Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Neighbors’ noise could easily be muffled

Q: A couple with four kids live in the house facing my backyard. This time of year, I sleep with my bedroom window open. I rarely use air conditioning. I sleep with earplugs in.

On Saturday nights or before holidays, they sit out on their backyard deck till midnight talking loudly. I canít sleep till they go inside. I brought this up with the husband last summer and he told me they like to enjoy their deck.

I thought there was a law about quiet time from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. in residential settings.

How do you suggest I deal?

Sleepless in Bethesda

A: I suggest that on Saturday nights and before holidays, you use your air conditioning.

At this writing, yes, there is a local ordinance in your favor. But do you really want to be the fun police? When you already have a much easier and friendlier remedy available to you?

Population density requires compromise, and this one gives you seven nights of sleep, six on your terms. If you really want to live in peace, then grab easy fixes whenever you possibly can.

Sister blabs everything to her husband

Q: My sister thinks if I confide in her, then my confidences are no secret to her husband. I donít particularly want my innermost secrets known to my brother-in-law. Iíve told her this to no effect. I have nobody else I can talk to about things that bother me. Do I have to stop talking to my sister about my deepest feelings?

Lonely Sister

A: Regrettably, yes. Or you have to accept that her husband will know everything.

So which do you want more: a confidant, or confidentiality?

Of course you want both, but your sisterís stubbornness rules that out. So choose one and donít torment yourself with what-ifs.

And please consider, long term, cultivating more relationships you can count on.


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
Plan your weekend Aug. 3-5: Tampa Bay Comic Con, Kevin Hart, Miranda Lambert, Warped Tour, tax-free weekend and more

Plan your weekend Aug. 3-5: Tampa Bay Comic Con, Kevin Hart, Miranda Lambert, Warped Tour, tax-free weekend and more

MusicConcerts of note: On Friday queen of country music Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town, the hit-making vocal machine bring a strong night of countryís best female artists at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa. $34.25 and up. Live...
Published: 08/02/18