Dear Dumbs,

Yo, Terry and Shari:

I have a bit of an issue and don’t know if I should be mad or not. Every year we go on vacations mainly to Universal Orlando and always go with my two sons, their wives and five kids, and my daughter who just made 18. Long story short, I just found out I’ve been paying for everything.  Rental house, two rental cars, tickets, express passes, dinners. Last year was $8,000. I don’t care about money one bit or what she spends. Hell, I don’t even know when payday is mostly lol. But for some reason, this rubbed me the wrong way. Especially since our 25th anniversary was last year, and I wanted to go to Seattle and Vancouver in April but was told we didn’t have the money for that trip. I’m never angry or mad at her, but I’m feeling a type of way: $8,000 could go a long way for two people on vacation. I know I will never say anything but should I?

Gee Jay

TERRY: Be mad. Be very, very mad.

SHARI: That seems to be your default lately, Terry.

TERRY: Then people need to stop making me mad.

SHARI: He’s actually kinda like you, Terry. You both have chosen to put your money into the hands of your partners.

TERRY: Yes. But she likes to spend it while you like to save. Big difference. I think you’re actually in a good position here, Gee Jay. Since you keep your mouth shut about finances, it will carry more weight when you have to put your foot down. And make no mistake about it: You need to put your foot down.

SHARI: I agree. It’s a little disrespectful. 

TERRY: Ya think?

SHARI: Well, at the very least, it feels like your good nature is being taken advantage of. 

TERRY: And speaking from experience, that hurts a little more.

SHARI: You definitely need to say something to her, Gee Jay. And you should do it now while you’re hot.

TERRY: Yes, you should. Now is the time. We say that because you seem like the kind of guy who will let this pass. And like I said earlier, you have leverage now. Let me know how it goes because I may want to have a similar talk with Shari.

SHARI: Wait. What?

TERRY: Yes, we need to talk.

SHARI: About what?

 TERRY: He said something in his email that got under my skin. That’s all.

 SHARI: Well, let’s hear it.

 TERRY: OK. I don’t like it when you plan expensive dinners or weekend stays at one of your stupid Airbnbs and then tell me we can’t afford to go where I want to go. Now before you try to defend yourself, I have to tell you that I take full responsibility for not being more communicative and letting these moments pass without saying anything. It’s totally my fault.

SHARI: That’s tough because you guys can’t have it both ways. You’re sending us mixed messages by saying you want nothing to do with the finances and then complain about it when it suits you.

TERRY: Good point. Fair enough. Here’s what we need to do, Gee Jay. We should open up the door to communication a little more. We have to be a little more vocal and get our partners in the headspace that we really do care from time to time.

SHARI: OK. Where do you want to go, Terry?

TERRY: Your mama’s.

SHARI: Go ahead.