Dear Abby: I’ve been estranged from my three siblings, their spouses and their families for 35 years – my choice. There has been no correspondence, and I have seen them only at our parents’ funerals.
Since we are all in our 80s, I anticipate there will be funerals for us in the next decade. If I go first, there is no problem. However, I’m considering not attending their funerals or those of their spouses. My grown children say I MUST attend. I’m concerned that I might be a distraction or there could be a confrontation. Besides, I still remember what caused my estrangement and I just don’t want to see them. I know I’m stubborn, but am I wrong?
– To Go Or Not To Go
Dear Go Or No: I disagree with your children. People attend funerals to pay their respects to the deceased and/or comfort the family who has suffered the loss. If, after 35 years, you show up at the funeral, you could, indeed, be a distraction.
To young to be ‘Gramps’
I have raised children for the last 20-plus years and I think it’s my stepdaughter’s turn to be a parent. My wife is all gung ho to watch the grandchild anytime she’s free, but I’m not interested at all.
Am I wrong for wanting my own time and space with my wife?
– Too Young For It in Oklahoma
Dear Too Young: No law says you must baby-sit if you don’t want to. Not everyone enjoys the company of small children. If your wife enjoys doing it, that’s her privilege. However, if the baby-sitting is interfering with your marriage, then you’re complaining to the wrong woman, and the two of you need to work out a compromise.
Dear Abby: I have very long hair and I’m proud of it. My problem is when I go somewhere, other women come up to me and start touching it.
I understand that they like my hair because they always compliment me on it, but I hate it when strangers touch me.
How can I tell someone to please not touch me? Or must I tolerate it?
– Rapunzel in Dallas
Dear Rapunzel: Not everyone enjoys being touched, particularly by strangers. If someone reaches out to pet you, smile, step back and say, “I’d prefer you not do that.” You have a right to your personal space.