Dear Dr. Date,Fir…

Dear Dr. Date,
First, I know I shouldn’t criticize people, but last week was the third time you have printed that letter from Hurt and Confused this year. It just seems kind of funny. I just heard someone say this proves that your letters are the product of a committee. I just laughed. Anyhoo, on to the juicy stuff.
I have been with my girlfriend for almost five years. Obviously marriage talk has entered the picture. The problem is my parents. While they like her, they seem to think I can do better. Whenever she makes a mistake, such as a bad grade or a poor choice in anything else she does, my parents always point it out and tell me that it is “something to think about,” and they do not let it die. I have tried talking to them about it, and they claim that they are just looking out for me, but it is building up a little resentment on my girlfriend’s part. After all, it is not like she is cheating on me or doing drugs or anything, she is just living her life like we all are, and people sometimes make mistakes that look stupid.
I do not want to cut my parents out of my life, and I will not break up with my girlfriend. I have tried talking already; should I just ignore my parents, or is there something else I can do?
— Stuck between a rock and a hard place.

As I explained earlier, there are certain days when the disastrous combination of bothersome stress, a busy day job and a computer malfunction prevents me from doing my duty of writing this column. On those unfortunate days, the Daily is forced to run an older column and, as chance would have it, that column was chosen three times. More importantly, I must point out that Dr. Date is not written by a committee, but by me, an individual.
Keep this in mind, friend, next time your parents raise their collective eyebrow at your fallible sweetie: We go through life on our own feet and it’s best if we can make our own choices. Granted, our parents, friends and the media often have an influence about what we do, but it’s your life after all is said and judged.
You obviously see something in this woman that your parents cannot. If you had a lot of energy to waste, you could attempt to illustrate to your parents what is so great about your potential lifelong partner. Too many people feel that just because they got through life OK, they have a license to judge the actions of others. Anyone can say what they want about another person, but life is all about learning and growing. And the best way to learn and grow is by getting bad grades and making poor choices sometimes.