Friday, February 23, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Don't be a bean counter when repaying friends' thoughtfulness

Q: My girlfriend and I have wonderful friends who like to cook for us when we visit them. We take them out for dinner to reciprocate, but I don't always feel that is enough. What is the proper etiquette to show our appreciation?

A.

A: No money, yikes. Dinner out is an appropriate way to reciprocate, but, more important, these are "wonderful friends." That means the best way to reciprocate isn't to bean count, but instead to be a wonderful friend right back at them. There's no one-size-fits-all way to be wonderful. You just have to pay attention to what they value, see whether you have any of that to spare, then provide it without strings attached.

Put an end to impolite questions with a very pointed answer

Q: My husband and I have a 2-year-old daughter. Ever since she was about 18 months, I keep getting asked when we will have another child. Family, friends, acquaintances and even strangers ask me. I've had relatives call me to ask. Now I normally wouldn't let this get to me, but we actually have been trying to conceive for a year, and we've been heartbreakingly unsuccessful so far. How can I put an end to people's questions without being rude?

Trying to Wait Patiently

A: "Oh, my, what a loaded question." It is, and it shouldn't be asked or answered, and this is a way of making both of those points that is as polite as you need to be. If they push: "Meaning, it's not a question I'm comfortable answering. Excuse me. …" Leave.

Comments

Tell Me About It: Daughter needs an ear, not to be rescued

Q: My daughter is in a relationship with her high school boyfriend. They are now living together in a different state with no relatives nearby. My daughter, 25, is a people person with a bubbly personality and makes friends easily. Her boyfriend does...
Published: 02/22/18
Plan your weekend: Monster Energy Supercross. Gasparilla Distance Classic, Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival, slam poet Neil Hilborn

Plan your weekend: Monster Energy Supercross. Gasparilla Distance Classic, Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival, slam poet Neil Hilborn

Extreme Monster Energy Supercross Championship: The action-packed dirt bike stunts and racing returns to Tampa for the first time in two decades. Each track in the 16-city series is different, so competitors will ride between 15 and 20 laps around t...
Published: 02/21/18
Updated: 02/22/18
As spring approaches, parties, food festivals bloom at Florida’s theme parks

As spring approaches, parties, food festivals bloom at Florida’s theme parks

Can you feel it? The air is gradually thickening with humidity and the layers of clothes are getting thinner. Spring has almost sprung and with it brings a bumper crop of festivals in Florida’s theme parks full of food, wine, concerts and parades. Th...
Published: 02/21/18
In theaters this week: ‘Annihilation’ based on Florida author Jeff VanderMeer’s book, ‘Game Night,’ ‘Every Day’

In theaters this week: ‘Annihilation’ based on Florida author Jeff VanderMeer’s book, ‘Game Night,’ ‘Every Day’

ANNIHILATIONAuthor Jeff VanderMeer told me at last year’s Times Festival of Reading that Annihilation (R) is going to blow everyone’s mind. The Tallahassee author is biased, of course, having written the novel it’s based on, but there’s some reason t...
Published: 02/21/18
Top things to do this weekend: Supercross Championship, Olate Dogs, Gasparilla Distance Classic

Top things to do this weekend: Supercross Championship, Olate Dogs, Gasparilla Distance Classic

BIKE RACE: Monster Energy Supercross ChampionshipThe action-packed dirt bike stunts and racing of the Monster Energy Supercross Championship return to Tampa for the first time in two decades. Motorcyclists will race at more than 60 mph and fly off ju...
Published: 02/21/18
This week’s top concerts: Willie Nelson, Los Lobos, Clearwater Sea-Blues and more

This week’s top concerts: Willie Nelson, Los Lobos, Clearwater Sea-Blues and more

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Willie NelsonI’m sure that when Willie Nelson had to postpone his recent Clearwater concert after a bout with the flu, you, like me, took the news well, spitting through clenched teeth: "OH NO YOU DON’T, 2018. YOU WILL NOT TAKE WIL...
Published: 02/21/18
Green Thumb, Flamingo Festival and more spring festivals coming to Tampa Bay

Green Thumb, Flamingo Festival and more spring festivals coming to Tampa Bay

spring eventsFlamingo FestivalHelp celebrate the young flock of flamingos that recently arrived at Sunken Gardens at a colorful festival with live music, kids activities, and beer and wine for sale. Wear pink for $1 off admission. $10, $8 seniors, $4...
Published: 02/21/18
5 things to do under $5: The Romantics, Free Hugs Guy, Ybor Fiesta Day

5 things to do under $5: The Romantics, Free Hugs Guy, Ybor Fiesta Day

1 Blast Friday: This block party in downtown Clearwater brings a free show by the Romantics, right, the power pop new wave band that brought us What I Like About You and Talking in Your Sleep. There’s also a family-friendly food and craft vendor fest...
Published: 02/21/18
SeaWorld uses food, concerts as bait for Seven Seas Food Festival

SeaWorld uses food, concerts as bait for Seven Seas Food Festival

Seaworld Seven Seas Food Festival at the Orlando park with an expanded menu celebrating two of Florida’s most popular types of food: barbecue and Latin-inspired dishes.DateSWeekends now through April 15.EntertainmentLike its sister park Busch Gardens...
Published: 02/21/18
What to expect at Universal’s Mardi Gras party of parades, food and pop concerts

What to expect at Universal’s Mardi Gras party of parades, food and pop concerts

Universal studios MaThe annual Mardi Gras celebration is up and running at Universal Studios, bringing the Big Easy’s charm and food out every night, and this year it tosses in new floats and music.Six new constellation-themed Mardi Gras floats have ...
Published: 02/21/18