April 12, 2007
After last weeks session I received more questions. It appears no one wanted to be first. This weeks question is from a reader that has/had what I consider a serious problem, so I moved it to the top of the list. For the rest of you, donít worry Iíll get to your questions too.
Dear Dr. Contagion,
My husband's Dad and Stepmom recently dropped by for a "surprise" visit. The biggest part of the surprise is that they live 800+ miles away and planned to stay with me for 10 days.
Also, they brought their 3 little dogs with barking and bladder issues with them. Oh joy. At the time I merely sucked it up and was the best hostess I could be. Thank God for cocktails.
What should I have done? And how can I prevent future "surprises" of this nature?
"Pissed" off is better than "Pissed" on
Move to a gated community. In all seriousness I must say you have got to be the most polite and gracious person I have ever met. The amount of undue stress and inconvenience this situation produced can only be imagined. I would give you some kind of award, but thatís just not my style.
First off your in-laws have to be some of the rudest and most inconsiderate people in existence, they also seem like free loaders. Too cheap to pay for a motel and probably expected you to pay for all the food. When one makes a ďsurpriseĒ visit, it is usually only for an hour or two, maybe an evening at the most. But to plan on staying is a different issue. Iím sure you where expected to be a gracious host including feeding and entertaining them. They also brought with pets. Now you donít say in your letter whether or not you have pets, but Iím sure you have at least one. Even then one does not bring their pet to someone elseís residence with out first asking permission. There could be allergy, pet compatibility, or human compatibility issues. The fact that the dogs donít shut up and have bladder issues really means they shouldnít have been brought with.
What should you have done and how can you prevent future ďsurprisesĒ of this nature? I think this could have been all done at the same time. When they arrived and advised their intentions, you should have politely declined their offer of them staying with you. Explain that you did not know they where coming and are not prepared for them. Offer to help them find a local motel in which they could stayÖ one that accepts pets. Explain that you do not appreciate being put to task with no notice. If they seem offended, explain to them that you are not a motel and you and your familyís lives do not revolve around them. There is school, jobs, clubs, housework etc that must be done and you cannot afford to just take the time on short notice to house, feed and entertain them. If given enough notice you may have been able to accommodate themÖ depending on what you and your families schedule is.
While they stayed with you, make them leave the dogs outside. If you have a fenced in yard, great. If not tie them up. Again this is your house; you are perfectly with in your rights to decline the offer of hospitality to their incontinent and yappy dogs. If they donít like it, owell they should have left them at home. If they donít want to leave their dogs at home, as I know some people are wont to do, then they should make sure they are going someplace that they are welcome. Itís not their property or belongings that is getting damaged by canine piss, itís yours. You have the right to protect yourself from the yappy beasts. You also have the right to protect your sanity from the barking. In no world should you have to put up with their maladjusted pets just because they canít leave them behind or afford to kennel them. Itís not your problem.
To be honest, when they came to the door with their little surprise, I would have told them sorry; we have plans and left them there. Even if it meant taking a little impromptu family trip, so be it. If you couldnít afford to take the time off of work, sometimes just spending a couple of nights in a hotel can be family fun that still allows you to go to work. Then again if it was me, I probably would have gotten drunk enough the first night to tell them how I actually feltÖ ďFarking dumbarsesĒ.
Remember, bad planning on their part does not constitute and emergency on your part.
For the record I am not a doctor, but I do play one in the tool shed. My advice is purely for entertainment purposes.
If you would like to ask me a question or need advice, please comment or send an email to contagion_1 @ yahoo DOT com.
April 05, 2007
Putting the moves on the Ex.
Our first question for Contagion Therapy comes from a long time commenter who wishes to remain anonymous.
Contagion, There is a girl Iíve been interested in since High School. We never dated in High School, but we had a lot of mutual friends and did hang out a lot. We both were seeing different people so we never got together. Right after graduation she had broken up with her boyfriend and admitted she had feelings for me. We had a summer fling before I left for college out of state. During my first semester my father received a promotion and the family moved to a different city. I kept in contact with ďLizĒ, but we never really saw each other while I was in college. We both decided to move on, but stay friends. She started dating one of my good friends from High School Mike and they got married during my senior year, I was a part of the wedding party. Mike knew that Liz and I had been together.
After college I took a prestigious internship in the city I grew up, and have stayed there since. Lizís husband ďMikeĒ and I are still good friends and hung out all the time. Unfortunately my feelings for Liz never faded. Things between Mike and Liz went sour and they decided to get divorced. They are still civil with each other, but you can see the tension there. Their divorce was 4 years ago. Liz hasnít been dating anyone, and Iíve only been in minor relationships over the last couple of years. In a conversation we had a couple of weeks ago Liz admitted she still had feelings for me and wanted to get back together.
Would it be wrong for me to start seeing Liz since Mike and I are still good friends? ĖLong Time Reader.
First Iím going to start by saying that Iím only responding to this letter because itís the only one I received. Iím starting to feel that none of you feel confident in my ability to help you with your problems. I see how you all are.
Secondly, LTR let me say that you really did not give me enough information here to truly help you. The first thing I need to know is if Liz is a hottie. Obviously you think she has the right stuff, but Iím curious what your other friends think of her. Since, I donít know for sure Iím going to assume sheís at least above average and has either a decent rack or an arse you can bounce quarters off of. With that being said, lets begin.
LTR, since technically your buddy Mike made the moves, and scored, with a girl you had already dating, he violated the guy code regarding recycling friends girlfriends. Therefore Liz is fair game. Even if he asked you permission and you gave it, she was your girl first. Once the divorce was finalized and the minimum 2-year waiting period was met, Liz was again free game according to man laws and the guy code. Even if you didnít wait the permitted waiting period special compensation could be made because you dated her first, there for your are not starting a new relationship, you are rekindling an old one.
Good luckÖ oh and send pictures.
If you need help with a problem or need some advice donít be shy, let Contagion help you out. Leave a comment or send me an e-mail.
March 30, 2007
Maybe this could be a new blog series - "Therapy with Contagion" has a nice ring to it... ~Richmond
I laughed at that, and then I snickered, finally I chortled at the thought. Who would want to get advice from me? So I responded to her by e-mail that no one would ask me questions. To which she responded, yes some people are
insane desperate bold enough to see what I would say. Plus if they didnít, I could just take questions asked to Dear Abby and give my own answer to them.
Hey, I could do that. Sure I could. I mean I live a sound healthy life with a happy family and everything is perfect. Hey! Donít roll your eyes at me! Anyway, Iím going to give it a shot. But I would like a little help from you. Instead of pulling my questions from Dear Abby, I would rather try to help some of my loyal readers out. If you need advice or are having a problem, Iíd like you to go ahead and ask me. You can either leave it in the comments or if you want to remain anonymous send your question to contagion_1 AT yahoo DOT com. Once a week Iíll post my advice.
Lets get moving people, help me to help youÖ get your head out of your arse! :)
You can Blame Richmond for this.