Dear Amy: I’m asking for advice for my younger sister, “Stella.”
Like a lot of people right now, Stella is using [a social media account delivering “X-rated entertainment”] to make extra income.
Our older cousin “Candace” is married to “Ted.” They have three kids. Ted is about 17 years older than Stella.
Stella found out that Ted has subscribed to her account. She learned this because he sent her a bunch of messages saying he is always checking her out at family functions. He called her his “dirty little secret.”
We are both very disturbed by his behavior and aren’t sure what she should do next.
Should Stella tell Candace? Stella told our mom in hopes that she would have some advice and to potentially ward off any uncomfortable future family gatherings.
Our mom thinks it’s possible that Candace will take Ted’s side and it could make things worse.
Stella and I both agreed that we would want to know if our significant other was doing this.
I encouraged Stella to take screenshots of his messages in case she needs any proof in the future (which she did).
Stella blocked his account and let her friends on the website know so they can block him, too. One friend did notice that he was paying for some of her content, but only the content that included Stella.
Should my sister keep this secret, or let our cousin know what her husband is doing?
— Concerned Big Sis
Dear Big Sis: “Ted” is a creep. More on that later. But your question partly concerns whether “Stella” should notify your cousin “Candace” because her husband Ted subscribes to Stella’s “X-rated entertainment” account.
If Stella is providing pornography behind a paywall, I would assume that many, if not most, of her customers are somebody’s husband/significant other.
I’ll draw an equivalence to a medium like Penthouse magazine. If Stella is hired to pose for Penthouse, then should your cousin’s husband be “outed” because he bought it at a newsstand? No.
Your mom knows about Stella’s groove, and so I would imagine that this acceptance would override any extreme family awkwardness.
Ted’s choice to harass Stella should NOT remain anyone’s “dirty little secret,” however.
Even though Ted might have thought he was engaging in some creative and sexy role-play, having a relative inform her of her role in his fantasy life is … creepy! Stella should respond directly to Ted, shutting him down. And, depending on how he responds, in order to deny him the pleasure of having her as his “dirty little secret,” she should feel free to out him.
You should assume that Ted’s wife will side with him. But, since his harassment is indefensible, I don’t think the rest of the family should worry too much about him or his feelings.
Dear Amy: A few years ago, my husband and I met a couple who would become our best friends. They have two daughters, and we have one.
Their oldest, “Maggie,” is the same age as my daughter (6).
Maggie is rude, disrespectful, mean, and a bully.
We’ve overlooked it because we enjoy the friendship so much.
My daughter enjoys playing with their girls, but I do think that her feelings get hurt by Maggie, although she’s too kind to say so.
I believe that a comment I made recently about a rude incident has caused a rift. However, I’m tired of allowing their daughter to treat us and our daughter so badly.
The parents refuse to acknowledge that there’s a problem. I think the child needs professional help.
I’d hate to see the friendship end, but I also want to set an example for my daughter, that we don’t allow people to treat us that way.
Do I end the friendship? What should I say to them?
— Upset Mom
Dear Upset: The way to communicate with these parents would be to say, “Maggie dominates our daughter, and she doesn’t seem to know how to handle it. I hope I didn’t overstep in your home, but I felt I needed to intervene.”
Dear Amy: “Luddite in Nebraska” complained about in-laws sending important information (about a wedding, pregnancy, and a birth) via text message. Luddite felt that this was in “poor taste,” and that a phone call was necessary.
Thank you for pointing out that the way for conveying news and information has evolved.
I’m old enough to remember when using the telephone for important news was considered in “poor taste.” One had to write a letter.
Dear Geezer: Great point!
(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)
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