Dear Amy: I do not know how to handle Thanksgiving and Christmas meals at my father-in-law's house.
Last year, just before the meal, I watched my mother-in-law's cat eat on the dining room table. It was hard not to vomit. I noticed that the vinaigrette had expired years ago.
In addition to all this, she leaves the dog and cat bowls on the same counter as the food to be cooked. Although it's probably not a real threat to safety, it's incredibly unappetizing.
Over the years, I have found ways to move to eat most meals at home. I sneak out to go shopping and go to a fast food restaurant. I also convinced them that I love the cheese sprouts that go into one of those huge containers. I can roll through a gallon of puffs in a few days if we stay with them.
My wife has spoken to both her parents on a number of occasions. Nothing has changed.
What should I do during the holidays? I do not want to ruin these meals, but I do not think I can sit at the table and eat the food in front of me.
I am not sure that I want my children to eat unhealthy food. Your advice?
Hungry for a vacation
Hungry holidays: First of all, even if everyone likes to wear one of these cheesy containers on their face, like a food bag, if you introduce food at home, there are healthier options. (An apple, for example, is delivered in a container with the challenge of cats.)
Basically, here are my suggestions: 1) Invite step-parents to stay with you during the holidays. (Yes, I know, they will not leave their pets at home …)
2) You and your family find a nearby Airbnb with a kitchen. You can all find yourself at the step-parents' house, but that will take away the pressure of meal preparation.
3) You and your family announce that you would like to bring a lot (or all) of the Thanksgiving feast to their home. You can prepare as soon as possible and maybe cook only the main course at home. Have your mother-in-law prepare one of her favorite dishes.
Yes, the prospect of cats on the table is disgusting (I have cats in my own housekeeping).
Yes, having bowls of pet food on the counter is unappetizing and encourages them to feed at the counter.
Your wife has spoken with her parents many times, so assume home conditions will not change. Be gentle, diplomatic and friendly: "We will give you a break this year to prepare your meals. We hope you will let us go shopping and cooking. "
Dear Amy: Alcoholism has been rampant in my ex-husband's family for generations. The maternal grandfather of my ex was an alcoholic. His aunt has been in rehab. The last time she was released from her rehab, she drove her car intoxicated the next day!
My ex has abused alcohol since she was a teenager.
Since it's now my ex-husband, it's not my problem except for this: my eldest son, "Danny", just turned 21 years old. My ex-husband offered her a big bottle of wine for her birthday, as well as some tickets. in Las Vegas so that they can drink together. His grandmother sent "beer-pong" supplies for his 21 years.
I am horrified that it 's like they were intentionally trying to instill my son into their long line of alcoholics! I thought I would call them both and shout at them, but I decided to write to you instead. What are you doing with that?
horrified: You can not rewrite the DNA code of this family. What you can and should do is to speak frankly to your son about family history and the tendency to alcoholism. Your son has an increased risk of developing alcoholism.
According to an article published by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (niaaa.nih.gov), genetics appears to determine about half the risk of developing an alcohol disorder (AUD). Environmental factors provide the other half of the equation. Your son has both shots against him. Make sure he understands the risks.
Dear Amy: "Working on it in the Midwest" was wondering how to remedy a drunken sexual assault that he had committed at the university.
This man should be informed of the impact of this on the woman that he assaulted. He should also seek to volunteer and support organizations that serve the victims.
Survivor of assault
Survivor of assault: Absolutely. Thank you.