In-laws' open-door bathroom policy faces elimination in America
BY Ask Amy
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
10/09/12 at 4:06 AM
Dear Amy: My visits with my Swiss in-laws have included the increasing incidence of their using the toilet with an open door. This is a huge issue for me. My husband thinks they just feel really close to me. If this is true, how do I keep them from feeling that close?
They've mocked my American modesty in the past: I never used the outdoor shower at their lake house because it was completely exposed. My father-in-law sweetly enclosed it in an attempt to lure me from the enclosed indoor shower (this didn't work), referring to it using a derogatory word for Americans.
Their nude sunbathing doesn't bother me (I can escape), but while visiting their home, their open-door eliminations are harder to avoid. The tipping point came last night. I had my mother-in-law, "Marianne," over for dinner, and she left my bathroom door open while using it. How do I get my in-laws to close the bathroom door while they see to their private business? - An American in Switzerland
Dear American: While there isn't much you can do to change your in-laws' habits in their own home, you can certainly ask them to close the door while in your home.
I assume you and your husband close the bathroom door when you have guests over. If his parents raised him to be an open-door kind of guy, he seems to have adjusted to your American sensibilities.
It's no fun to be mocked for who you are. And frankly, it is rude of them to denigrate your comfort and culture. But all you can do is say, "I know you don't like this about me, but I really do feel uncomfortable when you leave the bathroom door open."
In your own home, if an in-law is headed in that direction, you can say, "Marianne, do me a favor and shut the door, please."
Dear Amy: I really agreed with your advice to "Former Cheater" to confront her friend about her cheating. I did this with a former friend. Her (now ex) husband later told me that I was the only person in their circle who knew about the cheating and raised any objection.
We owe it to our friends to stay out of their relationships, but when they make choices that negatively affect us and hurt people (or themselves) and we become involved, we shouldn't be silent. - Been There
Dear Been There: Our friends are supposed to tell us the truth. Thank you.
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