Dear Abby: Vacation host wants to bar a certain guest with violent tendencies

The teenage son of her son’s girlfriend has killed kittens and spoken of killing people.

SHARE Dear Abby: Vacation host wants to bar a certain guest with violent tendencies

DEAR ABBY: I am an active 90-year-old grandmother who every year treats my family to a week’s vacation at a beach house. We have a lovely time together.

Two years ago, my grown son, “Robert,” brought his girlfriend, “Gennifer,” and her teenage son, “Jackson.” After the trip I was shocked to hear Jackson had killed the family kittens “to see how it felt.” I was horrified, but knowing he was in therapy, I eventually agreed to allow him to join us on the trip last year.

We are now looking forward to our trip this summer. However, it was recently mentioned that Jackson has been hearing voices instructing him to kill a human. While I am sympathetic to his mental illness, I am extremely frightened for myself and for other family members who are coming. I do not want Jackson to come this year.

I am concerned that if I approach the subject with Robert, he will be upset and I will lose all contact with him. Because he lives out of state, our visits are limited as it is. Please help me, because the trip is in about four weeks. — SLEEPLESS SEASIDE

DEAR SLEEPLESS: Clearly, Jackson is seriously disturbed. Because you are fearful that you or some other family member could be hurt — or worse — talk to your son about it. That boy’s mother should not take him anywhere without first clearing it with his psychiatrist. You should not be expected to entertain him as a houseguest unless you can be assured that he won’t present a danger to himself or to others.

DEAR ABBY: I’m pleased and proud that so many people fly our American flag. However, it makes me sad and angry when I see flags that are torn and tattered. People, please. If your flag is in bad shape, take it down and dispose of it properly. Many organizations, police departments, fire departments, Girl and Boy Scouts, the VFW and American Legion collect worn and damaged flags and hold proper disposal ceremonies. Abby, please remind your readers who are proud of our country to be respectful of our flag. — FLAG WAVER IN INDIANA

DEAR FLAG WAVER: There are rules for appropriately displaying and disposing of our American flag, some of which proud Americans either choose to break or are ignorant about. (One that comes to mind addresses wearing clothing such as T-shirts, bathing suits — and face masks — bearing the likeness of the flag.) Many American Legion posts hold ceremonies once a year so people can dispose of flags that have “seen better days.” For those who are interested in learning more, and there is plenty more to learn, go online and type in a search for “U.S. flag code.”

DEAR ABBY: Should a spouse stay in a marriage with minor children involved if they have fallen out of love and are no longer sexually attracted to their spouse? JUST WONDERING IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR JUST WONDERING: I don’t think so, because under those circumstances, the relationship is likely at some point to implode. The important issue is that the children be provided for financially and co-parented by two loving, supportive adults who can function as a team, even if they are living apart.

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 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.)

The Latest
Invictus manages to capture most of the play’s challenging, dramatic sprawl.
Two people opened fire around 1:10 a.m. in the 4700 block of South Princeton Avenue and struck one person in the leg, a 60-year-old man in the arm and a 37-year-old man in the body, according to Chicago police.
Over-policing students, most of whom are Black, has turned our schools into punitive institutions that hurt the most vulnerable kids.
Divorced man seems to be into his single co-worker, who is not interested.
A federal appeals court panel suspended the Fearless Fund grant program for Black women business owners. The lawsuit claimed that it violates federal civil rights law. That’s a cynical weaponization of the law and ignores long-standing racial disparities.