A Touch Too Long
My mom let me play with her breasts for years after I stopped breast-feeding, and now she’s doing it with my sister. How do I stop it?
Many workers are putting up with outrageous situations because of the bad economy—let’s include a boss expecting a Rolex and a foot massage on his birthday among them. If you have gotten the silent treatment for months because you got your boss a fountain pen, I’m surprised that this is the first clue you’ve had to alert you that for years you’ve been working for a nut. (No, people don’t give their bosses expensive birthday gifts—the office cupcake break is all anyone should expect.) You should have initiated a conversation with the boss once it became clear that you two have a permanent failure to communicate. It’s a helpful piece of intelligence that the fountain pen is the reason for his ire, but I think that’s information you should keep to yourself. Make an appointment to have a private meeting with him. Say you’ve noticed a change in your previously excellent relationship and you’d like to find out what’s wrong and how you can fix it. If things don’t get better, then take your problem up the ladder (if there is a ladder at your organization). Keep your performance and attitude excellent; you don’t want to provide a substantive reason for your boss to go after you. As much as I hate to say it—because it’s stupid and unfair and almost a form of blackmail—be prepared to invest in something really nice for this jerk’s next birthday, because it will be a small price to pay to make your life better. Let’s hope the job market improves enough so that this will be the last gift for him you have to buy.
This weekend is my graduation from college. Due to personal and financial difficulties, it’s taken me eight years to earn my degree. I realize it’s a silly ceremony that doesn't mean anything, but I was looking forward to the catharsis of walking the stage and having my friends and family there. I got a call from my sister a few days ago saying that because of reasonable, yet not insurmountable problems, she and my mother won’t be coming. We aren’t that close, but they have helped me out, and I owe each quite a bit of money. They are my only nearby family, so I’m probably not going to attend my commencement now. My bigger problem is that my mother and sister were expecting me to move back to their city, but now I’m thinking I’ll move someplace new, exciting, and on the other side of the country. Am I right to feel slighted that they’re not coming? And how do I tell them that this is the reason I'm not moving back without being hurtful?
Graduation is a big deal and you should attend yours. You mention you have friends—I assume many are classmates—so collect your diploma with them. Then gather a group to go out to raise a celebratory glass, or see if you can join someone else’s party. As for the rest of your life, consider your next move carefully. If you’re making one across the country with no prospects, be aware you’ll likely be hitting up your mother and sister for more cash to finance this dash. If there is good reason—a job, a place to stay—to move back to their city, then don’t dismiss it just because of their absence on your big day. Of course it stings, but when they look at what you’ve done to their bank accounts to finance your education, I bet that stings, too. You’ve earned a hard-won college degree, but planning your life around a fit of pique shows you still have a lot to learn.
More Dear Prudence Columns
“A Minor Flaw: I'm dating a man who was charged with soliciting a teen for sex; I wish I'd never discovered this!” Posted July 28, 2011.
“Cat Got Your Tongue?: A woman involved in the mysterious disappearance of a feline doesn't know whether to cover up or confess.” Posted July 21, 2011.
“Almost Famous: My rock-star ex wants his sexy photos back. Should I relent or play hardball?” Posted July 14, 2011.
“An Innocent Man: An ex-girlfriend falsely claimed I raped her. How do I reveal this hurtful incident to future love interests?” Posted July 7, 2011.
More Dear Prudence Chat Transcripts
“Confronting the Queen Bees: Dear Prudence advises a teen who longs to stand up to her cruel classmates but fears retaliation—in a live chat at Washingtonpost.com.” Posted July 25, 2011.
“Bozo Boyfriend's Nose-Job Nightmare: Dear Prudence advises a man who convinced his girlfriend to have plastic surgery that left her disfigured.” Posted July 18, 2011.
“Should a Former Hottie Burn the Evidence?: Dear Prudence advises a woman whose ex-husband took nudie pictures of her and still has them—during a live chat at Washingtonpost.com.” Posted July 11, 2011.
“Boyfriend Is Thick as a Brick: Dear Prudence advises a woman who is reluctant to wed her dim-bulb suitor—during a live chat at Washingtonpost.com.” Posted July 5, 2011.