DEAR ABBY: My mother-in-law is insisting that her adopted son and I each write a eulogy for her, so she can read it before she dies. We don't think her request is appropriate and have told her so, but she keeps insisting. What do you think? -- TO WRITE OR NOT TO WRITE
DEAR T.W. OR NOT T.W.: I think your mother-in-law is starved for compliments, and that's why she's pressuring you. Ask her what she would like to have included in her eulogy, and then do some creative writing. When the time comes to read it, she won't be around -- and you can say whatever you'd like with no repercussions.
DEAR ABBY: My daughter "Sally's" husband, "Donny," left her when she was three months pregnant with their second child. She had to move back in with us to make ends meet, and Donny says it's "too strange" to come here to visit his son. He hasn't paid a nickel of child support since he left Sally. He's seeing another woman and wanted to introduce her to my grandson, but Sally said he would have to pick him up at our house, so he refused.
Three days ago, Donny emailed Sally and asked her to call him when she goes into labor so he and his girlfriend can be there. She replied that he is welcome to come after the baby is born, but the girlfriend is not welcome. He emailed my daughter back that she is immature, and she needs to get used to the idea that the girlfriend is going to be involved in their children's lives and she should "get over it."
We are horrified that he thinks this is OK. What do you think? How do we handle this? -- UPSET GRANDMA IN MISSOURI
DEAR UPSET GRANDMA: It appears your daughter married a self-centered loser who has been shirking his responsibility to his child. Because there is no reason to think this won't continue when their second child arrives, Sally should start talking with a lawyer, now.
As to the email he sent your daughter, she should refuse to take the bait and not respond to it at all. Sometimes silence sends a more eloquent message than anything one could say. It goes without saying that Donny and his girlfriend should not have a front-row seat for the birth of this baby.
DEAR ABBY: We are a youthful senior couple who plan to remain single. We like to travel together. People assume that we are married. I know these incidents will increase on any trip we take.
A straightforward, "Oh, we're not married," seems to cause awkwardness, especially with the age group that will be on these trips. I'd like to avoid lying or allowing the faulty assumption to exist. Any suggestions for the appropriate response? -- COUPLE ON THE GO IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR COUPLE ON THE GO: Couples in your age group who cohabit without marriage often have financial reasons for it. And not all married couples share the same last name. Because you feel you must reveal your single status, the appropriate response is the one you are giving, and you don't have to apologize for it.
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.
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- DEAR ABBY