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Tell Me About It: Family celebrates habitual deadbeat dad

Q: A relative I don't particularly like has a pattern: He gets a girlfriend pregnant, announces how thrilled he is to be a father, then breaks up with the girlfriend before the baby is a year old and has little or no contact with the ex or child going forward.

He has done this twice, and now a third girlfriend is pregnant.

Members of my family are doing things like baby showers, and I'm not sure I want to participate.

I mentioned to another relative that I might not attend the shower because of these reservations, and the relative said I was being judgmental.

Do you agree? Do you think I should suck it up, attend the shower and treat it as a happy occasion?

Another Baby Coming

A: Conscientious objectors are technically judgmental about war, no? But it's accepted that Quakers, say, protest war out of a deep sense of duty.

So, yes, you can be a conscientious objector to the baby showers celebrating an established deadbeat dad.

I do feel for these poor kids, though. Maybe you can get your family to channel their enthusiasm into 529s or other future-minded investment vehicles that go directly to the kids?

The broken record technique has its place

Q: I was always taught that the proper response to an invitation is either to say you will attend or will not attend, without an explanation of the reasons.

However, I have noticed that people usually ask me why I can't make it if I simply say, "I'm sorry I can't make it." Do I need to give an explanation? Or could I just repeat, "I can't make it" until they stop asking?

I Can't Make It

A: Sure. Or, "I have a conflict, I'm sorry."

It's the same thing as "I can't make it," but in different words.

Tell Me About It: Family celebrates habitual deadbeat dad 05/02/17 [Last modified: Friday, May 5, 2017 5:26pm]
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