Dear Annie: I have an acquaintance who gives parties for her immediate family, and the invitation always requests that guests bring a side dish. The party is never in her home. I don’t think she wants to take the time to clean, and it is too small to hold all the people she invites.
To throw a party for your spouse or child and expect the invited guests to bring a gift and provide the food strikes me as wrong. I was so turned off last time that I didn’t attend. Am I making too much of this? – Living Within My Budget in Redding, Calif.
Dear Budget: If you know in advance that the party is potluck, and everyone brings a dish to share, it is tolerable to have this type of party, even though the gifts benefit her family members. Where the event takes place is irrelevant unless she’s asking you to foot the bill for that, as well. You could, of course, say that your side dish is also your gift, or, as you did previously, you could simply not attend.
Dear Annie: My heart goes out to “In the Middle.” We, too, have a grossly overweight daughter and have tried every way we know to help her. I have paid for just about every diet there is, only to find her cheating.
She is now 35 and still can’t see what she is doing to herself. She has three children and teaches kindergarten. She nearly lost her job because she could not bend down to the children’s level. She is often at the doctor’s office. Her knees ache, and she can’t walk very far, but no physician has said a thing about her weight.
I know we must let her lead her own life, but I can’t stand to hear her complain about her knees and then find candy wrappers all over the house. A parent never gives up on their child, no matter what. – We Are There and It Hurts
Dear Hurts: It is not “giving up” to allow your daughter to see that she is responsible for her own health. All you can do is love her as she is for as long as you can.