DEAR ABBY: I must be the worst grandma in the world because I do not like my grandson. He’s 16, rude, disrespectful and lacking in manners, and his hygiene is almost nonexistent. When I mention my concerns to my son, he says, “I’m working on it.” My daughter-in-law refuses to discuss it and just walks away.
We live in different states, so I don’t have a lot of interaction with the boy. But when I must, I don’t enjoy it. In fact, I find spending time with him very stressful. Any suggestions? — BAD GRANDMA IN COLORADO
DEAR GRANDMA: If you visit, display your own good manners when dealing with your grandson and impart whatever advice you can. His behavior may improve by the time he is out of his teens. However, if it doesn’t by the time he’s 21, at least you’ll know you tried.
DEAR ABBY: I need help navigating a situation that comes up periodically and usually leaves my sister in tears. She has a very small wardrobe because she travels all the time, so when she’s in town, she’ll often ask to borrow my clothes. She’s similar in proportions to me and in good shape, but she’s 4 inches taller than I am. That means a lot of my clothes are too tight on her.
If I refuse when she asks to borrow my things, she gets upset and says I don’t trust her. If I say yes and she tries something on that’s a little small, she gets upset about being “too fat.” I feel like I can’t win. I do trust her, and I don’t want her to have a negative image of her body. What should I do the next time she asks to borrow something? — TRYING TO BE A GOOD SISTER
DEAR TRYING: The next time it happens, “remind” her that although your proportions are similar, they are not identical. Then suggest she store some of her own clothes at your place so she’ll have more choices the next time she’s back in town.
DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have wonderful friends and neighbors. We go out to dinner and concerts, and vacation together. They are smart, funny, charming folks. But there’s one problem. When we go out to dinner, we always agree to split the check regardless of who had what to eat. On more than one occasion, I put in 50% of the bill but they often bring a coupon or discount card they apply only to their half.
If I had a coupon, I would share it with them so we would all benefit, so I find it kind of irksome that they don’t. We are all on fixed incomes but no one is desperate for money. My wife says I should let it go and just focus on the enjoyable evening. I wish I could, but it bugs me. Any advice on how to view this without letting it annoy me? — FRIENDS SHOULD SHARE
DEAR F.S.S.: Your friend appears to be a bit selfish, and I can’t blame you for feeling annoyed. The way to deal with it would be to ask for separate checks when the server takes your order. But be prepared for the conversation that is sure to ensue about why you are breaking with “tradition.”
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