Monday, February 19, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

Tell Me About It: Stifling visits with in-laws deserve a break

Q: As an introvert, I really need downtime outside of socializing or I feel tired (and crazy). When we visit my retired in-laws, we spend the entire weekend in the same room with them, except to sleep. Breakfast together, then move to the living room, then to lunch, then back to the living room. I find this overwhelming and exhausting, even though I genuinely do like my in-laws.

When I suggest doing something on my own — a grocery run, hopping on the bus to get coffee — my suggestion that I would spend an hour outside the family bubble is met with shock, and I think they are hurt.

We visit for at least one long weekend a month, which is above my gritting-teeth threshold. Help?

Introvert

A: Where is your spouse in this? That's the person who needs to advocate for you: "It's not you, Mom and Dad — she just needs alone time, even when it's only the two of us." Said while you're out getting coffee and retaining your marbles.

Even without his support, just do your grocery-store run and let the huffy chips fall where they may. Bring back a latte for your in-laws as an offering, or their favorite food.

Talk to your husband about this, too, please, even if you plan just to do what you need regardless.

Grandma put pressure on college freshman

Q: I am a freshman in college. The problem is my paternal grandmother. She lives several hours away but she is always pestering me about when she will see me next. How do I handle this?

Grandchild

A: Decide on a contact-Grammy schedule that you won't mind keeping — Wednesdays and Sundays? — program it into your phone and stick to it, even with just a quick update or a photo. Staying close on your terms beats pushing back against hers.

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Ordinary dogs take to the Derby Lane greyhound track for the Mutt Derby

Ordinary dogs take to the Derby Lane greyhound track for the Mutt Derby

Some stopped midway, some turned around and ran the wrong way and some dashed to the arms of their owners as more than 300 average house pets took to the track at Derby Lane on Sunday for the Mutt Derby. The popular fundraiser for the Jaycees died o...
Published: 02/18/18

Tell Me About It: Doubts creep in to six-year relationship

Q: I have been with my partner for six years and have just graduated from college. I love my partner and could see myself happily married to them for the long haul. However, I am beginning to feel wistful about never having dated anyone else — or kis...
Published: 02/18/18

Tell Me About It: Vacation opens dialogue about money

Vacation opens dialogue about moneyQ: My girlfriend and I just went on our first vacation together. I thought it went well, but after we were home she told me she felt I had been cheap because I wanted to split all costs 50-50.I think cheap would be ...
Published: 02/16/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Feb. 19-25

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Feb. 19-25

Gasparilla Distance Classic: One of Tampa’s best known road races returns to downtown, with a 5K and 15K Saturday and an 8K and half marathon on Sunday. The chief attraction is the 15K on Saturday, which takes runners out and back along the man...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/18/18
Dance Moms star Chloe Lukasiak to appear at Florida State Fair on Saturday

Dance Moms star Chloe Lukasiak to appear at Florida State Fair on Saturday

TAMPA — Chloe Lukasiak will take on a different role than she is accustomed when she stops by the Florida State Fair this weekend.After all, the 16-year-old Pennsylvania-native and resident rose to fame on Seasons 1 through 4 of Lifetime’s reality te...
Published: 02/15/18

Tell Me About It: Past eating disorder affects food choices

Q: My wife refuses to change her diet and grocery shopping to accommodate my health needs and those of our kids. Everything she gets is processed grains and sugar. My doctor recently recommended losing weight, and exercise won’t cut it. But because s...
Published: 02/15/18
Top things to do this weekend: Florida State Fair, Mutt Derby at Derby Lane

Top things to do this weekend: Florida State Fair, Mutt Derby at Derby Lane

GO, DOG, GO: Mutt DerbyOne of the most hilarious days at the races is Sunday, when ordinary house pets get a chance to run on the Derby Lane greyhound track. Mutt Derby registration begins at 11 a.m., but you can register in advance at greyhoundpets...
Published: 02/14/18
This week’s best concerts: Mary J. Blige, Kelsea Ballerini, Wyclef Jean and more

This week’s best concerts: Mary J. Blige, Kelsea Ballerini, Wyclef Jean and more

LEGEND IN THE MAKING: Kelsea BalleriniComing off a debut with three No. 1 singles — Love Me Like You Mean It, Dibs and Peter Pan — it’s no surprise Kelsea Ballerini was feeling the pressure before dropping her sophomore album Unapologetically last fa...
Published: 02/14/18
5 things to do under $5: Apple's Steve Wozniak, mini golf in the library, Clearwater street parties

5 things to do under $5: Apple's Steve Wozniak, mini golf in the library, Clearwater street parties

1 Steve Wozniak: The Apple co-founder, above, will give a free talk on Tuesday, Feb. 20 as part of USF Muma College of Business’ new Thought Leader series. The college’s dean will conduct a discussion about everything from the need for en...
Published: 02/14/18

Tell Me About It: Girlfriend’s directness often comes off rude

My brother is getting married soon. My serious, but fairly new, girlfriend thinks she’s not been invited because we’re lesbians, but actually I’ve hidden the invite because I don’t want to take her.Thing is, I adore almost everything about her! She’s...
Published: 02/14/18