I am a new bride in my mid-20s. I'm writing about my dad.
At the wedding dinner, he read a list of reasons he "let" me get married. Granted, he thought it was funny, and he always needs to be the center of attention. But during our honeymoon abroad, he sent me messages at every juncture and each hotel.
Maybe he's having a hard time "letting go," but is this normal? Frankly, I found it creepy. My honeymoon was my and my new hubby's time to enjoy, and so much intrusion felt like stalking. I am not particularly close to Dad. Am I overreacting?
- Newlywed in California
DEAR NEWLYWED: You stated that your father likes to be the center of attention. Your wedding dinner may have been yet another example of it.
A lot of humor is based on truth, and Dear Old Dad's thinking may be rooted in the 19th century or earlier, when women needed their father's permission to marry. That he would insert himself into your honeymoon does seem over the top for someone with whom you are not particularly close. If he persists, you and your husband should have a talk with him and tell him it's making the both of you uncomfortable and ask him to please stop.
Trying to understand
Many businesses these days outsource their customer-service departments to phone centers in other countries where the person answering the phone speaks very little English or has a weak comprehension of the English language. Please don't get me wrong, they are polite, patient and try hard to be helpful, but many times it is difficult to get a question answered or an issue successfully dealt with because the person doesn't understand what you are saying or you are having trouble understanding.
Often I have spent much of my call asking the person to repeat him or herself, or repeating myself to them. Is there a polite way of saying, "Hey, get me someone who speaks English"? I have never said that, but I'm often tempted. Usually the call ends in frustration with unresolved issues. I don't want to be rude or hurt someone's feelings, but what do you do when business needs to be conducted?
- Bonnie in Montana
DEAR BONNIE: If you call customer service and have trouble understanding the person you are speaking with or feel you are not being properly understood, either ask to talk to a supervisor or with someone whose first language is English. To do that isn't rude; it allows for the most productive use of your time as well as the person at the other end of the phone.
Plus and minus
I'm a 22-year-old plus-sized female who is having trouble feeling beautiful. I have tried makeup, different outfits - nothing seems to work.
My boyfriend keeps telling me I'm beautiful, but it is not easy for me to see. What do you think I should do?
- Shattered Mirror in Pennsylvania
DEAR SHATTERED: There's a saying that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. If your boyfriend keeps telling you that you are beautiful, then in his eyes you are. Because when you look in a mirror you only find fault with yourself, it appears that you don't like yourself much. Discuss this with a licensed psychotherapist to get to the bottom of it and learn to appreciate the beauty your boyfriend sees.