DEAR ABBY: My daughter and her husband have come to visit for two weeks. They live in a distant state and have been married for two years.
They have been here for five days. During this time, my daughter has gone out with a former boyfriend three evenings - once from 9 p.m. until 4 a.m., the next two times from about 3 p.m. until 1 a.m.My son-in-law is aware of this and doesn't seem troubled by it, which leads me to believe that they have some kind of an arrangement. He has also gone out - I don't know where or with whom - but he always gets in early.
I recognize that they are adults, but it bothers me. I can't stop my daughter from "seeing" anyone, but this doesn't seem proper, and I wonder what my legitimate rights are. Is it reasonable to expect her not to spend most of her time with an old boyfriend?
Perhaps they are just friends, but even if that's the case, it seems that she came here for room and board, brought her husband along for the trip, and she's doing what she wants to do - which is seeing her old boyfriend.
Should I speak to her about it? I don't want to jeopardize our relationship. Am I being an old-fashioned mother? Should I just keep quiet and stay out of it? What do other mothers of adult children do in a case like this? Am I reacting normally? - UNEASY MOTHER
DEAR MOTHER: You are reacting normally. Since you resent your daughter's using your home for room and board while she's spending most of her time seeing her old boyfriend, you have every right to speak to her about it. You are not "old-fashioned" - your daughter's behavior is inappropriate for a married woman.
DEAR ABBY: I have a question I hope you can answer. Unfortunately, two of the people my husband worked with, and the spouse of another co-worker, suddenly died in the past six months.
I did not attend any of their funerals because although I knew who they were, none of them were personal friends of mine. Also, I have a job, and I would have to justify missing work to attend these funerals.
My husband thought I should have gone to those funerals with him. Abby, what is the proper procedure on this? I'm sure other people would also like to know, but if you use this in your column, please don't use my name or location. Sign me . . . NEEDS TO KNOW
DEAR NEEDS: Did your husband leave the decision up to you at the time of the funerals? Or did he ASK you to accompany him?
If he asked you to accompany him, I think you should have been by his side whether or not his co-workers were personal friends of yours.
Also, in my view, accompanying one's spouse to a funeral is legitimate justification for missing work.
DEAR ABBY: You wrote: "Confidential to all brides-to-be: Break in your wedding slippers before your wedding day. You'll be glad you did. Trust me!"
Abby, what kind of advice is that coming from a well-respected advice columnist? Premarital sex is done every day, but it should not be encouraged.
You really shocked me. Where are you coming from, Abby? - CARL FROST, SACRAMENTO, CALIF.
DEAR CARL: My "confidential" message to all brides meant exactly what I intended it to mean: Brand-new shoes, when worn for the first time, tend to hurt the feet of the wearer, so I recommended that all brides "break in" (wear) their wedding slippers BEFORE their wedding day in order to avoid the pain and discomfort one could conceivably suffer from breaking in a brand-new pair of shoes.
Where are YOU coming from, Carl?
Don't put off writing thank-you notes, letters of sympathy, etc., because you don't know what to say. Get Abby's booklet, "How to Write Letters for All Occasions." Send a check or money order for $2.89 ($3.39 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054 (postage is included).