creators home
creators.com lifestyle web
Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar

Recently

Drinking the Family Business Dry Dear Annie: My brother, "Ned," worked alongside my dad for many years. Now that Dad is getting up in years, Ned has taken over the business. Ned has had a drinking problem for a long time. Ten years ago, he landed a lucrative contract for the …Read more. Hard-To-Believe I Love Yous Dear Annie: I am in a relationship with a man I met through an online dating site. I hadn't known him long when he broke up with me. But shortly after our relationship ended, I found out I was pregnant. We didn't talk much at the beginning of my …Read more. Ovarian Cancer Awareness Dear Annie: September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month as proclaimed by the U.S. Senate and President Obama, whose mother battled the disease. Ovarian cancer is the most deadly of all gynecologic cancers, affecting one in 72 women. It is …Read more. Always the Disciplinarian Dear Annie: I am a proud father of two young children, who both mind and respect me. I know that kids get in trouble. We were all kids once. The problem is, I am the disciplinarian at home, and I wish my wife and her mother did a little more. They …Read more.
more articles

Sugar Momma

Comment

Dear Annie: I am a widow in my mid-70s and am comfortably well off. A year after my husband's death, I moved to an apartment in a smaller city in order to be closer to my daughter's family. However, they have their own lives and rarely include me in anything except holiday dinners. None of the fun things I envisioned doing with my grandchildren has happened, and I don't have any old friends in the new city.

I did meet a widower, "Jim," at a church social. We share a lot of common interests and enjoy going out to dinner and movies together. The only downside is that Jim lives entirely on his Social Security check, so I always pay my own way on our "dates." My daughter says Jim is after my money, which may be true, but then sometimes I think she is, too. She's always asking how much money is in the grandchildren's college funds and whether I am dipping into it to pay my expenses.

Jim and I are thinking of taking a Mediterranean cruise in which we would share a cabin and I would pay for 75 percent of the combined cost, based on the fact that my yearly income is three times his. We have already taken some short weekend trips and got on very well.

My daughter is livid. I say it's my money and my business. She said that her father never would have dreamed that I would be subsidizing a cruise for a boyfriend. Frankly, I wouldn't have either, but that's the situation. I don't want to alienate her. What's your advice? — Sugar Momma

Dear Momma: Your daughter needs reassurance that Mom is not being taken advantage of, and that you aren't spending all of your money on some guy. Please let her know that you love her and your new relationship won't change that. If you have promised money to the kids' college funds, reassure her that you won't use the money to splurge on Jim.

But also tell her that you are too young to sit at home.

Surely she wants you to be happy in a way that doesn't require her to provide your entertainment. If she hasn't met Jim, please introduce them so she can see what a good companion he is for you. We also recommend you try to meet some female friends, because your entire social life shouldn't be dependent on one man.

Dear Annie: I am a 9-year-old boy who needs your help with my 14-year-old brother. He sometimes gets emotional and makes fun of me and has mood swings. He is having minor problems in school and says that all the other students look up to him. I really care about him.

Also, I am having some trouble in school with adding and subtracting decimals. Any ideas? — Agitated Student and Caring Brother

Dear Agitated: Your brother is going through some changes that are both physical and emotional. He'll be OK, but it will take a little time. If he bullies you, please talk to your parents about it. You also can vent to your school counselor or a favorite teacher who may be able to help you develop coping strategies.

As for decimals, we wish we could make it simple in a short sentence, but we recommend you ask your math teacher for some after-school tutoring. There may be another student in your class who is acing the subject and would be able to help you out.

Dear Annie: You printed a letter from "Recovered in Nebraska," who had anorexia. You mentioned ANAD (anad.org) as a resource.

I live in Montreal and would like to inform your Canadian readers that we also have a support group, ANEB, which supports Quebec youth and adults facing the challenges of anorexia and bulimia. Information and support are available in both English and French at anebquebec.com. — Daniel in Canada

Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2014 CREATORS.COM



Comments

42 Comments | Post Comment
Today's column made me miss "Dear Margo," whose advice was immeasurably better than the Annies'.


LW1 - The Annies have some "on" days and some "off" days. Their advice this time is terrible. You need to stop kowtowing to your daughter, stop asking her permission to live your life the way you want to, and stop worrying what she thinks. She makes no effort to include you in her life, but when you do talk with her, she harangues you about the money she and the kids will inherit when you die. Spend your money however you want, and don't regret it. If your daughter calls you to scream invective, hang up the phone and change your number.


The Annies also lecture you about finding female friends, which is odd because you didn't indicate having any deficiencies in that area. I expect you have lots of female friends in the church. I can promise that if you started going on vacations with any of them, your daughter would shriek just as loud as she does when you go off to get away for a while with a male friend. Your daughter is a money hungry vulture. It's not your job to please her.
Comment: #1
Posted by: sarah morrow
Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:11 PM
LW1 - Isn't there a way for your daughter to be a co-trustee on the college funds? Then she wouldn't have to ask you whether you were poaching funds from something which, quite possibly, you funded originally. If I were in your shoes I'd say outright to her, "Look daughter of mine, I didn't raise you to boss me around and tell me what to do when you aren't even including me in your daily activities. I was hoping for a relationship with my grandkids NOW, not just to be cash cow for their college educations. But hey, I don't want to alienate you, so forget I said anything."

I know you won't say any of that because it's too rude. But what she's doing is rude, too. Don't feel it's all on you to fix it. Have fun with your man, and keep your own money in your name.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Red Ree
Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:11 PM
@LW1: Your money, your business. Go have fun! But, if things get serious, talk to a lawyer before tying the knot to ensure both your husband and your grandchildren are provided for the way you intend, should you predecease him.
.
@LW2: Why not ask your brother? He's a few years ahead of you, so decimals will be something he can do already. Ask him to work through some of the problems with you, and show you where you're making mistakes, or what to do next. He will like the attention, he will feel great about helping you, and it will make him feel stronger and more capable to solve his own problems at school. Who knows: he may discover a new talent. If he's good at tutoring, he might be able to pick up some extra money (and some extra respect) by helping his classmates too.
Comment: #3
Posted by: R.A.
Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:16 PM
LW1: Your money, your choice. Go and have some fun! If things start to get serious, talk to a lawyer before you tie the knot, and make sure both your husband and your grandchildren are provided for the way you intend. There's a thing called a "revocable living trust" that may be useful, and you can set up more than one.
.
LW2: Consider asking your brother for help with your math. He may discover a new talent, and reviewing math material he already knows may help strengthen his own study skills. He's unlikely to pick on you while he's also trying to help you: if he's trying to help you, he'll already feel like the boss, so he'll have nothing to gain by putting you down and plenty to gain by building you up. Even if he's an awful tutor, it may still change his attitude which is better than nothing.
Comment: #4
Posted by: R.A.
Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:21 PM
LW1: How in the WORLD does your daughter know so much about your money and your boyfriend's situation? Stop telling her! It is none of her business if you treat your boyfriend to half of the cost of a vacation, and it is NONE of her business how much money he has. Well, I'm assuming that he is in fact not after your money, but he doesn't sound like he's trying to bilk you out of your fortune just because sometimes you pay more than he does.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Steve C
Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:22 PM
LW1: SOMETIMES you think your daughter is after your money? What would it take to convince you?

If you can afford an occasional splurge, do it. If your daughter gives you guff, tell HER, not the Annies (with as much or as little tact as you prefer), that it IS your money and your business. It's not your husband's; he died and left it to you, not to her, and you don't owe anyone an inheritance, not even her or the grandchildren. Frankly, I don't think introducing "Jim" to your daughter will mellow her out.







Comment: #6
Posted by: Kimiko
Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:30 PM
* * * * PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT * * * *

LW3 refers to the first letter on 6 August 2014.
Comment: #7
Posted by: Miss Pasko
Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:31 PM
LW 1- Daughter is livid?? Daughter makes balance inquiries?? The only time I check with my mom about her finances is to insure she's got everything she needs and hopefully more. Be prepared that at the 1st time you show any sign of slipping, she may move in on you and your financial life. Get yourself a legal/financial consultant. It does not have to cost much for trice yearly consultations. Get your advance directives in place and make sure you've got an independent ally to call in to help you if you need one.

Hey 9 year old: for add/sub- do as usual just keep the decimal points lined up.
Multiply: do as usual then replace the point using the combined number of original places counting from the right.
Division, same as multiplication only count places from the left.
It's not HARD, it's just tricky and those are 'the tricks'.
Comment: #8
Posted by: Wonder Peg
Tue Sep 23, 2014 5:03 AM
LW1 - The LW needs to stop discussing her financial situation and that of Jim and any other of her friends with her daughter. Apparently, the daughter knows way too much about her mother's finances and sounds like she's concerned that there won't be anything left for her to inherit. Her daughter has no right to be "livid" about how her mother spends her money, as long as she isn't asking her daughter to contribute to her support! She should also do as Wonder Peg suggested and consult legal and financial advisors to make sure that everything is in order. She also may want to consider placing her assets in a revocable living trust with herself as trustee, and someone she trusts to look after her interests as a substitute trustee in case she becomes incapacitated.
Comment: #9
Posted by: Kitty
Tue Sep 23, 2014 5:34 AM
LW1 - And how does your daughter know all of this? Are you telling her? You must be. If that's the case....STOP telling your daughter these things. It's none of her business if you pay your share on dates or are paying for 75% of the cruise. It's YOUR money...not her's. And she's throwing "dead daddy" in your face for a guilt trip.

Jim is not the one using you for your money. Your daughter is. Of course she's livid. The more money you spend, the less money she gets after you die. First of all, stop telling her anything involving money. If she asks you about the kids college funds, tell her that you do not touch that money and that's the end of it. If she asks you who paid on your date or trip, tell her to mind her own business.

Comment: #10
Posted by: Michelle
Tue Sep 23, 2014 5:50 AM
LW1: If you were a man, I'd ask you where your gonads are. You moved closer to your daughter yet you get nothing but grief from her and you're no closer to your grandchildren. You should see a counselor to help you get your self-esteem back. As for your daughter, you don't owe her a damn thing - no money, no explanations - NOTHING! It appears to me that you are the one initiating all communication with your daughter. STOP! Don't call for a while and see how long it takes for her to call you. In the meantime, it may be best to move back to your former home town. Jim's reaction to this could be revealing, but more important, it's time to stop allowing your daughter to have power over you. You didn't become worthless just because your husband died. You are an independent adult with plenty of life left to live. It's time to assert your right to do so.
Comment: #11
Posted by: JustWinBaby
Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:05 AM
OMG, Annies, your advice for LW1 is TERRIBLE. You are being sexist to both men and women. Would you have called a man a Sugar Daddy if he made a woman pay her own way on their dates? No? Then you are basing your whole Sugar Momma label and "being taken advantage of" spiel because she's paying 75% of the cost for ONE TRIP? And she's complaining that, heaven forbid, she pay her own way on DATES? Pull your sexist head out of the 1950s. I love how so many women, including the Annies, say they want equality, except when it comes to paying for things.
.
Seriously annies, would you have said the same and implied the woman might be taken advantage of if the woman was paying extra for a female friend to accompany her on a trip, or her daughter? What would you have said if a woman wrote in, complaining that whenever she went out with her friend Nancy to a movie or dinner, she had to pay for herself, instead of Nancy picking up the entire bill every time? Your sexist remarks and implication that the man should be paying for the dates implies women are either "special" compared to men or their company can and should be bought and sold for the price of a steak dinner.
.
And then the Annies have the gall to say this woman needs to reassure her daughter that "Mom is not being taken advantage of, and that you aren't spending all of your money on some guy". No, she owes her daughter no such thing! It's none of the daughter's freaking business how the LW spends her money; unless she is incompetent, she does not have to justify her spending to her daughter. Sheesh, what an insult to women.
.
That said, the LW needs to keep the details of her love life private. How does the daughter even know who pays for what? Again, this is none of the daughter's business.
Comment: #12
Posted by: Jane
Tue Sep 23, 2014 7:26 AM
Re LW#1-------
Sorry, the Annies are full of baloney on this one. The daughter is just showing concern for her mom, and for the college fund that has been established for her children? Doesn't want her mom to get hurt? What BS!!!
Is anyone besides me livid that the daughter is assuming her mom is responsible for HER kids' college education? Assuming the money in the college fund is money the LW put in, I hope she spends every penny of it on enjoying her life, with whomever she found to enjoy it with, and tells her daughter she can jolly well get her own kids through college .
.
I know it's a common thing for kids who have a parent that has money to feel pretty secure that when their parents are up in years, they won't find anything or anyone else to spend their money on, or leave it to, and they are safe in assuming it will go to them---------but It's a bit of a sore point with me------kids trying to tell parents-----'for their own good', of course------not to spend any of their own money on something they might enjoy, because 'some other person' is trying to take advantage and get some of his/her money, when it's obvious they want that privilege reserved for themselves.
.
I don't know whose idea it was for the LW to move closer to her daughter; if she initiated it and they didn't particularly want it, they really don't have to make room for her in their lives; and actually even if it WAS their idea, same thing------you can't control how much time someone wants to spend with you. But if you find that's the case, and so you go on to find people who DO want to spend time with you, no way do you have to listen to anyone tell you not to. Daughter can't have it both ways.
.
I'm not sure that her paying most of the way, when she has more money, is so awful, and I think if it were the other way around, and the MAN had more money and paid most of the expenses for a trip, it wouldn't bother most people (with the exception of someone's greedy kids, maybe).
.
I say she should go for it and enjoy herself. I often think it's too bad people can't manage it so they spend their last dollar on the last day of their lives, it would solve everyone having to get in there and fight like a bunch of wild dogs over who gets money that was never theirs.
Comment: #13
Posted by: jennylee
Tue Sep 23, 2014 7:30 AM
LW1 -
Sure, try what the Annies said (can't do any harm), but...

If your daughter's main concern was about you not being taken advantage of, she'd be "worried", not "livid" - there is no good reason for her to be angry here. If she's so livid, it's because, as far as she's concerned, this is HER money, not yours, and in her greedy eyes you're squandering her inheritance. Back to "Mrs Delafield Wants to Marry" (with Katherine Hepburn).

It wouldn't be fair that you demand your male friend pay equal share. And it's not like he's not contributing, he is, only according to his means compared to yours. I see nothing wrong with that. In general but especially at your age, it's difficult enough to find decent and compatible male companionship, that you can't start demanding that he be of equal financial status. If the disparity is not a blow to his male ego and he hasn't exhibited any indication of wanting to milk you, then there is no problem. Don't worry about it and go have your cruise.

You don't want to alienate your daughter? I'm sorry, but if that is enough to alienate her, then she'll have shown her true colours: it's your money she cares about, not you, and for you to not alienate her would mean giving in to her every demand and living your life according to her dictates. You don't want to do that, especially considering the fact that you are not part of her life and she only includes you when it suits her - and btw, if she was so worried about you (as the Annies suggest), now that you're so much closer, she'd be making a little more room for you in her busy life, I think.

And in light of that... Was your daughter the one who insisted that you move closer to her, making you envision all kinds of wonderful activities with your grandchildren, or was this a decision you took on your own, based on your own daydreaming? Either way, I would recommend that you move back to your old location, pick up your social life where you left it off and take Jim with you.

P.S. Stop telling your daughter everything about your life. What she already knows is TMI and none of her business. Sharing such details with her is NOT creating the intimacy you would have wanted, it is providing her with amunition. And what Wonder Peg said, btw. Better be safe than very sorry.

Comment: #14
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Tue Sep 23, 2014 7:39 AM
Re Jane #12
Jane, good post!!!! That's the one thing I forgot to mention, that the LW should stop sharing too much information with her daughter. Who pays for what is no one's concern except that of the LW and the person she's making the trip with. If they are both agreeable, they should go for it and explain the financial arrangements to NO ONE.
And if the daughter doesn't get told but has the nerve to ask, she needs to be told 'Don't worry about it, honey, we've worked out something that is satisfactory to both of us."
Comment: #15
Posted by: jennylee
Tue Sep 23, 2014 7:40 AM
LW1 -- I agree with everyone who is suggesting that this is your money to do with what you please. Since I think that has already been covered very nicely by many folks BTL, I'd like to tackle the question you didn't ask but probably should have. You noted that you moved to the new town to be closer to your daughter and her family, however none of the fun things you envisioned doing with your grandkids has happened. You seem to be suggesting that this entirely on your daughter, who doesn't invite you to anything but holiday dinners. And now, of course, you're starting to think your daughter is only interested in your money. Has it occurred to you that relationships are two-way streets, and you have played a role in creating this relationship with your daughter and your nearly non-relationship with your grandkids?

Did you move to the new city and then sit by the phone waiting for your daughter to invite you to do things with her family? Did you ever call your daughter and say, "I know Tommy is on a baseball team and Cindy is on a soccer team -- I would love to attend a few of their games -- could you send me information about where and when they play?" or "I read about this fair happening this weekend where there's going to be face painting and carnival rides -- I thought maybe I could take them to it?" or "my apartment complex has a pool (or maybe a nearby park or something like that), maybe you and the kids could come over and go swimming (or play in the park)."

It just sounds to me like you expected this special relationship with your grandkids to just materialize without your having to do anything to make it happen. And I'd hazard a guess that while you certainly want to go on this trip with Jim (and by all means, you should go, and the financial arrangements are no one else's business), what really makes you sad is the decaying relationship with your daughter and the lack of relationship with your grandchildren. Going on the trip will be fun for the week or two that you are on it. Then you will return, and still be sad about your decaying relationship with your daughter and the lack of relationship with your grandchildren, so I would suggest you start working on repairing/developing those relationships.
Comment: #16
Posted by: Lisa
Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:33 AM
Re: Lisa
Well, to be fair, most parents are more than eager to phone grandma and grandpa and invite them to recitals and soccer games. And to babysit for free as often as possible. I suppose it's possible that the daughter didn't really get on with Mom to begin with and never actually wanted her living that close.
There's a popular bumper sticker: "I'm spending my children's inheritance." That being said, she should be a little bit cautious about this guy. Just because she met him in church doesn't mean he can't be a creep only after her money.
Comment: #17
Posted by: Seabeast2
Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:13 AM
@sarah morrow -- I agree that better advice for LW1 can be found at the BTL today, as the LW's finances and her financial arrangement with Jim are no one else's business. But the one point they made that I don't quibble with is the LW needs to make more friends (I just don't think the gender of these friends necessarily matters). The LW says she doesn't have any "old friends in the new city" and then goes on to mention meeting Jim at the church social. It does kind of sound like he's the only friend she's made there. I realize this is me doing a LOT of reading between the lines, but as I mentioned in my initial post, I get the feeling that the LW just thought she was going to move to the new city and magically have friends and magically have this fun relationship with her grandkids. I mean, even when she talks about not having any "old friends in the new city" -- well, duh, of COURSE she doesn't have any "old friends in the new city" -- all her old friends are back in her old home town. Did she think that somehow she was going to magically discover "old friends" in the new city? She needs to make NEW friends -- who, over the years, can eventually become old friends. Again, total speculation on my part, but it sounds to me like she took an "if you build it, they will come" approach to happiness. That generally only works in the movies. In real life, it takes time and effort to make friends, to develop relationships with grandchildren, etc. It doesn't just magically happen.

Oh, wait, sometimes it does -- when you magically make friends who have a whole lot less money than you do and are only too happy to let you subsidize their fun.

Honestly, despite the snarkiness of the foregoing sentence, I see absolutely nothing wrong with LW paying for most or all of their dates and most or all of their trips, etc. It's her money and her choice -- and the fact that Jim's income is a third of hers doesn't automatically mean he's only interested in her money. But I think that someone who takes an "if you build it they will come" approach to happiness is often vulnerable to people who are only too happy to get a piece of the action. That may or may not be the case with Jim. But if the LW worked a little harder at making some new friends, instead of latching onto the one person who showed an immediate interest in her, and if she worked a little harder at developing the relationship she wants to have with her grandchildren, she would likely be a whole lot happier.

And a happier, less-lonely person is less likely to be "taken in" by a taker. Again, Jim may be a perfectly nice person and not be on the take -- and if he IS a perfectly nice person who isn't on the take, he's got nothing to lose if LW makes other friends, develops a better relationship with her grandkids and is just generally a happier person.
Comment: #18
Posted by: Lisa
Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:15 AM
@Seabeast2 -- I totally agree with you (#17). But I see this as being somewhat similar to the letter from a week or two ago where the LW (who was actually responded to a previous letter) talked about how she was surprised when her mother complained about never seeing her -- and she was surprised because she was just waiting for her mother to invite her, while her mother, apparently, didn't think she needed to be invited. And I remember when I read that letter thinking to myself, "I wouldn't wait for my parents to invite me -- I would call them and say, "hey, I'd like to come see you -- when is a good time for us to get together?" I, personally, can't imagine feeling like I had to wait for my parents to invite me. Similarly, I can't imagine my parents sitting around and waiting for me to invite them. Indeed, just yesterday, my mother called and said, "when's a good time for us to come visit?" But clearly, there are parents and adult children out there who aren't like that.

Hard to say from the letter whether LW and her daughter never much got on (but I definitely agree that's possible, and maybe even probable). If the relationship has always been shaky, then LW should think about what she can do to strengthen it. I guess my point is that if she doesn't have the relationship she wants -- and clearly she doesn't -- then that's as much on HER as it is on her daughter. Yes, one might typically expect the daughter to be reaching out to her mother to invite her to more than just holiday dinners, but apparently that's where she's at. LW can accept that or she can do something about it. But I could be totally out of line here -- perhaps she has accepted it and is happy (or at least at peace) with it.
Comment: #19
Posted by: Lisa
Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:27 AM
LW1 -

It doesn't really sound to *me* like Jim is after your money. He pays his own way on dates, and is paying a reasonable portion, that he can afford, of the costs of the cruise. That seems perfectly, 100% reasonable to me and is exactly what I'd do in that situation.

You should probably scale back how much information you give your daughter about who spends on what. If she pushes, tell her not worry about it. It's your money and if you did want to spend their inheritance, you totally could.
Comment: #20
Posted by: Zoe
Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:36 AM
@Jane -- just one small point...I'm not sure, but I always thought the LWs select their own signatures. If that's the case, then the LW is the one who used the "Sugar Momma" label first, and then the Annies agreed with it. By calling HERSELF a "sugar momma," LW does seem to imply that she feels like her money is at least ONE of her charms in the eyes of Jim -- AND her daughter.

Indeed, LW is clearly ambivalent about what Jim (and her daughter) really want from her. Moreover, the LW is also ambivalent about spending this money on Jim. She says her daughter, "said that her father never would have dreamed that I would be subsidizing a cruise for a boyfriend. Frankly, I wouldn't have either, but that's the situation." It's that "frankly, I wouldn't have either, but that's the situation," that raises my eyebrows.
If the LW were entirely content with the situation, I would simply be telling her "it's your money, do with what you want" -- and to a certain extent, I'm STILL saying that. But the thing is, if she were entirely content with the situation, she wouldn't have made that "frankly, I wouldn't have either," statement.

So, if she's calling HERSELF Sugar Momma and is otherwise expressing a certain ambivalence about spending all this money on Jim, maybe the problem isn't simply that she needs to stop telling her daughter how she's spending her money and just do what she wants.

I understand the point you raise about the old-fashioned notion of men having to pay for everything, and I don't disagree with it at all. If women want to be "equal" then that should apply to who pays for what.

But I will also say that the term "sugar daddy," is actually used a whole lot more often than "sugar momma." And we see plenty of instances where adult children are convinced that their fathers are being taken advantage of by a "gold digger" -- a term that is almost exclusively reserved for women, as if there are no men out there who ever take financial advantage of a woman. I don't know if Jim is a male "gold digger" or not. I don't know if the LW is a "sugar momma" or not. But it would seem that the LW isn't quite so sure herself.
Comment: #21
Posted by: Lisa
Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:53 AM
@Jane -- a big mea culpa from me on one point -- I somehow had it in my head that the LW was paying for all of the dates, not merely paying her own way. Again, if she WAS paying for all of their dates -- it's her money, and she can spend it as she chooses. But I do still think the LW has some ambivalence about "the situation" with Jim.
Comment: #22
Posted by: Lisa
Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:56 AM
LW1 -- Book the cruise. Go and have a good time with Jim. In the meantime, if any of your grandchildren are in sports, band, choir, theater, ask your daughter for the schedules. There is no need to wait for an invitation to go to a game, concert or play. If your daughter is so lame she cannot do this, get on the school websites for the schedules. Some sites are terrible, in that case call the school and ask for the schedules to be mailed to you. Do as many others have suggested, take the grandkids to the zoo, out for lunch, ice cream, to the park, to the library. Invite the family out to dinner. You are going to need to be social director since your daughter isn't doing it. Let the grandkids know you will see them at their school activities. Ask them to let you know if they are in something special, like a play or musical so you can be sure to attend.
Comment: #23
Posted by: Lori C
Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:05 AM
LW1 -- Book the cruise. Go and have a good time with Jim. In the meantime, if any of your grandchildren are in sports, band, choir, theater, ask your daughter for the schedules. There is no need to wait for an invitation to go to a game, concert or play. If your daughter is so lame she cannot do this, get on the school websites for the schedules. Some sites are terrible, in that case call the school and ask for the schedules to be mailed to you. Do as many others have suggested, take the grandkids to the zoo, out for lunch, ice cream, to the park, to the library. Invite the family out to dinner. You are going to need to be social director since your daughter isn't doing it. Let the grandkids know you will see them at their school activities. Ask them to let you know if they are in something special, like a play or musical so you can be sure to attend.
Comment: #24
Posted by: Lori C
Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:05 AM
Re: Lisa

I will bet my lunch of delicious chinese food leftovers that the Annies (or staff) chose the "Sugar Momma" sign off. Because, well, the LW just isn't that and I can't see her perceiving herself as that. She's paying for herself on dates, and a higher portion (commensurate with their income) of their joint trip.

I wouldn't read *too* much into: "Frankly, I wouldn't have either" Things happen. She wants to go on the trip, she wants his company, and she has the means to make it affordable for both of them in a way that is not at all unreasonable. The alternative would be for her to wait until a guy with as much or money comes along, or to never do anything that Jim can't afford on SS. At her age, I'd just spend the extra money and enjoy the cruise, too.
Comment: #25
Posted by: Zoe
Tue Sep 23, 2014 11:58 AM
LW1 - I'm with everyone else...you got to be kidding me, and what nerve your daughter has to tell you how to spend YOUR money. She isn't your financial advisor, and she certainly isn't entitled to anything. I'd give her a gentle reminder that you have an absolute right to give her ZERO if that's what you want to do, and if she wants to remain in your good graces, she'd better shut up. Frankly, she sounds like the kind of person who would have no qualms about raiding the kids' college funds to pay for her own whims. I agree that if you want to provide a college fund for the grandkids, there are ways you can set it up so that she can't touch the money and the kids can access it when they are 18; you have but to consult a financial lawyer to make that happen.
Comment: #26
Posted by: Paul W
Tue Sep 23, 2014 12:04 PM
Lisa, #21 and 22,
Yes, I agree she has some ambivalence--my comment about being sexist and living in the 1950s was actually directed at the LW as well as the Annies. Clearly, she is uncomfortable with going dutch on dates, ergo she believes he should be paying the full tab. As for Sugar Momma, I was referring to the headline. I actually didn't see she had signed her name that way so thanks for pointing it out.
Comment: #27
Posted by: Jane
Tue Sep 23, 2014 12:23 PM
@jennylee #13 - IMHO, the daughter doesn't have any right to be "livid" but perhaps she should be concerned. If the LW agreed to pay for the kids' college education, then the daughter hasn't been saving for that purpose and, depending on the kids' current ages, it could be too late for her to try to catch up now if Mom gets taken to the cleaners by Jim. This sort of hearkens back to the letter from the granny that wanted to renege on the $5,000 incentive she promised the snotty grandchild to get good grades; while perhaps not a contract, an implied promise was made and the daughter should be able to rely upon it.
However, I definitely agree that what Mom does with her money after that is entirely her own business and not the daughter's. And I'm going to go out on a limb and against the BTLers here but perhaps if the daughter got to know Jim she would be reassured that he cares for the LW and is not after her money. Even though the LW herself isn't certain that he isn't after money.
Comment: #28
Posted by: Keryn
Tue Sep 23, 2014 1:08 PM
@Zoe (25) -- You can keep your lunch, and we'll just agree to disagree on whether the LW perceives herself to be a sugar momma or not. Since she doesn't outright disagree with her daughter's suspicions that Jim is only interested in her money, I would say that, if nothing else, she is not totally happy with/comfortable with the financial arrangements related to dating Jim.

But here's the thing: I really think the whole debate over the use of the term "sugar mama" and who should or shouldn't be paying for what is a red herring. The LW's primary concern is revealed in the penultimate line of her letter: "I don't want to alienate her" -- the "her" being LW's daughter. Hard to say whether the relationship between LW and her daughter has always been rocky or not. Hard to say whether the daughter's concerns about Jim are legit and are for her mother's well-being, as opposed to just being about her mother's money. Hard to say to what degree the LW is or isn't ambivalent about the financial arrangements related to dating Jim. Here's what's clear (at least to me):

1) She is concerned about damaging her relationship with her daughter.

2) She is unhappy that the relationship she envisioned having with her grandchildren hasn't materialized.

While I wholeheartedly agree with you that there is absolutely nothing wrong with LW paying her own way on dates, and I wholeheartedly agree with you that there is absolutely nothing wrong with LW paying for most or even all of the expenses for the cruise (assuming she can afford it, and it sounds like she can), I just don't really think that's the issue. I think the issue is that she's lonely (even if Jim is fantastic, she should have more than one friend) and wants a better relationship with her daughter and grandchildren. So, yes, I think the LW should go right on doing what she wants to do related to Jim -- but I also think she needs to figure out what she can do to improve her relationship with her daughter and foster a more meaningful relationship with her grandchildren, and I think it would be good for her to develop other friendships in addition to Jim. Not because I think Jim is a "gold digger." Not because I think the LW shouldn't be paying her own way for dates and for most or all of the cruise. But because I think she would be a happier person.

Telling her that it's her money and she should do with it as she pleases (which I agree with, BTW) is not likely to help her be happier in the long term. She will enjoy the cruise (and as well she should) and then when she comes back, she is right back where she started: with no friends other than Jim, with a troubled relationship with her daughter, and with little or no relationship with her grandchildren. So, yeah, go on the cruise -- and maybe while she's there, she could do some soul-searching about what she can (and cannot!) do to improve her situation.
Comment: #29
Posted by: Lisa
Tue Sep 23, 2014 1:44 PM
Re: Wonder Peg #8, I also found when my kids were in this learning stage to take the lined paper and turn it sideways, so all the numbers had their own column to stay in. When they saw it visually, it was a done deal. Teacher let them use this format in school after that. Sometimes if you have stigmatism, your eyes play those tricks on you. Have to make a perimeter dark enough for the 'numbers to stay where they are!'

J.
Comment: #30
Posted by: Joyce/MN
Tue Sep 23, 2014 1:44 PM
For grandma setting aside money for her grand childrens' secondary education, you need to check with your CPA on why this is so wrong. Nationwide the information came out before school started fall semester about tax breaks to parents having funds for their student is one thing, grandparent to grandchild means no tax break for GP OR school funds available for GC.

People, if you are putting funds away for that purpose, don't stick it in a sock drawer, get the latest info on the best way to do it. To BENEFIT everyone involved. If GP giving the university a donation, they they get the tax break. To give to a CERTAIN STUDENT, no tax break. Parent can have the account for their own child. Not GP.

This is why my kids paid for their own college, earned their own scholarships, etc. It cost them less to pay their own, make their own loans, do work study or have the part time job set up, etc. It balances. Unless you have a full ride scholarship, you can't cheat the system. They find you.

Yes, mom and dad and GPs can help with the transportation, buy school items, etc but not direct funds for the price of the school. And again, NO GP tax break. Unless you are their guardian.

Glad I am done with my kids education, up to their parents to figure out for their own children.
Comment: #31
Posted by: Joyce/MN
Tue Sep 23, 2014 1:54 PM
Re: jennylee

"Is anyone besides me livid that the daughter is assuming her mom is responsible for HER kids' college education?"

It depends. IF the LW told her daughter that she was setting up college funds for the kids, then she shouldn't take that money out and spend it. You really should keep a promise like that. I have an uncle who had questionable in-laws. When his kids were born, his wife's parents swore up and down that they would be paying for the kids' colleges and had accounts all set up. My uncle just didn't trust these people. He set up college accounts, too, but his wife kept telling him not to do that because "my parents will be paying for it!" He knew arguing with her would be pointless so he kept the accounts hidden from her. Good thing he trusted his instincts because when their oldest got accepted to the college he wanted, he called his grandparents and...they didn't return his call. My uncle's wife called her parents and...they didn't return her call. She finally went over to their house and asked them about the college money and the parents just looked at each other...uneasy...and didn't say a word. Uncle's wife figured out they didn't have the money and went home very upset. Luckily, my uncle kept contributing to those accounts and all was fine. So IF the LW promised college accounts, they should stay where they are.
Comment: #32
Posted by: Michelle
Tue Sep 23, 2014 2:21 PM
LW1: Your daughter is after your money - she doesn't care about you - she just wants your money. You need to deal with reality and stop treating your daughter as if she's not a piece of sh*t. It's not your job to fund her children's college funds - that's HER job. So stop doing it. You've already given her enough. This is YOUR life - enjoy it to the fullest and if there is anything left then leave it to your grandchildren bypassing their greedy mother.


Comment: #33
Posted by: Diana
Tue Sep 23, 2014 2:57 PM
LW1: me too. I'm with (just about) everybody. Clearly "Jim" isn't after her money, he just can't afford to pay for her as well as for himself. We are in the 21st century, some women INSIST on paying their own way. Daughter is concerned, all right... concerned that she might not inherit as much as she wants.
Comment: #34
Posted by: dave
Tue Sep 23, 2014 3:10 PM
Re Lisa #29: the only problem with "Jim is after my money" is that there isn't any evidence that Jim is after her money. There's plenty of evidence that daughter is after her money. LW1 isn't giving Jim any gifts, isn't paying his rent or buying him stuff, she's just paying her own way. LW1 sounds very level headed and rational.

Comment: #35
Posted by: dave
Tue Sep 23, 2014 3:16 PM
LW1: Your daughter's children are her children, and it is HER responsibility to figure out how to send them to college. Spend your money however you like.
Comment: #36
Posted by: Mary
Tue Sep 23, 2014 3:19 PM
@jennylee -- as others have noted, if the LW promised to set up college funds for her grandchildren, and if the LW's daughter is concerned that the LW may be tempted to dip into those funds for other purposes, then the daughter would be understandably concerned about that. But having said that, let me also add that people's circumstances change, and it's just as possible that the LW might one day need to dip into those funds that has NOTHING to do with whether she paid to go on a cruise with her BF. So, while I don't think the LW's daughter should be thinking it's the LW's job to pay for the kids' educations, if there was a long-standing agreement about this -- especially if it was something the LW initiated herself -- then that's not quite the same as the daughter just shirking all responsibility and putting it on her mother.

Having said that, I simply cannot relate to this at all. I have told my parents to spend their money as they please and enjoy every last red cent of it -- it's not their job to provide me or my children with an inheritance. My parents have been friends with another couple for more than 30 years. This other couple is made up of a savvy, successful attorney (doing mostly wills, estates and other personal law stuff), and a smart, college-educated professional. They are nearing retirement. Know what their retirement plan is? To inherit a bunch of money from the husband's mother. This has been the plan from Day 1, apparently. And the mother has lorded that over them from Day 1, as well. It has totally poisoned the mother-son relationship (to say nothing of the MIL-DIL relationship).

Given that these are smart, college-educated people -- and one of them being a lawyer who deal with wills, inheritance and estate laws on a daily basis, no less! -- I cannot believe that this is their retirement plan. That is completely ludicrous to me. But they are hardly alone.

So, I'm not "livid" that the LW's daughter "is assuming her mom is responsible for HER kids' college education," because this might not have been some idle assumption on her part. My guess is that the LW and her now-dead husband set up college funds for their grandchildren not long after those kids were born and told their adult daughter about it. This would give the daughter ample reason to believe that the LW is/was planning on funding at least some portion of the kids' college educations. But I would agree that counting on this -- and only this -- is probably unwise because bad things happen.

And I would agree that regardless of what the arrangement was related to the college funds, the daughter shouldn't be haranguing her mother about how she spends her money. This doesn't sound like some senile old woman who is incapable of making good financial decisions. Though we can't know that for certain from this letter -- my grandmother, who was a recovering alcoholic and paranoid schizophrenic who eventually also had alzheimer's had moments of lucidity where she could certainly convince someone that she was perfectly fine. But my guess is the LW is competent.
Comment: #37
Posted by: Lisa
Tue Sep 23, 2014 3:35 PM
Re: Lisa #22
"I do still think the LW has some ambivalence about "the situation" with Jim."
I don't read that. She DOES have ambivalence about not telling off her daughter because she doesn't want to antagonise her... which is why I suggested she try the Annies' vastly insufficient advice first, even though she doesn't owe her daughter to placate her.

Once she's tried that and her daughter is sill in a snit, she'll know for sure who's really after whose money. At least I hope she will.

@Jane #27
"Clearly, she is uncomfortable with going dutch on dates, ergo she believes he should be paying the full tab."
Again, I didn't read it that way. When she says "the only down side", she may be referring to her daughter's reaction to it.

When she says,"Neither did I, but this is the situation", It IS entirely possible that she is merely expressing she has had to get used to the idea of paying her own way and even part of his, but that in itself doesn't make her sexist, just a woman in her seventies who grew up in a very different world. What WOULD make her sexist would be if she was asking whether she should stop seeing him because of the disparity in their income bracket. So it seems to me she's doing a bang-up job at adapting if she's actually considering a cruise on a 75-25 pro-rata basis.

The main problem that I see her having is with her daughter going ballistic on ger, and using the information she shared in good faith against her.

@Michelle #32
"So IF the LW promised college accounts, they should stay where they are."
She says she's "comfortably well-of". I see no indication whatsoever that she needs to dip into the kids' college fund in order to pay for a cruise. It definitely sounds like she can afford both.

Comment: #38
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Tue Sep 23, 2014 3:45 PM
@dave -- again, I don't disagree that there's nothing wrong with the LW paying her own way for their dates. I don't think there's anything wrong with her paying for most or even all of the cruise for Jim. For that matter, I don't even think there's anything wrong with her buying him gifts or even paying his rent if that's what she wants to do and can afford to do it. I just don't think that's the real issue. I think the real issue is that the LW is lonely and is unhappy about the state of her relationship with her daughter and her grandchildren. Telling her to do what she likes with her money -- while that is, in fact, what she should do -- doesn't address what is really bothering her: the troubled relationship with her daughter and the lack of relationship with her grandchildren and her loneliness. Everyone seems to be very focused on the money-grubbing daughter (assuming that's even an accurate portrayal of her) and on telling the LW what to do with her money. I think the LW should focus on improving her long-term happiness, which has NOTHING to do with whether she goes on that cruise and whether she pays for most or all of it.
Comment: #39
Posted by: Lisa
Tue Sep 23, 2014 3:46 PM
Re: Lisa #39
"I just don't think that's the real issue. I think the real issue is that the LW is lonely and is unhappy about the state of her relationship with her daughter and her grandchildren. Telling her to do what she likes with her money -- while that is, in fact, what she should do -- doesn't address what is really bothering her: the troubled relationship with her daughter and the lack of relationship with her grandchildren and her loneliness."
Exactly. The fact that the daughter is going crazy about the money her mother is spending on a man is just the physical manifestation of the problem: the LW is not part of her daughter's life and grandchildren's, and the daughter's reaction merely highlights that she cares about her mother's money, not her mother.

Comment: #40
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Tue Sep 23, 2014 3:53 PM
@Lise -- well, I think we agree on what is, for me, the main point: this really isn't about who pays for what when LW1 goes on dates with Jim and how much Jim will pay for his cruise-related expenses. The main point is about her relationship with her daughter. I am not quite so certain as you are that the LW is totally comfortable with the financial arrangement related to dating Jim, but she may be (or may at least be getting to that point -- like you, I believe that the last time this LW was in the dating pool, it was all but unthinkable that anyone other than the man paid for everything -- it can take some time to adapt when that is all you've known). I am also not totally convinced the daughter is only after her mother's money -- but it's definitely one possibility, and not at ALL unlikely from what the LW says. But it's also not uncommon for someone to "shoot the messenger" and believe the worst about the person who is just trying to help. It happens.
Comment: #41
Posted by: Lisa
Tue Sep 23, 2014 4:42 PM
Re: Lisa
WhatI find extrmely tell-tale is that the daughter is "livid". She has absolutely no reason to be so stinkingly mad if she's only worried. This is something else.
Comment: #42
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Tue Sep 23, 2014 4:56 PM
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right:  
Creators.com comments policy
More
Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar
Sep. `14
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month