NOT Harry and Louise

It’s time again for FishbowlDC’s advice column, NOT Harry and Louise. It’s a weekly feature where we take the questions that people ask Washingtonian’s Harry Jaffe and his wife, Louise, in their advice column and answer them ourselves. Because, as we’ve said before, if they’re qualified to have an advice column, WE’RE qualified to have an advice column. So, let’s jump straight into it with this week’s question from Fogey Dad

Dear Harry and Louise:

Our adult son lives in a different city, so we turned his old room into a study. When he visits, he stays in the guest room, a converted porch with its own entrance. One morning during a recent visit, I quietly entered the room to get something from a bureau drawer—only to discover he wasn’t alone. I mumbled an apology and retreated. He later appeared in the kitchen by himself, the young lady having left by the rear exit. I suggested it might not be appropriate to have his date—or whoever—spend the night. He said they were adults and hadn’t disturbed anyone. I said something about not running a hotel. You get the picture. He really did seem surprised that I would object. Am I just old-fashioned?

—Fogey Dad

This is a tricky one, Fogey Dad. At some point, you’ll need to realize that you’ve done all the raising of that child that you can possibly do. So, no point in trying to teach him right from wrong on this matter. But, since he is an adult, he should live by adult rules. Which means that if he offends someone as a house guest, he should deal with the consequences. While it wouldn’t really offend us, if it bothers you that he was scoring under your roof, let him know that he’s not invited there unless he wants to practice celibacy.

But, what the hell do we know? We’re just writers. Not seasoned advice-givers like Jaffe and his wife, Louise. What did they have to say on the matter? While Louise initially defends your rights as the homeowner, she does muster some sympathy for your son, the stud.

I’m dying to know what all-important item you needed from the guest bureau so early in the morning. Couldn’t it have waited until after lunch? There’s no need to interrupt your guest’s languid mornings. …Most of us aren’t at our most presentable early in the morning and appreciate privacy until we’re ready to face the world with our freshly washed faces and fully covered bottoms.

Who knew that Louise was so progressive in her bedroom behavior? We applaud that type of forward thinking, Louise. If only your prudish husband would agree. Sadly, Harry comes across as a bit of a “Fogey” himself.

Here’s what he had to say…

Back in the old days, a father who found his son shacked up with a babe would have kicked him out of the house. You’re not your son’s friend, and your home isn’t his hotel. …Perhaps you should have told Junior the rules first. But either way, your home shouldn’t be his sugar shack.

Thanks a lot, Gramps. A grown man wants to get a little action and you want to go kicking the guy out? Why are you trying to c-block a fellow man? On matters like these, we always think back to what our grandmother told us when we were younger. “A morning of awkwardness is way better than an evening of loneliness.”


Publish date: February 10, 2012 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT