SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

November 9, 2012

Dear Abby: 25-year-old daughter wants widowed dad to spend his life alone

:Dear Abby: My brother lost his wife, the love of his life, three years ago. He has three children. His oldest, a 25-year-old daughter, “Jenny,” told him that “when you marry, it is for life.” She has threatened that if he dates someone or sees anyone, she will be out of his life and he won’t be able to see his future grandchildren. (Jenny is getting married next summer.)

My brother is very upset. He wants to settle this argument before she is married. He hasn’t dated anyone, but feels she shouldn’t be trying to control his life. Please help, Abby. I’ll show Jenny your answer and hope it helps them.

Sister Katy in Maine

Dear Sister Katy: I’m very sorry Jenny lost her mother, but her attitude is off base. At 25, it’s time for her to grow up and stop making selfish, childish threats she will regret.

While I agree that marriage should be “for life,” her parents’ marriage DID last for life, the life of her mother. That she would begrudge her father continuing to live his life is cruel and wrong. If she cuts him out of her life, she will deprive her future children of a relationship with a loving grandparent, and that would be a shame.

Dear Abby: I have a manners dilemma. I was raised in a home where “Yes, ma’am” and “No, sir” were expected, and I have used that respectful form of address throughout my life. Yes, I grew up in the South.

Six months ago, my husband and I moved north with our two children for job relocation. My co-workers are giving me a hard time about my constant use of “ma’am” and “sir.” They feel offended!

I have tried to respect their request not to say it to them. Some are my age, younger or older, but I’m used to saying it to EVERYONE, all the time. It simply rolls off my tongue.

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