Dear Amy, I've made it my business to digitize the old negatives and slides of my family. It's a lot of work, but it's worth it!
While I process the pictures from my childhood, I came across several pictures that my father made of my mother and that were clearly not intended for the daughter.
When I realized what they were, I quickly put them aside and did not digitize them.
My parents have been divorced for almost 20 years. I'm sure my mother does not want my dad to have these photos, but I can not ask if she wants them back, both because they're personal and because it was not the simplest divorce and my dad is mentioned still embarrassing.
The negatives are unusable until they are digitized, which would fall to me. What do I do with them?
DEAR DIGI-DON'T: Put these negatives in an envelope and give them to your mother. That's it. Tell her, "I was not sure what to do with it, so I'll let you decide, and if you want me to digitize it, I'll do it."
These photos are owned by your mother and she should Have a right to make a decision about it. I see no reason to include or call your father.
Dear Amy: My spouse and I decided not to have children.
There are several reasons for this, including: (1
My spouse has a brother and sister, each of whom is married to their own little children. When we get together, they can only talk about their children.
I understand that children are a focal point in your life when you are a parent, but that is not the only aspect of a person's personality. What about her hobbies, her work, her politics and other contemporary events?
When they invite us to social gatherings, they talk exclusively about children and to such an extent that I and my spouse feel isolated, as if we were inferior because they have no children.
They also do not seem to understand or respect that we love our pets as if they were our natural children, and we are quite happy with our decision not to have children of our own.
Advice on bridging this gap and better family time at meetings?
Cheerful childless in Chicago
LOVE, JOY, CHILDREN: Of course family members should show a personal interest in you when you're with them!
Here's a tough love though: If you want a better "family time," then you should no longer dive into family gatherings as cocktail parties and more than time to look into family matters. At the moment, this extended family turns to young children. I agree that this single focus, to say the least, can be monotonous. But for these parents, children are their hobby, their work and their current events. Children are what they do.
I recently participated in a Shepherd Dog Day. Guess what we talked about when I met each of these dog handlers? Your dogs. This is to be expected. This is her passion and in this context, this was her focus.
You should never feel less than those close to these young families, and it's perfectly understandable that you would not share their obsession. But in times when you live in your households, you should tolerate them focusing on their children.
DEAR AMY: "Trying to Be a Good Mother" presented an interesting dilemma. Her adolescent sons wanted to buy a cell phone for their uninvolved and distant (divorced) father.
They suggested letting these boys do what they wanted with their money. But I thought her father obviously manipulated her. If they give in, he'll just ask for more, and mom should tell them that.
There had been
Dear: In my answer, I noticed the unfortunate dynamics – The sons want to please their father, and he uses and manipulates them.
I also knew that these boys would have to burn themselves before they could develop a more realistic attitude towards their father.
You can email Amy Dicky to [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.