My husband keeps kosher, and I do not. We agreed that our kids would be raised kosher. My kids are now teens and are curious about pork and shellfish, and since they know I eat them both when I am out with friends, they have begun confiding in me what they have tasted with their own friends (can you say barbecue chicken pizza?). I do not know whether to tell my husband, or whether to spare him the disappointment. And I feel it’s hard for me to crack down on my kids when they know that I am not observant. Thoughts?
Caught between a rock and a lobster
Regardless of how loyal you are to your spouse, there are a few times in life when circumstances require that you keep a (relatively innocent) secret from them. I believe this is one of those times. Soon the kids will be out of the house, and no one will know what the hell they eat. And if they did, they’d be horrified on all sorts of levels, religious practices being just one of them.
I think that you know your husband best, and if you feel that this would injure him, zip the lips. If you think he would understand that kids need agency in their lives and acceptance from their peers more than adhering to a family tradition, give it a shot.
But only after you ply him with kosher wine.
Help! I am at my wits end! I think my dog may be a human trapped in a dog’s body – yesterday I distinctly heard her ask me when her dinner would be ready, and when I looked at her she was staring intensely and her eyes burned into my soul. And, last week I caught her in our closet going through my wife’s clothing, some of which had been discarded on the floor as if she had been trying on outfits and heard me coming up the stairs!
She regularly critiques my work around the house (silently, but still I can tell), and she is increasingly judgmental when it comes to my housekeeping habits and is starting to scorn the after-dinner scraps I share with her (I can just tell by her expression that she thinks raw broccoli stems are beneath her).
As she gets older, her personality quirks just get more intense, and I am starting to get a little scared. It’s been many years since I read Cujo, but I am starting to feel unwelcome in my own home. What to do?
A loving dog owner
Dear Loving Dog Owner,
It sounds to me like you may have made one too many runs to the Zen Leaf Dispensary. Now, I’m not putting it past your pooch to give you the stink eye or turn up her nose at your snack choices. Dogs are damn smart and you know, if the shoe fits….My suggestion to you is a chamomile cleanse, a regular workout and perhaps a silent yoga retreat in the Himalayas.
If, after all that, you still think your dog is trying on your wife’s clothing, time to open a dog boutique. Or write a children’s book.
Recently a friend expressed disappointment that I had not called her back. She had called but did not leave a message. Of course it did register on my phone as a missed call. Is the general expectation now that one is to call back even when no voicemail or text is left?
I annoyed someone else recently for calling without texting first. There are a whole slew of new phone norms that I’m unaware of. What are your thoughts? Please help.
Phoning it in
I believe that if someone calls but does not leave a message, you are not obligated to call back. I sometimes do anyway, but that’s just me. And texting before you call someone? Overkill.
Of course, what do I know? I was recently schooled by an 18-year-old about how aggressive it is to use a period at the end of a sentence in a text nowadays. Even using the word “nowadays” dates me, so I’m with you 100%.
But if you really, really wanna know about textiquette, ask a 12-year-old.
Dear Gabby appears in the RoundTable every Monday. Yes, Gabby is an advice columnist – but not just any advice columnist. Because that would be boring! Gabby combines wisdom with wit. And a pinch of snark. She is not a trained therapist by any means, but has seen and loved many in her day. Her aim is to make you think while she makes you laugh. Gabby welcomes all questions and queries and is only too happy to hear your opinion, no matter how much it may diverge from hers. Write to Gabby at email@example.com.