, Advice by Ann Landers - []
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Section: addictions, manners

Dear Ann Landers,
Please tell me if I'm wrong. My wife's parents called last week and asked if they could stay in our extra bedroom for the night. They live in the suburbs. We get along well, so naturally, I said yes. My wife and I had been planning an evening out, and my in-laws offered to watch our daughter so we wouldn't have to hire a sitter. It seemed like a very convenient arrangement. Here's the problem. My in-laws smoke. They know we do not tolerate smoking in our home, especially now that we have a young child. When my wife and I returned from our evening out, it was obvious that my in-laws had been puffing up a storm. Also, there were ashes on the sofa where they had been sitting. I was furious. When we asked them about it, they became angry and started yelling that our rules were ridiculous, and that they should be allowed to smoke in our home if they want to. Then, they left in a snit and have threatened to cut all ties with us. My wife and I are not anti-smoking crusaders, Ann. We don't mind if friends or family members smoke, but we don't want them doing it in our house. I don't believe we are unreasonable, but apparently, they do. My wife loves her parents, and other than this issue, we get along just fine. I certainly don't want our daughter to grow up without her grandparents, but I am concerned about my child's health and do not want her around all that secondhand smoke. How can we repair this rupture and have a good relationship again without caving in on the smoking issue? -- The Son-in-Law

Dear S.I.L.,
You have every right to tell your in-laws they cannot smoke in your home, and they should respect your wishes. To maintain cordial relations, I suggest you offer to take them out for dinner at an upscale restaurant, and try to find one that allows smoking. (Many don't.) That should do it.

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Reader Comment
Shame on the parents....I would not allow anyone to smoke in my home. I really don't know of many hotels/restaurant that allows that either.

Reader Comment
Those "parents" apparently are very self-centered and do not care about the child's health, let alone theirs. I would not try to appease them by taking them to an upscale restaurant. This would be like begging them for forgiveness for the wrong they did while staying in their DIL

Deming NM's Comment
The in-laws knew darn well that it was a no-smoking house before they asked to stay there, and they asked under false pretenses, having every intention of doing as they pleased. They should have stayed in a hotel or motel. Don't bend over backward for people who don't respect you or your property.

MATT IN PA's Comment
Take THEM to an upscale must be kidding. THEY should take the daughter and son-in-law for the inconvenience, arrogance, and rudeness. Daughter needs to lay down the rules with the obnoxious and childish parents.

Catherine's Comment
Take them out to a nice dinner, seriously?? If they need to be rewarded for bad behavior, I would not want them around my child, family or not. The dangers of second hand smoke have been documented. That would be like them showing up if they were sick. They can decide whether they want to live but would not be welcome to make that decision for me or my child. Shame on you!!

Reader Comment
I agree with all comments here, except for yours, Ann. Take them out to dinner at an upscale restaurant? You obviously haven't thought out your reply on this one! Those "parents" are thoughtless, inconsiderate and totally ignorant towards their daughter and son in law and especially for their child. I wouldn't allow them back in my house until THEY APOLOGIZED TO ME! I would gather up clinical information about the dangers of smoking and second hand smoke and send it to them. If they refuse to acknowledge it-so be it. They are no longer welcome in my home and their child growing up without ignorant bastards like them is better for the child!

Reader Comment
Now I get to vent about the idiots who don't believe in the Covid-19 vaccine yet show up at hospitals demanding health care when they have brought it upon themselves. The unvaccinated are the problem and they are too stupid to accept that fact. Since they don't believe in the vaccine, let them die on the streets and in their own homes rather than blaming the pandemic on the vaccinated. Here's to you, idiots: (o)

Reader Comment
Love, love, love all the reader comments. Ann, I can't believe you are siding with the ignorant "parents". They should be the ones to apologize. Geeze! What were you thinking when you replied; apparently you were asleep at the wheel this time. Get some rest so you don't make the same mistake again.

Healthy son's Comment
My house and my rules. No smoking. End of story in plain English. My father died in 2010 after a long and painful stage #4 cancer. My mother died 7 years later from the tumors growing after second hand smoke.

kayemmdee's Comment
The one and only time my father visited us at our home, he was sleeping in a downstairs room on a day bed. We told him that he couldn't smoke in our house. I have a childhood of memories of my father smoking up a storm while drinking, dropping lit cigarettes onto upholstery, setting them down on end tables and he would pass out and the cigs continued to burn. My sisters and I went for a girls' night out. Our husbands and my dad were left to mind the kids -- two of mine and one of my sister's. All small. When we came home, my dad was stinking, falling down drunk. We had to pick him up off my bathroom floor and put him to bed. It wasn't until the next day that I saw one of my kitchen bowls filled with cigarette butts that had turned over onto an upholstered chair. My father could have burned my house down with his only grandchildren sleeping upstairs. I vowed that I would never have him in my house again. And I didn't.

Reader Comment
This woman's parents showed great disrespect for her and her family by smoking in her home at all. Then they acted like spoiled children, threatening to cut off all ties when they got caught. For the time being, I would do nothing, no phone calls, and certainly no "dinner at a restaurant." Hopefully the offending parents will calm down and realize how rude their behavior was. They will also realize the ball is in their court and that their threats will not bring them rewards. The health of the child is the first priority, not coddling immature grandparents.

Reader Comment
Tell them no smoking. No exceptions. Don't take them to a smoking restaurant, where you will all have to inhale the smoke.
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Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:

Dear Readers,
, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.

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"Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful."
-Ann Landers