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Ask Lisi: Friend might be too 'rough' for the country club

Club has rules about proper attire
Advice columnist Lisi Tesher.

Dear Lisi: I purchased a condo in a very nice, exclusive golf and country club in southwestern Florida. Despite a few casual invitations the past few years, my family and friends have been “too busy” to visit. Finally, a close friend who has a winter place across the state came for a brief visit a few weeks ago.

She liked it so much, she wants to return soon with a friend, and stay with me for a few days. I know the fellow and he really is a nice guy. The issue is that his appearance presents a “rough” kind of guy: biker-style clothes, the “chain drive” wallet, boots and lots of tattoos. I expect that the residents in the community will be alarmed. The club has rules about attire that I doubt he would meet.

My friend is dear to me, and he is a dear friend to her. I don’t know how to navigate this without insulting both of them. Do you have any suggestions?

Problem in Paradise

Yes. I suggest you get a copy of the rules you mentioned regarding attire. Confirm they are actually rules and not just preferences. Then get on a Zoom or FaceTime call with your friend and this man. Tell them both how excited you are to have them come and stay, assuming you mean it. That’s why I suggest you do this face-to-face.

Then discuss the clothing regulations together. You can say something like, “I have no problem with your fashion style, but I’m new here and feel I have to follow the rules.” Have a laugh about it and help him figure out how to “soften” his look so he can still wear what he owns, but to the satisfaction of the rules.

Dear Lisi: We have six children, all of whom we brought up equally. We took them on vacations when they were young and put them through university. Each of them attained their chosen profession, including those who joined the family business. We bought each their first car and their first house, all of compatible values. They all got married and have their own families.

We thought we have a wonderful family. Sadly, two years ago, this happy family turned upside down when we decided to settle our assets before we pass away.

We have accumulated seven properties. We decided to gift two of these to one child. One needs to remain in the family as a legacy while the other, this adult child renovated into a beautiful space.

We opted to gift another property to another child who had strongly suggested we buy it when it came on the market and has managed it ever since. This property is worth two-thirds of the two properties we’re gifting the first child. These two children know about their properties’ values and are pleased, with no jealousy or anger toward the slight inequality.

The other four children also each received a property, but the combined worth of their four properties is equal to the child with two properties. Two of these four children are extremely unhappy, accusing us of favouritism. We explained our reasoning behind our decisions, but they’re furious. They are cutting off all communication and not allowing us to see our grandchildren.

My wife is devastated, but we don’t know what to do. All these properties are beautiful and worth a small fortune. I am disgusted with my greedy children. Shouldn’t they just be grateful?


You’re still alive!

If some of your children want to cut off all ties with you now, while you’re trying to be thoughtful, why are you giving them anything? I might take those gifted properties back and gift them to your grandchildren. If they’re too young, have one of the less greedy children look after the properties until those grandchildren are of age.

FEEDBACK Regarding the mom concerned about her son’s learning patterns (March 8):

Reader #1 — “I agree with your comment to set up a meeting with his primary teacher, the principal, and any resource he’s already being given. Not all people learn the same way.

“He may have ADD, ADHD, eyesight or hearing issues — or he might be dyslexic, to name a few hurdles to research. Medications may help.

“And take a look back at your family history on both sides. Was there someone who might have had some undiagnosed learning disability?”

Reader #2 – “She needs a referral to a pediatric specialist who can assess her son.

“She can also meet with the person in charge of the special education department for the entire school board. Get him on any testing lists that they have.

“The school social worker should be able to help get the ball rolling.”

Lisi Tesher is an advice columnist based in Toronto. Send your questions to [email protected]