Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Turned off by boyfriend’s snobby family

Q: I grew up poor but worked my way through college and was able to get into a very prestigious law school. Recently I started working with a man, "Jack," who went to that same law school. We hit it off immediately and started dating.

Things have been absolutely wonderful ó until I met his extended family at a wedding, that is. His family is old-money rich. His mother has always been nice to me ó his father is dead ó but his aunts, uncles and cousins made it obvious they did not approve of me and made many sly digs about me and my background.

I knew the best way to get through it was to ignore the insults and appear unruffled. Now his mom has invited me to an event that means being around those snobs for an entire long weekend. Jack is asking me to give his family another chance and pointing out that we will be staying with his mom, who is really looking forward to it.

What should I do?

Back Into the Lionís Den?

A: If anyone has standing to disapprove, itís the person who rose up from nothing on her own merits over people whose biggest whoop-de-doo accomplishment was being born.

I donít encourage going into any situation with this attitude; itís just a different form of snobbery. However, there are benefits to indulging it on a onetime basis. For one, it can help you see "lionís den" is wildly inaccurate; itís more like a toddlerís playpen. Mature, thoughtful, decent adults recognize the intellectual underpinnings of snobbery donít withstand even the shallowest scrutiny.

I also think itís really important to discard this disapproving attitude as soon as it serves its reframing purpose, because if you indulge the thought of them all as a bunch of overprivileged placeholders, then you risk stereotyping them exactly as you feel stereotyped.

And I think going with Jack would be a useful step toward seeing whether "absolutely wonderful" really does apply to him.

Comments

Tell Me About It: Compromise and submission: a fine line

Q: As a woman (of any age) in this postmodern, "woke" era: How does one distinguish the fine line between "compromising with" versus "submitting to" a man within a relationship?M.A: Compromise is when both people give a little to their mutual benefit...
Published: 08/14/18

Tell Me About It: Instead of monster or martyr, try ĎMomí

Q: My sister-in-law, "Mary," has always been a mess. She has two kids with two different men who never see them, donít pay child support, and she doesnít work. Mary and her children lived with my mother-in-law, "Kate," until Kate moved into a 55-plus...
Published: 08/12/18

Tell Me About It: Introverted fiancee feels trapped by family

Q: My son and his fiancee bought a condo close to us, which then flooded. They moved in with us and repairs have taken longer than anticipated.His fiancee, "Laura," is an intense introvert. For that reason, I gave up my exercise, TV and craft room fo...
Published: 08/10/18

Tell Me About It: Check in constantly with depressed friend

Q: I have this friend who lives close but I havenít seen in months. No one in our group of friends has seen her recently. Every time we make plans, she cancels, saying she is too sad or has been crying all day.Iím really worried. She moved here more ...
Published: 08/09/18

Tell Me About It: An occasional push helps to stay on track

Q: What responsibility does a wife have to push her husband to be a decent friend? For years, my husband was close with a few guys from grad school. As they got married and started families, the frequency of their get-togethers died down and the frie...
Published: 08/07/18

Tell Me About It: Grandma finds no one wants her heirlooms

Q: My mother-in-law has spent much of her life accumulating collectibles, heirlooms and furniture with the rationale that she will give them to her children and grandchildren someday. Her four grandchildren are still in high school. Sheís decided tha...
Published: 08/07/18

Tell Me About It: Couple ponders rolling the dice on a baby

Q: I mostly want to have a baby; my fiance mostly does not. Iím in my late 30s and have school-age kids; he doesnít have and never planned to have kids. Deciding to have or not to have a baby seems like too enormous a decision for mere mortals. Itís ...
Published: 08/06/18

Tell Me About It: Boyfriend takes affection to the next level

Q: My boyfriend is responsible, thoughtful, and very very affectionate ó which is great for the first four hours of hand-holding, but which makes me want to shove him away and shout, "Just leave me alone!" by hour six. Before this, I thought I was a ...
Published: 08/05/18

Tell Me About It: Boyfriend wonít stand up to cruel brother

Q: I just spent the weekend in the company of my boyfriendís brother, who mimicked/mocked me, belittled almost all my actions, and made fun of my chronic health condition. My boyfriend says this is just "íGeorgeísí sense of humor," and that I should ...
Updated one month ago
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Aug. 6-12

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Aug. 6-12

Janet Jackson: The pop icon will be in Control when she brings her State of the World tour to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on Tuesday ($29.95-499.95). amphitheatretampa.com. Fetish Con: You’ll find even more half-dressed p...
Published: 08/02/18
Updated: 08/06/18