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Tell Me About It: Sister may take offense to generous offer

By Carolyn Hax, Washington Post

Sister may take offense to generous offer

Q: My sister attends school overseas and lives with her boyfriend. My parents recently told me she canít make it home for the holidays this year because sheís on a student budget.

Iím in a position to pay for my sister and her boyfriend to come and would like to offer that to them, no strings attached.

The thing is, Iím afraid of ruffling feathers. My sisterís been historically sensitive to measures of success between us, and Iíd hate to have her feel like Iím flaunting wealth while sheís strapped, and Iím afraid my parents would be embarrassed if I paid and they didnít offer. Suggestions?


A: Offer to go visit her for the holidays.

And tell your parents youíre doing it, in case they want to join in.

That way youíre using your money only on you, which is so much easier on everyoneís feathers. If for any reason itís not what your sister or parents want, then they can simply decline your offer. (Yes, simply.)

If your going there (or even flying her to you at this point) isnít feasible, then offer instead to visit her at a better time in the near future. That makes it clear being together is the thing, and youíre willing to devote your time and energy to that. An opening move that "flaunts" love, not money, sets the tone for everything else.

Exes sleep together at their own peril

Q: Is it really that bad of an idea to have sex with my ex-husband? We disagree about having kids so we got divorced. Neither of us is enjoying dating (it has been a few years since the split) nor looking for a relationship. What is the harm?

Sleeping With My Ex

A: Iím never going to tell someone, "Donít join a bomb-disposal unit because you might get blown up," because, duh.

What I say instead is, "Join a bomb-disposal unit if thatís what you want to do ó just go into it knowing you might get blown up."