Friday, May 16, 2014
Today, in the Dear Abby column, there was a discussion about doing one's floor exercises while visiting at relatives:
DEAR ABBY: When my husband and I go to visit my mother (in another
city) every other month or so, my brother and his wife insist on coming
over to see us while we're there. Our visits usually last two or three
Many times when they come over, my sister-in-law will start doing her
exercise routine, including floor exercises, which are, in my husband's
and my opinion, unbecoming and inappropriate to do in front of other
How do we deal with this? Are we crazy to feel awkward when she's lying
on her back doing these pelvic thrusts? Would it be out of line to ask
her not to do this in the future?
My brother says, "She won't listen to me, so it wouldn't do any good to
talk to her," so we know talking to her won't help. What do you
suggest? -- FEELING AWKWARD
DEAR FEELING AWKWARD: Here's how I'd handle it. Talk to her anyway, and
ask her to please refrain from doing these exercises in your presence
because it makes you uncomfortable. But if that doesn't work and she
starts "performing," stand up and say, "Hey, folks. Let's go out for a
walk (or coffee, or a sandwich)," and put an end to her bid for
attention that way.
(End of Quote)
Well, I remember visiting my inlaws years ago and the stress of trying to lipread the in-laws conversation (especially when they switched to the local "Red River" dialect!), with poor lighting and horribly uncomfortable couches and chairs that were too long in seat depth for my short little legs, and sometimes emotionally charged conversations, where I would move off the chairs and do some gentle stretching type exercises (being mindful that my clothing covered up all the girly parts.). Was I so bad??
I remember thinking, while reading this letter, what was the rest of the story? Was the Mom's house so small that sister-in-law couldn't do her exercises in another room? Was the Mom so paranoid and distrustful of the "in-law" that she would not allow SIL to leave the room (which was the case in my situation. My mother-in-law had situations with the other two daughter-in-laws supposedly snooping through her stuff.). So a person in a situation like I was in might be wanting to do exercises and having no other place to do them but in the same room. Of course, we can all spin out dozens of other "what if" scenerios. But somehow I felt like Abby's response was a little short.