Dear Miss Pearl,
I am 31 years old and have been dating a 36-year-old man for several months. My parents recently met him and they liked him, but they were not at all happy that he called them by their first names. He's a great guy, and I want my parents to get over it.
Sweetie, we only get one chance to make a good first impression and, unfortunately, your boyfriend blew his chance. I don't care how old a boyfriend or girlfriend is – when meeting parents for the first time you ALWAYS call them Mr. And Mrs. "Jones" or "Mr. Richard" and "Miss Grace."
There are no exceptions to this unspoken rule! The fact that your boyfriend called your parents by their first names speaks volumes about him and reflects on how he was raised. Even if you introduced them as "Richard and Grace" he should have known better, and you should have done a better job preparing him for the introduction.
Assuming you are still dating, I would suggest Braves tickets (lower level, NOT nosebleed) or dinner at The Palm to smooth over this unfortunate misunderstanding. When in Rome....
Dear Miss Pearl,
Every month my two teenage children go over the amount of data allowed on their cell phone plan. This habit is getting expensive, but I think it is important for them to have their phones so that I can always get in touch with them and know where they are. I feel like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place!
You are not stuck. You are an ENABLER (welcome to the club)! You need to restrict them to your house for a week or two. Then you can take their phones away since you will know where they are.
See how easy that was? As long as you do nothing, I can assure you that they will continue to go over their allotted amount of data. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure this out and FIX IT. Big and I heard a boat load of excuses from Little and Baby when we were paying for their phones.
Needing it "for school" was always at the top of the list. We finally wised up and gave them the choice of paying the bill or giving up their phones if they kept going over their data. And guess what? They reluctantly paid the bill and did a better job keeping up with how much data they were using. And, yes, they had to pay the bill several times (hard-headed).
PS: You might want to "encourage" the grandparents NOT to make a love offering to your children during this time. I speak from experience!
And Another Thing...
I am not at all happy about the upcoming white supremacist rally that is being held in our city. WHY HERE? Yes, I understand all about the Constitution giving us the right to free speech. Yes, I understand the city had no choice but to issue the permit. These two factors still don't make it right as far as I am concerned.
I think any group coming from out of town to hold a rally should have to pay more than $50 – especially when additional law enforcement is going to be needed. For the life of me I can't think of anything good that can come from such hatred and intolerance, can you?
Let's all stay home and not give this group the satisfaction of having an audience. And wouldn't it be great if the bells in the downtown churches had a "malfunction" and rang constantly from 3-5!
Miss Pearl is one of Newnan's leading authorities on modern etiquette. She gladly lends her advice to everyone whether they want it or not, because, "After all, it's all about the children and setting a good example for them." Her videos are available on her Facebook page, and she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org