DEAR ABBY: My father, who has been a widower for 17 years, has started dating a lady on and off for 12 years, a couple years after my brother and I moved to college. Occasionally, he has no choice but to be rude, but he knows what happens if he's happy. I just take no time with her, and I'll take a look back at it.
I've been planning an out-of-state sports weekend with my dad and brother. I have been looking forward to it, because with three small children, I have limited time for these kinds of activities. I received all tickets and hotel rooms, but my brother now has to skip it due to a family illness.
Dad has just alleged that he might bring his girlfriend to take my brother's spot because "he's angry and not talking to me because I didn't take her to my brother's birthday." I can't imagine a more unsettling weekend.
I told him explicitly that this would be a "guys' weekend." But, like always, he was cagey, and I'm worried he will show up with his girlfriend. How can I convince him that she does not want her to pay for her unused ticket because I do not want to spend the weekend with her? BAD SPORT IN OREGON
BAD SPORT: Is your dad aware of how you feel about his lady friend? The solution to your problem would be to tell your father that while you are satisfied with him, you do not like her much, which is why he does not see much of you.
While you're on it, ask him what you can do about her that you cannot tolerate. Then "remind" him that his presence would alter the character of the "guys weekend," and if he wants to bring her, he will spend the weekend alone with her your treat because you, too, will change your intentions.
DEAR ABBY: My 43-year-old son will be married for the second time in seven months. I am totally against the marriage because of his fiancee's alcoholic so I would never go there anyway. I'm doubting that I would be able to hide my sadness, or should I give my son a chance to have a happy day and wish them all the best? AKA HESITATING IN WASHINGTON
DEAR HESITATING: I will assume that your son is aware of his girlfriend's drinking. Do not boycott this wedding. If you do, you will create a tie between you and your daughter-in-law that might last for decades. Plaster on a smile and attend so you can wish them all the best in person. Then cross your fingers that your wishes comes true.
Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, wrote Dear Abby, and she was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Call Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.