I couldn’t disagree more!

Dear Amy: I am blessed to have retired before the age of 50.

I am now in my mid-50s, and my life is great, but my in-laws think I should go back to work.

We had a fairly okay relationship before my retirement, but now when I am around them, they tell me I am too young to retire, and this has caused a disconnect in our relationship.

I didn’t know there was an age requirement on retiring, as long as you are financially secure.

How can I respond to this?

— Enjoying Retirement

Enjoying: I suggest you respond with a version of, “Aren’t you sweet?” before transitioning your in-laws away from you as the topic of conversation. One way to do this is to ask a question, “Do you remember how old your own parents were when they retired?”

They might say, “Our folks never retired!” which would give you some insight into their backstory and point of view.

There is nothing wrong with a little disconnect between the generations, but I hope you won’t let this difference of opinion grow into anything more than that. (c) Ask Amy

Wow, that’s obnoxious. I hate Ask Amy’s advice. She seems to be calling this a difference of opinion, but I think it’s more of a lifestyle no-no along the lines of, “Why haven’t you all had kids yet?” or, “Marjorie, if you don’t marry soon, your biological clock will start ticking,” or, “Wow, you’re a real fatty! Ever heard of exercise?” or, “Aren’t you going to have that thing on your face removed?”

I think it’s similarly rude to comment on someone’s retirement status. I think it would be polite to ask if the person misses work, and that’s where I’d draw the line. If they said, “No, I’ve never been happier,” then I’d respond by expressing my happiness for them.

They might say, “Our folks never retired!” which would give you some insight into their backstory and point of view.

No, just no. There’s no justifiable backstory or point of view that really makes this okay. It’s less about the opinion of retirement age and more about expressing that opinion in a way that’s hurtful and none of your business. I.e., it’s fine to share your retirement views if it comes up in conversation, like, “Say, how old do you think we should be when we retire?” But to harass the letter writer about his or her decision to retire is another thing altogether.

I hope you won’t let this difference of opinion grow into anything more than that.

Really, Ask Amy? This person retired at 49 or younger and is now in his or her mid-fifties. Apparently the in-laws haven’t let the issue drop. I would’ve been sick of it five years ago.

I’ll probably regret this, but… let’s see what Annie Lane is up to in her infinite wisdom.

Dear Annie: My wife and I have been friends with this couple for over 10 years. We met when our kids were in grade school. We would get together with this couple regularly over the years for dinner and drinks, while the kids would stay at home.

When we go out, we would always split the bill 50/50. Fast-forward to today, their kids are always joining us for dinner and drinks. When it comes time to pay the bill, they always ask for one check and expect us to split the bill 50/50 still. We have tried to do separate checks, but they keep asking for one. How do we politely tell them we do not want to pay for their family’s food and drinks? — Paying More Than Our Fair Share

Dear Paying More: If these dinners are frequent, such as once a week, then you should tell them that dividing the check in half is not fair. But if they are only occasional get-togethers, remember that friendship shouldn’t require such precise math. If the bill really bothers you, invite them over to your house for drinks and appetizers instead. (c) Annie Lane @ Creators.com

Oh dear.

I agree that friendship shouldn’t require precise math. When I visit Sonya, we’re like, “Let me treat you tonight,” and, “No, you treated me last night. Let me treat you tonight,” and, “Huh. How many korunas are in a dollar?” (That last one would be me speaking.)

But the math thing doesn’t apply here because the letter writer’s friends are taking advantage. This letter writer has tried getting separate checks, and that notion has been vetoed. There’s obvious taking-advantage-of going on here.

If these dinners are frequent, such as once a week, then you should tell them that dividing the check in half is not fair.

Oh, Bahonkus, Annie Lane. The letter writer specifically asked HOW to politely tell them, not whether or not they should tell them. It was a question of, “I’m not sure how to speak up about this,” which Annie Lane failed to address.

If the bill really bothers you, invite them over to your house for drinks and appetizers instead.

If it really bothers you? It bothers me, and I don’t know these people.

What I would do, just offhand, is force the issue of separate checks. Upfront, when the server takes your order, say, “My wife and I are paying together for our meals.” If the friend tries to jump in and ixnay that, be insistent with the server and don’t buckle.

4 thoughts on “I couldn’t disagree more!

  1. Typical Annie! This couple is obviously taking advantage of this couple! They insist on splitting the check when when they are there with their six kids! As usual with Annie, the perpetrators are always allowed to continue their bad behavior in the interest of friendship, or family or “because she’s your mother.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pete! Hi there!! Welcome to my blog! I was hoping you’d show up! WordPress moderates it when someone leaves a comment for the first time, so you shouldn’t be moderated anymore. Please comment with abandon!

      I know, right? I think Annie Lane seriously lacks common sense!! 😮

      Like

  2. I love treating my friend and family and a couple of us do this unofficial I’ll pay tonight you pay next time deal but I’d never dream of bringing extra people along and then still expecting them to pay. How rude?! Not very good friends if they are doing that, and also.. aren’t their family embarrassed about it? I would be.

    Liked by 1 person

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