Dear Abby: My daughter thinks if people are busy they should not answer the phone. I believe it’s better to answer and tell the person you’re busy and that you will return their call. Sometimes she doesn’t call me back for nine hours or even the next day.
As her mother, if I don’t hear back, I start to worry, even though she’s in her 20s and married with a family. When she calls me and I say I’m busy and will call her back, she gets mad and says I shouldn’t have answered at all. Will you please tell us what you think?
– Kari in Montana
Dear Kari: OK. I think that for your daughter to keep you waiting nine hours for a return call if she can answer more promptly shows a lack of respect for your feelings. And for you to obsess that something awful might have happened is a waste of your time because, trust me, bad news travels fast. It’s also possible that you may be calling too often. But only you can answer that.
Saying ‘no’ to family loans
Dear Abby: Some members of my family continually ask me for money. I feel obligated because they are family and they helped me in the past.
But since then, I have turned my life around. I have a great job, a home and I’m in a serious relationship. This isn’t the first time they have asked. I have tried refusing, but they persist and after a while I feel guilty.
This is creating a rift between my girlfriend and me. She feels these family members need to take responsibility for their own problems and make choices to better themselves rather than rely on others to enable their bad habits. How do I put an end to this annoyance?
– Cashed Out
Dear Cashed Out: There is a difference between giving people money to enable them to continue making poor choices, and giving them money if they are really in need. Because your relatives helped you when you needed money to tide you over, there is a moral obligation for you to reciprocate if they are truly in need.
Early arrival is bad form
Dear Abby: I host a lot of gatherings at my home and sometimes when I am on vacation. I put a lot of thought and effort into them. Some are themed parties, such as Valentine’s Day or a luau. Do you think it’s rude for guests to show up 10 or more minutes early? I enjoy hosting, but I need the last few minutes before party time for ME, so I can get dressed, light candles, put out the food or just plain relax for a few minutes. Your thoughts, please.
– Wondering in Wesley Chapel, Fla.
Dear Wondering: I agree with you. Guests with good manners show up at the appointed time. While arriving 15 minutes late is acceptable, to arrive early is an imposition on one’s host.