Dear Abby: My kids can’t visit grandparents who flout COVID-19 rules
Mom’s parents ignore the social distancing recommendations and are upset that she won’t let them play with her children.
DEAR ABBY: My parents have strong opinions. I don’t agree with them in areas such as how to raise or discipline my children. If I try to explain why, they mock me with their tone of voice. Then they get mad if I try to discuss it with them and won’t speak to me for a couple of weeks.
Currently, they are insisting that I am making a mountain out of a molehill because of the coronavirus. I stay at home with my children and run out only to buy food. Abby, my parents are ignoring all the health recommendations. They still go out in public places where people are close to each other.
They now want to have all their grandkids over to play and are upset with me because I refuse. It has reached the point that I don’t answer my phone when I see Mom’s number because I know she’ll lecture me on how I am “tearing the family apart over this nonsense that we’ll just laugh about next year.” How do you get family members to respect your request for social distancing? — DOING WHAT’S RIGHT FOR NOW
DEAR DOING: Here’s how: Stick to your guns. Remind your mother that your children’s welfare is your sacred responsibility. It is your job to ensure their safety, and it’s no laughing matter. Tell her this is why you have chosen to follow the directions issued by the Centers for Disease Control. You wish she and your dad would be more careful about their own health, but you respect that they are adults making their own choices, and you expect that she will extend to you the same courtesy. Period!
DEAR ABBY: I recently gave a family member a gift. Immediately upon opening it, they exclaimed, “I don’t want this! I will never use this. Can I return it and get something else?” This was followed by repeatedly saying they didn’t want the item and dragging out of the closet a similar item another family member had given them, exclaiming, “See? I already have almost the exact same thing, and I’ve never used it.”
This relative kept repeating they didn’t ever want anything like this and what I should always get them. This is the same person, by the way, who buys me whatever they want to get me whether I want it or not, and refuses to listen when I state what I would like as gifts. Am I too sensitive, or is this behavior bad manners? — GIFT HORSE IN WYOMING
DEAR GIFT HORSE: It’s an example of appalling bad manners and lack of gratitude. Because the relative is also unwilling or unable to choose appropriate gifts, why not agree to stop exchanging them? In cases like this, a nice, neutral greeting card would cause fewer hurt feelings.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I disagree about something, and I’d like you to be the tie-breaker. One of us believes it’s proper to keep the title to a vehicle in the glove compartment of the vehicle alongside the registration and insurance papers. The other thinks it’s foolish and dangerous. What say you? — TIE-BREAKER IN KENTUCKY
DEAR TIE-BREAKER: I say it is better to err on the side of caution and keep the title in a safe deposit box or file cabinet. The same is true for the deed to your home, as well as other important documents.
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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