Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Today marks three more weeks until the new year, and I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for 2019. This year, while full of some wonderful moments, had a lot of challenges, losses, and setbacks, some of which I’m still processing (losing Simone and losing my grandmother, for example). I’m sure next year will have challenges, too, but something really exciting happens next year that I’ve been counting the months to since July: [continue reading…]


updatesIt’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 “Desire to Sire?,” the 50-year-old man who was trying to choose between “Woman A,” who’s 40 and wants kids, and “Woman B,” who’s 45 and likely cannot have bio kids. “The main issue at this stage is whether I want to have kids or not,” he wrote. “There is no point in continuing with woman B if I want kids. There is no point in continuing with woman A if I don’t want kids.” My response to his letter inspired this reaction from one reader, and now the LW has an update for us, below.

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updatesIt’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 “Insecure” (LW2) who was tired of going to social functions with her husband where he would drink too much and “constantly looks for attention from other, mostly much younger, women.” She struggled to figure out why she was feeling so threatened and jealous. “Is it because I’m getting old and insecure?” she wondered. Or is it “that his behavior is maybe affecting my self-esteem?” Her update below (plus a bonus update from another LW).

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From the forums:​

My mother is what you might call “low key racist.” She’s a nice white lady who grew up in the blue collar Midwest. She’s outwardly polite and friendly to people of all different backgrounds, but occasionally she’ll say something that really reveals how little she thinks of people of color. I didn’t notice this much when I was younger, but now that I’m an adult and living several states away from her, I do notice and I do try to speak up to express my disapproval.

When I visited my parents’ place last year, I noticed some racist decorations in their home. My mom decorated the house in a very retro 1950’s style, so I believe she picked up these pieces on eBay or at local antique shops because she thought they would work with the retro look. I’m quite sure she wouldn’t characterize these items as racist – she tends to be ignorant about these things – but I don’t think it matters much *why* she bought them.

While I was visiting last year, I decided not to say anything to her because I didn’t want to start an argument while I was staying in her home. (My mother is *very* defensive. She doesn’t take criticism well at all.) But now, my husband and I are thinking about booking plane tickets to visit family again in a few months. If I am to stay with my parents again, I feel I have to talk to her about this.

I’m thinking about telling her that while I’m sure she bought these decorations because she thought they looked nice, that doesn’t change the fact that they *are* racist and I would like her to remove them (ideally, get rid of them altogether) before I come to visit again. And if she refuses to do that, well, then I’m considering whether I should refuse to stay at her house at all.

Does this seem like a reasonable course of action? I hope she will agree to get rid of the items, even if she does just to appease me. But I’m not expecting this conversation to go over well. I want to do the right thing. I don’t want to pretend like I’m not horrified or offended every time I see the racist imagery in her house. But…I also love my mother and I don’t want to overreact or create more damage to our relationship than is necessary. — Horrified By Racist Decor

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Weekend Open Thread

Happy weekend! We are all holiday’d up over here; We hit a Hanukkah party at our neighborhood synagogue last night, Jackson and I are going to a gingerbread house workshop tonight, and I think we’re getting a Christmas tree tomorrow. I’ve got most of my holiday shopping done, too, which is always a good feeling. I’m not doing gift guides this year because, I don’t know, I’m a little over them at the moment (plus, I have less childcare help this year than years past and, believe it or not, the gift guides can be pretty time-consuming) BUT in case you happen to be reading this and are my husband and are at a loss at what to get me in absence of said gift guides, I am feeling this puzzle. And I always like sheet masks and hand lotion, and don’t get me anything else because we discussed this, Drew: Let’s forgo big gifts for each other and pick out a piece of art we both like for our (still pretty bare) walls and call it a day. Oh! And I should probably get my hands on a copy of this, too.