DEAR ABBY: My father, who has been a widower for 17 years, has been dating a woman on and off for 12 years now, a couple years after my brother and I moved to college. Obviously, if he is happy, then his life is no longer in his control. I am not going to be rude, but I also enjoy spending time with her.
With my dad and brother, I've been planning a sports weekend out of state. I have been looking forward to it, because with three small children, I have little 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.
It's just conceivable that father may bring his girlfriend to take my brother's spot, because "she's upset and not talking to me because I didn't take her to my brother's birthday." I can't imagine a more horrifying weekend.
I told him clarly: "I expected this to be a "guys" weekend." But, as always, he was cagey, and I'm worried that he will meet with his girlfriend. How can I impress upon him that she doesn't want her to pay my brother's ticket because I do not want to spend the weekend with her? BAD SPORT IN OREGON
SPORT IN REAL TIME Is your father aware of how you feel about his lady friend? The answer to your dilemma might be to inform your father that while you are satisfied with this woman, you do not enjoy her company, which is why he doesn't see more of him.
When youre at it, ask him what you cant tolerate about her. Then,'remind' him that her presence would alter the character of the "guys weekend," and if he intends 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 hate going to the wedding anyway. I doubt that I would be able to calm my sadness. I am doubtful that I would be able to let my son know I'd be uncomfortable with having him on his happy day, and wish them all of them the best possible? HESITATING IN WASHINGTON
DEAR HESITATING: I will assume that your son is aware of your worries about his fiancee's drinking. Do not boycott this wedding. If you do, you will create a wedge 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 wish comes true.
Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, has written Dear Abby and her mother Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at the address (69440) Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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