Aunty Pat

Dear Aunty Pat,
I am an 18-year-old boy. My mother died of cancer about 2 ½ years ago. My father and I managed to get back into a routine with the help of friends and our family. My father suddenly started staying out late in the evenings and then he said he wanted me to meet a friend and he brought this lady who was much younger than him.

It was obvious that they were very much together. Now as I have got to know her better, I really hate her, she’s a horrible person. Our relatives also say she’s with my father because he has his own business etc. Recently he told me he’s thinking of marrying her and I was shocked. I don’t think I can stand having her around all the time.

I didn’t have the guts to tell my father any of this as he looked so excited and happy.
Should I tell him how I feel or not? I don’t want to upset or anger him. What do you think?

Dear Ali,
Why don’t you ask your relatives to have a word with him, since they have also expressed misgivings? He might take it more seriously from them than you. You could also tell them to mention that you don’t want to hurt him by letting him know your opinion too. Then he will know you don’t approve too. He might not accept what they say, but at least you have tried.

You will have to try and get on with her if she does marry him. I know it sounds hypocritical, but otherwise you might create problems for yourself since you have to live with them until you are able to support yourself. So
speak to your relatives soon and see what comes of it. You will have to accept whatever decision he makes, however tough it might seem to you.
Aunty Pat.


Hi Aunty,

I have a very embarrassing problem that I can’t tell anyone. My boyfriend has no table manners. When we are alone I can tolerate it but when we are out I feel really ashamed of his behaviour. He piles food on his plate and never uses cutlery. He uses mostly his fingers, even for things like pasta and he sort of shovels food in his mouth and gobbles everything down. I feel sick just looking at him. Sometimes he even burps loudly and doesn’t even bother to excuse himself.

What shall I do, because he might get very angry if I criticise him. But I really feel disgusted and imagine what other people must be thinking? Please advise me how to tackle this problem.

The coward

Hello there,

If you want him to change, point these things out to him. He may be unaware that he is behaving in a way that is out of the ordinary. You can gently point things out when you are alone with him. Tell him that people will think he’s not being fed at  home if he piles up his plate so much. Say he can have as much as he wants but a little at a time.

Point out that it isn’t good to gobble food up, and that in company one should take small mouthfuls so you can join in the conversation. You can mention that certain food has to be eaten using your fingers but others have to be eaten using cutlery. When you dine with others, it is mostly for their company.

Tell him you’d appreciate it very much if he holds his hand or napkin to cover his mouth if he does have to burp, and that he’s supposed to say, “Excuse me,” or some such thing, as this kind of thing will put other diners off their food. Explain that you’re telling him these things so he will fit into whatever society you both have to face. Even if he does get annoyed, you say that you don’t want other people saying things behind his back and that is why you are pointing these things out. Only you can tell him this. Hope for the best and try and get him to behave in a more acceptable fashion.

Aunty Pat.


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