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TRAILER TRASH CAN BE FIXED UP

Dear Ann Landers: I am engaged to a sweet guy and hope to marry him soon. I am 36 years old, and this will be my second marriage. The problem is, "Ralph" lives in a trailer that is an absolute pigsty.

My apartment lease is up in two months, and Ralph expects me to move in with him. Ann, I cannot live in that disgusting place. It is smelly and cluttered with junk. Ralph has promised me that I can fix it up any way I like -- throw out anything I don't care for, and so on, but I don't want to live in a trailer.

I feel like a spoiled brat, but I can't help it. I suggested that we try to find another place to live, but it's impractical. Ralph owns several acres of property on which the trailer stands, and he has no interest in relocating. Money is no problem. Do you have any solutions to this dilemma?

-- Florida Bride
Dear Bride: A compromise is in order. Tell Ralph you will agree to live in the trailer, and take him up on his offer to throw out the junk and buy new furnishings. Many people live in trailers, and there is no reason you couldn't fix it up nicely. However, tell him he must start building a permanent home within the year because you hope to have a family. That should appeal to him. I'll bet he buckles.

Room for compromise

Dear Ann Landers: "Edgar" and I are planning to marry in a few months. We both have two children from previous marriages. We want our children to get to know each other better and have decided to take them on a vacation to Europe. We have been saving for two years to go on the trip next summer.

Our children are in their late teens and early 20s. We told the kids about our plans, and they seemed very excited. We explained that we don't want anyone else to come along, which means no girlfriends or boyfriends. They all agreed to this.

My oldest son recently met a young woman and is planning to get married at the beginning of next year. We asked him to postpone the wedding until after our trip, but he refused. He wants his new bride to come to Europe with us. This is causing major problems.

The other children resent that my son has broken our agreement not to include other people. Also, the bonding experience we had hoped for will be ruined since my son and his wife would share a room and spend less time with the rest of us. We had expected to book two rooms at the hotels -- one for the boys and one for the girls. We cannot afford an additional room for my son and his wife, and I cannot imagine that they would agree to be separated.

My friends say the bride should be included because she will be part of the family. Edgar, who is paying for this trip, disagrees. Can you help us solve this dilemma?

-- Stressed in California
Dear Stressed in California: If you think you're "stressed" now, tell your son he can't take his bride on the trip, and you will find out what stress is really like.

It's too bad your son did not consider the family vacation when making his wedding plans, but after all, he is in love. You MUST take the new daughter-in-law on the trip, but she will have to agree to share a room with the girls. If the newlyweds insist on being together, tell them they must pay for their own hotel accommodations. Either way, be gracious about it. The bride will soon be "family" and should be part of the "bonding experience" along with the others.

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