You Are the Answer Lady: August 2012

Straight from our Facebook wall, readers like you offer real-world advice for sticky situations and everyday dilemmas.
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I sent my nephew and his wife a wedding gift and never got a thank-you for it. Should I say something?

Teresa Stankoff: Is it worth creating family friction? If you want to make sure they got it, I would ask, "How are you enjoying the gift?"

Herminia D. Hernandez: Maybe they're still settling into married life and haven't had the chance to send thank-yous yet. Did you send the gift out of the goodness of your heart, or did you send it to get a thank-you?

Tara White Robinet: I would send a note to make sure they got the gift and tell them you hope they're doing well. It is common courtesy to send a thank-you, but cut them some slack this time. Maybe they're really behind or dealing with other issues.

Denita Leonard: I would say something. Not based on the fact that I didn't receive a thank-you for it, but because I would want to make sure they received it.

My sister-in-law is notorious for being difficult and demanding to waiters. I'd rather not go out with her but sometimes it's unavoidable. Should I say something? Or just give the poor waiter a bigger tip?

Tricia Barret Campbell: I would definitely give him a larger tip and I'd make sure I was extra pleasant to offset your sister-in-law's demanding behavior.

Pati Goodwin: Say something. She needs to know her behavior is completely unacceptable. She may have gotten more in her food than she knows.

Lisa Desjardins Boucher: If she's being difficult, excuse yourself, find the waiter, and explain the situation -- tipping him in advance wouldn't hurt either. That way he'll hopefully keep his frustration under control and you won't end up with something extra in your soup.

Chris Mandrell Wheeler: Tell her about how your "friend" treated a waiter badly and made you miserable, and thank her for not being like that. Believe it or not, this does work!

Suzy Ryan-Barber: Speak up. Be lighthearted about it and say something like, "Wow, I hope he ate his Wheaties this morning" or "Boy, after that you had better give him a great tip."

My 17-year-old daughter and her boyfriend are very PDA-heavy in front of the whole family. How do I tell them to tone it down without embarrassing them?

Robin Klopp: If they're that PDA-heavy, how could you embarrass them? Be straight and don't beat around the bush. Say, "Cool the PDA in front of the family!" Tell them there's a time and place for everything.

Mary Ellen Stone: One sure way to get them to stop would be for you and your husband to mirror their displays of affection in front of them. Then just repeat as necessary.

Angie Ihrig: Talk to your daughter privately. She's almost an adult and needs to know how her behavior makes her appear. Approach her with love and support, not judgment. Maybe you can get to the root of why she thinks she needs to go there. Good luck from a mom with two older daughters!

Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, August 2012.


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