Dear Abby: My father is expecting his seventh child with his current “fiancee.” I am the oldest of six girls; this child is expected to be a son. His fiancee is 11 years my junior – 33 years younger than my father.
For various reasons, I am fed up with playing nice regarding my father’s irresponsible behavior.
They are having a baby shower, and I don’t want to attend. My husband thinks I am wrong because I can’t muster up the spirit that a baby shower is supposed to evoke. I think I’m being smart for not bringing my funky attitude. Should I attend?
– Oldest Child
Dear Oldest: I don’t know how your siblings feel about this impending birth, but try to remember that showers are intended to celebrate the new life that’s coming into the world. This isn’t about whether you approve of your father’s behavior or his choice of women. If he is as irresponsible as you say, that little boy will need all the support he can get.
If you opt not to attend, it may drive a wedge between you and your father, so I’m voting with your husband. Go, be pleasant and leave your funky attitude at home, because if you don’t, the person you will be isolating is yourself.
Put your wishes in a will
Dear Abby: What is it with people? My mother-in-law, “Ellen,” passed away last Thursday. Even before her viewing a neighbor informed us that Ellen had given her a wicker patio set that the neighbor hadn’t yet taken. Then, before the funeral, another friend told us Ellen had intended to donate some items to a charity, implying that we are obligated to do the same.
Don’t people have manners any longer?
– Offended In Ohio
Dear Offended: Your letter illustrates why it is so important for everyone to put their wishes in writing. While I agree with you that the timing was insensitive, the people involved may have wanted to be sure you were aware of Ellen’s intentions.
Before distributing any of your mother-in-law’s effects, this is something you should first discuss with her lawyer.
Share concerns with clergy
Dear Abby: As a young adult in my early 20s, I’ve been experiencing some pretty big changes in my life, including the decision to convert to a different religion. However, something is preventing me from following through: I have an anxiety disorder that makes being in new situations and places extremely daunting. I’m not having second thoughts about my choice. I am just at a loss about where I should start and what I need to do. Any advice is welcomed.
– Anxious Convert In Oklahoma
Dear Anxious: Visit the church, temple or mosque you wish to join and share your concerns with the priest, minister, rabbi or imam. If you do, that person can see you are introduced around and ease your way into the religious community.