DEAR ABBY: I have been a vegetarian for 12 years. My husband has been one on and off for five years. I thought our children, 7 and 3, had never had meat in their lives. I recently found out that my father-in-law has been feeding them chicken nuggets from fast food.
I was, and still am, very upset about it. It has been six months and I haven’t talked to him since and no longer let my kids go over there without my husband. He texted me an apology that seemed very sarcastic and made me even angrier.
Everyone says I need to get over it, but no one has confronted him about it. This has put a strain on my relationship with my husband. Can you please advise me on what to do next? — FURIOUS IN THE SOUTH
DEAR FURIOUS: Text messages are, by definition, terse. Accept the apology you were given and move forward.
That said, however, continue to insist that your children be under their father’s supervision when they visit their grandfather because his judgment is questionable, and he has already shown that when they are with him, your wishes will not be enforced.
DEAR ABBY: I have had a few negative encounters with dog owners who invited me to their home and became upset because I pushed their pet away when it tried to jump/lick/nudge me (although I do it gently).
While I understand I am entering the dog’s territory, I think it’s inconsiderate when pet owners not only refuse to restrain their pets, but also imply that I’m somehow a lesser human being because I don’t want my personal space infringed upon by an aggressive animal.
I would never allow my children to behave similarly around guests. If I knew people were uncomfortable with my children climbing on them, as a polite host, I would ask my children to leave that person alone.
To me it seems this is a mutual respect issue. Am I wrong? — DOG ENCOUNTERS
DEAR DOG ENCOUNTERS: No, you’re not wrong. People have had scratches on their legs and items of clothing ruined because a dog jumped on them.
The problem is that some dog owners identify so strongly with their pet that they lose the ability to distinguish between it and themselves — and take anything they perceive as a rejection personally.
While a guest may be technically on a dog’s turf, that doesn’t mean the guest should be fair game. Considerate hosts control their dog until it has calmed down enough to be properly introduced.
DEAR ABBY: I have a 19-year-old granddaughter who has three tattoos and now a ring in her nose. Any suggestions as to what I might say to her to stop the destruction? — GRANDDAD IN NEW ORLEANS
DEAR GRANDDAD: Whether your granddaughter is “destroying” herself is a matter of opinion. Obviously, she doesn’t think so. That’s why I’m advising you to say nothing beyond “I love you” to her because she is now an adult and responsible for the choices she makes.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at http://www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)