Carolyn Hax: Restaurants and friends’ kids don’t mix ( News Washington )


Dear Carolyn: When my friends who have babies or toddlers come to the restaurant, how can I politely ask them not to bring their children?

Adult-only: This is not an urban request. This conversation is a place where you can discuss the powerful issues that arise when your needy, crying guy joins the adults-only club.

You would rather complete your sentences. Totally fair. It’s a reason almost every parent of young children feels like you are always on the fast track.

Your friends prefer to avoid the hassles of sitting and (I’m guessing) want their friends to be a part of their children’s lives. Maybe not as the best honorary aunt/uncle ever – but it’s so worth it: parents can model friendship for their kids. Kids have community and an adult presence above their parents. Kidded friends didn’t have some level of inclusion in the parent-friends family experience, which, no way around it, is a huge part of them now. Many have become like family, or at least learn what it’s like to have a kid steal your heart.

These parent-friends also have logistical challenges. Even when you get a full adult-only car rental agreement at a restaurant, that doesn’t guarantee they’ll have full staffing or funding for one. Child care is sometimes expensive, often scarce (especially now), the reservation-departure always takes up the time of anger and sometimes calls in sick.

That’s how you say it – it’s the gnat that remembers, not the Chia Pet. “What do you take your kids vs. your non-kids when we go to restaurants? Does the type of restaurant matter? I don’t want to assume anything.”

Assuming that it is necessary. Some people would rather lose friends than have friends for their kids, and if that’s the case, then you can have them.

But guardian friends are honest speakers and attentive listeners, and in their mutual partners they are only too willing to give what their changeable lives require. Roll up and roll out. Both parties.

Bonus: When both of them want to put their friendships above their own interests at times, it’s easier for one of them to say in a non-offensive way, “Whoa, we need a night out with the adults.”

Tell us: What’s Carolyn Hax’s favorite holiday column?

Dear Carolyn: I am in love with someone. Minds are not reciprocal.

I never expected to feel this way again (I’m in my mid 70s), to bear such sadness for something that cannot be.

I can’t get my mind around it, even though I get the point – intellectually.

I am taking steps to help myself, but I still feel emotionally stuck. Short term plans to go into therapy? I am angry with myself and I am sad.

Without a name: Genie is asking us to feel young again, and to take care of the unconsciousness, the trap and the trap.

I understand what you’re going through: loss is loss, and it’s horrible. I’m sorry. Every instance of being unloved leaves a scar, at least for me.

But I don’t understand your anger. You did it! He affirmed life! Maybe he took it. Having extinguished his pride, he stuck to himself.

They might as well. Because all you have in this business is the strength of your own mind – and some self-love is a low-risk, high-yield start. Your heart is hopeful and strong, and no one is second-guessing, least of all.

You’ve never expected this feeling “again”, you’ve felt it before and you’ve gotten enough of it for complacency. Well then. You still have all the mental tools you’ve used every time (mine: distraction, self-care, time, fresh air), plus what you’ve learned since. To believe Open the door, unless you live on the moon – and maybe even love it.


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