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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
My brother and I are both in our 60s , and we do phone each other regularly .
My problem is, over the years , I have been fortunate and though not wealthy , am pretty well-off.  My brother however, has barely eked out a living for himself and his wife .
When he called the other day to see what I was up to, I didn't want to say I was buying a rental property.
I don't know how to discuss this with him without seeming as though I'm bragging or putting him down for not being as successful. Any hints ? 
Lucky Brother 
Dear Lucky ,
Your brother surely knows that you have more money than he does . He also knows you earned every cent yourself
with hard work and are entitled to it. There may be some envy, but probably not as much as you think . As long as you are not boasting, he may not begrudge your financial success at all.
But if you have any doubts, don't discuss your latest real estate acquisitions, your income or the size of your bank account. It really is no one's business but your own, anyway.
If he asks you about any purchases you have made. Just answer simply and briefly and give no more  information than is asked for.
If you wish to bring this uncomfortable situation out in the open and banish it forever, then you pretty much have to talk to him about it. First let him know you love him and cherish his friendship and his kinship to you. Then tell  him you don't want anything to come between you. And if he ever has any problem with you or  your life style or your income, he must come to you and talk about it. You are both getting on in years and you do not wish to waste any of the time you have left on negative feelings.

Dear Maxy ,
I was married the first time for 23 years and I could do nothing right , no matter how hard I tried .
I worked full time, was a soccer mom and yet dinner better be on the table at 5:30 or else . If he wiped his hands over the furniture and found dust, then I was put in my place .
Fast forward to my second marriage , now going on 28 years . The pattern hasn't changed . We get along great for a while , but if I try to fix a special meal , he does his best to ruin the evening .
Today I made pasts salad and had saved up for two steaks that I barbequed to perfection. What does he say ? This is to much . My steak has fat on it . I don't like pasta salad . I am an excellent cook , by the way .
What am I doing wrong ? I am in my 60s now and can't get it right . I am so tired of this .
Sick of Men Complaining
Dear Sick ,
When someone repeats the same negative pattern, it helps to look at yourself . You seem to be attracted to a certain  type of person....moody, depressive and controlling. When they are unhappy with their lot in life, they feel better  when they find fault with someone else. He knows he is hurting you.
It’s important that you not take responsibility for his feelings or try to cater to his bad moods. That will just make you feel like you’re walking on eggshells and reinforce the lie that somehow you and everyone else is responsible to make him happy.  When he dumps his negativity on you, do your best to shake it off as quickly as possible. Don’t retaliate. Don’t brood. And don’t get caught in your own pity party or feel gypped because you’re married to this kind of man.
Distance yourself from him when he’s in this state so there is no secondary gain for him. If he doesn’t want to participate in something, do it without him. By doing this, you’re not punishing him, but helping yourself not “catch” his bad mood, as well as giving him an opportunity to see that even when things don’t go as you want them to, we all have a choice in how we respond.
Standing up for yourself can be satisfying and empowering. If he does not like the meal, tell him he is welcome to cook something more to his liking.
You should also talk to a relationship counselor. You can't fix this by yourself. Go on your own and learn more ways to protect yourself and your emotional well being. I read where one lady started her own savings account, just a few dollars a week to make her feel a bit more independent. And if you get really fed up, it is get away money.
I wish you well

Dear Maxy,
The older I get , the less patience I have for complainers.
There are a few friends who have been sort of close to me for longer than I can remember . I think they have been more out of habit than anything productive . It feels more like a chat session of what's wrong with everybody we know in our social circle and the world . I'm sick of it . I just don't want to waste my breath on negativity anymore . How can I release myself from these friends, or get them to change the subject ?
Ready to Refresh
Dear Ready to Refresh,
Before dumping your friends, talk to them . Express your dissatisfaction at the fact that your group often gets caught up in gossip and you just don't want to do that anymore . Ask them if they would be willing to talk about other things . Try it out by introducing topics that interest you . Be honest and tell them you choose to be more positive.
However it is difficult for people to change old habits . Even if they want to comply, it is not likely that they will be consistently able to do so . Same for you, by the way. You may find it best to limit your interaction with some of them. You are not locked into this ritual, negative gossip.
Moreover, it's essential that you expand your own horizons by engaging in activities that you find satisfying and fulfilling . By doing positive things, you will replace complaining time with inspiring time .You never know ....your friends may want to join you !

Dear Maxy ,
Many of the young people in my neighborhood are coming of the age to vote .
As one who grew up when it seemed like everybody registered at the first second we could, I just don't understand why virtually none of these kids is even thinking about voting . I ask them regularly if they are paying attention to the political discussions of the presidential candidates and if they are learning about what's going on in our town . I almost always get blank faces . One young man will talk to me , but none of the others . What can I do to inspire them to get involved ?
Get Registered

Dear Get Registered ,
Young people today are infected with political apathy.They  do not feel they have much of a stake in society. Having children and owning property gives you a direct interest in how schools and hospitals are run and whether parks and libraries are maintained . And that leads to further interest in who is passing legislature on what and who is running the country.
Young adults are waiting longer and longer before they settle down these days. Also women often prefer a career to marriage and children. Women who have opted for kids as well as a career are run off their feet and have no time to go to the polls. The people who have not settled down are not much affected by political decisions. They have more transient lifestyles and don't feel that connected to whoever governs.
Focus on the young man who is interested . Talk to him about the political process and how he can get involved  in it . Encourage him to register to vote . Rather than trying to corral everyone, stick with him for now . The reality is that you are not likely to be able to get every young person involved . There is a good chance,  however,  that inspiring this one young man may rub off on others.


  1. Hi Aunty and Genie ,
    Genie , may the cooler weather be a blessing for you and your family . A prayer for all your family to have better health and happiness . As poppa would say a positive mind and attitude brings less stress and better health .
    Aunty , there are one from Too Short .
    Your sweet niece

    Dear Maxy ,
    I met you through my uncle , he knew my problem and one day he told me he wanted me to tell you about my problem , my mother , his sister , said a dog could not help me , for nearly two weeks , my uncle told me to write . I did and Maxy you changed my life for the better . School started and this girl I wanted to meet , she is tall , about 5 feet 8 1/2 inches tall and I am only 5 feet 5 inches , so you can see the problem .
    I went to my uncle and asked him what to do , he asked did I remeber what Maxy advice to me was , I carry a clipping of it in my wallet . My uncle said , take the bull by the horns and go for it . I did and she smiled and I was hooked . We talk , and I asked her to the movies the same day , she said with pleasure . We go lots of places together holding hands , met her family which all are taller than I am , they are very nice .
    There was a dance at the school last week , my girl and I did the Cha-Cha , the kids cleared the floor to watch us . It felt really good . Thank you Maxy for telling me I may be short but I stand tall among men .
    Too Small

    Dear Maxy ,
    I have been living with my husband for 12 years . He will be 50 in a few months and our daughter is only 11 . The problem is , my husband is ill and his doctor is predicting that he may be wheelchair bound and possibly completely paralyze between now and early next year . I am afraid I may not be able to care for him when that time comes .
    Since he is not a senior citizen , what places might accommodate him if he needs round-the-clock care ? Are there places like nursing homes and assisted living centers for someone who is only middle aged and wheelchair bound ?
    No Name USA

    Dear Maxy ,
    I am preparing to move out of my parents place and be independent . I graduated from college a little less than two years ago and I know my dream job is in New York City . I have some money saved up from other jobs , but I am not sure what all of the steps are to getting my own place . My mom does not think I am ready to move out , but I know in order to get my career started , I need to be in the city that never sleeps . I have found a couple of apartments on line , but I know have a reat estate agent gets pricy . I will definitely have job interviews scheduled for myself once I get to New York City , but I just need to find a way to be there affordable first . How do I start this move out of the nest ?
    Breaking Free and Budgeting , Jackson , Mississippi

    1. Thank you Nee.
      You're right, the cooler weather is much more comfortable. it was so gratifying to hear from 'Too Small'. He sounds like a much happier person now. It makes what we do, and what you do for us, all worthwhile.
      Stay well

  2. Aunty and Genie ,
    Kathy asked if you could please get these in , she thank you .

    Dear Maxy ,
    I believe that television is destroying my family life . Whenever my children and husband and I get home , we seem to automatically retreat into different rooms to watch whatever is is our favorite TV show . When I attempt to corral everybody into the same room , it works for a quick meal , but when we invariably end up in our corners , so to speak . I want us to talk as a family and do other interactive things . I almost feel it's to late , though because we have been doing this for so long . How can I coax us out of our corners and into each others lives in real time ?
    Competing With The Idiot Box

    Dear Maxy ,
    I have recently been introduced to a funny and quirky guy . I enjoy spending time in his company ---except for one habit of his : Whenever he does something feminine , he jokes he feels his "rights being taken away," like a woman's . Sometime he switches up the punch line and says that he feels himself "turning into a second-class citizen." Walter is gay , so he feels he can make these jokes because neither of us are "straight white men." I never consider making any sort of joke about how I feel gay and I feel myself gay , and I feel myself losing my rights .
    Walter seems like a great friend if you overlook this comedic hiccup , and I don't what to have to shut down the mood when this happens . I haven't laughed at this joke and I need it to stop . Is it time for a quip back ?
    Over The Line


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