Dear Abby Deserves A Round Of Applause For Schooling The World’s Wrongest Grandmother On Parental Authority
I love advice columns. Sure, it’s great when someone writes in with a real problem and gets useful advice and help, but really I read them in the hope of reading a letter from someone who is very, very wrong and doesn’t even know how wrong they are. Today is a good day, because the world’s most wrong grandmother wrote in to Dear Abby to complain that her son and daughter-in-law thought that raising their baby was their job, when obviously it is her job and the parents are just there to carry out her instructions.
The letter is a gem of wrongness. It should be in composition books as an example of how to write a self-righteous, passive-aggressive letter about how wrong someone else is while being the wrongest person who ever wronged.
“Whatever happened to respecting one’s elders and recognizing grandparents as head of the family?” the grandmother begins with a bang, managing in one single sentence to appeal to the universality of her situation, condemn kids today, and come completely out of left field with the hypothesis that grandparents are supposed to be the head of the family. You just know that Dear Abby was sitting home reading this and suddenly said, “Wait, what?” But from there the grandmother goes wrong, digging deeper and deeper into wrongness until she is actually complaining that the baby’s mother is not adequately following her “instructions.”
“I recently returned from visiting my son, his wife and my new grandchild. My son’s wife and I had many disagreements on how to care for my grandchild. Instead of respecting my years of experience as a mother and appreciating my help, she chose to ignore my instructions and advice.
After I returned home, I was told by my son that I was no longer welcome to visit my grandchild unless I apologized to his wife for trying to undermine her parenting. I told him she should apologize to me for not showing me respect as the grandmother.
How can I make my son see that it is his wife who is wrong, and not me?”
The grandmother seems to think families are like big corporations where the grandparents are the board of directors who establish all policy and procedure, and the parents are just measly little middle managers to whom the task of baby-raising has been delegated.
Grandparents need to learn to respect parental authority. Even when I actually agree with the grandparents on an issue–like when the grandmother was distraught that her grandchildren were not being vaccinated–parental authority is sacrosanct.
Dear Abby of course straightened the grandmother out and said that it was the parents’ job to raise the baby, and the grandparents’ job to butt the hell out. We all know that Dear Abby is capable of 50 shades of shade when necessary, but this time she held back and just allowed a bit of snark to squeak out. She was relatively diplomatic, merely commenting archly that, “It would be interesting to know how closely you adhered to your parents’ and in-laws’ parenting advice, because when your children came along I’ll bet you had your own ideas on the subject.”
It’s a shame Dear Abby is so classy and diplomatic and cannot just use a wall of rant GIFs, because I have a few for her.
OK, the last one is not technically correct because she is being rude and wrong, but I’m keeping it because Maggie Smith is a trasure.