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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.
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 have tried to respect their request not to say it to them. Some are my age, younger or older, but I'm used to saying it to EVERYONE, all the time. It simply rolls off my tongue.
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.
P.S. They appear to be clueless.
DEAR ABBY: I'm 15. A few nights ago a guy friend of mine asked me to "sext." I was furious, but played along with him and said "yes." Than I sent him a picture of an elderly woman in a bikini.
After that, I went off on him. I told him how wrong it was for him to ask me for that. No girl deserves to be treated that way. I haven't spoken to him since.
He texted a close friend of mine, telling her what happened and saying how much he regretted it and loved me. He said he cares for me, but that now there's no chance because I hate him.
He has sent me texts apologizing for what he did, but I have ignored them. Should I accept his apology? Or save my heart from being broken again?
- Disappointed teen in California
DEAR DISAPPOINTED TEEN: Your guy friend made a mistake and has apologized. If you still have feelings for him, accept the apology and give him another chance. However, if he continues to ask you to do something that you feel is wrong, THAT will be the time to end the relationship.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.