Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Socially Inept In-Laws Take Over Birthday Party

DEAR ABBY: I am hoping you can give me guidance on how my wife and I can deal with my in-laws and the fact that they are sometimes socially obtuse. They are nice people, but sometimes they have no concept of appropriate behavior.

The latest was when we had a small party for my wife's birthday. They arrived and then asked to show home movies from when she was a kid. They proceeded to show more than an hour of video in which my wife was on screen for 15 seconds and knew the other people in the movie for only the first two minutes.

My in-laws do things like this regularly, and I want a nice way to say "stop." My wife agrees with me but doesn't know how to deal with this either. -- UNCOMFORTABLE IN FLORIDA

DEAR UNCOMFORTABLE: Encourage your wife to speak up for herself. Rather than allow her parents to take over and diminish the occasion, the next time they suggest something you and your wife are not on board with, she should "suggest" that it happen another time. And in the case of the home movie, she should have said, "Enough, already!"

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Etiquette & Ethics | Holidays & Celebrations