Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.
DEAR AMY: My wife drives our 16-year-old daughter and our next-door neighbor girl to their school every morning. When my wife is busy in the morning, I drive. My problem with this girl is that she doesn’t greet me when she gets into the car. She will just get in and not say, “Good morning” or “Hi,” or any greeting. That is very frustrating for me. I can’t stand it. I ignore her. I’ve decided that if she’s not going to talk to me, then I’m not talking to her. She will say, “Thank you,” after I drop her off, and she seems like a nice person. My wife said that she says hello to the girl first, and that the girl is normal and nice. Shouldn’t a girl at her age know that she is supposed to say something first? How should I nicely address this without embarrassing her? My daughter said that I should just say hello first, and to not try to teach her good manners.
DEAR DRIVER: I disagree with your daughter. You should demonstrate good manners. You could start by acting your age and being a decent and polite human being, instead of a sulking and judgmental grouch.
Has it occurred to you that this girl has been instructed, “Don’t speak unless you are spoken to?” Or that she is shy? Or that she is wondering why you are so rude not to greet her when she gets into the car?
The next time you drive, and she gets in the car, try this: “Hi, Stacey. How are you doing?” There is a strong likelihood that she will respond to your question. I hope this will make you feel (and behave) better.
DEAR AMY: I feel more like my boyfriend’s mother than his girlfriend. What should I do? We have been together for almost two years, and we have a 9-month-old daughter. We currently live with my parents. I am a stay-at-home mom and do everything for him: laundry, cleaning, cooking and taking care of all the bills. I make sure he brushes his teeth, I clean the car out (that he uses the majority of the time). He doesn’t ever take me out to eat or on a date, unless I basically beg him. He works 35 to 40 hours a week and uses that as an excuse as to why he can’t pick up after himself, because he’s tired from working all week. We have talked about me getting a job and I told him I would be doing everything I already am, plus working, and he still wouldn’t help around the house. He says, “Yep, you’re right.” He really doesn’t think he should have to do anything because he works! He doesn’t appreciate me at all. I’ve told him multiple times that I feel more like his mom, but he doesn’t care. We were considering having another baby, but I really don’t want to have to care for two babies and a man-child. He doesn’t even want to go to church with me one day a week. Please help!
Mom to Man-Child
DEAR MOM: First off, double-up on your birth control. You should not have another child with this man.
You can cut down on some of these mom-like chores by not doing them. Why are you prompting this person to brush his teeth? Why are you doing his laundry and cleaning out the car?
Some of this dynamic might change if you simply stop treating him like a toddler. You two are adults. You are parents. He needs to grow up and act like it.
If he is going to claim exhaustion anyway, then he needs to work more hours. Why isn’t he working full time?
I also think that you should pursue a job (and further your education). Take a night class at your local community college or look for a shift job you can take while he is home with the baby.
You have chosen a poor life-partner. You should not be waiting on him hand and foot, but meeting some of your own goals, because I think there is a strong likelihood that you are going to end up on your own, whether or not this guy is in the house.
DEAR AMY: Regarding your answer to “Conflicted,” the woman who asked if her boyfriend and she should share birth control expenses: If my girlfriend doesn’t want to share the cost of my condoms, should I find another gal?
DEAR NO NAME: You should consider it.