My husband and I are raising our 4-year-old granddaughter, "Nicole." We've had her since she was a year old. Our daughter, "Terri," lives 1,800 miles away and has nothing to do with Nicole. The only time we hear from Terri is when she wants money.
Terri knows that our upstairs apartment is vacant and now she wants to move in. She's six months pregnant, has no job and no help from the father of the baby. If we allow her to move upstairs, not only will we be paying for the baby, but we'll be raising it, too, while she runs around all day and parties all night. (That's the reason we have Nicole.)
I have said "no" to her moving back here. She thinks I'm wrong, and so does my husband. When Terri came to visit last Christmas, all we did was fight because of her ways. If she doesn't get her way, she becomes very mean and says ugly things in front of Nicole. I'm sad to say this, but I'd rather not have Terri around as an example for the child. Am I wrong? Should I let her come home?
Torn in Illinois
No. For your own sake, as well as your granddaughter's, do not allow Terri to move in. Your daughter is an adult and should learn to act like one. If she lives under your roof, she will rule the roost, and your husband will continue to side with her. Unless you want to be an unpaid maid and baby sitter, stand your ground.
My husband, "Milt," has a friend, "Jack," whom I find insufferable. He not only talks loudly and constantly, but he's an exaggerator and a know-it-all.
I respect Milt's choice to be friends with Jack, but when he comes to visit I quietly disappear into other parts of the house. Milt told him I am like this with all his friends. He said it to spare Jack's feelings. I do not run and hide from any of Milt's other friends.
My daughter says I'm being rude to Jack. Is she right? I swear, Abby, after five minutes of listening to him talk, I want to pull my hair out and run screaming from the room. Must I sit there and endure it for my husband's sake? Milt thinks it's funny, but my daughter thinks my behavior is wrong. Who's right?
Peace Lover in South Carolina
It appears that Jack doesn't want company; he craves an audience. Since your husband and daughter enjoy him, let them continue to do the entertaining. I see no reason why you should be hostage to a boor who dominates the conversation to the point that you're ready to scream. Continue to make your exit quiet and unobtrusive. 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, Calif. 90069.
(c)2004, Universal Press Syndicate