Ask Clare: This election is ruining my family dinners

Welcome to Ask Clare, our advice column.  Have a question, dilemma, or quandary?  Send it to Clare in an email.

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Dear Clare,

Can election season be over? We have family dinners every Sunday with my in-laws and, to put it lightly, we do not see eye-to-eye politically. I’ve tried changing the subject in the past. I have also tried suggesting that we don’t talk politics. I suggested we take a break from family dinners until after the elections and my mother-in-law had a fit. Any ideas on getting through these next few dinners?
– Table talk

Table talk,

In this case, it may be good to let your husband take the kids to dinner for the next few weeks. It sounds like there is little hope for a dinner free of political debate. Alternatively, you could suggest watching a movie together or going to a sporting event rather than dinner. A restaurant with live music may do the trick. Book your Thanksgiving plans out of town now.
Clare

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Clare,

These friends of ours don’t have kids. When they come over to hang out, the husband likes to play with my young boys but he gets pretty rough with them. I thought I was just being an overprotective mom but my husband recently noticed a few bruises on our son after one of the visits. Should I mention this to his wife? I am closer with her.
– Mama bear

Mama bear,

A simple, “take it easy guys,” should do the trick the next time they start playing. If not, try some more structured, indoor activities. If all else fails, tell him to pick on someone his own size.
Clare

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Dear Clare,

My friend did me a favor and dropped me off at Ontario Airport, which was super nice. He used my car to drop me and pick me up. I got in late and it was dark. I noticed the next morning that there was a big gash above my back left tire. It is at least ten inches long. There is no way he didn’t see it but he didn’t mention it to me. How should I bring it up?
– Shoulda Ubered

Shoulda Ubered,

All you can do here is ask. Start out by thanking him again for carting you around and don’t be too accusatory. Since you were on the receiving end of a favor (and it’s your car), fixing the damage will fall on you either way.
Clare


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