Dear Amy: My son and daughter-in-law are expecting their first baby.
The plans for a baby shower have been in the works for months, with an outside venue, food, desserts, decor, etc.
Everything was paid in advance by myself and my daughter-in-law’s mother, “Bertie.”
The night before the baby shower, Bertie tested positive for COVID-19 and had symptoms.
Bertie and my daughter-in-law wanted to reschedule the shower, and from text messages it is obvious that Bertie definitely laid on a heavy guilt trip, saying: “Sandra doesn’t want to be there without her Mom, Dad and Grandma.” (Grandma also came down with COVID.)
After much thought, we decided to carry on and have the shower.
My son and daughter-in-law boycotted the shower.
The excuse was “they felt they weren’t welcome.”
I later told my son this was a cop-out.
We offered to FaceTime with them. I even called to see if they wanted to come after everyone left to see their gifts on display.
The shower was filled with our side of family and friends, including grandparents and some people who traveled from out of town.
Only three people from her side showed up, so it was obvious that some phone calls were made to cancel on that end.
When we dropped the gifts off at their home later that evening, my daughter-in- law didn’t even acknowledge us.
Now there is talk of doing a drive-by shower with her side of the family.
I feel very disrespected and hurt.
Up until now, our relationship has been great.
Were we wrong?
— Grandma to Be
Dear Grandma: Yes, you were wrong. When this started unfolding, you should have asked your son and daughter-in-law: “What would you like us to do?”
And then you should have done that.
If the expectant parents want their own baby shower to be postponed — and for a very good reason, I might add — then it should be postponed!
Yes, postponing this would have caused you a headache on the day, but you should have done so for the sake of these young parents, instead of focusing only on a party that you wanted to have on a particular day and in a particular way.
The pandemic has caused everyone to rethink, replan, retool, postpone and occasionally cancel celebration events drawing large groups.
It would have been wisest to draw up a contingency plan.
Instead of that, you should draw up an apology, and then deliver it.
Dear Amy: I have been cheating on my partner, “Q.”
I just don’t think I can be with just one person, especially because Q doesn’t offer me the best sex I have ever had.
When Q found out, they said they had known about my cheating for a while but didn’t want to break up over it. Q said it does hurt a lot, sometimes.
But Q also said that my cheating is kind of a turn-on.
Knowing I am with other people makes Q feel luckier to be with me.
Q wants us to transition to radical honesty, where I describe what it was like being with someone else. Q believes this will be sexually gratifying.
I am tempted to do this, because then we can avoid breaking up (I do want to be with Q, a lot of the time) and for me to continue to sleep with others.
I confess that I’m uncertain about whether this could possibly ever work, though.
Maybe a part of me enjoys the thrill of cheating, and sanctioning the cheating takes that away?
What do you think we should do?
Dear P: Based on your description, you and your partner seem to be sexually mismatched. “Q” wants you to report about your cheating experiences in the belief that it will enhance Q’s experience, but you believe that cheating and deception are important aspects to your own sexual experience.
I assume you and your partner also have an emotional connection, and so I suggest that maybe you should focus on that for a while, to see if there are shared qualities that connect you, aside from your sexual gamesmanship.
Dear Amy: I was upset by your response to “Worried Friend.” This involved a “surprise” adult child, fathered by the friend’s husband many decades ago.
I felt like you were shaming this child — as a mistake!
Shame on you.
Dear Upset: My advice was completely supportive of this struggling friend coming to terms with this situation.
I would never think of — or refer — to any person as a “mistake.”
Contact Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org