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Wedding Party Slight

Hi Emily,

When I got married, 6 years ago, both of my brothers were in my wedding. One as a groomsmen, the other as my best man. Now they are both getting married and both have asked me to be an usher in their weddings while they are serving as groomsmen in each others weddings. I said yes to both of them, but the more I think of it, the more upset I get. Am I being irrational, and would it be rude of me to back out? There are still 5 months before the first wedding happens.

------------------------------Miss Emily's advice-----------------------

No, I don't think you should back out, nor rock the boat. Angry? Well, more hurt than anything. Can I assume that your brothers are either closer in age -- and/or simply have a greater bond? Too, the wedding parties may be smaller, making it a choice between one or the other. But think about this -- neither one chose the other to be best man! Again, make no waves and accept your position as usher. With families, if it's anything like mine, you often have to bite the bullet. And believe me, my teeth are used to more bullets than food.




Michigan Or Bust

Hey Emily,

So I have lived in Texas my whole life and have visited my family and friends in Michigan every summer. When my dad was 18, he and his family moved here from Shelby, Michigan, Well his younger brother always had a dream of moving back. I too have had the same dream. I have always wanted to live there! I will be graduating high school in about 4 months and the choice is getting close. I have been accepted to a community college here in Texas, but this summer I want to move up to Michigan with a real close family of friends that my dad grew up with, and I grew up with their children, get a job and see if I can make it during the summer and see if I can make. And if not, should I just come back to Texas and forget about my dream, or push myself to make my dreams come true. Please help.

--------------------------------Miss Emily's advice---------------------------

I'm all for pushing to have your dreams come true, and I see no problem with testing the waters, but this is one dream you should have, above all others -- college! It's extremely important in order to get ahead in this tough, and getting tougher, competitive world.  If you were to go to Michigan, I hope your plan would be to establish residency (*most states charge large out-of-state college fees for non-residents), work, and then commit to getting into a local college. If your parents have no objection to you wanting to spread your wings, and there is a family safety net in Michigan to aid and assist you, the plan seems more than reasonable to me. Were this not to turn out the way you had hoped -- or your dreams change, I am sure you will be welcomed back in Texas, and can re-enroll in the community college. Again, my only concern is that you go to college. Have a plan -- a goal to be the best you can be. A career, with financial independence offers you the freedom to make choices out of want, rather than need -- no matter where you end up -- Texas, Michigan, or the south of France! Who know where your dreams will take you? Just make sure you have a solid foundation to help get you there. 



Kitty Dilemma

Dear Miss Emily:

My mom has to move in with my family and me. She has a cat, and I have a dog. I am not comfortable about what do. Please help!

-----------------------------------------------Miss Emily's advice-----------------------------------------

Cats are finicky, and they can take over a whole house. Amazing little creatures. If you try to acclimate them, and it turns out to be a bust, you have two options:  Insist that her cat stay in her room with a litter box, or tell her she has to find a new home for the cat. If you allow your mother to dictate your living conditions, that would be a huge mistake. She is living with you, not vice versa, and it is the kindness of your heart that has allowed it. But that doesn't mean you suddenly have to become a child, again. If she doesn't like the pre-arranged conditions, and you should make them clear before she moves in, that's a pity. But be firm, because your life will become a living hell if you're not.

Math Teacher From Hell

 Dear Miss Emily, 
My math teacher is horrible. She never gets to the lesson plans -- and when she does, she confuses all of the class. We have had her for two years and the whole class hates her. She also always talks about her personal life. To undestand the assignment, we have to ask the other math teacher. We are thinking about going to the principal, but we want to make it will change things. Please give some advice!! Thank you.

---------------------------------------Miss Emily's advice-----------------------------------

Assuming the students have made it clear to her that they don't understand, and nothing has changed, yes, get a group together and go to the principal. You'd be doing the whole class a favor -- including her! You have a right to be taught without being confused, nor having to consult another teacher. I could see getting a tutor if the subject matter is confusing, despite her efforts, but this is not the case. Let me know what happens.

Ex Has Drug Problem

Dear Miss Emily:

My ex started seeing a girl about 4 months ago and she is a known heroin addict. She has lost custody of all 3 of her kids. My ex and I have 1 child together. He used to be a great father to her. Now he rarely sees, or calls our daughter. Rumor has it he is on heroin as well. We have only seen him on Thanksgiving and Christmas and he looked like total crap. I moved from Arizona about 7 months ago and now live back in Ohio where he also lives. Our custody papers state that he can get our daughter that last day of school when summer vacation starts. I don't know if he will try to come get her, or keep ignoring her as he is now. My question is do you think I should hire a lawyer and have his visit changed? I really don't think I want my daughter around the drugs.

---------------------------------------------Miss Emily's advice----------------------------------------

Of course you don't want your daughter around drugs!. And, yes, hire a lawyer. The courts should care that his girlfriend is a heroin addict, she will be in your daughter's company,  and that your ex is possibly doing drugs, as well. There should be no equivocating, here. Your daughter's welfare is first, and foremost your main concern. He may not take his visitation privileges when school lets out, but you can't take that risk. Drug addicts always seem to think they are contenders -- they have oodles of false pride -- no matter that they are troubled human beings who cannot be trusted to do the right thing. But you can, and your daughter's welfare depends on it. Good luck to you.

It's A Family Matter

 Dear Miss Emily:

My sister and niece have not returned my phone calls about problems with our adopted children, for 2 years, yet still want one holiday celebration with us when my brother from N.Y. comes down to PA.This year, I refused to have a joint celebration but, instead, asked for a separate one. Would you do the same?

----------------------------------Miss Emily's advice--------------------------

Family issues, like this, are complicated. Just because they are family, it does not mean there aren't conditions to the relationship -- obviously. But when there are these conditions, it hits below the belt. Family betrayals are the hardest to conquer. I do not know why they have taken a stance not to return your calls in this matter, but I can only assume certain possibilities: They were not on -board with the adoptions; they don't want to be a continual sounding-boards to your problems with the kids, because they don't see you making any effort to work on those problems; or . . . sis and her daughter are too busy to be caring people to a relative who would like a little understanding, and a need to talk from time-to-time. You've drawn a line in the sand, now, and unless you are willing to have a pow-wow on this, the precedent of not seeing each other will continue. And that's fine if you think it's the only alternative to their perceived bad behavior toward you. You probably won't be able to change their attitude about this issue, or they would have reached out to you by now. You have to be comfortable with the decision you have made for the long-haul. If not seeing these people relieves your mind, and the scale tips toward this being the better choice, you did the right thing -- for you. But if it causes you stress, and the whole family is brought in, only to muddy the waters, make one final attempt to air any grievances. If the attempt fails, you definitely know you did the right thing.

A Good Move

Dear Miss Emily,

My husband and I moved to Wisconsin after living in Michigan all of our lives, 2 1/2 years ago. We moved with my parents when my dad got a better job over there, as I am very close to my family. After almost 3 years here, we still do not feel like this is "home". We are struggling a lot more here than we were back home. Neither of us have any friends and generally do not care for the state or the people in it. We have less than 2 months to move out of our apartment and find a new place to move our family (myself, my husband, a 4 year old and a baby on the way). All of my husband's family, including a son, lives in Michigan (however his mother is deceased), but my closest family now lives in Wisconsin. But I do have a lot of friends and extended family in Michigan. Should I take a chance and move back home, or should I try to make the best of what I have and stay in Wisconsin?

---------------Miss Emily's advice----------

I think the scale tips to moving back to Michigan. The economy is still pretty lousy, and a lot has changed in the last 3 years, but you make a good case for trying to find your hearts back home. Make sure you plan carefully, in order to make it as effortless as possible. I'm sure your parents would be extremely sad over this move, but you're a big girl, now, and your family with your husband and children come first. Do not have a moments guilt. That would make you feel as if you're doing something wrong, and you're not. If, by chance, it were to not work out, there's nothing that says you can't try something else. Working as a team is one of the most important aspects of any decision you and your husband make. That seems to be the case, here, and I'd seize the moment. Good luck to you.

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