Is it quite bad for a divorced dad to prioritize me over his kid + ex?
July 2, 2018 11:17 AM   Subscribe

I’ve been going out with a man for a few weeks. He’s divorced with a child. He was late for a visit with his kid after hanging out with me. It bothered me! Is my reasoning on point?

We spent the night at my place and he had plans to take his son the following day since it’s a holiday. The son was getting dropped off at his place. We had a relaxing morning. Around the time I would have had to start getting ready, if I were him, I asked how he wanted to spend the rest of our time. He said he wanted to keep cuddling and we did that, while his alarm went off and his phone received texts and his ex called. He didn’t answer the call; he wanted to focus on me. At one point I just stopped engaging, put my arm up and didn't let him stay close. As a result of all this I’m positive he was 10-15 minutes late to meet his ex and son. If he texted his ex it would have been 5 minutes before the meeting time.

My aim is to respect his decision-making and really stay out of anything involving his family at this point, since we’re so new; his mistakes are his mistakes although my intent is to be available as a sounding board if he wants my input.

I feel like I’m an adult, I’ll handle myself and my emotions about missing him or whatever. He’s an adult and should handle his own timeline and schedule. His ex is an adult and can communicate her own frustration to him, if she has it. But his son doesn’t get a choice in any of this.

I’m a child of divorced parents and my dad was often late to pick me up for our weekly visit. I remember leaning against the window, waiting for him to come, checking the clock and feeling simultaneously anxious and excited. I hate the fact that his kid might have felt similarly. I hate that the mom might have had to make some explanations or excuses that convey anything but “Your dad prioritizes you.” What do you even say? Like, “Sorry, son, your dad isn’t reliable”? I know it’s not my fault, but also I don’t want to be part of anything like that.

We’ve been loose on timing while getting to know each other, but consensual lateness between adults feels completely different than when there’s a kid and another adult (who did not opt in to loose timing) involved.

Did I handle this well? Would it have been fine to more proactively push him out the door? How much am I meant to prioritize his son, if he isn’t doing it the way I would?

I know there are times when it’s good to take a wait-and-see perspective. We will talk about this. But I feel that he’s not someone I want to keep dating now. New relationships can be so exciting and I know things happen, but I just keep thinking about his kid and flashing back to my own childhood. I think about the fact he chose the fun-and-shiny relationship over a commitment, and that I could one day become the commitment he doesn't prioritize.

How is my reasoning?
posted by ramenopres to Human Relations (47 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I think your reasoning is sound. Even if I didn't, "he's not someone I want to keep dating now" is totally sufficient to end things. You don't need to have a Logically Consistent Reason to end things!
posted by schroedingersgirl at 11:26 AM on July 2, 2018 [28 favorites]

Bluntly speaking, I think you're a better person than he may be, and you deserve someone as caring, empathetic and conscientious as you clearly are.
posted by vers at 11:28 AM on July 2, 2018 [147 favorites]

I'd say this is a red flag and you're perfectly justified in asking what was up with that. You're already pointing your toe out the door, you might as well figure out if it's what you think is going on. Or just to end it.
posted by rhizome at 11:29 AM on July 2, 2018 [11 favorites]

I think the way to look at this is as a lesson about what kind of person he is. Just like the saying goes, about how someone who's nice to you but rude to the waiter is not a nice person? Well, someone who is on time for you and not on time for his son is not a conscientious person.

Some people might not care about that. I myself probably wouldn't care about it. Conscientiousness isn't important to everyone. But if it's important to you, and it bothers you that you've learned this about him, then it's totally okay to act on that.
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:30 AM on July 2, 2018 [10 favorites]

I think about the fact he chose the fun-and-shiny relationship over a commitment, and that I could one day become the commitment he doesn't prioritize.

Yes. This is exactly what I was going to say. Your instincts are completely on point. This is someone who is still floating through life believing they are still a kid, other people & the future don't really exist, it's only here and now and I'm comfortable in bed right now and that's the extent of reality. Don't get involved with someone like this unless you want to be responsible for two kids, him and his son.
posted by bleep at 11:37 AM on July 2, 2018 [88 favorites]

In addition to empathizing with his son, you are also picking up on how he will prioritize you in future when the limerance is over. That is really astute. He is telling you who he is.
posted by saucysault at 11:37 AM on July 2, 2018 [43 favorites]

If he's the type of person to flake out on his kid, then no you don't want to be with him, but I don't think you know enough yet to be sure that's the case. It could be that his ex is habitually late and he factored that in to his arrival time. It could be that it takes him less time to get to their meeting point than you think. It could be that his kid doesn't like leaving his mom and enjoys having some extra time to transition.

I don't know what the odds are of any of those scenarios, but you are having a kneejerk reaction based on your own experience and it may or may not be an accurate assessment of what happened.
posted by metasarah at 11:39 AM on July 2, 2018 [18 favorites]

Do you know that he was late or do you think he was late?

His ex text-bombing him before the scheduled pickup time might just be A Thing She Does that he has learned to tune out.

Did I handle this well? Would it have been fine to more proactively push him out the door? How much am I meant to prioritize his son, if he isn’t doing it the way I would?

No, if he's disengaged enough as a parent that he needs his new girlfriend to remind him to be on time for pickups, why the hell would you want to keep him around? This is not your job.

I don't think you have enough information to know if your take on this specific situation is correct, but you don't need any special justification to bounce if you're just not feeling this guy anymore.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:41 AM on July 2, 2018 [7 favorites]

Bluntly speaking, I think you're a better person than he may be, and you deserve someone as caring, empathetic and conscientious as you clearly are.

Vers is correct. And I think your instincts are spot on.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 11:47 AM on July 2, 2018 [2 favorites]

Oh god, run. You do not need this person in your life. DTMFA.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:49 AM on July 2, 2018 [4 favorites]

Please talk to him about it before you leave. Give him the info you have.
posted by amtho at 11:51 AM on July 2, 2018 [4 favorites]

For the sake of that kid I'm tempted to encourage you to give this guy a shot; you would be just an ideal girlfriend for his dad from the son's point of view.

But as far as the man himself is concerned, well ... there are a lot of people who are as good as the people around them make them, and not only in a coercive sense -- there's no doubt in my mind I am more responsible, easier to get along with, and above all more loving than I would have been without my partner's influence, for example.

But considered strictly according to what would be best for you, I think you should let him go.
posted by jamjam at 11:51 AM on July 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

Yeah, this says a lot to me about how this guy deals with commitments in his life that feel like obligations.
posted by spindrifter at 11:58 AM on July 2, 2018 [3 favorites]

I agree with you here. Good call and awareness, especially so early on! If something feels off, then it probably is and it's important to listen to your gut. I'm sure his ex would have her own take on things, and chances are it'd be rather different from what he's told you. I'm not a parent nor do I plan to become one but I am a single person who occasionally dates single parents. It's really hard being a parent and even harder being a single parent; I have a lot of compassion and patience. However, I make sure that any parent I date is raising kids with the same standards and values I would have for the sake of the kids as well as for me, too. After all, if things were to get serious and cohabitation/marriage/coparenting were to become a possibility, I'd want to make sure we were on the same page.
posted by smorgasbord at 12:07 PM on July 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

In your dating life, you are always free to assess someone's character by how they choose to behave. You don't get to tell him what to do, you can't make him do anything different, but you sure as hell can say to yourself, "I do not want to be with someone who isn't enthusiastically parenting his children" the same way you might choose not to be with someone who steals or is a racist or is shitty to restaurant staff etc.

And you are NOT EVER obligated to go out with a man for the benefit of his kid. There are many other ways, and many more appropriate people, to look after the kid.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:14 PM on July 2, 2018 [9 favorites]

I've been dating a nearly single parent with a somewhat overbearing co-parent and a now-adult son who lives with him so I read your post through my own filters but in general I would say

- Yeah if he was late, that's not cool esp if it's just because he was enjoying being with you (which is weird to say but yeah if you are a parent, you need to choose differently) and not, like, really unavoidably delayed
- Doesn't mean his ex might not be being weird with the texts calls anyhow, but that's not your business/problem unless he makes it that way
- I usually give people a chance to prove they are not who I suspect they are but your intuitions sound good to me
- I would try to set aside your own feelings about being a kid with a late dad. His kid is not you and has his own feelings/attitudes and you are projecting (which is fine and normal, I'd just set it aside when talking to your ex, and it's not really better if the kid doesn't mind)

If it were me I'd talk and be like "Hey I appreciate that you are trying to balance a lot of things, but you seem to be treating your kid like an obligation and I'm not comfortable with how you appear to be prioritizing your parenting responsibilities."

Would it have been fine to more proactively push him out the door?

For a one-off? Maybe, but in general only if that's the role you want to have in your relationship moving forward (i.e. the enforcer) which is not what it sounds like you want.
posted by jessamyn at 12:18 PM on July 2, 2018 [3 favorites]

Thank you for everything you wrote here. You are absolutely right.
posted by Omnomnom at 12:22 PM on July 2, 2018 [3 favorites]

Hey just in case this guy is, in fact, a shitty parent, please don't clue him in to the fact that you're dumping him because of how he handles his obligations to his kid. There might be a chance he would take that as motivation to be a better parent, but it's also entirely possible he'd just resent the kid for "ruining" what he considered to be a good thing. At a few weeks into this relationship, it's not worth putting yourself in the middle of this -- for your sake or the kid's.
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:24 PM on July 2, 2018 [2 favorites]

Nthing that you are totally right. I would not be on board with being part of leaving a child hanging like this.
posted by ktkt at 12:25 PM on July 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

Your reasoning seems extremely sound, well-measured, deeply empathetic and logical.

I don't think you need to (or should) talk with this man beyond the bit about him being "not someone I want to date right now". It isn't your job to educate the men of today/yesterday/tomorrow or explain yourself, etc. Who cares if this person has "valid excuses" - being late and procrastinating are highly annoying traits that can spike other people's anxiety and drive them mad.
posted by love2potato at 12:26 PM on July 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

He didn’t answer the call; he wanted to focus on me. At one point I just stopped engaging, put my arm up and didn't let him stay close.

It could just be the way you've written it, but that sounds like a not-fun amount of enforcing your own boundaries to have to do, so is that an additional consideration on the no side.
posted by ambrosen at 12:26 PM on July 2, 2018 [12 favorites]

This is extreme passive-agressive behaviour on his part. He's using you to jerk around his ex, with the kid as leverage. Run away and don't look back.
posted by heatherlogan at 12:36 PM on July 2, 2018 [7 favorites]

My take is, his child should be his first priority, even over you (or any other relationships). If he doesn't prioritize correctly now, he's not going to in the future.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 12:41 PM on July 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

I don't see how you could ever respect someone who does this, and respect is foundational.
posted by johannsebastianbachpuppet at 12:47 PM on July 2, 2018 [5 favorites]

You learn a lot about people by how they treat children, pets, and waitstaff. This is absolutely red flag territory. I would consider it a deal breaker.
posted by FencingGal at 12:51 PM on July 2, 2018 [7 favorites]

He left his ex and kid waiting at his house? Dude, wtf? That's so utterly rude I honestly do not even know what to say. I'm often a bit late, but not when my kid will have to end up waiting in a car for me to show up. What the hell. No no no no no no.

In addition to all the other good points, it could be that he thought that this would impress you or make you feel valued. Which. Ugh.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 12:55 PM on July 2, 2018 [3 favorites]

I don't understand how either one of you is enjoying cuddle-time with his phone blowing up no matter what the circumstances were.

Dump this guy because the way he tolerates drama is unacceptable, even if his ex is a crazy person. (If his ex is crazy, do you think his ability to ignore her and triangulate like this has anything to do with it??)
posted by jbenben at 1:11 PM on July 2, 2018 [7 favorites]

You know how they say "if he'll cheat with you, he'll cheat on you"? Well, if he'll drop the ball on an important priority for the Sparkly New Thing, then he'll drop the ball on you as a priority when you're no longer the Sparkly New Thing.
posted by drlith at 1:25 PM on July 2, 2018 [7 favorites]

Just to add to the chorus: as another child of divorced parents, thanks for your empathy and good judgement.
posted by Ziggy500 at 1:28 PM on July 2, 2018 [6 favorites]

My partner has a difficult relationship with his ex, and he has always consistently prioritized his kids over me-- as he should. He makes a point to be exactly on time for kid things unless it's unavoidable (like, delayed flights or things like that) because he a) wants the kids to see that he is reliable and prioritizes his time with them and b) he doesn't want to give his ex reasons to dislike me/blame our relationship for any parenting missteps if he can possibly help it.

This guy is demonstrating that he'll prioritize his immediate needs/desires over his kid. That's a shitty thing to do. He's also demonstrating to his ex that he can't be arsed to be considerate of her time when he's in a shiny new relationship. Even if you wanted to stick around and try to nudge him into being a better parent (which is not in any way your job because being a decent person is his responsibility, not your project and you don't need a fixer), there's a reasonable chance that his behavior will cause (justifiable) contention with his ex. Which you may get (unfairly) apportioned some of the blame for.

You're too good for him. Your empathy is awesome-- I hope you have a chance to demonstrate it in a relationship that doesn't require you to be the one that shows consideration for others.
posted by Kpele at 1:31 PM on July 2, 2018 [7 favorites]

Would it have been fine to more proactively push him out the door?

Oh absolutely. You can definitely express sentiments like "oh my gosh, your poor kid is going to be waiting for you! I do not want to be the reason some poor 7 year old has to sit in a car waiting for someone to show up! I'd feel so guilty! Go! Go! Go!" You're allowed to express feelings and desires like this. It verges on crossing the line into telling him how to manage his own life, but not framing it like you're an omniscient person who always knows what's right, owning the part around "I would feel guilty" or "I can't stand to think I'm even a tiny bit responsible for..." does a lot to bring it into your jurisdiction.

I do think that there's a slight chance that you're projecting to the extent of maybe not having the full story here. His relationship with his kid might (???) be totally different. But it's more likely that you're right, and I don't know how much more fact finding it's worth doing. Regardless of whether he's late with his kid to the extent that your dad was, it's okay to be completely allergic to any hint of lateness, and it's okay to dislike how he acted regardless of whether it's objectively hurting his kid, simply because it brings back all these reminders for you.
posted by salvia at 1:35 PM on July 2, 2018 [9 favorites]

I think it would have been totally fine to say something like, "I'm not enjoying this right now because I feel like your kid is going to be kept waiting."

Beyond that, though, I agree someone who treats appointments with their child so cavalierly would not appeal to me. Some have pointed out it may be worth talking to him to find out if you didn't have the full picture; it's up to you but you really don't need ironclad proof of poor behavior to stop seeing someone. Your instincts or whatever reason you want are enough (and you absolutely are not insanely judgmental or whatever someone up-thread said).
posted by JenMarie at 2:25 PM on July 2, 2018 [6 favorites]

I think it's always best to err on the side of clarification rather than assumption, especially really early in the relationship when you don't necessarily have a shared lexicon of general life stuff. "Aren't you supposed to be home by 9?" is probably enough to get a bead on his thinking, whether his response is that he's going to make them wait on purpose or he's useless at calculating how long it takes to get anywhere (which is also a red flag to some people, as a personality mismatch) or he's afraid of hurting your feelings by getting up.

And when you are uncomfortable with a situation, you can say so. "Yeah, no, no more touchy-time, you need to go take care of your business." It's really an excellent practice in dating to be vocal and verbal about your boundaries from go, because there are men who look for soft malleable boundaries in order to exploit them, and being firm is a great innoculant against that kind of asshole.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:34 PM on July 2, 2018 [12 favorites]

I don't think it would have been a great idea to push him out the door. It would have been noble maybe, but I'm getting a whiff here of a man in the habit of not owning his own shit, and do you want to be his enforcer? Wouldn't you wonder, if you had pushed him out the door, how much longer he would have waited, left to his own devices?

Anyway -- hat tip to you for recognizing this as the not-great signifier that it seems like it is. Trying to put myself in his shoes: I have on occasion cut driving times too close because I underestimate the time it takes to get somewhere. But if it were my kid waiting for me to pick them up for a post-divorce visit... no. Just no.
posted by fingersandtoes at 2:51 PM on July 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

Your guy is my ex. His girlfriend is now the one who picks up his slack, frequently and literally, by being the adult who gets the kids when they need to be picked up or who's home when they arrive there after school. I'm happy (?) because there's someone familiar and present in a way that allows me to plan dependably. Is his girlfriend happy? I don't know.
posted by cocoagirl at 4:51 PM on July 2, 2018 [8 favorites]

My ex left christmas day celebrations early to be with his new girlfriend. He's forgotten, she has too. My kids haven't. Even if you date this guy, the kid is going to see you as the person causing dad to be late all the time no matter how much you push him to be a better parent from the other side. He will get to use you as an excuse from his responsibilities, and no-one wins. There are awesome single and divorced dads out there. Not this guy.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 5:10 PM on July 2, 2018 [6 favorites]

I think you are right to be concerned, but also remember that what counts as "on time" is very culturally determined (culture including the culture of a given family as well as 'culture' in the different languages and countries sense). 10-15 minutes after a determined time might not count as "late" to a lot of people. In fact, there are plenty of families and cultures where anything within the pre-determined hour is considered 'on time'. If that's how things are in that family, the kid won't have been waiting anxiously by the window unless his dad was a lot later than the 10-15 minutes you mention.

That said, the fact his ex was trying to get in touch with him does suggest that he was late or unresponsive by the standards that this family expected.
posted by lollusc at 5:29 PM on July 2, 2018 [3 favorites]

You might actually be surprised to hear a single parents perspective on this ask; if I were your boyfriend in this case, I'd seriously be considering wheter or not to continue seeing you over this.
I was once childless and had strong ideals and opinions on parenting and coparenting that were throughly and fully shattered upon having my own. I've also dated other single parents where this was challenged even further than with my own. I'm actually legit embarrassed by some of my pre-parenting judgements and behaviours towards other parents. A lot of people will agree to having experienced something similar to this; it's a relatively normal occurance but it often makes dating childless people extra challenging for single parents. Coming into a relationship as a childless person, where there is a child involved, is going to require a bit of extra flexibility and open-mindedness in this area for that person.
Also, being involved in raising a child is a huge responsibility and requires even stronger communication and relationships skills than in a childless situation. If my partner couldn't or wouldn't raise any of their parenting or ex related concerns with me and discuss them respectfully, and instead made judgements or decisions based upon something that may not necessarily be acurate or truthful, then they aren't really in a position to be helping raise a child to begin with.

You may also want to look into therapy, or simply not dating people with children, if your childhood issues are that of being triggered to this extent by what appears to be the first of by your description, and certainly won't be the last of, conflicts in intrests or opinions regarding parenting/coparenting between you, him and/or his ex.
posted by OnefortheLast at 5:51 PM on July 2, 2018 [8 favorites]

I think your experience with divorced parents is tainting your view of this man’s action. Dump him if you want, but not over this.

On preview, oneforthelast said it much better than I ever could.
posted by Kwadeng at 6:05 PM on July 2, 2018 [3 favorites]

I’m a single parent. I’m also from a late-ass culture. Dude put an alarm on his phone. Dude said what time he’d need to be at his place. Dude had a comfortable-ass place to wait. What exactly is the explanation here or excuse?

If he was not late, he was trying to make it seem like he was late or let OP believe that he was late, which again, is an indication that he thinks that would appeal to her. Which is disturbing.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 6:28 PM on July 2, 2018 [9 favorites]

Huh. I guess I am in the minority here, but I think you are being way judgmental and jumping to conclusions. You don't know anything about how he parents other than that he doesn't make every effort to be exactly on time. Unless you have other reasons to doubt his reliability, I think you're projecting.
posted by yarly at 8:10 PM on July 2, 2018 [3 favorites]

You didn't give ages or enough info about the boy. I only know one, myself. There was a point where after many many years of weekend scheduled visits that I had friends and something else to actually happen on those weekends even if mom totally wanted to get me out of her hair. He just maybe might be forcing things into that time when the kids have something better to do then spend every damn weekend rain or shine dealing with complying with judicial custody arrangements. Ask.
posted by zengargoyle at 11:51 PM on July 2, 2018 [2 favorites]

I'm late to the party but I want to second pretty much everyone here and throw in a "yeah, this isn't cool, maybe don't date this dude".

I dated a guy for about 3 years, single dad, who over time got pretty bad about prioritizing his time with me over his pre-teen son. I too was a single parent with a son the same age and frankly, it's the main reason we didn't work out. His son was frequently with him -- he only saw him on weekends -- but the effect of him ignoring his kid in favor of me was incredibly obvious and honestly, painful to watch. And his kid resented me, too. I couldn't blame him.

This is a bummer but I'd bet you're better off if you move on.
posted by youandiandaflame at 8:56 AM on July 3, 2018 [3 favorites]

If you really REALLY like him then this warrants a conversation whereby you honestly tell him that the idea of him leaving his kid hanging a bit really bothers you and then he has a chance to explain. But only if you really super like him. There could, maybe, be A Thing which makes this less awful than it seems. Maybe.

My ex and I split when our daughter was 4 months old. I subsequently married and he has had several ltr's. Life happens and sometimes we are late (both sides) but we can both count such times on one hand (kid is 12 now). There is a key safe with a spare key for times they are here and i am stuck somewhere, likewise his neighbours have a key if I'm ever at his when he's not. We are both flexible and respectful and put our kid first so we also are both understanding when something unexpected happens. Communication is also super good - the only time he has ever been calling me and I wasn't answering to explain where I was I was in labour and my husband was simultaneously dialling him to let him know what was up and asking him to come on over. Even if its 3am and the parent with the kid is calling we answer.

So from my POV he sounds a bit crappy. And I would be repulsed by someone prioritising a new partner over a child, unless it was an adult child. But if you really REALLY like him then I'd give him a chance to explain and if you don't I'd let him know kindly that you don't think it's a good match and walk away.
posted by intergalacticvelvet at 11:50 AM on July 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

I was hoping there would be a clarification by now.

How far apart do you live? If his phone started blowing up and you somehow know these were from his ex because he was already late, unless his house is minutes away, your timeline doesn't make sense.

What time was he supposed to be there for the drop off? You say the meeting was in the morning, but also that know he was as much as 15 minutes late.

If I'm reading correctly, you would have to have known his phone alarm was set for a very short time before the meeting, that he planned to jump up and leave in order to be at his house within not much longer than 15 minutes after the alarm. That doesn't seem likely.

One possibility is that he's a jerk.

Another is that he left with plenty of time and the mom calls and texts were typical with various instructions like "no nachos" or "I promised the kid you'd take him to Taco Bell." And how do you know they were mom?

For all we know, he originally planned to go by the gym or the donut shop between your house and his and then changed his mind to hang out.

Joining the chorus of those who think you should have the facts before you decide what this means.

I'll also say that if someone is been dating for a few weeks wanted the details of my schedule, I would not be inclined to prove a timeline.

FWIW, this morning my alarm went off because I forgot to turn it off. And I had a dozen crack of dawn texts that have nothing to do with my day-off plans.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 8:33 AM on July 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Lesser Shrew, the clarification -- I knew his place was at least 20 minutes away and he told me the meeting time. Let's say 8 am. So going from that timeline: I said "Hey, it's 7:30, how do you want to spend the rest of our time right now?" at 7:30. His phone would have been going off (texts, alarm) starting around the same time. The call came at 7:45, he walked away from me at 7:50 (so probably driving away at 7:55). I know it was his ex because when his phone was going off he said something about it being his ex. I picked up the phone to hand it to him and saw one of the texts. It was a basic text from his ex asking if he wanted her to bring something along. (I didn't want to see it and didn't try to see it... maybe now I know to just hand the phone off without reading the screen at all). When the call came in I picked the phone up and showed it to him so he could decide whether to answer it.

His kid is around 4 years old and he is from a culture where punctuality isn't as valued as it is in my culture.

Haven't talked about this exact thing yet but we talked about time and values generally and he said he's really into making the most of every moment so I think that could be what played into this. Thank you all for the thoughts!
posted by ramenopres at 12:18 PM on July 6, 2018

Update: I wanted to post here in the spirit of, "Yes, it can happen" -- he said his his ex is habitually late. At the meeting time, she texted to say she was leaving, then didn't get to his place till an hour later (her place is definitely not an hour away). My scenario of "Child waiting in the car" never happened. I think he was definitely not responsive to her text and call, but also was gauging things according to his experience; and the family definitely has a culture where being on time isn't critical. Everyone's comments here were so helpful. The things you brought up remain relevant for identifying what my role is and what will or won't work or me.
posted by ramenopres at 1:04 PM on July 18, 2018 [7 favorites]

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