Friday, November 17, 2017
Parenting & Relationships

Damage done, it's time to pay up

RECOMMENDED READING


Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Damage is done, so paying up is the proper thing to do

Q: I'm in my 20s, and I got in a car accident in my dad and stepmom's car. I did not borrow the car for fun; I was visiting them from my home a few hours away and needed to pick up prescriptions.

Car accident happens — totally my fault, although luckily no one was hurt. I find out the car doesn't have the relevant insurance and no damage is covered.

In the heat of the moment I offer to pay, not realizing how expensive the repairs would be.

Stepmom wants to hold me to this promise. Dad tells me he doesn't want me to pay anything but won't tell my stepmom this. My mom and stepdad, who have had issues with my dad and stepmom not paying them things as promised, are adamant that I should not pay, and that it was their fault for not having insurance.

I am torn. I feel I should pay something, but I'm worried that if I do, my stepmom will hound me for more. But I feel guilty. I guess the answer you'll probably give is to pay what I can and stop overanalyzing this. Or maybe you won't, because sometimes your answers are surprising.

Guilty Feeling

A: Yes, it's their fault for under-insuring their car, but you also say the accident itself was "totally my fault."

What also matters here: You promised to pay, your stepmom expects you to pay, your dad disagrees but won't back you up.

What doesn't matter one bit: backstory, angst, and what your mom and stepfather think. I get they've been stiffed by Camp Dad and want restitution, but don't succumb to the temptation to let Camp Mom use you to seek their idea of justice. Camp Mom can reimburse you directly if your solvency is their main concern, and can deal with Camp Dad directly if their main concern is to settle this old account. You're an adult and this isn't their car, so they're just bystanders.

Put that all together, and I think you do need to pay for the damage, in installments you can afford, unless and until your dad puts actions behind his words and calls off your stepmom.

If you're covered by your own or Camp Mom's auto policy, make sure you check for coverage there.

When it's your marriage, you, not friends, pick your last name

Q: I would like to take my husband's last name after we marry. I will probably use my maiden name professionally since I'm in academia and have published with that name.

However, friends have given me a lot of grief about it. I've been told it is "outdated," and why doesn't he take my name, or hyphenate, or whatever.

I want to do this, and it is right for us. How can I explain that to friends who talk about setting women's lib back decades or giving up my own identity?

A Rose by Any Other Name

A: You can tell them to blow it out their portholes. Liberation means freedom to decide what to call yourself, versus having society dictate it — and that includes the society of friends who want you to make their political point.

Congratulations and good luck.

Comments
With Harry Potter’s Christmas, Universal Orlando proves holidays are big business

With Harry Potter’s Christmas, Universal Orlando proves holidays are big business

ORLANDO — Christmas has finally come to Hogwarts at Universal Orlando in a new holiday attraction opening Saturday. In addition, Universal Studios has completely upsized its holiday parade with more Macy’s balloons, stunning floats and snowy effects ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
First look: Harry Potter’s Christmas finally arrives at Universal Orlando

First look: Harry Potter’s Christmas finally arrives at Universal Orlando

Christmas has finally come to Hogwarts at Universal Orlando, with the promise of warm butterbeer, a Frog Choir singing carols and a magical light show projected onto Hogwarts Castle nightly followed by fireworks. It opens to the public on Saturday. C...
Published: 11/17/17

Tell Me About It: Mom’s stroke threatens plans for children

Mom’s stroke threatens plans for childrenQ: Recently you gave advice about how it’s "never the perfect time to have a baby," and that’s true, but does the calculation change any if you’re planning to be a single mom?I’m 36 and a year ago I broke up w...
Published: 11/17/17

Tell Me About It: Wife uses silent treatment to be cruel

Wife uses silent treatment to be cruelQ: My wife is a wonderfully sensible person and appropriately sensitive. She is the oldest of three sisters and often feels left out. The age and geographical distance make it understandable that her two sisters ...
Published: 11/16/17

Tell Me About It: Woman takes mom’s advice the wrong way

Woman takes mom’s advice the wrong wayQ: I was laid off recently from a job of 15 years. My confidence took a blow.When I told my mom, she said, "Hurry up and update your resume. And don’t forget to add your Employee of the Year award." I had of cour...
Published: 11/15/17
5 under $5: Sand sculptors, free ice skating, Pinellas Trail performances

5 under $5: Sand sculptors, free ice skating, Pinellas Trail performances

1Sanding Ovations: This annual Treasure Island sand sculpting competition brings master sculptors working in 150 tons of sand. This year artists come from Ireland, the Netherlands, Singapore, Russia, Lithuania, Canada and the United States. An adjac...
Published: 11/15/17
Weekend fun: St. Pete Beach BikeFest, Chillounge Night, Christmas at Universal, Busch Gardens

Weekend fun: St. Pete Beach BikeFest, Chillounge Night, Christmas at Universal, Busch Gardens

BIG WHEELS: St. Pete Beach BikeFestThe new St. Pete Beach BikeFest at the TradeWinds resort and runs through Sunday with daily poker runs, an expo, a bike show and competitions. But the real draw will be free concerts on the beach, including former M...
Published: 11/15/17
Five cool things to see in ‘Star Wars and the Power of Costume’ in St. Petersburg

Five cool things to see in ‘Star Wars and the Power of Costume’ in St. Petersburg

Do you sense a disturbance in the Force?That would probably be the landing of "Star Wars and the Power of Costume" at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, earlier this week. I got a preview of the blockbuster Smithsonian exhibit (docked in our co...
Published: 11/15/17

Tell Me About It: Grandson could use advice, not judgement

Grandson could use advice, not judgementQ: My 17-year-old grandson bought his 17-year-old girlfriend of barely two months lingerie from Victoria’s Secret. I think this is very inappropriate. He thinks I’m a dinosaur. Guidance, please?DinosaurA: I thi...
Published: 11/15/17

Tell Me About It: Parents think she can get sister to move out

Parents think she can get sister to move outQ: My sister, "Sarah," is turning 30 soon. Except during college, she has lived with my parents rent-free her entire life. I have always taken the stance of, "It’s my parents’ and sister’s business what the...
Published: 11/14/17