Q. Our 40-something married son had password-protected some old files on our home computer. We had trouble with our hard drive. We told our son, but he said he couldn’t quickly remember his passwords to retrieve his own files.
We went ahead and had our computer repaired, and when everything was transferred off and then back onto our restored computer, the files were no longer password-protected.
I peeked at his files. Some of the photos he had saved are of his first dog and various cars.
Most of the photos, however, are the type that parents always tell their offspring NOT to take: nudes of various girls (including the one he would eventually marry) and nudes of himself.
What do we do now?
I don’t want him to e-mail these files of photos to himself because then they’d potentially be “out there.”
He and his wife (who is in some of the photos) share a computer.
I would like the girlie photos gone from here; the non-girlie ones could stay.
Do I dare selectively delete the racy ones?
A. After you recover from your shock(!) that in his youth your son ignored your well-founded parental advice, you should simply return these files to him. Your son is an adult. Presumably he no longer needs you to host his personal files on your home computer.
Transfer all of the files (”girlie” and “non-girlie”) to a thumb drive. Delete them all from your home computer, and give the thumb drive to him. This is the computer equivalent of packing your son’s yearbooks, photos, and old Playboy magazines into a bin and giving the bin to him, to deal with as he chooses.
Q. How would you respond to a relative repeatedly sending text requests that you purchase something for their “Business Shower”?
And when the heck did business showers become a thing?
In general we do not receive any other communication from this relative, but we make it a point to reach out and say hello when we are in her town.
We have a policy of not lending or giving money to relatives due to past issues, plus I just view this as a personal fund-raiser and in poor taste.
This person and her husband appear to live very well. She could apply for a business loan, use funds from a line of credit on their home, or better yet suck it up and learn how to operate on a shoestring budget while getting their business off the ground.
We have ignored the first round of group texts, hoping she would get the message that we do not wish to participate.
Clearly she did not, and now we receive group texts, as well as direct text requests.
We would like to respond in a way that will encourage her entrepreneurial spirit but stop the requests for us to help to fund it.
A. Until this, I had never heard of a “Business Shower.” Please, let this not be a “thing.”
However, your relative doesn’t seem to be actually hosting a shower because there is no celebratory event. It sounds as if she has created an online registry and is asking people to purchase items from it to donate to her.
An actual shower-party would be a better idea, and could be seen as a “pre-launch,” as well as a marketing or networking event for their new business.
Some people trying to get projects off the ground set up online fund-raising pages to raise start-up money. This can be a creative way to fund-raise, and investors are often offered little incentives as thank yous once the business gets off the ground. These requests are also easier to dodge.
You should respond privately (not through group text): “Congratulations on your start-up! We look forward to learning more about your business once it’s up and running. If there are ways we can help you to network, we’d be happy to talk about it, but we aren’t going to donate. Please remove us from your group text.”
Q. Your answer to “Disrespected DIL” was overblown. She has an allergy, for goodness sake. If she doesn’t like what they’re serving, why doesn’t she just prepare and bring her own food to her in-laws’ house?
A. Her allergy was so severe that any contact with the food, even on a neighboring plate, could send her to the hospital.
I could see why she felt so disrespected.
Amy Dickinson can be reached at email@example.com.