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Olga Gives Real Advice in a Changing World

Wealthy woman

DEAR OLGA

My friend is really fortunate. She benefits greatly from having been born into a wealthy family. She usually acts like a normal person but when holidays come around she plays the role of the put upon heiress. She loudly gripes about things like the difficulties of moving stuff into her summer vacation house. It really aggravates me and I don't know what to say to her without sounding jealous. Gillian

 

Dear Gillian

You’re aggravated and I’m nauseated. Not wanting to listen to your insensitive friend bitch and moan about the perils of her good fortune, which by the way she did nothing to achieve, does not make you the bad guy. This doesn’t sound like a case of jealousy.

The bad news for you is that it sounds as if you are just as insensitive as she is.

If this person is really your friend, you have an obligation to accept her flaws just as you accept her more positive traits. Friendships that last require give and take. They also require compassion.

You said that she only behaves this way during the holidays. I’ll take a wild guess and say that the holidays that you are referring to are the ones in which she spends time with her family.

People can behave very strangely around family. If you value your friendship try to help her cope with her family related stress. She probably has no idea that she’s acting like a Paris Hilton wannabe. Good lord, I need a tums now. That reference gave me heart burn.

Sincerely,

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DEAR OLGA

I'm having a hard time understanding my boyfriend recently. The mother of his child, born out of wedlock, thank you very much, is a lunatic. All of the sudden she wants full custody of their 3 yr old son. He's very upset but when I try to support him, he lashes out at me. We are having really ugly fights about it. I told him that he should institutionalize her and he called me callous. I don't understand him at all. Can you explain it? Amanda

 

Dear Amanda

Your wish is my command. Here’s the cliff notes version, butt the hell out. Don’t think that I didn’t catch that judgmental edge of yours. ” Born out of wedlock, thank you very much”   Who are you? June Cleaver? You may not find that sort of thing to be ideal and I would agree with you on that point, however, put yourself in her position. If you found out that you were pregnant with your boyfriend’s baby, what would you do? If he left you after you gave birth and never married you, how would you react?

Suggesting that he institutionalize the mother of his child wasn’t just callous. He was being kind. It was vicious and hateful.

A man who defends the mother of his child, even when she is behaving badly, is usually a keeper. By attacking her, you are doing yourself and your relationship no favors, my dear.

It’s a complicated situation but it has nothing to do with you. Here’s the problem that you need to address.

If you are sure that she is “a lunatic” why was he with her? You aren’t upset with her. You’re upset about his bad judgement.

Once you figure out exactly what bothers you about it, you can work it out with him. I’m guessing that you’re afraid that his previous bad choice says something about you.

Good luck Amanda. You’ve got some thinking to do.

Sincerely,

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DEAR OLGA

My daughter brought home a gender-neutral person for Easter. They, (that’s the pronoun I was instructed to use) were lovely, although, for the life of me, I still can't figure out if it was a boy or a girl. If my daughter is gay, I will love her just the same. If she likes androgynous men, I'm fine with that too. I do not have any idea what I'm dealing with here. I don't understand this gender-neutral stuff at all and I feel angry that she made me feel so uncomfortable. How would you deal with this? Laurel

 

Dear Laurel

First I’d probably pour myself a stiff drink and then I’d clean up the shattered remains of whatever I dropped when the two of them walked in. After that I’d plan out a way to determine this person’s gender. But you don’t really want to know what I’d do, you want a guideline for how to deal with this very odd situation.

Don’t worry Laurel, you and your daughter will be just fine. You obviously love her and you are willing to accept her choices about who she loves. That’s not something that everyone is willing to give.

I completely understand your discomfort with the situation and your anger is not misplaced. Your child blindsided you. Bringing a gender-neutral person who provides you with unusual pronoun rules, deserves a call prior to arrival. It sounds like your daughter is testing you.

At least “they” were/ was pleasant. Ok, I honestly don’t know which way to go with that one. Talk to your daughter. Ask the questions that you feel funny about asking. As long as you are respectful and loving, it will all work out.

Sincerely,

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DEAR OLGA

My baby was born early and thankfully, she's perfectly healthy. Because they bottle fed her in NICU , won't latch on when I try to breast feed her. The nurses told me that if I keep trying she'll adapt. So I keep trying. I take her with me wherever I go and anytime she's hungry I try to give her the breast. Yesterday she started to cry in the grocery store and I fed her. She latched on and I was thrilled. Then the manager created a scene. He told me that my behavior was lewd and inappropriate and asked me to leave. I was doing my best to be discrete. I was in the back by the butcher’s area. Did I do something wrong? I'm not clear on the rules for this sort of thing. Can you help me? Kerry

 

Dear Kerry

You did absolutely nothing wrong. You are a mother who was nurturing her child. How wonderful that your baby learned to latch on. Of course you were thrilled.

The only thing that’s lewd and inappropriate is the fact that the manager was critical of you.

Here are the rules for breast feeding your baby while out and about, feed your child.

That’s it. That’s the rule. There’s only one.

Obviously, you don’t want to turn it into a peep show event but you’ve already said that you were doing your best to be discrete.

The best advice that I can provide to help you is that when your baby goes down for a nap, you should call the corporate headquarters for that grocery store and fill them in on what happened. You’ll feel much better about it after that. I can promise you that very few people have much tolerance for men who harass nursing mothers. Plus, you’ll probably enjoy having someone validate your feelings that the guy was way out of line. Other than that, let it go and be proud of the way you are providing for your baby. You are doing a great job.

Sincerely,

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