DEAR ABBY: I work for a large company that handles calls from all around the U.S. It amazes me how many people call and don’t realize we can’t hear them when their TV is blaring, their kids are screaming or their dogs are barking.
My plea to callers: Please choose a quiet, uninterrupted time so we can help you. Also, we are able to hear you when you are using the bathroom during your call, and that includes every little sound you are making. It’s not pleasant, thank you very much!
And when we ask you for your mailing address, try to remember that we are not around the block from you. Give us your entire address, including the ZIP code, because lots of states have towns with the same names. And oh, by the way, when you’re eating that snack, the crunching and bag crumpling are like explosions in our ears.
Please help us to help you when you call, and be courteous. We are regular people just like you. — HERE TO HELP YOU
DEAR HERE TO HELP: I hear you loud and clear, and so do my readers. I’m printing your letter because sometimes “regular people” just need to be reminded.
DEAR ABBY: I am engaged to the love of my life (“Tom”), and I dread making the guest list for our wedding. I don’t want any of my cousins there. The young ones are rude and obnoxious, and the one who’s an adult I no longer talk to. I asked my mom what to do. She said if we invite any kids, then we must invite all of them.
We would like my fiance’s young nieces and nephews to be in the wedding party. Tom said he isn’t inviting anyone he doesn’t want there. A few family members invited me to their weddings because my parents were invited, but I don’t feel I know them well enough to invite them to mine, although one couple was kind enough to get us an engagement present. I want to be nice, but I don’t want any nonsense. Please help. — TORN IN THE EAST
DEAR TORN: Your mother has the right idea. Listen to her. Weddings can bring families together, but they can also do the opposite. The relatives you are thinking of excluding are the children of your parents’ siblings. If you don’t know them well, be gracious. Should you snub them while including your fiance’s nieces and nephews, word will get back to them — trust me on that — and the negative repercussions could last for many years and affect not just you but also your parents.
DEAR ABBY: I have a preteen daughter, and for the last couple of years we have read Hanukkah books and lit the menorah, always saying the prayers. We are not Jewish, but I want her to be tolerant of all religions and cultures. Is this disrespectful to the Jewish community? — LOVE TO ALL IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR LOVE: I don’t think so. As long as you’re celebrating, because Hanukkah lasts eight days, give your daughter a little gift each night so she can enjoy all the benefits of the holiday while she’s at it.
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: “Abby’s Favorite Recipes” and “More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $16 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)