DEAR ABBY: I have a wonderful 31-year-old son who is in a relationship with a lovely young woman. It’s likely they’ll be married in a year or two. They work hard in their careers and enjoy good food and wine, and I’m happy for them both.
I’ve noticed, however, that over the last year my son has steadily put on weight and is having some trouble with his complexion. I’m concerned that he has acquired the habit of overindulging himself and that, over time, he will continue gaining weight and drinking too much. His girlfriend looks great — she manages her weight very well.
I know my observations will be unwelcome, so I don’t share them with him. I think it’s the right choice, but it’s really hard to hold back. We do discuss health in general, as it’s a mutual interest, but that’s as far as it goes. His father passed away a few years ago, so, sadly, he’s not around to share my concerns with. What should I do? — TREADING LIGHTLY IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
DEAR TREADING LIGHTLY: You are a caring parent. But your son is well into adulthood, and I don’t think involving yourself in his weight problem would be well received. Many people (of both sexes) have put on weight over the last two years as a result of the pandemic. Because of that, you could encourage him to get a physical. If you do, his doctor might talk to him about his weight gain.
DEAR ABBY: A friend recently moved back to his home state. Because he was anxious about leaving, I told him he could stay with me anytime he wanted. I was trying to be nice and calm his nerves, but he has taken me literally and thinks he can come stay whenever he likes.
When he visits, we rarely spend time together outside of my house. He’s off with other friends for dining, boating, etc. (By the way, I know these people but I’m never invited, which is OK I suppose, but shouldn’t I be?) In addition, he leaves piles of clothes lying around in my living area, along with used tissues and face masks, which seems disrespectful.
Am I wrong to be annoyed? Other friends think I’m being taken advantage of. I would appreciate your thoughts. — TOO NICE A GUY IN GEORGIA
DEAR TOO NICE: Do not blame your friend for taking advantage of the generous offer you made before he moved. And no rule of etiquette dictates that you should be included on his outings with others if he’s an invited guest. (It would have been thoughtful had he suggested it, however.) I do think you are overdue in having a talk with him about the clothes, used face masks and tissues “lying around.”
The bottom line is, do YOU feel you are being taken advantage of? If the answer is yes, speak up and express that while you don’t mind him staying with you OCCASIONALLY, he should not assume your house is his pad in town.
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.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)