Friday, April 27, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Outpouring of support feels overwhelming

Q: Our apartment was flooded out in storms over the weekend, and my husband and I lost most of our stuff (insurance will not cover it). In the days since, we have been overwhelmed with support — dozens of people here helping us sort stuff out, bringing food, offering us places to stay, and on and on. We've also been given thousands of dollars in cash.

I am tremendously grateful but really overwhelmed. If I'm honest, it hurts my pride and makes me feel guilty to accept so much help. How in the world are we ever going to thank people? How do I get over these feelings and just be appreciative that we are so supported, when I know many others are not?

Flooded . . . With Help

A: What wonderful friends you have. I know you have mixed feelings about it all, so use my detachment as a way to see the simple beauty you have before you in their embrace.

You can also use the simple suckiness of life, in its apartment floods and other disasters, as inspiration for your next step in finding a way to feel good about all this:

Your friends will need you, too, someday. Maybe not in the same way, maybe not in cash and shelter, but they'll need you — to listen without judging, to invite them over when they're lonely, to show up for their events, to register in whatever way matters to them that they matter to you. Be on the lookout for these opportunities to give back, and do whatever is in your power not to miss many of them.

On a more practical note, there are two things you can do now, or soon, to make yourself feel better:

1) Record all the gifts somewhere. Cash in particular can be repaid directly, when you're ready and if they'll accept it.

2) When your home is back in working order, invite your helpers over for a thank-you party. Casual, informal, dirt cheap — it can be all of these and still say everything you want to say.

Accepting kindness can itself be a kindness.

Comments
5 things to do under $5: 10,000 Maniacs, Dragon Boat Races, Pepper Fest

5 things to do under $5: 10,000 Maniacs, Dragon Boat Races, Pepper Fest

Here's your free and cheap ideas for the weekend.
Published: 04/26/18
Royal Guardsmen return, Snoopy in tow, 50 years after Florida’s first pop hit

Royal Guardsmen return, Snoopy in tow, 50 years after Florida’s first pop hit

OCALAIt’s midmorning at the pub, not far from the backyard patio where it all began, and the old guys from the old band are reminiscing on the old days over cream of mushroom soup."When we were kids," Billy Taylor said, "all you wanted was a hot show...
Published: 04/26/18

Tell Me About It: After 30 years, wife considers moving on

Q: What does a person do if after 30 years of marriage, they aren’t the most important item in their spouse’s life? The kids are now grown and gone, but his career is still his No. 1 with his parents being No. 2. Is it too late to move on and start o...
Published: 04/26/18
Plan your weekend April 27-29: Jeff Dunham, Flo Rida at Busch Gardens, Sunscreen Film Fest, dragon boat races, Green Thumb Fest

Plan your weekend April 27-29: Jeff Dunham, Flo Rida at Busch Gardens, Sunscreen Film Fest, dragon boat races, Green Thumb Fest

Plan your weekendAthletes St. Anthony’s Triathlon: Elite professional athletes and Olympians from around the world will be at this St. Petersburg race this weekend, one of the premier triathlon events in the country. There’s a big incentive, with ca...
Published: 04/25/18
Top things to do this week in Tampa Bay: Jeff Dunham, Victor Wooten and Sinbad perform jazz

Top things to do this week in Tampa Bay: Jeff Dunham, Victor Wooten and Sinbad perform jazz

PUPPET MASTER: Jeff DunhamCelebrated ventriloquist Jeff Dunham is no dummy. The record-breaking comedy superstar sells out arenas around the world, bringing along his ill-behaved puppets including grouchy Walter, Achmed the Dead Terrorist, redneck Bu...
Published: 04/25/18
This week’s best concerts: Flo Rida, Queens of the Stone Age, Bay 2 Beach Festival and more

This week’s best concerts: Flo Rida, Queens of the Stone Age, Bay 2 Beach Festival and more

ROCK ROYALTY: Queens of the Stone AgeWhen Queens of the Stone Age singer Josh Homme got in trouble recently for kicking a photographer at a show, local fans might have seen it coming. During a gig here in 2014, a fan got up on stage and tried to gree...
Published: 04/25/18

Tell Me About It: Father-in-law loses it over baby’s name

Q: My husband and I are late-20s and expecting a baby girl. My husband and I both kept our own last names. My father-in-law, ["Phil"], has absolutely lost it upon learning that we plan to hyphenate the baby’s last name, reportedly crying and fuming e...
Published: 04/25/18

Tell Me About It: Addressing the party no-show epidemic

Q: My family recently celebrated our son’s birthday. We had a number of guests RSVP "yes" to our invitation who not only didn’t show, but also didn’t even have the decency to contact us to let us know. It’s been a week since the party.This left us wi...
Published: 04/24/18

Tell Me About It: Sister’s remark is a teaching opportunity

My husband’s sister, "Kate," is expecting her second child. They have a 3-year-old girl. My husband and I have two girls, 8 and 6. At our house this week, Kate talked extensively about her hopes that this next baby is a boy. Some of her reasons are c...
Published: 04/23/18

Tell Me About It: Mom fears she has discussed sex too soon

Q: This week I was in a discussion with a bunch of other third-grade parents about what our kids know about sex. The vast majority of these parents said their children were "clueless" and they wanted to maintain their kids’ innocence. I was one of th...
Published: 04/22/18