are totally busy with their own lives and not planning anything for the bride. The surprise is not worth the hurt feelings that will build up beforehand.
Emily Yoffe: Thanks, everyone. Talk to you next week—after I dig out of the avalanche.