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DEAR AUNTY D: JANUARY 2021

by Aiden

Aunty D advises you on matters of life and love.

YOU BUTTER BELIEVE IT

Dear Aunty D,
My sister has always been a bit of a schemer. From robbing my piggy bank as a child, to stealing my boyfriends in college, she has a very devious streak. Recently, she’s set her sights on our parents. While we were never a particular wealthy family growing up, my mum has just come into a large sum of money. My sister’s reaction to this newfound wealth has been to butter up my parents like crazy, treating them to lavish dinners and getting her husband to help renovate their house. It’s painfully obvious that she’s after their cash, but my parents don’t seem to notice. Should I tell them? Or do I just let my sister have her way again?

Dear You Butter Believe It,
Telling is tattling and self-debasing. Your parents are enjoying the attention and buttering that comes with hitting the jackpot, but with their eyes wide open. Trust them to be able to see through her exploitations, especially if she’s exhibited this streak since childhood. So, think of it as payback time and join the foray by inviting yourself and your family to her next lavish dinner.

GONE TO THE DOGS

Dear Aunty D,
I am a recently widowed woman in her late 60s. I have neither the energy, nor the inclination, to spend my twilight years raising a manic dog. This fact, however, managed to slip my daughter’s mind when she decided to present me with a hyperactive puppy on my latest birthday. The hound is driving me up the wall! When it’s not chewing at the walls, it’s stealing and hiding my shoes. My daughter thought the dog would provide good company but I preferred being alone to this daily dose of chaos. What can I possibly do to bring a semblance of normality back to my life?

Dear Gone to the Dogs,
Though her intentions were well-meaning, she forgets that a dog is as much, if not more, work and trouble than a newborn baby; it’s also an additional financial burden. A hyperactive puppy is asking for a fractured hip for a lone woman in her twilight years, who at this time needs to collect her wits, cross-check the strength of her legs, and take a deep breath before heaving herself out of the sofa. The most logical punishment for this boo boo…is to gift it back to her on her kid’s next birthday or find a new loving and welcoming home for the pooch.

FOR FROCK’S SAKE


Dear Aunty D,
Let me just state that I have not eaten what I really want in about a year. This is the sacrifice I have made for my beautiful bridal lehenga. But every time the wedding starts to approach, my fiancé’s family pushes back the date, because they want everything to be absolutely perfect, up to and including being able to invite their guest list of over 1,000 people. Be that as it may, I refuse to go another year without being able to eat paneer tikka. Even now, the weight is beginning to creep back on and let me tell you, this designer lehenga is not flattering. Does my future-husband and his family not understand that this weight is nigh-impossible for me to maintain? I just want to get this wedding done so I can get back to eating samosas.

Dear For Frock’s Sake,
There’s always a purpose to why things happen. This, here, is the acid test of how much he values your wishes and how accommodating the two families are with one another. Host a meeting around a table with the samosas and a cuppa steaming hot masala chai and some gulab-jamun to boot. Play the coy girl and tug at your mother-in-law’s heartstrings by convincing her that the lehenga and the rest of your trousseau from your mum’s side and her side will go out of style and be an utter waste if this wedding is stalled for much longer.

Have an etiquette question? Send your dilemmas to tom@masalathai.com
Write “Dear Aunty D” in the subject line.

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