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Dear Abby: My son married a sweet girl three years ago, and I thought we would become a close family. I haven’t bothered them at all. Since then, she has become cold and distant to me. My son rarely calls or comes around.

They are expecting their first child soon. I have been left out of all the excitement of the baby. She has not invited me to the baby showers or to see the nursery, etc. I know it’s not all about me, but I would like to be included. My side of the family doesn’t seem to matter to her or my son.

Because he doesn’t stand up for me, I fear I will never get to be close to my grandchild. I don’t want to upset them, but how do I handle this?

– Sad Grandma-To-Be

Dear Sad: Talk to your son about your feelings, and ask if there is a reason for his wife’s behavior. Then ask if he WANTS you to be a part of his child’s life, because the way things are going, it doesn’t appear to be the case.

That you haven’t been invited to the baby showers is terrible, but nothing will change until you bring your concerns out into the open. I’m sad to say your problem isn’t unusual, and it usually happens in marriages where the husband is afraid or unwilling to talk about uncomfortable subjects and prefers to avoid confrontation.

Learn to ‘do’ confrontations

Dear Abby: I have discovered that the man I have been seeing for several years has been stealing money from me. There is no question in my mind that it’s him.

What is the best way to confront him? It breaks my heart, but I need to give him a chance to be honest about this. I care for him as a person but no longer trust him. Please guide me. I don’t do confrontations well.

– Used in Indiana

Dear Used: If you have proof of what he has done, a way to approach it would be to discuss with him IN A PUBLIC PLACE that money has disappeared and you would like his “help” in figuring out where it went.

Depending upon his response, you may have to take specific action by involving your lawyer, your CPA or the police.

Brownies should be brown

Dear Abby: Why are brownies called brownies if they are black?

– Just Wondering in Houston

Dear Just Wondering: I took your question to Lachlan Sands, executive chef at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Los Angeles, who says, “The first mention of ‘brownies’ is in a Fanny Farmer cookbook published in 1906. They are not called brownies because of the color, but were named after Celtic pixies.”

P.S. If your brownies are turning out black, you may be baking them too long.