Dear Abby: When Mom comes over, she always brings a man I dislike

Her companion spends the visits watching TV in another room, and he’s larger than our chairs can handle.

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DEAR ABBY: My mother and her companion recently moved to be closer to me (20 minutes away). The problem is I don’t really care for her companion, and he is always around my mom. He comes over to my house when she does, plops himself in our den and turns on the TV — LOUD. (We always close the door because he needs a hearing aid.)

We now need to replace the reclining chairs in the den. He weighs more than 300 pounds, and I can’t find a loveseat or chairs that can accommodate his weight. He won’t allow Mom to drive herself over here. What can I do? I would like comfortable seating in my den, but I don’t want furniture that will break the first time he sits on it. — IMPOSED UPON IN THE SOUTH

DEAR IMPOSED UPON: You are under no obligation to buy furniture to accommodate someone you “don’t particularly like.” Tell your mother you will provide the transportation when she wants to visit you. (Her companion can pick her up when she’s ready to go home, or you can take her.) Problem solved.

DEAR ABBY: I’m a girl of 23 who has never had a boyfriend. Now that I finished college and am a journalist, I have met some guys, mostly from high school and places like that. One of them, who went to my middle school, recently asked me on a date. Another one from high school asked me out, too, in the same week. (Neither one ever talked to me in the respective schools.) Even if I wanted to go out, I’m a little nervous because I’ve never been on a date. What do you think I have to do? I know I shouldn’t care about what my family and friends say, but they are gossips. — FEELING WEIRD IN MEXICO

DEAR FEELING WEIRD: I’m glad you wrote. You do not have to do anything except calm down and get to know who these guys are. You should not rush into ANYthing. Romances evolve from friendships, and friendships take time and effort. Hang on to your sense of humor, and remember: You are at the beginning of an interesting career and life journey. Stop worrying about the gossips, and take advantage of the opportunities that are opening up for you.

DEAR ABBY: When six of us women got together for lunch, one gal brought copies of her mother’s newly published book of poetry. The book was $20. After describing the book and her mother, she offered one to each of us to PURCHASE! We’re not poor, but I thought she showed poor taste by pushing this book on us. We all bought one because we felt obligated. What’s your opinion about what she did? What would have been a tactful way to refuse? — DUMBSTRUCK

DEAR DUMBSTRUCK: You could have thanked the woman for offering the book, told her you are sure it was “wonderful” and refused by saying, “But I’m just not into poetry!”

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.

Good advice for everyone — teens to seniors — is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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