DEAR ABBY: My sister “Rebecca” is in her early 40s and has been blind for more than 20 years. She has low self-esteem and gets depressed when she can’t do things. Right now she wants to babysit a 1-year-old boy in our family by herself. Rebecca’s husband is legally blind, closets himself in his home office all day and ignores everything around him.
Although my sister is confident she could take care of the baby, the boy’s parents and I are not comfortable with the idea. Rebecca often runs into things in her own house, can’t find something she has dropped — and sometimes even has difficulty understanding what is going on around her.
When we mention these problems or the fact that the baby is fast and rambunctious, she gets angry and teary-eyed and won’t listen to reason. How can we help her to understand we can’t leave the baby alone with her? — OUT OF THE QUESTION
DEAR OUT: You have already tried to get through to someone who refuses to accept reality. There is no reason why Rebecca can’t “assist” in babysitting the child, but she should not attempt to do it alone.
It’s important that you and the child’s parents stick to your guns. Do what is best for the little one. And if that means making other arrangements for a babysitter, so be it.
DEAR ABBY: I recently received a text from my nephew asking that I cosign on a loan for a car. Abby, I am estranged from this person. I have met him only a handful of times, and I haven’t seen him in years. I was, as you can imagine, put off by his request.
I responded that I couldn’t cosign because it would make me legally responsible for the debt. My entitled nephew’s response was dead silence, not an “I understand,” not an “OK, sorry.” Nothing! I never heard from him again. Am I wrong for feeling offended that he asked? — TOO SMART FOR THAT
DEAR TOO SMART: Stop wasting your time preoccupying yourself with thoughts of this relative. He likely asked you to cosign because no one else in the family would. His attitude was, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” You did the right thing to refuse to be used. There is no need to dwell on it further.
DEAR ABBY: My husband died recently. I have been approached by a much younger man for a sexual relationship. I want to, but I feel he is too young. I’m 61, and he’s 37, the same age as my son. We have been friends for years, and I am unsure if I should change the relationship. I see no future in it except occasional sex. Should I drop it or consider the possibilities? — THINKING ABOUT IT IN OHIO
DEAR THINKING: Before dropping it, carefully consider the “possibilities.” At 37, this person is not a kid, he’s an adult. Something like this happened in my family years ago. A close friend of a relative’s son announced he had fallen in love with her. It took her a little while to adjust her thinking, but the result was a very happy marriage.
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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