Dear Annie: I am the youngest of 10 siblings. Every summer, we share a lake house for a wonderful family reunion that extends over several days.
Every year, my older brother invites an obnoxious friend to join us for the last evening’s family grill. How can I convince him that just because we are part owners doesn’t mean we can invite unwanted guests? He says it is his home and he can invite whomever he wishes. I say if he is not cooking the meal, it is not proper. The chef dislikes this guy as much as I do. Who is right? – The Baby of the Family
Dear Baby: As joint owners, you should each be able to invite guests. However, since you are all staying in the house together, it is both considerate and proper to first ask the other residents whether they object to additional company. So while your brother can invite his friend when he uses the lake house on his own, he should ask the rest of you about inviting him when you are sharing the house and the meals.
Dear Annie: I am concerned about your response to “Trying” which said it was OK to tell Mom that some of the grandchildren are hurt because they aren’t receiving as much gift money as others.
I think this encourages a sense of entitlement. Instead of trying to correct Mom’s behavior, I would encourage “Trying” to stop comparing gifts and value Mom’s intention to add joy to the lives of all of her family members. – Mike in Schenectady, N.Y.
Dear Mike: We disagree. The only entitlement it encourages is that Grandma should treat her grandchildren equally. If all the kids received a lesser gift, it would be fair, and the kids wouldn’t get the impression that Grandma loves some of them more than others. And we think Grandma should know this.
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