Asking Eric: I was stunned to see my outlaw relatives stealing from the restaurant

Dear Eric: At a recent family celebration, I witnessed a crime committed by my outlaw relatives. These fools stole two bottles of nice-ish wine from the restaurant where we were celebrating.

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I was too stunned to say anything as an intervention and too late to prevent it from happening.

My dear mother did not like the notion of me trying to “make right” by letting the restaurant know that this happened and making financial amends. She was concerned, perhaps rightly so, that the restaurant would pursue criminal charges against not just our outlaw relatives but perhaps our entire party.

My conundrum is this: Do I confront these outlaws or ghost them from future gatherings?

I feel like I have to say something to draw a boundary. My dear mother doesn’t trust these fools to be in her home, now!

– Witness Protection

Dear Witness: Normally, I’m all about clear communication but it sounds like it might be best, for drama reasons and safety reasons, to make like Casper and ghost them.

Well, more like Patrick Swayze in “Ghost” in that you need to linger for a bit to tie up loose ends.

I see little use in starting more family conflict by forcing a confrontation, but you do need to be clear about the boundary you’re setting. If your plan is to avoid inviting this branch of the family to future gatherings, you should say it: “Hey, much love, but I don’t want to be on the hook for more wine or anything else if I’m footing the bill.”

You characterize them as outlaws. I’m presuming this isn’t the first incident like this, nor would your characterization be a surprise to them.

They may say it’s not that serious, and you don’t need to debate that point. The only pertinent point is that for you the Wild West shenanigans are too much.

Make sure your mother and other family members know this is your boundary, too. And if your mother doesn’t feel comfortable setting her own boundary, offer to be her excuse. “My daughter doesn’t want any fuss …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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