What do I do about my mother who is always late? No matter what’s going on: Thanksgiving, going shopping, having coffee, anything, she’s always 40 minutes late. I have tried everything I know of. I’ve left without her (a bad idea), begged her, stopped making plans with her, everything. I even offered to get her counseling. She went once and told me her counselor was 40 minutes late! What do I do? She really screws up the timetable of anything I want to do with her.
Counting The Minutes
Dear Ms. Minutes,
Please allow me to boil this down to its essence: “What can I do to change someone else?” And, to make matters worse, it’s your Mom. All of us are aware of the difficulty of making significant changes in our own lives. To force a change on an unwilling subject is likely to be met with frustration and a lack of success.
It sounds like you spend a fair amount of time with your Mom. I wish I had the opportunity to do the same. As it appears this is not a relationship-threatening issue, but rather an ongoing irritation, I make the following suggestions:
* Don’t tell your Mom you are doing this.
* Make your plans to deal with the handicap. If she was wheelchair bound, you would not plan a hike in the mountains. However, a wheelchair accessible outdoor activity might be great. If she was massively sight-impaired, the movie theater might not be enjoyable for her. She sure might enjoy a concert with the music of her choice though. Thus, with this “time-impairment” handicap, learn to make the adjustment. Consider secretly making the 40 minute adjustment for all of y’alls activities. She’s a lucky woman to have a daughter who spends so much time with her. Make it equally enjoyable for yourself by acknowledging her “issue” as a handicap rather than her lack of consideration. Enjoy your time together. Our lives together are fleeting.
My husband has really terrible oral hygiene. He has for all of our marriage. The first ten years or so it was ok because I love him, and he is a wonderful love maker. He still is, but I have become more sensitive to his gross mouth. Sometimes it’s like kissing a toilet seat, at least what I think it would be like to kiss one. Gross. But I truly love him. He is kind and generous, a hard worker, and like I said before, he’s a wonderful lover. Any ideas?
Holding My Breath
One of the (many) problems of bad oral hygiene is that to begin to improve, there is a degree of suffering involved. When I was working in residential treatment, the kids NEVER brushed their teeth. When I bought them super soft tooth brushes out of my disgracefully meager paycheck, we had a near bloodbath. Gums get soggy, and the rest is obvious. Consider showing him this letter of yours and offer a kind solution. Perhaps making back-to-back appointments for you both with a good dentist might alleviate a little fear. Let your dentist know ahead of time what the situation is. The new electric toothbrushes seem to be gentle but thorough. Brush y’alls teeth together morning and night. Maybe some rewarding him with good kisses after brushing might reinforce the new behavior. Defeating old nasty habits is a multi-year effort. I hope you can help him. If he isn’t motivated, I’d get a small face mask from your dentist (or other medical friends), draw some good lookin’ lips on it with your lipstick and tell him love making sounds great: just no more kissing. If I was a wonderful lover, I'd sure need to be able to kiss my girl. That would sure motivate ME.