Dear Abby: My brother lost his wife, the love of his life, three years ago. He has three children. His oldest, a 25-year-old daughter, “Jenny,” told him that “when you marry, it is for life.” She has threatened that if he dates someone or sees anyone, she will be out of his life and he won’t be able to see his future grandchildren. (Jenny is getting married next summer.) My brother is very upset. He wants to settle this argument before she is married. He hasn’t dated anyone, but feels she shouldn’t be trying to control his life. Please help, Abby. I’ll show Jenny your answer and hope it helps them.
– Sister Katy in Maine
Dear Sister Katy: I’m very sorry Jenny lost her mother, but her attitude is off base. At 25, it’s time for her to grow up and stop making selfish, childish threats she will regret. While I agree that marriage should be “for life,” her parents’ marriage DID last for life – the life of her mother. That she would begrudge her father continuing to live his life is cruel and wrong. If she cuts him out of her life, she will deprive her future children of a relationship with a loving grandparent, and that would be a shame.
Saying ‘Yes, ma’am’
Dear Abby: I have a manners dilemma. I was raised in a home where “Yes, ma’am” and, “No, sir” were expected, and I have used that respectful form of address throughout my life. Yes, I grew up in the South.
Six months ago, my husband and I moved north with our two children for job relocation. My co-workers are giving me a hard time about my constant use of “ma’am” and “sir.” They feel offended!
I sense that upper management and my supervisor like being addressed that way. But what do you suggest I do with the rest of my co-workers?
–Ol’-Fashioned in Ohio
Dear Ol’-Fashioned: I suggest you explain to your co-workers, as you have to me, that using this respectful form of address is a custom you were raised with. And because old habits are hard to break, that they please cut you some slack because you are trying to offend no one.
Don’t let baby fuss
Dear Abby: I hope you print this because moviegoers worldwide will appreciate it. Attention, all parents who bring their babies to the movies – PLEASE DON’T! I just spent $11 to listen to a baby cry and fuss for two hours. It made it impossible to enjoy the film.
– Silent Movie Fan in Sacramento
Dear Silent: I understand that sitters are expensive and that parents want to see the latest films, too. However, when a baby starts to fuss, the infant should be taken out of the theater to be fed, changed and/or calmed. To do otherwise is unfair to those who have also spent hard-earned money to enjoy a film without distraction.