May 27, 2019

Social Q’s: Can I Ask My Parents for an Advance on My Inheritance?

My biggest reservation here is that many parents I know would go without to help their children (even deep into adulthood). If that sounds like yours, stick with your original plan to pay for the house yourself. There comes a time to put our parents first, after years of the reverse arrangement. That time may have come, Kathy.

CreditChristoph Niemann

When I first began dating my girlfriend, about a year ago, I told her I would always cook for her. (I was a decent cook in college.) She was very into this idea. But every time I cook for her I get something wrong. She’s never had a decent meal that came from my kitchen. And when she’s not around, my meals come out beautifully! What can I do?


Other than relax? This is called performance anxiety, Sophie, and many of us suffer from it. Give me a bucket of balls and a deserted tennis court, and I serve like Serena Williams. Put someone on the other side of the net, and I double-fault all afternoon.

Try turning down the pressure on yourself. On the tennis court, I play points without keeping score. In the kitchen, enlist your girlfriend’s help. A cassoulet made by two may be a less freighted enterprise for you. Once you’ve got a few decent meals under your belt, I imagine you’ll be back to cooking as well as ever. (And a nice glass of Barolo probably wouldn’t hurt.)

My husband, our young son and I have a house in the country, a few hours from our primary residence. We don’t get there often because of our heavy workloads. But when we do, our neighbors (who also have a young child) are at our door within 10 minutes of our arrival. The kids are happy to see each other. But my husband and I would like to settle in and enjoy some downtime together rather than immediately hear stories about our neighbors’ lives since the last time we saw them. How do we maintain a friendly relationship and stop the uninvited visits?

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