Dear Amy: I am almost 50 years old. I have been with my husband for 20 years.
We are stable and very much in love. We chose to be polyamorous for five years.
We didn’t tell my parents (and certainly not the in-laws!), but one Thanksgiving just before the pandemic, I was going to have my partner of one year with me (“Steve”), and I so I told my parents.
Mom didn’t take it well. Steve and I have been together for three years now. He seems as permanent to me as my husband. (By the way, Steve doesn’t have any family to visit on vacation himself.)
The pandemic solved the “holiday dilemma” for a few years, but it won’t fly this year.
Mom refuses to accept Steve.
I refuse to leave him alone on a major holiday.
I invited them to our house for Thanksgiving this year (where I can decide who sits at the table), but what about Christmas? It’s mom’s favorite party and she loves decorating and hosting. I don’t do any of that.
How to handle this? We don’t kiss in front of her (we don’t even hold hands or flirt). We just exist, but she refuses to have him in her home.
I thought about staying at Mom’s while my husband and partner get a hotel room nearby. Hubs doesn’t like staying at my parents’ house and would jump at the chance, but mom’s feelings would be hurt and at the end of the day Steve would still be alone while we were at my mom’s.
I want to spend the holidays with my mother. She may not have many left, but I don’t want to leave someone I love alone on vacation.
I tried to talk to her about it, but she shut down.
I do not know what to do. Can you offer advice?
— Two directions
Dear Two Directions: The good thing about Christmas is that it truly envelops a season, with at least two great occasions to gather together: Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Many families split things up over the holidays, so if you want to be with your mom for Christmas dinner, then go ahead and have fun. “Steve” can either hang out with your husband during the event, and – my preference – go to the movies.
If your husband chooses to stay with Steve and your mother doesn’t love him, it’s a consequence of all the choices you all make: your choice to bring a partner into your marriage, your mother’s choice to reject, and your husband’s choice to skip your mom’s dinner because he lines up with Steve.
You can say to him: “My husband would have come, but we didn’t want to leave Steve alone at Christmas.
Dear Amy: The pandemic has interrupted and changed many businesses, especially restaurants.
Now that things seem to be back to normal (more or less), I’m wondering how to react when I’m in a restaurant and the service is slow, the food is cold, and the reason (excuse) is “lack of staff .”
Under these circumstances, should I always tip?
— Amazed dinner
Dear amazed: Yes, you are always expected to tip your waiter.
Your server does not manage the restaurant, cook or hire staff.
And after all, keep in mind that your server is someone who showed up for work. This person should not be penalized.
Dear Amy: I get many phone calls from people claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House telling me I’ve won millions of dollars.
I hung up, but the other day I received a letter telling me that I had won 250 million dollars!
Many instructions and phone numbers have been included.
I was wondering where I can check this without calling any of the phone numbers.
Then I read your column, where there was a letter from a man wondering if he was involved in a scam. You told him he was and gave him ways to check.
I called the AARP Fraud Hotline (877) 908-3360 (also AARP.org).
They were wonderful! A real person answered. I explained my concern and she transferred me to the appropriate department where I spoke to another real person.
She explained that PCH NEVER calls or writes before showing up at someone’s door to announce the victory.
Thanks for posting this information!
— Relieved in Hagerstown, MD
Dear relieved: Thank you to AARP for providing this invaluable service.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at email@example.com or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)
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