Dear Amy: My 17-year-old grandson comes to visit us once a year (we live on opposite coasts).
He has always brought his faded and well-worn baby blanket (measuring about 3 feet square) and his favorite well-worn stuffed animal. It was cute when he was smaller, now it’s downright embarrassing.
He makes his bed and neatly folds his blanket on top of the pillow along with the stuffed animal.
He’s going to college next year. I’m afraid if he shows up in his dorm room he will be ridiculed forever.
I haven’t spoken to my son about this. None of my business?
– Embarrassed Gran
Dear Embarrassed: Wait. This 17-year-old makes his bed? Please, send him to my house!
What about his loving behavior is embarrassing to you? The fact that he brings his most cherished and comforting friends along with him, and that he treats his possessions – and yours – so respectfully? In my opinion, you should be honored.
Please. He’s fine. He will not be the only young person to bring comfort objects on his life’s journey. Let this go. It most definitely is none of your business.
Dear Amy: I live on the East Coast. Most of my family members live on the West Coast.
Recently I received an email from my cousin’s daughter (we live in the same city), letting me know that my 95-year-old aunt (her grandmother), who resides on the West Coast, has COVID.
What hurt me about her email was the last line, stating that she was leaving shortly for her honeymoon. I had no idea she had gotten married.
I knew she was engaged; this occurred the month before the pandemic started.
However, I didn’t know about her wedding (held on the West Coast). My family never informed me. I was told about it after the fact, and my West Coast cousins let me know that they attended the wedding in person. I am hurt by the lack of communication. I let them know it wasn’t about not being invited to the wedding; it was about not being told about it.
Last Thanksgiving, the daughter of another cousin (who we see more often since they live closer) had a “COVID” wedding. We all watched it via Zoom.
I let my family know that a Zoom call would have been nice if everyone in the family couldn’t be invited.
I feel now that I no longer have family on the West Coast.
Am I wrong to feel that way?
Dear Distressed: Your feelings are your feelings. They are neither wrong nor right.
The essential question is do you want to feel that way?
Weddings can be extremely complicated social and family events, and sometimes marrying couples deliberately don’t invite people to their weddings because they don’t want them to feel pressured to go to the trouble and expense to attend. It’s possible that you fell into that category. Or the couple simply limited their guest list, and you didn’t make the cut.
Or they messed up.
The “Zoom wedding” has really opened up possibilities regarding various layers and levels of wedding guests (thank you, pandemic), and I agree with you that viewing a wedding ceremony from the comfort of your own dining room has its charms.
But some people don’t want to broadcast their weddings, and it is their right to host the wedding that they want to have!
You are upset and hurt. You have expressed this.
You have taken your disappointment and magnified it into a blooming estrangement. That is an extremely unfortunate choice, and I urge you to rethink it.
You have an elderly and ill aunt on the West Coast. She deserves more of your actual and emotional attention than this wedding snub.
Dear Amy: I’m responding to the “Empty Nest” writer who enjoys hosting international students during the holidays. The writer’s out-of-state college students object to coming home to a house full of strangers.
I am 100 percent on the kids’ side. Coming home from college for a visit should be a respite filled with hanging out with parents, relaxing in their old bedrooms, and not having to be “on” for a bunch of strangers. These parents should feel lucky their kids want to hang around them.
Yes, it’s great and admirable to help others … but not at the expense of your own kids. Empty Nest should host international students, but not during the holidays when the kids are home.
– Devoted Mom
Dear Mom: Many readers agree with you.
You can email Amy Dickinson at email@example.com or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.