With a wedding just around the corner, should I tell my conservative parents about my past, liberal relationships? Margo Howard’s advice
To Tell or Not To Tell
Dear Margo: My problem, if you could call it that, is that I am a bisexual woman. Not bisexual as in I’ve had the occasional drunken romp with a lady, but bisexual as in I’ve had girlfriends. My family is ultra-conservative, and I have a feeling that if I told them, I would not be allowed to see my nieces. I had to explain to my stepsister that homosexuality is a completely different animal from pedophilia, and I know where she got that idea: my parents. I have let on to my stepsister that I have fooled around with women, but have not told her the extent of it, and she has let it slip that she has done the same thing, as well, although I suspect she’s firmly in the “fooled around” category.
My parents are old and are against gay marriage with the highly refutable logic that “marriage is between a man and a woman.” I am getting married to a man next year and am worried that it may come out at the wedding. I have no problem telling my friends. It is just my family members in another city who don’t know, so the likelihood that it will slip is about 50-50.
My husband-to-be encourages me to tell them, but understands the quandary I am in. My deal is that if I am getting married to a man and intend to spend the rest of my life with him, isn’t it kinder to my parents to let them think their daughter is hetero, or am I letting the entire LGBT community down by not telling them and risking rest-of-my-life outcast status? Despite their views, they are the only family I know. — Not-so-Innocent Bistander
Dear Not: Because you say your parents are “ultra-conservative” and old (and benighted), I would not give them information that, in a way, is none of their business and would also disturb them greatly. There is nothing to gain. You are getting married, and that will give them pleasure — and you’re doing it in the way they understand: a man and a woman! I don’t think you are letting down the LGBT community. Your peers know, and more importantly, your husband-to-be knows, so let’s leave Mom and Dad in the 20th century where they are comfortable. — Margo, contentedly
Waking Up to Weed Whackers? No, Thank You.
Dear Margo: We are an older, retired couple who like to do our yard work in the summer during the cool morning hours. Starting at first light, around 6 a.m., is when we prefer to do our yard work. By 9 a.m., it is much too hot to continue working outside. Our next-door neighbor, who we really like, has asked us not to do any yard work before 9 a.m. The noise from the weed whacker, edger and lawn mower wakes up their baby. What to do? — Up and at ‘Em
Dear Up: What to do — at 6 in the morning? Be quiet, for one thing. I, personally, would find making any kind of big noise outside “at first light” grounds for calling the police. I can tell you, having lived in southern California, that the sound of weed whackers is an awful, annoying sound at any hour.
I would hope you’d accede to your neighbor’s request, because common courtesy dictates no noisy anything before 9. I don’t know which desert you live in for it to be too hot to be outside at 9 in the morning, but if that is truly the case, I suggest you change your yard work schedule to perhaps 6 in the evening. — Margo, respectfully
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Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.
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