We all miss the sound of our dad’s voice and wish we could hear it again, as he passed away 15 years ago. Many years ago, my mom left a message on my old landline phone and sang “Happy Birthday” to me. I recorded her message with my camera and downloaded it to my computer so at least I have the capability to listen to her and cherish the moment. I am going to send it to my brother and sister so they can hear her once again.
Our kids will miss hearing our conversations and voice after we have passed on, and they just don’t realize it. It is really sad, plus I enjoy hearing their voices. Is this a selfish thing to want to talk to them? Maybe they think I’m too long-winded and can be more to the point by texting, but I still think it’s rude to wish your mom or dad Happy Birthday or Merry Christmas by text.
A: It’s not just rude, it’s inexcusable, abominable and detestable. They are the ones being selfish, not you. But you are accepting this behavior and allowing it to continue. That means it’s time to invoke what I call Mama Law.
Have the kids over for a special meal of their favorite dishes. Once they are polishing off dessert you tell them you have an important announcement, and then declare a state of Mama Law. From there you explain the rules and how they will be followed.
Craft the rules to fit your needs. Here are some suggestions. Mandate that cell phones and tablets be turned off or handed over during visits to your home. Inform them that you’ll no longer read texts and that future communication will be via telephone. Remember that you are the mother, and they are the children, regardless of their chronological age. This relationship must be respected, and Mama must be obeyed.
Q: A friend from work recently retired after about 30 years on the job. She never calls or tries to maintain contact. I have to initiate all interactions, and frankly, it hurts feelings that someone behaves this way. What would you do? When do you stop trying to beat a dead horse?
A: When you first get a whiff of the stench. Spend your time and attention on people who welcome you instead of ignore you.
Q: I read your column last week about the so-called “miracle cat.” I can’t imagine why the person writing to you was moved by your stupid and utterly ridiculous story. The only way it moved me was through a bowel movement. What do you have to say to that, Ms. Advice Columnist?
A: Well, since doctors now consider our intestines to be our “second brain,” perhaps this column will help you clear out some clutter and gain some clarity. But in the meantime, I do have a quick and easy cure for what ails you: Just turn the page.
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Lauretta Hannon, a resident of Powder Springs, is the bestselling author of The Cracker Queen—A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life and a keynote speaker. Southern Living has named her “the funniest woman in Georgia.” See more at thecrackerqueen.com.