Oh So Burned

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

My sister is a violent and angry person who has repeatedly told vicious
lies about me to all our relatives, from my parents to a dying aunt.
She is single parenting and I think is very jealous of my happy
marriage and healthy kids. I’m headed home for my mother’s 60 th
birthday bash and my sister sent word through our mother (who
seems to have taken her side) that she wants to get together one on
one. I have not forgiven her. I may, but I haven’t yet. What message
should I send back?

Oh So Burned

Dear Burned

It’s hard to combat vicious lies and people without feeling tarnished by
them. But you are not under any obligation to fall into your sister’s
drama. It’s much more important to take care of yourself. Plan to
attend the birthday festivities, but not to be one on one with your

Send a message back through your mother that says, I’m happy to be
cordial in public, but your party is not the time for us to address
serious family dysfunction. Let’s concentrate on appreciating you now,
and I will deal with [sister name] directly later. I’m looking forward to
seeing and celebrating you. Then politely resist attempts to do
anything else.