Advice Columns

May 6, 2014

Mom wonders if twerking will derail son in college

DEAR ABBY: I’m the happily married mother of two teenage boys. The other day I overheard my older son (age 17) talking with a friend about “twerking.” I have never heard of it, and now I’m worried. Is twerking a drug term? Is it similar to “tripping,” “getting high” or “catfishing”?
DEAR ABBY: I’m the happily married mother of two teenage boys. The other day I overheard my older son (age 17) talking with a friend about “twerking.” I have never heard of it, and now I’m worried. Is twerking a drug term? Is it similar to “tripping,” “getting high” or “catfishing”?

My 17-year-old is supposed to go to Princeton next year, and I’m afraid “twerking” will derail him from his charted path. Any advice? — Troubled Mom in Connecticut

DEAR MOM:

Don’t panic. “Tripping” and “getting high,” as you already know, refer to altered states of consciousness as a result of using drugs. “Catfishing” is something else. It’s pretending to be someone you aren’t, creating a false identity on social media, usually to pursue a deceptive online romance.

The “twerking” your son was referring to is a dance move recently made famous by Miley Cyrus in which the dancer (usually female) gyrates in a provocative, semi-squatting position that involves thrusting hip movements.

Friend’s wife is ill-mannered

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are not big fans of his best friend’s wife. “Aracely” is extremely ill-mannered. She never says thank you, didn’t even write thank-you notes for their wedding and baby showers, and when we’re at a restaurant will loudly announce that the food was “disgusting.”

Aracely claims our baby “cries too much.” She arrived at my son’s second birthday party with a hangover and so much more. She claims she doesn’t observe our “Southern ways” because she comes from South America and has been in the United States for only eight years.

We limit our interactions with her but do not cut her off completely because my husband values his friendship with her husband. I’m considering giving her an etiquette book to nullify her argument that she doesn’t understand our manners. My husband said that would be rude. Do you agree? — Mannered Southern Gal

DEAR SOUTHERN GAL:

Sorry, but I do agree, because the gift would be given with malicious intent, and I’m pretty sure that while Aracely lacks polish, she isn’t stupid.

Her problem isn’t that she doesn’t understand good manners because she’s from South America. I have met individuals from South America who are educated and cultured and whose manners are refined. Obviously, Aracely does not come from this kind of background.

Only if you could pull it off without sounding catty, the next time she hauls out the excuse for her deplorable manners, you might “offer” to buy her an etiquette book “so she can learn the ways of her adopted country,” but don’t expect her to take you up on it.

A gesture for future mother-in-law

DEAR ABBY: Would it be appropriate to send my future mother-in-law a Mother’s Day card? I feel it would be a nice gesture to help start the relationship between us. — Nick in Omaha

DEAR NICK:

I concur. In fact, I suspect it will melt her heart to know you feel that way about her, even before you marry her daughter.

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