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The Perfect World >> Family >> Your Parents

Your Parents

jaybird -- Monday, December 09, 2002 -- 06:27:41 AM

Mine are in an unheated house in North Carolina for day 4 of who knows how long they'll be without power. I'm 3000 miles away trying to convince them to check into a hotel.

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jaybird -- Monday, December 09, 2002 -- 01:36:40 AM -- 1 of 8019
Reading a Bush transcript is like watching a landed fish gasp for air. (MC Gusto)

They say there are no hotels. Various web sites show me many available. I think I may have convinced my mom to try again tomorrow for a room -- today all I could get of her were vague protestations that all of her friends who were staying in hotels (with heat, and power) had called earlier, when rooms were still available. Well, to me, that would suggest that you should be looking for a room, well, nowish.

Anyway, how do you deal with your old and far away parents? Moving "home" is not an option, but I want to help, and not be a nag. It's becoming a difficult balance.

aussiegirl -- Monday, December 09, 2002 -- 02:30:24 AM -- 2 of 8019

Jaybird I sympathise but personally it would not matter how much I nagged mine or suggested stuff, they will go right ahead and do whatever they want, be it in their best interest or not.

Pretty much the same way I reacted to their advice (nagging) in my earlier years.

It's very hard to be in your position, I wish I had better advice.

CalGal -- Monday, December 09, 2002 -- 04:04:10 AM -- 3 of 8019
I remember a time, back in the late 90s, when I thought nonsense like this mattered somewhat more than I do now. Now I see well-educated people yammering about the birth control choices of their daughters, or gay marriage, and I think they are morons.

How can you help if they don't ask you to?

momma_tiger -- Monday, December 09, 2002 -- 09:07:31 AM -- 4 of 8019

Are your parents complaining about the lack of power/heat? I've been in the same situation, and it really annoyed me when my folks kept after me to get a hotel room - because it wasn't as bad as they imagined it would/should be.

The other thought is - if your parents are so resistant... can they afford a hotel? Have you offered to go ahead and find one for them and pay for it? Perhaps as an early Christmas present if they're likely to protest your spending the money? If they can easily afford it, yet choose not to - leave them alone about it. It's their choice.

Darci -- Monday, December 09, 2002 -- 11:48:28 AM -- 5 of 8019

My mother complains and complains and is stubborn about not taking advice. It's very worrisome, as she's on many, many meds (not the least of which is Vicodin) and I fear that they're not well monitored. My sibs, who are all in the same town, pretty much assume that she's fine.

She's always been a VERY competent, self-supporting person, but as she's getting older, she seems to be less so. I worry about her judgment sometimes.

jaybird -- Monday, December 09, 2002 -- 12:10:33 PM -- 6 of 8019
Reading a Bush transcript is like watching a landed fish gasp for air. (MC Gusto)

Money's not an issue for them, and yes, they're complaining. My mom has circulatory problems and went on and on about how she had a hard time unhooking her printer from the laptop to take it into the office (which does have power now, so that's a plus) to charge because she'd lost feeling in her fingers. I'm listening to this and thinking, for god's sake get yourself somewhere warm if it's causing problems.

Judgement is definitely part of what I'm concerned about -- they're both quite elderly, (dad late 80's, mom somewhat younger). I'm worried that they're risking their health. But, Calgal, you're right, I suppose -- how can I help them if they won't ask?

momma_tiger -- Monday, December 09, 2002 -- 12:12:54 PM -- 7 of 8019

You could tell them that you know it;s hard for them to make the arrangements, so you're willing to do so. And you can sort out the details later. Put it on your card, and tell 'em where to go.

jaybird -- Monday, December 09, 2002 -- 12:27:04 PM -- 8 of 8019
Reading a Bush transcript is like watching a landed fish gasp for air. (MC Gusto)

I could try that, but it's difficult, as I'm not familiar with the area, to know what's within reasonable distance and what's not. I think, though, that if they haven't made arrangements by this afternoon, I'll just book something. Unfortunately, I believe my brother did this after hurricane Fran, but they never used the room. It would make me feel better to have done something, even if they pull the same stunt again.

cj griffin -- Monday, December 09, 2002 -- 12:33:10 PM -- 9 of 8019
There's a fine, fine line between a fairy tale and a lie.

If it were my dad or MIL, the room would never get used, because they are adamant that they don't need their kids to take care of them, that they are strong, active people who have lived in wintry places all their lives and have never let something as silly as an ice storm get in their way.

MIL lost power for a couple of days during the last big ice storm we had. She had all kinds of friends and family who would have happily shared their homes with her, including me, but did she call anyone? Hell no.

Maybe just say "I'm really worried about you and I wish I could be there to help. I know you're capable of handling this, but I also know that there are hotels available and I'm willing to help with that. If I reserve the room, will you use it?" That way they still have the option to care for themselves in the situation.

j. ross -- Monday, December 09, 2002 -- 12:34:34 PM -- 10 of 8019

If they really truely can't take care of themselves then you should do something about that, not just this one time but permanantly. If they can take care of themselves then let them. You are just demeaning them by trying to tell them they can't.

jaybird -- Monday, December 09, 2002 -- 12:44:29 PM -- 11 of 8019
Reading a Bush transcript is like watching a landed fish gasp for air. (MC Gusto)

CJ, I think I've pretty much done what you've suggested, as far as expressing that I'm worried about them, and that I wish I could help, although I believe they can handle things themselves.

I don't agree that it's demeaning to want to nudge them into a hotel -- my mom, especially, had a very depression era tinge to her attitudes about money, and often has to be reminded that it's OK to spend money on things for oneself.

momma_tiger -- Monday, December 09, 2002 -- 02:01:05 PM -- 12 of 8019

But that really *is* their decision to make.

Tuesday -- Wednesday, December 11, 2002 -- 07:13:34 PM -- 13 of 8019
Go fuck yourself! (if you want to; not responsible for advice taken; professional driver on closed course shown; in an actual self-fucking situation, remember to use lube) --disclaimer by Cathy G

Here is the little lovenote I got today:

Hello Daughter,
As you can tell, I am not dead yet.
Towards that end I would like the full name of my estranged Grandson and SS numbers on both of mygrandchildren, if you have them. I am settling my estate before we leave for [other country].
[signed his full name]

A) I didn't know he was leaving the country, but he knows that. This way I freak out and contact him out of panic. Ha.
B) He is 58 years old, and very healthy.
C) He is an ass.

cj griffin -- Wednesday, December 11, 2002 -- 07:29:35 PM -- 14 of 8019
There's a fine, fine line between a fairy tale and a lie.

So wait four days before you drop the information into the mail with a post-it saying "Happy travels!"

rms -- Wednesday, December 11, 2002 -- 07:30:21 PM -- 15 of 8019

Very tempting to answer exactly what he asks, and not let him know he's pushing your buttons.

Sapphire -- Wednesday, December 11, 2002 -- 07:31:48 PM -- 16 of 8019
if you can't tell family members they are bugging the shit out of you you are going to have a life full of bugged out shit [j. ross]

Tuesday - let me guess, OtherCountry is somewhere dangerous and conducive to doing something about him not being dead yet, right? What an ass.

I would not give him the Soc numbers if you think there is the slightest possibility of fraud. If all he really wants is to leave money to someone, it can be done without that piece of information.

Ally C -- Wednesday, December 11, 2002 -- 07:35:49 PM -- 17 of 8019

I was thinking what Sapphire said about SS numbers.

And I love CJ's idea for a response.

gsand -- Wednesday, December 11, 2002 -- 07:52:15 PM -- 18 of 8019

I think you need SSN for insurance beneficiary designations. I always have to get my parents' and brother's when I do my forms at work.

AnitaB -- Wednesday, December 11, 2002 -- 08:29:43 PM -- 19 of 8019
Look in the mirror. Are you a sodomite, or a sodo-might-not?

My insurance beneficiary designation forms required SS numbers, too. That said, given the state of your relationship, er, maybe any inheritance wouldn't so much be worth it?

J-Ro -- Thursday, December 12, 2002 -- 01:02:22 AM -- 20 of 8019
It will all be OK in the end. If it isn't OK, it isn't the end.

Tuesday, that sounds just like something my father would say. He always starts our conversations with something about how soon he'll be dead. When I'm really tired of it, I respond, "Promises, promises."

I haven't talked to my dad in ages. I called him last time and he apologized to me for not having called lately (as in, only once the whole summer and then only because he wanted something ridiculous from me). I didn't hear from him on Thanksgiving, but I didn't call him either. I'm not mad at him. I actually felt a little bad that I didn't call him, but not *that* bad. I have the bat mitzvah pictures he ordered and an album to put them in. Maybe I'll do that now and mail it to him.

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The Perfect World >> Family >> Your Parents