1. Winifred Rosenburg

    My upstairs neighbor has an annoying habit of pacing around her apartment wearing high heels. It is extremely loud. Whenever we have guests over, they are in shock that we put up with it, which we have for two years.

    This morning my husband was trying to work from home and she had been pacing for over an hour. He called her to ask her to keep it down, and she responded rather irately saying she was getting ready to leave. He told he it’s only when she wears heels so maybe she could wait until she was almost ready to leave to put her shoes on. She said “that’s my lifestyle! You guys complain about everything!” In reality we barely complain. We haven’t brought up the shoe issue at all. The only other complaints were a few times we asked her to turn down her music when it was so loud it was shaking our apartment and we were trying to sleep. We also know that we don’t complain nearly as much as the person who lived below her before us who called the police about her.

    Our ceiling fans rattle every time she walks over them, and I’m seriously concerned that one day it’s going to fall and hurt us. What can we do?

    • Country Girl

      Oh ugh, the joys of apartment/condo living. =) I have been there! It doesn’t seems likely that this resident is going to suddenly start caring about her neighbors’s comfort and well-being, since she apparently has a long history of this selfish behavior.

      Since you have already tried (to no avail) to be civil and ask her to refrain from the noise, I would see this as time to dig out your apartment’s noise codes/rules. If she is violating them, a call to the apt manager may be in order. While I’m not sure the pacing in heels qualifies as a violation, I’m quite sure loud music would.

      If you’re feeling generous, the next time she is noisy I would call again and say “Judy, we aren’t trying to be annoying neighbors, but your noise is really bothering us. We’d appreciate it if you would turn down your music so that we don’t have to get the apartment manager involved.” After that warning, if the noise still continues, then a chat with the management is the next step. Apartment managers usually have a system in place to contact a tenant who is disturbing others. She may receive a warning or worse. If, for some reason, the apartment manager is uncooperative, nothing will jump them into action more than if you say “You know, the extra noise is making our apartment unlivable. We know the previous tenant in are apartment had these same issues, and if it doesn’t stop, we too will likely be looking for a new place to live.”

  2. Pam

    Would it be okay for me to tell my long time boyfriend something his Mom said to MY Mom recently? I’m leaning toward not telling him but I am hurt by it and yet have no way of discussing it with him without there being fallout. His Mom is very sweet but she basically said that she wants to “kick both of us” because we have not made any plans for a wedding or marriage. His parents live in another state and are basically living in “la-la land” and just want a wedding and grandchildren. This is my life and I am not here to live for other people’s expectations. We may never have children, we may never get married…we have other issues that we are working on that she is clueless about. I feel like I want to defend myself yet I have no way of doing it.

    • Because his mother is the one who said it, you should mention to him that it bothered you. You don’t deserve unnecessary pressure for events that are not the business of others. Why are you concerned that there would be fallout about this?

      My husband and I won’t be having children. My mother erroneously believes that my husband is responsible for all my decision-making, and recently asked his mother whether my husband would ever change his mind about having children. As if the fact that I am nearly 30 and have never wanted children has nothing to do with this choice. We deal with it by ignoring her, or offering to get her another cat. Perhaps you could do the same.

    • Alicia

      Have you ever played that game telephone where over the course of a circle the message and intent of something changes dramatically. That happens in real life too. It may be happening to you. This was not said to you nor was it said in your hearing best to just ignore it. In your shoes I would ask yourself what your mom hopped to accomplish by telling you of this. Also I would give your boyfriends mom the benifit of the doubt that even if she did say this that it could be a mild “I really wish they would get married” kind hearted meaning that is a sign that she would love you as a daughter in law not a mean disapproving thing. But right now all you have is hearsay and hearsay is not worth repeating when drama can ensue.

    • Pam,
      You cannot control what other people say or think but you do have control over how you choose to react to it. There is another saying: “Holding a grudge is like letting someone live in your head rent free.”

      Please know I am not saying you are holding a grudge against his mom, but let’s look at this:
      1. She says she wants to kick “both of us” … she’s frustrated with her son too, you are not in this alone!
      2. His mom is very sweet … it sounds like you don’t want to offend or hurt her, so how about just saying something non-committal regarding your relationship the next time she brings it up — “Married? Oh wow!” and then change the subject or move on with a smile and wink.
      3. Your issues are your issues; if you make her aware that they exist, do you want her to worry/comment/meddle in them? Probably not.
      4. This IS your life and you are not here to live for other people’s expectations.

      Chalk it up to a sweet woman who thinks marriage and children are the road to happiness and move on. You and your boyfriend are where you are, and that is what matters.

      Good luck!

  3. Pam

    I think my Mom felt I should know that his parents are basically quite unaware of how things truly are down here. It is also quite possible that she blames me because he did once propose (after she pressured him) and we mutually said “this is really not what we should be doing right now.” But in her mind it must be “Pam rejected my son.” I am glad my Mom told me because now I have realized that the perceptions of my relationship are much more skewed than I even thought. My Mom had no time to say anything back to his Mom b/c they were walking right behind us and his Mom whispered it to her. I’m concerned that there would be fallout b/c our parents have built up a friendly relationship over the years (even though we live 3 hours away, we do manage to have everyone together about twice a year) and I feel that when it got back to his Mom then she would be upset that my Mom told me.

      • Elizabeth

        I agree, Laura. Even more so, I think she wants to bring it up and ask about it, knowing that it isn’t her business, and this is her way of doing it. I also agree with the other posters who suggest that you ignore it. When you bring up the subject, you allow her more air time on it, and it really isn’t her business. Whatever her perception is of your relationship – who cares? You don’t live near her, you manage to have decent visits twice a year – let it just be that.
        I, for one, know that my MIL judges me all the time, and I couldn’t care less. Let her!

  4. Denise

    Hello, I am wondering if anyone can help me with an invitation wording to a small retirement party we will be having for my husband in a few months. He is retiring from the Air Nat’l Guard and we are sending out invites to immediate family and one friend, so it is very small. There will be a retirement ceremony and then we want to have family and these friends join us for dinner, but we are not able to pay for everyone’s meal. So, as I list the time and place for the dinner gathering, I need to somehow convey that people would need to pay for their own dinner, but I’m not sure how to word it! Thank you, any help would be appreciated.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Your base protocol office should have a sample invitation for a retirement ceremony. If your husband works on a base that is exclusively guard, call your nearest Air Force base and ask for the protocol officer. It really depends on how formal you want to be with the invites. I’ve seen some invitations that call for “career debriefing following at X Restaurant.” Obviously that would be a jest approach. Guard/Reserve retirements/promotions are tricky. In the active duty world, the honoree is expected to put out a little spread for everyone as a thank you for supporting their career. However, in the guard/reserve, this is not your full-time job and your compensation reflects that. So having to pay for refreshments ought not to be expected. My advice is to try and see if you can find a restaurant that will allow you just to put out some light fare, or have light fare at your home, to avoid potential awkwardness.

    • Congratulations on your husband’s retirement. :)
      Since this is a small party, mention via word of mouth that you’d love if others could join you for dinner at ExcellentRestaurant after the official party.

  5. Karen

    My wedding is in a couple of weeks, with about 45 guest, which are close family and closest friends.
    Since my cousin found out that her Father will not be coming to my wedding, she now wants to bring her boyfriend. I explained to her that I’m only having immediate family and closest friends, and I told her, I was going to replace her Father’s seat, with another cousin of mine, but she’s very upset, because she really wants her boyfriend there. What to do?

    • You are the bride, and wish to have family and YOUR closest friends, not your guest’s closest friends. I understand this, and it’s a shame your cousin does not. Gently tell her that this isn’t a slight against her boyfriend; rather, that this is your wedding and you have chosen the guest list. At her wedding, she will be welcome to choose the guest list. Surely she can bear to part with the gentleman for a couple of hours, then meet up with him later?

      I want to quickly mention that if they were engaged or married (or even living together for an extended period of time, so as to be seen as as social unit), he would be invited.

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      I ran into problems like this with my wedding guests too. Say “We’re trying to keep it intimate and only have people we are close with there.”

    • C.R.

      I commiserate, and think you are being completely reasonable. It makes it easier to say no to the boyfriend if you have categories that a boyfriend doesn’t fit into, e.g., cousins or spouses. If your cousin isn’t yet willing to make a serious commitment to her bf by marrying him or becoming engaged, then it seems perfectly reasonable that you are not willing to make the commitment of excluding a blood relative so you can include the bf!

  6. Laura

    What is the proper thing to do regarding Christmas presents and a Christmas bride? My sister-in-law is getting married to a boy (she is 22; he is 19) in December. Since my husband’s side is very large, we draw names for each other. I am wondering how we should go about adding her to the name draw when we will be expected to give her another gift several weeks later.

    • Elizabeth

      They should be treated as totally separate. She should be included in the Christmas exchange (as she has in the past?), and then you would naturally give her a gift for her wedding. Just because they fall near each other doesn’t cancel them out.

      However, perhaps you are implying that she hasn’t been a part of the exchange before? Perhaps with the flurry of activity around her wedding, she would be glad to be exempt for one more year? This is something you should ask her directly, but only if this would be the first year of her inclusion. If you do include her, however, don’t forget to include her fiance/husband (if spouses are normally included)!

    • Alicia

      Both the bride and groom should be afforded the normal gift exchange inclusion. Seperately you and your husband should give the couple a wedding gift regardless of drawing them or not drawing them in the gift exchange.

    • Zakafury

      In the event you draw the “boy” in the Christmas exchange, please resist the temptation to get him a Tonka truck.

      I’m sorry you disapprove, but they are going to be your husband’s family and the ordinary social obligations still apply.

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