DEAR ABBY: There are no words to express how disappointed I am at the education kids receive now and still graduate with “honors.”
I was at the grocery store a short time ago. Two young ladies working there just completed their freshman year at the local college. One of them had been on the honor roll all through high school.
I bought four packages of gravy mix that were on sale: four packages for $1. As the cashier rang it up, I noticed that she had entered them at 44 cents apiece. When I brought it to her attention, she asked the other cashier if that was right. She asked, “Forty-four cents, wouldn’t that be four for $1?” The other one picked up a calculator to find the answer.
Can you tell me, what did this honor student learn in school? Both girls are in college. My heart is broken for our kids. Maybe we need to go back to teaching like when I was a kid. Just call me … GRANDPARENT IN TEXAS
DEAR GRANDPARENT: Frankly, your letter leaves me at a loss for words. I can only say that the problems with our educational system will not be resolved in an advice column. Readers?
DEAR ABBY: I was sober for a year when I met my husband. Neither my alcoholism nor my 24 years of perfect sobriety has ever caused any upset for anyone in his family.
His niece will be married later this year in a winery in another state. The thought of it makes me anxious, and I am opting to not attend with my husband. Abby, I am not a “special” aunt, and I have no place in the wedding, which will be large.
Some family members think I’m being selfish, but I believe I am my first responsibility. They are not the sort you can talk to, so please advise. Am I being selfish? — VERY SAD IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR VERY SAD: Not in my opinion. Your reason for not attending makes sense to me, and it’s not “selfish” to skip an event at which you would not be comfortable. If you send your husband — and a nice wedding gift — I’m sure the bride will forgive your absence.
And for those who would hold it against you, “remind” them that although you have maintained your sobriety for many years, it can’t be taken for granted because sobriety is a day-to-day challenge for people with alcoholism.
DEAR ABBY: My friend and I have a disagreement. We do crossword puzzles together at the dog park. She says using a thesaurus/dictionary is cheating. I say that if I look something up and then write it down, I’m learning. What say you, Abby? — WILLIAM IN OCEANSIDE, CALIF.
DEAR WILLIAM: I agree with you. For this friend to shame you because you need a little help with the answers isn’t very nice. The next time she says it, smile and ask her what a five-letter word with a “t” in the middle is.
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.)