The problem: Our 25-year-old grandson is selling Amway products. I have told him that I am allergic to the company’s scents and also that we have no need of their products. My husband is in the early stages of dementia. On our grandson’s latest call (his third attempt), I again told him no, but he insisted that we try the dishwashing soap. I reluctantly said yes, but what part of “no” does he not understand?
Low road: When your grandson arrives, invite him into your kitchen. Tell him you’re excited for him to demonstrate the product’s miracle powers by washing three days’ worth of dishes you’ve left in the sink for him.
High road: Your grandson has put you in a difficult position, because who wants to say no to one’s grandchild? I am guessing that he is a young man eager for financial independence, but without an abundance of options. He seems to have decided that Grandma & Co. is the fast track to the top of the pyramid and into a red sports car. Blame that on a young adult brain.
I’m sorry you were bullied into buying dishwashing soap, but it was kind of you and it was a small price to pay. If he pushes again, engage him in a candid face-to-face conversation. Say you believe deeply in him but need to find other ways to support him.
Might he like to earn a little cash by driving your husband to an appointment to give you a break? Maybe he could mow your lawn, or come over once in a while to help you pay bills or cook and clean up dinner. In this way, you are assisting in his skills development. Most important, you are giving him much needed insights into the life you and Grandpa live now.
Send questions about life’s little quandaries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more of Gail’s “High Road” columns at startribune.com/highroad.