Q: Hey Morgan, I’m spending the holidays with my boyfriend’s family for the first time this year and I’m really excited, the only problem is his mother. I’ve met her a few times, and she’s always been cold and standoffish. Turns out she doesn’t like how I dress. The thing is I don’t even dress that weird, but she always makes snide comments about it. At this point, I don’t know if it’s actually my clothes or if she just doesn’t like me. What should I do?
Ah, a tale as old as time. Sometimes it feels like your boyfriend’s mother is out to get you. Actually, sometimes it feels like any mother is out to get you. In fact, my own mother doesn’t like how I dress, but this sadly isn’t about me.
Listen, mothers have to go through a lot — society, patriarchy and failing marriages where their husbands talk about their secretaries a little too much. I am tempted to say cut her some slack. But if you don’t grow a backbone, what’s stopping you from becoming the mother that rips on the way their son’s girlfriend dresses in the future?
This is what you have to do. Calling her out is obviously out of the question because then you’re the bad guy. The only way to stop the comments is to have the source change her mind.
You may now say, “but I’ve tried everything!” Well, have you tried dressing like her? Think about it — all you have to do is stalk her Facebook, make a style inspo Pinterest board and take a trip to Old Navy.
When she sees you this year looking like her twin, what’s she going to say? Nothing negative, that’s for sure. She’ll either be flattered and glad you listened to her comments or will be too stunned to even say anything. Either way is a win. I hope this helps!
Q: Hey Morgan, my roommate put up this massive Christmas tree in our apartment, and it’s driving me crazy. First of all, it barely fits. I’ve run into it multiple times trying to go to the bathroom or the kitchen in the middle of the night. I also know it’s racking up our electrical bill because it’s wrapped with way too many lights. She seems like she really likes it and I don’t want to hurt her feelings by asking her to take it down, but I can’t take it anymore. What should I do?
This is a toughy because you don’t want to come across as a grinch not wanting to bask in the Christmas cheer or bright LED lights, but you still need to get that tree out of there.
Sometimes the only way to get rid of something is by causing a “little accident.” It’s like when I’m worried about not making any money with a creative writing degree, so I subtly butter my wealthy grandmother’s stairs. It hasn’t worked yet, but we’ll get there.
Anyway, let me shed some light on how to get rid of your problem. You say your tree is covered in those LED Christmas lights, right? Well, maybe one day when she’s in class, the lights begin to, I don’t know, “overheat” a bit. And let’s just say that, maybe, the tree starts on fire. A very small, manageable controlled fire that only burns/melts the tree to the point it’s ruined.
Sure, your roommate will be upset. But she won’t be upset with you, which is all that really matters. If the fire does happen to get out of control, I hope you have renters insurance. Hope this helps!