DEAR ABBY: I have just discovered that my granddaughter's mother helped her get a Facebook page on which she is listed as 17, interested in men and in a relationship. The child is only 11, but you'd never know it from the makeup and hairdo in her photo.
I am heartbroken that she is being "marketed" this way and that her prospects for a life of achievement and happiness are zero. I have little to no contact with her because I have been put off by her mother's "street" attitude. If her lips are moving, the woman is lying. My granddaughter is disrespectful and ignorant.
What breaks my heart is that I had hoped to pass on to her items that have been in our family for generations, including a sizable inheritance. What can I do to salvage a relationship with a girl who wants nothing to do with me? Failing that, where can I turn to replace her with a more suitable heir? My son can't father any more children. -- SAD GRANNY IN FLORIDA
DEAR SAD GRANNY: Your granddaughter may be disrespectful because her mother dislikes you, and you haven't been around enough so the girl could really get to know you. Also, she is only 11. Her mother is presenting her on Facebook in an inappropriate manner (to put it mildly), and the result could be tragic.
Is it possible for your son to talk with a lawyer and seek custody? If it's not, he should contact child protective services. Rather than "replace" your grandchild, it would be better for all concerned to help her.
DEAR ABBY: Three years ago, I found out that my wife of 14 years was sneaking around behind my back with her high school sweetheart. I confronted both of them and it ended. I forgave her, but I still can't sleep at night because of something that's bothering me. His wife has no idea about the affair, and I feel guilty that I haven't told her about everything that happened.
Some of my friends say I should call her and tell her, but now it seems like it happened too long ago to bring it to her attention. Also, in an attempt to get her husband to come clean -- which he did -- I promised him I wouldn't tell his wife.
My wife and I have patched things up and we're having the best years of our life together. So the question is, should I break my word and possibly upset my new relationship with my wife so I can not feel this guilt? -- CAN'T SLEEP IN ILLINOIS
DEAR CAN'T SLEEP: Surely there's a better cure for your insomnia than causing needless pain to the wife. The affair ended years ago, and she is blameless in all this. Because you are still having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor about it. Some sessions with a psychologist or a licensed family therapist may help you to assuage your guilt and find closure.
DEAR ABBY: I have had the same barber for several years and he is a good friend. While he was on vacation, I used another barber in the shop for a cut. I really like how he cut my hair. How can I change barbers without causing hurt feelings? -- LOOKIN' GOOD IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR LOOKIN' GOOD: Barbers are human like everyone else. If you announce that you want to make a change, there probably will be hurt feelings. The question you must ask yourself is, is your relationship with your barber/friend such a close one that you're willing to tolerate continuing to patronize him even though you think someone else can do a better job. (Now that's friendship!)
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)
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