Thursday, May 19, 2005

Dear Abby:

My husband, "Ralph," has one sister, "Dawn," and one brother, "Curt." Their parents died six years ago, within months of each other.

Ever since, Dawn has once a year mentioned buying a headstone for their parents. I'm all for it, but Dawn is determined to spend a bundle on it, and she expects her brothers to help foot the bill. She recently told me she had put $2,000 aside to pay for it.

Recently Dawn called to announce that she had gone ahead, selected the design, written the epitaph and ordered the headstone. Now she expects Curt and Ralph to pay "their share" back to her. She said she went ahead and ordered it on her own because she has been feeling guilty all these years that her parents didn't have one.

I feel that since Dawn did this all by herself, her brothers shouldn't have to pay her anything. I know that if Curt and Ralph don't pay her back, they'll never hear the end of it, and neither will I. What should I do about this?

Annoyed in Indiana

Nothing. If you're smart, you will keep your mouth shut and stay out of it. This should be settled by the "children" alone. Trust me.

Dear Abby:

I am 13 and in the eighth grade. I have always had trouble sleeping. Every night it takes me an hour to fall asleep, and lately I haven't been able to sleep at all. I have started taking pills that make you drowsy so I can get some sleep. My mom doesn't know about the pills. I'm scared to keep on doing this. I have told my mom about my sleep problem, and she tells me to read. She won't take me to the doctor because she thinks my problem is normal. Abby, this isn't normal.

What can I do?

Sleepless in Oklahoma

You are too young to be depending on sleep aids. Please clip this item and give it to your mother. You should be evaluated by a sleep disorder specialist; your physician can refer you. At your age, you should be getting at least eight hours of sleep a night to do your best in school. Whether you are really up all night or not, I am concerned about the quality of the sleep you're getting. I hope your mother will change her mind. If she doesn't, ask a trusted teacher or the mother of one of your friends to intercede with her on your behalf.

2005Universal Press Syndicate

© 2005 The Washington Post Company