Dear Abby says, treat your parent's triad as family
Newspaper columnist Dear Abby (Jeanne Phillips) uses "triad" correctly. She advises a middle-aged dad that he should treat his own father's family of three as "a package deal" to be welcomed as guests, and never mind what the teenage granddaughters may think.
I’m in my 40s, happily married to my wife, and we have teenage daughters. My parents divorced when I was young, and both have been remarried for years. Over the past 10 years, Dad and his wife have developed a very close “friendship” with a woman I’ll call “Bonnie.” They bought homes next door to each other, travel together, and expect Bonnie to be included in all holiday events. Bonnie has never been married and has no kids, so my parents reason that she would be alone if she’s not with them. I am not fond of this woman and I don’t like having to include her. My parents never ask if it’s OK if she comes; they just started bringing her years ago and assume she’s welcome. When I have brought up the subject, they got angry. Our daughters ask how we’re related to Bonnie. When I say she is Grandma and Grandpa’s friend, they roll their eyes because it falls short of describing what is probably a three-way. I’m tired of the situation. What can I do?
Fed Up in Phoenix
Dear Fed Up: Let your daughters — who are probably more worldly than either you or I — come to their own conclusions about Grandma and Grandpa. Whether they have formed a triad is anybody’s guess, but one thing is clear: They are a package deal. You might be happier if you concentrated less on what may (or may not) be going on between their sheets. The alternative would be to see your father, stepmother and this woman less often.
The original is on the website of the San Francisco Chronicle (May 22, 2015), the paper where her mother started the "Dear Abby" column in 1956. Three days later Google seems to indicate that this is the only place it has appeared. Huh? As of 2011 the "Dear Abby" column claimed to have "95 million readers in about 1,300 newspapers worldwide."
Labels: advice columns