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Dear Abby: Daughter’s student debt on mom’s lap

Dear Abby: I am a single woman who borrowed $80,000 to send my daughter to college with the understanding that she would take over the payments once she was professionally established. She is now so “into” her new lifestyle that she is refusing to have contact with her “poor” birth mother. She refuses to take responsibility for repaying the loan, which is in my name, and says “tough luck” to my stupidity.

This means I will have to continue working until I drop dead. Abby, I am 60. Is there any help for me? Has this happened to other baby boomers?

– Poor Birth Mother in Georgia

Dear Poor: Sadly, yes it has. And, no, there isn’t help for you. Because the agreement with your daughter was verbal and wasn’t put in writing, you don’t have a legal means to force her to assume the loan payments.

Tired of taxiing a co-worker

Dear Abby: I have a difficult situation at work. A co-worker lost her driver’s license two years ago, and I began providing her transportation. In the beginning, it was occasional, but now it’s almost daily. I don’t know how to get out of this situation because it is taking a toll on me and my time.

She has somewhat compensated me for gas, but I have two jobs and family obligations that limit my time off, and I just can’t continue this taxi service. How do I break the news to her?

– Not a Taxi Service

Dear Not: Explain to your co-worker that it has become more time-consuming and stressful than you can handle. Rather than cut her off cold turkey, give her some notice – say, a week – to arrange for other transportation.

Do not apologize or feel guilty about doing so. You have been more generous and supportive than many people would have.

Serve leftovers at social meal?

Dear Abby: My husband and I are part of a tightknit social group. There are four couples who get together for dinner once or twice a week. We all decide on a theme beforehand and bring a dish, potluck-style. My problem is that one of the couples will announce during dinner, “Those potatoes are our leftovers from three days ago” or “We had this for dinner last night.”

Is it just me, or is that gross? I always prepare something fresh for these dinners, as does everyone else. Should I say something?

– Potluck in Oregon

Dear Potluck: Bad manners? No. Lacking in tact? Yes. Keep in mind that some dishes taste better the next day, after the flavors have had time to meld. If the other couples in the group feel as you do, the “offending” couple should be informed. However, if you are the only person who’s turned off, then keep your mouth shut.