Me Tarzan, You Jane Dear Margo: I have a difficult problem I need an outsider's help with, as I wouldn't want friends or family to know. My husband is a very quiet man, and when I say quiet, I mean that he can go for days without having a conversation. It doesn't seem …Read more. You Are Cordially Invited To Stay at Home Dear Margo: I'm getting married in about six months and am working out the details. My question is: How do I not invite a relative? It's an uncle who's offended me, many of my relatives, my parents, my siblings, my grandparents and other aunts and …Read more. When a Hug Brings an Ugh I'm talking about our different ways of greeting. I mean we just bow when we greet one another. We don't hug and kiss as American and French people do. Although I myself was born in America, my parents were not, and I have grown up with their …Read more. When the Sister's Beau Is Boring Dear Margo: My sister, who's five years younger than I, just got engaged. Normally, I would be very happy for her, but I really don't like her fiance. He is nice enough, but he seems incredibly naive, simple and uninteresting. The term "country …Read more.more articles
When You Feel Like a Heifer at an Auction
Dear Margo: I am 36 and attending college for the first time. It has been a wonderful experience, and because of my high GPA, I received many scholarships.
One scholarship comes with an invitation to a fundraising dinner with all the local elite who contribute to the college. I was there last year to receive an award and hated it. The fundraising and the requests for money made me uncomfortable, and the people at my table were snobby and condescending.
The foundation puts the winning students at tables with the donors so they can "see what their money buys." There are games where the speaker searches the room with a spotlight asking for donations, and all the rich people at my table were waving their checkbooks and clamoring for one of the plaques being given away. I felt like a heifer at auction.
I swore I would never go back. This year I was awarded the BIG scholarship given to the school by the estate of a man who passed away years ago. I decided I would not attend. My friends at work think I am being silly and that I should be grateful to be able to dine with such "nice" people. They say I "owe" it to the foundation to go.
Am I being unreasonable, or are these fundraising events always this awful to endure? Should I go? — Ungrateful or Just Uncomfortable?
Dear Un: Yes, it's true that fundraisers can sometimes be the castor oil of social events, and, yes, you should go. It is the only way you have of thanking the people who've made your education possible.
These kinds of events can be uncomfortable because of the display of wealth, but the ends really do justify the means. I have been to affairs where the beneficiaries are present — and sometimes speak — and the effect is one of creating solidarity between the supporters and the organization.
Such evenings aren't so much about letting people "see what their money buys" as about letting them see where their money goes.
THE COLLATERAL DAMAGE OF BIGOTRY
Dear Margo: I am the mother of a 28-year-old woman who is the mother of my only grandchild. The child is 6 years old. I am also bisexual and in a committed relationship with another woman.
My daughter was exposed to my lifestyle at a young age, when I had another longtime partner. I remained single for about 17 years before my current relationship.
The problem is that my daughter has become engaged to a young man who is quite homophobic and who's pushing for my only child to break ties with me and keep my grandchild away from me. He also doesn't want me present at their wedding, even though I have volunteered to attend alone. Needless to say, my heart is broken, because my daughter, granddaughter and I have always had strong ties with one another.
How do I get past this? I don't want to lose my daughter and granddaughter, and it just kills me to imagine that they could be taken from me. — Brokenhearted Mom
Dear Broke: What I can't figure out is how a daughter, with whom you say you've been close, could allow her fiance to remove you from her life, as well as take a little girl's grandmother away. Ditto for attending the wedding.
That she would choose such an intolerant man, coming from where she's coming from, is astounding. If her loyalty and love for you are so shallow that she would permit this, then there is nothing for you to do.
And for whatever it's worth, her priorities are as lamentable as his views. — Margo, regrettably
Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers' daughter. All letters must be sent via the online form at www.creators.com/dearmargo. Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.
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