Social Q’s: No Vaccine? Then No Grandkids

My mother married a man 10 years ago and became a different person. She is still in love with us, but her politics has changed drastically. Among other things, she is now opposed to vaccines. When my son was born a few years ago, it was a fight to take a flu shot before he flew to meet us. Her husband refused and left our son’s bris. Now we are arguing about the Covid vaccine. She wants to travel, but she and her husband refuse to take the vaccine. I told her that she is not welcome to be with us until she does. He cannot believe that I am keeping his grandson away from him. Where do i go from here? I want my children to have more than a FaceTime relationship with him.

daughter

To begin with, stop blaming your stepfather for your mother’s decisions. He is an adult and is responsible for his choice. If she is aware of her husband’s low opinion, it will not help; She loves him. Also, you can reduce political tribalism and conspiracy theories on one person getting married in your family.

I will recite your ultimatum – you are not welcome here until you get vaccinated – in a statement of concern: “I want children safe, and I want you safe.” Follow the CDC’s advice and maintain masking and social distance until we or you get vaccinated. “It gives her a choice. Maybe she stops at a hotel nearby and meets you in the park?

Now, don’t get me wrong: I think it’s crazy to listen to your mother misinformed about a life-long vaccine. You can pull a package of data from a wide range of sources for that. You can sneak in to some extent. Be gentle, but do not trust. Your main job is to protect yourself and your family.

Credit …Christoph Neiman

Like many women, I did not take my husband’s last name when we got married. Nevertheless, four years into our marriage, his family referred to me by his name. This makes me angry! I have asked my husband to fix them. He always agrees but has yet to do it. Now, we are expecting a child, and we plan to give our child his last name. I am worried that her family will soon refer to me and my child in my husband’s name. Will a birth announcement make it clear?

my

Your anger is wrong. We all deserve to be called by the right name. But if nobody ever corrected their in-laws about you, how did they come to know? (Some people will ask if you were keeping your name? Others can’t.) By promising to handle it and never do so, however, your husband disappointed you.

Time to take matters into your own hands. It can be easy for you. A birth announcement including a child’s surname is a good start. But you still have to correct your in-laws. Do it well in a call or notes about baby shows and gifts: “I should have told you before age that I decided to keep my name, and our baby would use it too.” (There is also time to talk with your husband about useless promises)

My girlfriend and I just moved in together. (I moved to her city.) We are very happy, but I have a problem: the walls in our apartment are thin. And I often hear him using the bathroom without washing his hands. This grosses me out! Can I raise this issue without making her feel bad?

Dave

If you can’t figure out how to discuss awkward issues with your girlfriend, then your relationship is probably ruined. I like the direct approach (with a safety net of mercy). One day, when the two of you are at home and feeling relaxed, say: “I’m so glad I moved here to be with you.” Make her feel loved.

Then says: “There is a problem that bothers me, though. After using the bathroom, can you remember to wash your hands? it is important to me. “(This year more than ever, maybe.) She may feel embarrassed or defensive at first. But she feels safe before making sure you say something important before making sure you say something important.

My pet has survived the pest epidemic! Some friends and relatives have been vaccinated against Kovid-19, so I was able to host a small birthday dinner. I set the table with cloth napkins, but many guests did not use them. When the table was cleaned, I found them untouched. Do they think I like them to wipe their hands on their socks? I think it is rude not to use what I have offered. You?

Mercy

Who knows why guests do what they do? They may want to protect your cloth napkins with tomato sauce – or you can remove them from the extra work of laughing and ironing (although you probably do that anyway).

I know something more important, though: people feel relaxed in their homes by looking at the small gaffes, a symbol of the magnificent hosts and the finest table manners around.


For help with your awkward situation, send a question to SocialQ@nytimes.com, to Philip alleys on Facebook or @SocialQPhilip On twitter


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