Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Updates: “Already Holi-dazed” Responds

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 today. After the jump, we hear from “Already Holi-dazed” who was worried about her boyfriend getting overwhelmed at her family holiday get-togethers just as he had the year before when they’d first started dating. Keep reading to see how everything worked out.

I just wanted to thank Wendy and everyone so much for their help. Hearing your advice made such an impact on how we dealt with the holidays and I can honestly say they went very well because of your help. So, the very first thing I did after reading the letter was that I talked to my boyfriend about the fight and apologized. The readers who stated that I was wrong to still refer to him as a “guest” were completely right; he has spent time with my family almost monthly since last Christmas and it was wrong of me to push him away from the family dynamic.There’s also more family history that I should have included. Being a ex-Jehovah’s Witness and raised with abuse, my boyfriend has very little contact with his parents or family. My mother, who’s also a victim of childhood abuse and knew of his past, went overboard last year trying to give him the best Christmas possible. Of course, while this has good intentions, it’s going to make anyone feel awkward. My mom’s comments were not meant to be passive-aggressive, she was just being really nervous and self-deprecating. In fact, any comments she made about the pie were actually before the pie was cut. It is a trait she’s had ever since I can remember and it ties back to the abuse she suffered as a child. But I spoke to my mom and gently let her know that she didn’t need to treat my boyfriend like the honored guest, but that he was the most comfortable just being one of the gang.

This year, I took Wendy’s advice and had him take part in the festivities more. On Thanksgiving, my boyfriend and I showed up for breakfast and he cooked some of his special omelets for the family. We also brought little pilgrim hats for the dogs, which everybody loved. For a little break before dinner, I took him out and gave him some driving lessons on how to drive a stick, something he’s been wanting to learn. At one point my stepdad and stepbrother joined to learn the stick and we actually had some great bonding moments stalling all over the neighborhood. Towards Christmas, we found out that one of the few relatives my boyfriend is close with was performing in a play on the same night as my family’s Christmas Caroling, so my boyfriend and I avoided dealing with caroling this year and spent time with his family, and it was wonderful to be a part of that for the first time.

I also asked my boyfriend what traditions he wanted to start this Christmas, and he said he would like us to spend Christmas eve with just the two of us. So we watched Christmas movies, we made snowflakes, and we cooked a fancy Christmas eve dinner all for ourselves. I think because we had that time together, Christmas day went perfectly. My boyfriend bought presents for every family member and they were very personal and lovely and my family was great about getting him personal gifts that he loved as well. By the end of the night he was cracking jokes with my Grandma and was playing board games with my sister and mom. We had such a wonderful time for the holidays and my boyfriend and my family have grown much closer since. Thank you again!

 
Aw, warm fuzzies!

If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at [email protected] with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.

19 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Painted_lady January 9, 2012, 12:05 pm

    Aw! So glad it worked out – you two sound like you’re really good at communicating and compromising.

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    bethany January 9, 2012, 12:07 pm

    Wow! What a great update!! I’m glad things went so smoothly for you! It sounds like you’re a really caring and considerate girlfriend- He’s lucky to have you!

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    GatorGirl January 9, 2012, 12:11 pm

    Who doesn’t love a happy update! It sounds like you mixed old and new traditions beautifully and even managed to connect with his family!

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    Ktfran January 9, 2012, 12:16 pm

    LOVE this update.

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    silver_dragon_girl January 9, 2012, 12:17 pm

    What a happy update!!! I love it when that happens 🙂

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  • FireStar

    FireStar January 9, 2012, 12:51 pm

    Awww. Just reading this update makes me want eggnog by the fire. I think you and your boyfriend celebrated the Holidays exactly how they should be spent.

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    Addie Pray January 9, 2012, 12:51 pm

    Great update. And I love driving a stick. My first car in high school was a stick. My parents enjoyed the fact that I couldn’t lend my car to friends because they didn’t know how to drive one. Ha.

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    • JK

      JK January 9, 2012, 1:02 pm

      Here most cars (probably about 90% or more) are manual. My mum just got a new car, and shes bugging me to drive it but I´m a bit nervous about driving an automatic! She only drves automatic. It doesn´t help ease my nerves that it´s one of those looong cars, while mine is tiny.

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        Sarah January 9, 2012, 1:09 pm

        Every time I have to drive an automatic I have to tuck my left leg on the side on my seat in an awkward position so I wont have the urge to press on the clutch and slam of the brakes in the middle of the road instead (I did that so many times lol). I still accidentally put my car in neutral when I brake for a corner though :/.

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      Ktfran January 9, 2012, 1:23 pm

      My first car was stick as well. It’s the only time I’ve heard my dad say the eff word – him teaching me. I’ll never forget it . . . “Kt, what the eff do you think you’re doing” . . . as I was taking a turn too fast on a gravel road.

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      • JK

        JK January 9, 2012, 1:28 pm

        The one time I went driving with my husband when I was learning I did a similar thing (tried to turn too fast on a dirt road). After that I started lessons with an instructor (female). I didn´t want to divorce!!!

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        Ktfran January 9, 2012, 2:12 pm

        Unfortunately, my dad is stuck with me. Or vice versa.

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      honeybeenicki January 9, 2012, 1:24 pm

      I learned how to drive in a manual pickup but honestly, I don’t think I could do it anymore. My car does have sport shift, so basically its an automatic but I can drive it as a stick if I want.

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    • avatar

      Anna January 9, 2012, 9:34 pm

      I love driving stick too. I got my first one in 2007 and haven’t owned an automatic since. Now if I do drive one of my friends’ cars that are auto, I find myself pressing an invisible clutch every time I come to a stop. lol

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    callmehobo January 9, 2012, 1:00 pm

    I’m so happy for you!

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  • bagge72

    bagge72 January 9, 2012, 1:04 pm

    High Five! Great job with everything!

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  • Budj

    Budj January 9, 2012, 1:11 pm

    Thanks for the excellent and detailed update…I don’t remember posting on this one..must have not been at work that day.

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    mcminnem January 9, 2012, 1:21 pm

    Warm fuzzies is right! What a wonderful update 🙂

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  • avatar

    Lindsey January 9, 2012, 9:57 pm

    Love this update!!

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