Dear Abby: I don’t like the ill-fitting clothes my granddaughter is wearing to school

The girl’s father ignores the chiding from her grandma, who considers turning up the volume on her complaints.

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DEAR ABBY: From time to time, I pick my granddaughter up from public school. This week, I picked her up on Tuesday and again on Friday. Both days, she was wearing the exact same outfit, a shirt/hoodie that was too small and hand-me-down jeans that were too big. On Tuesday, when my son came to get her (Mom wasn’t with him), I told him I didn’t like the jeans and the shirt/hoodie was ill-fitting. He said he thought the jeans looked fine.

Abby, I have bought many clothes for my granddaughter, and I know she should have other options. I’ve always been under the impression that “No matter what you have, you always put your best foot forward.” For reference, my son leaves home by 5:30 in the morning, and her mom takes her to school. Am I wrong to want to chastise my son and his wife for this? I sincerely think they are doing the child a disservice by allowing her to go to school this way. — PERPLEXED GRANDMA IN TEXAS

DEAR GRANDMA: I wish you had mentioned how old your granddaughter is. Children these days choose their own outfits without help from their parents or input from their grandmothers. Your sense of style may be very different from your granddaughter’s. This may be what the other students wear, and she doesn’t want to be “different.” Most important is not what she’s wearing, but whether she’s clean and well-groomed. I sincerely hope you refrain from “chastising” your son and daughter-in-law about this because I can guarantee it won’t be appreciated.

DEAR ABBY: My wife doesn’t like the gifts I bought her. I got her an Apple Watch for her birthday, which is two days after Christmas. The only model they had in stock was the SE, which is a fine watch. If they’d had the Series 7, I’d have bought it because I know how she is. Of course, she “had” to look up the price, which was $120 less than the Series 7.

After spending $700 on designer bags for her for Christmas, buying her a dozen other things and an Apple Watch, she had the audacity to call me cheap! I am deeply hurt. I tried to talk to her about it, but she says I’m being overly sensitive. For what it’s worth, she got me nothing for Christmas. What to do here? — NOT THANKED IN THE EAST

DEAR NOT THANKED: It appears you married a demanding “material girl.” Someone — you, perhaps — should point out that looking up the cost of a gift and calling the giver “cheap” is beyond rude. At the least, she owes you an apology.

As to “what to do here,” in future seasons of giving, I wouldn’t blame you if you were less generous with your selfish, ungrateful wife and closed your wallet.

DEAR READERS: On this Day of Love, I want you to know how much I cherish the relationship I have with you. Wishing a Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you. — LOVE, ABBY

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.

To receive a collection of Abby’s most memorable — and most frequently requested — poems and essays, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby — Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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