Trump Won. Still Moving to Canada?


I live in Los Angeles, but I am spending Thanksgiving week with my parents in the heartland. My brother lives near them. Unfortunately, before the election, I threatened to move to Canada if Trump won. Cut to: Trump won, and I have no plans to move. My brother (32 going on 16) has seized on this, asking me (literally) every time he sees me: “So, when will you be moving to Montreal? Or is it Toronto?” This is getting really annoying. So far, I have ignored him. How should I deal with his foolishness — and mine?

DIANA

Don’t be too rough on yourself. You are hardly the only girl (or boy) to cry wolf in our hopped-up election season. Simply take your medicine: “You’re right, Brian. In my exuberance, I exaggerated. I am not moving to Canada.” If he continues his nonsense (“Saskatoon?”), feel free to sink to his level: “I’ve noticed you repeat yourself frequently. You may want to consult a neurologist.”

Or this may be the perfect opportunity to push past your elementary-school dynamic with him and share the reasons you were opposed to Mr. Trump. Ask if he shares your concerns. Presumably, your worries for Planned Parenthood, for instance, or working families will have only intensified postelection. If you speak to your brother sincerely (and nonconfrontationally), you may find you have a lot to talk about. You may even find some comfort.

And for the next election, take a page from the wise book of Cher, who threatened to move to Jupiter if Mr. Trump was elected. Delays in that relocation may be laid safely at the feet of Elon Musk and his interplanetary travel crew.

Photo


Credit
Christoph Niemann

Already at Capacity

I have two siblings, both married, with three kids apiece. We live across the country from one another. I am lucky enough to have a home that can accommodate everyone, if we pack in like sardines. We only get together once a year, around Thanksgiving or Christmas, because of the expense and distance. But getting our children together is so fun and important to us. I also invite my parents, who are divorced, along with my father’s new wife. But my father and my stepmother now insist that we include her two adult children and their families, or they will not come. I am already hosting 13 people, and we’ve only met her kids a few times. How should I proceed?

COURTNEY, NEW YORK

Tell your father and stepmother that you are sorry if they won’t be able to join you next year. (And try to sound as if you mean it.) I am all in favor of blended families, but it seems as if you are already at the bursting point at your place. What’s more, incorporating (new, adult) stepsiblings into the fold is not the purpose of these gatherings; bonding among the young cousins is. Presumably, there will be other occasions to mingle with your stepmother’s children.

Any manners maven can tell you that guests do not have inviting privileges. Even if your stepmother sprang for a hotel for her children, it’s not the right time for you. And her children probably want to join your party as much as you want to have them. Still, she may not want to be separated from her brood during the holidays. Perhaps she and your father can alternate between families. Of course, all bets are off if they want to spring for an all-expenses-paid vacation to someplace sunny and swell for the whole crew.

Dining While Snubbed

My wife and I frequent a nice restaurant in our neighborhood. It’s small, and we often wait to be seated, even with reservations. The last time we went, a D-list celebrity waltzed in and said, “I’m sorry we didn’t call in advance.” He was led to a table immediately, while my wife and I waited 15 minutes longer. When I complained, we were given free drinks. Still, it left a bad taste in my mouth. What think you?

STANLEY, NEW YORK

Take solace in the words of Emily Dickinson: “How dreary — to be — Somebody!/How public — like a Frog —/To tell one’s name — the livelong June —/To an admiring Bog!” She pierced (in 1861, no less) the absurd hollowness of celebrity culture. If you can’t forgive the restaurant for letting the semifamous cut the line, even after bribing you with cocktails, find another place to spend your dining-out dollars.

About That Applesauce

I believe my daughter-in-law wrote to you about my adding too much sugar to the applesauce I bring to her Thanksgiving dinner. For the record, it is delicious, and my grandchildren adore it. I would also like to add that her expensive organic turkey is always dry.

ANONYMOUS

Rock on, Granny! I don’t see a question in your note, but I am happy to give you the final word. I hope you saw my advice to your daughter-in-law (though it was a daughter complaining about her mother in the published Social Q’s): Ease up on the controls at potluck dinners, and label dishes when guests have dietary restrictions.

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