DEAR ABBY: My 20-year-old daughter refuses to get her driver’s license. She took the learner’s permit test four times when she was 16, failed it each time and gave up. She goes to college online and has a job at the local store. Next week she is going to be promoted to assistant manager.
I don’t work, but I’m tired of driving her around. We live in a small town that has no public transportation. Every time her father or I mention getting her license, she says, “Don’t start” or, “I don’t want to talk about it!” She doesn’t date, but is very involved in church. She has her own phone, which she pays for, and also pays for gas. She’s responsible in every way — she just REFUSES to drive! HELP! — TIRED OF BEING A TAXI MOM
DEAR TIRED: Your 20-year-old daughter is a smart cookie. Unlike you, she doesn’t have to worry about car payments, insurance premiums or the cost of parking. As long as you agree to chauffeur her around, she isn’t going to provide her own transportation. I suggest you encourage her to get a bicycle. And after four years, it’s time for her to take the driver’s test again.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married nine years and have two major issues in our marriage:
1. He feels I spend too much money.
2. I think he spends too much time away from home doing things he wants to do.
We have fallen into this cycle of him being away from home, so I spend money, which results in him spending more time away from home. Should we have separate bank accounts? Should I make him cancel some of his weekly activities? — STRUGGLING IN ST. LOUIS
DEAR STRUGGLING: Separate bank accounts might be a good idea, provided you don’t use yours to mask the fact that you’re spending more than you should. As to “making” your husband cancel some of his weekly activities, I don’t think it would work to your benefit.
A better solution/investment would be for the two of you to talk this out in the office of a licensed marriage and family counselor, because it appears you’re spending as a way to punish your husband for his absence, which is not only not constructive but DEstructive. Doing activities outside the home TOGETHER might also be helpful.
DEAR ABBY: My former spouse, the father of our adult daughters, recently passed. He will be cremated. Although he did not remarry, I did. Our youngest daughter has made all the burial arrangements.
My ex and I did not communicate much after the divorce. What is my role as mother? Do I send flowers, greet attendees, as if we were still together? We were married almost 30 years. — WHAT SHOULD I DO?
DEAR WHAT SHOULD I DO: Your role as the mother is to support your daughters and the rest of the family. If your daughters want you there, be there for them. Greet anyone you know politely and thank them for being there for “the family.” If you wish to send flowers, by all means do so. But beyond that, nothing more is required of you.
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.
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