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This week in the forums, we’re discussing:

Is it a Faux Pas to plan my wedding for labor day weekend?

Flaky Feet

I’m 19, he’s 28. We’re exclusively dating..BUT I don’t see him enough?

Calling all chefs!

Career women vs. Non Career Women

Deep thoughts

Online Dating Tips

I think we’re breaking up

Married he earns 150k me 20k he wants to split expenses 50/50

HALLOWEEN!!!

If You Care About Women and Still Support the NFL, You Are a Hypocrite. Agree?

Questions about dating again

MEETUPS:

NYC — October 2

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

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From the forums:

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I live in a two-family home (think two-story row houses) in a big city and I’m having some problems with my upstairs neighbors. My boyfriend and I live in the one-bedroom apartment on the first floor, and a family with two children, 5 and 3, live upstairs in a two-bedroom apartment with a nanny.

I’ve gotten several complaints from the upstairs neighbor about the noise level of our TV even though I try very hard to make sure that the television is at an appropriate level. There was one night I got a complaint when I was the only one home and in bed! Usually, I respond to the complaints with an “I’m very sorry, we’ll keep it down,” but now I’m starting to get infuriated with the complaints.

We’ve never once complained about the noises coming from their apartment with their two children running around and dropping things, the opera (!) lessons taught out of the space, and the incessant vacuuming. We’ve definitely had our share of annoyances, but WE have always let them go because noise pollution is part of living in a big city, you know?

Anyway, I got another email from the neighbor today that says:

“Hello [me and boyfriend],

I hope all is well with you! I am writing with a request: the TV is really loud in the evenings and has been waking all of us up. Would it be possible for you to turn the volume down, especially after 10 pm? It wasn’t this loud prior to the summer, so maybe it has to do with where it’s situated.

Thank you!
Best,
[Neighbor mom]

I’m kind of tired of just apologizing for every little thing, especially when I don’t think it is really our fault, and we’ve done everything we can to be kind and courteous neighbors.

I wrote this up today, thinking I might send it to her, but I’m afraid of how it comes across:

Hi [Upstairs Neighbor],

I apologize if the television has been loud lately. The furniture in our living area hasn’t changed in well over a year, so I don’t think that is causing a problem with the sound. Also, we rarely have the television on during the weekdays after 10:00pm. (We’re usually in bed by 11:00pm!) Could it be a television next door that has the volume up?

I feel like we make an effort to keep the noise levels down, and we will continue to do so. We also understand that “noise pollution” is all part of living in close quarters in apartments, and we’ve refrained from complaining about the noise that comes through to our apartment as well, especially when little ones are afoot!

Again, we’ll do our best to monitor the television volume and hope that it sorts out the problem.

Thank you,
[Me]

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I don’t want to be the passive-aggressive bitch, but I also don’t want to just roll over on it again and let the complaints continue. Especially because I truly feel that we’re the only ones being accommodating here.

So, what would you do? Would you respond? Not respond? Respond in the way I have drafted or in a different way? — Annoyed Neighbor

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It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today we hear from “Pregnant and Miserable in Mississippi” who had been emotionally (and physically) abandoned by a long-time friend after she got pregnant by him and moved across the country to his parents’ home where he’d promised he would meet her to start a new life together. Keep reading to see how things have changed since she wrote last month.
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I was raised Catholic and my mother is very religious. I no longer live at home, and over the past couple of years I stopped going to church regularly and now go very infrequently. Every Sunday my mother will ask me if I went to church, and I lie and say yes because of how she reacts when she knows I don’t go. Sometimes I’m out of town on a weekend trip, or doing something with friends on a Sunday morning, so she knows I haven’t gone those times, and she berates me for it pretty badly.

As a grown woman, several years removed from college and living on my own, I should be able to do what I want with my life, spiritually or otherwise, without getting yelled at by my mother. I’m not hurting anyone by not attending church, but in her eyes she feels like she failed at “raising me right” and thinks it will affect me in the afterlife since I’ve been missing Mass. I have other friends and relatives who were raised Catholic whose parents still attend church, but their parents don’t get on their case for not attending church. I can’t help but wish my mother was more like them when it comes to churchgoing. Any tips for how I can deal with this issue? — Daughter of Religious Mom

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My 38th birthday last Monday was one of my favorite birthdays so far. Drew took the day off work and arranged for Jackson’s babysitter to watch him until mid-afternoon. We had breakfast at a coffee shop around the corner and then rode our bikes down to Brighton Beach before eating lunch at my favorite ramen place in the neighborhood. It had been years since the two of us went for a bike ride together. It reminded us of when we were dating and I still lived in Chicago and we’d ride through neighborhood streets and along the lake front when Drew would come to visit. It reminded us of when things were simpler (even if we did live long-distance) and we were just starting to dream about what our future together could be like.

After our bike ride and lunch, we had about an hour to kill before we needed to pick up Jackson. I suggested going for a walk. Over the weekend, the weather had changed from hot and muggy to cool and clear. Fall was in the air, change was in the air — we were excited about both these things. [click to continue…]

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