Dear Abby: Our boozing uncle ruins family events, and host lets him

Kindly aunt seems powerless to stop the obnoxious drunk from spoiling parties and holidays.

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DEAR ABBY: My “Uncle Fred” is rude and obnoxious whenever we’re in his presence. He talks down to not only me, but everyone around him. Holidays are unbearable as he creates constant tension. He also drinks too much at parties, which leads to obscenities and poor decision-making.

It would be very easy to just stop being in his presence if not for my darling “Auntie June,” who is kind to us all and always insists on hosting her family for holidays. Even after numerous attempts by family members who have all voiced their displeasure with Uncle Fred, Auntie June seems to be helpless in dealing with his unruly behavior.

How do we move forward without hurting our dear sweet auntie by telling her we no longer wish to spend holidays together? — ENOUGH ALREADY IN NEW JERSEY

DEAR ENOUGH: You have suffered enough. A way to deal with it would be to put it “a tad” less bluntly. Say, “Auntie, we love you, which is why we have tolerated Uncle Fred’s drinking and rude behavior as long as we have. But we have reached our limit. From now on, other family members will alternate hosting these gatherings, and if Uncle Fred acts up during any of them, he will have to leave.” It would be better than walking out of Auntie’s home and leaving her with food she has prepared and no one to eat it.

DEAR ABBY: I’m in my early 30s, married and juggling a full-time job and caring for my children, ages 3 and 6. I live in an affluent area where people have more free time than most. When I’m able to squeeze time in for a playdate with local mom friends, I find it annoying when they bring their husbands.

I’m all for double dates, but I feel like a third wheel when they bring their spouses along for playdates. A handful of women do this at every single get-together with the kids. Their husbands don’t need to work as much as mine does. I crave being able to talk freely with other mothers. Even if my husband were available, he wouldn’t want to join, and I wouldn’t want him to, either.

When I invite a woman and her kids to my home, I end up having her husband show up at my door, too. I feel like I’m entertaining their whole family instead of just a simple playdate. Would it be appropriate to tell these moms to leave their husbands at home during our playdates? If so, how do I go about this politely? — CROWDED IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR CROWDED: There is a difference between a family playdate and a mom’s playdate. In the latter, the women usually let their hair down and discuss subjects they might not mention in mixed company. I do not think it would be rude to tell these moms that you prefer they leave their husbands at home.

DEAR ABBY: I am 68 years old. I have a Gator gas scooter, which I love to ride. My sons think I am too old to be riding it. They think I should sell it. Am I too old to ride a scooter? — UNSURE IN TENNESSEE

DEAR UNSURE: Let me put it this way: Accidents happen and many have nothing to do with age. Google George Clooney, Simon Cowell and Jay Leno, and then make up your mind.

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.

To order “How to Write Letters for All Occasions,” send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby — Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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