FROM ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION
FOR RELEASE: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2022
DEAR ABBY by Abigail Van Buren
HOLIDAYS ARE FAR FROM HAPPY FOR FAMILY OF SPITEFUL WOMAN
DEAR ABBY: With the holidays approaching, I am starting to become anxious. I have a family member who ruins every holiday she doesn't have control over. (She excludes some family members.) My children and grandchildren don't like to associate with her, but attend holiday events at her home to keep the peace.
If I host the holiday, everyone is included. But I'm getting older, and even with my children's help, it's difficult for me. My husband and I have thought about going on vacation just to get away from this particular relative, but then we don't get to spend the holidays with the rest of our large extended family. This woman has ruined our holidays for almost 40 years. I can't take it anymore! Please tell me what to do. -- DREADS HOLIDAYS IN FLORIDA
DEAR DREADS: I have a suggestion, if you are open to it. Because you would like to spend time celebrating with your adult children, do it before or after Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. Make it a "nuclear family" gathering. No rule says you must get together on a particular day. See your extended family members another time.
If you opt to do this, it may relieve the stress you are now experiencing. And one more thought: TAKE that vacation with your husband that you have been considering. You both deserve it.
P.S. If you are asked why you aren't having your usual big bash this year, be honest. If you say you are older now and it has become too much for you, in years to come someone may pick up where you left off.
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DEAR ABBY: How should someone answer when asked, "How old are you?" I try to politely joke about it and say something like, "A lady never tells." But sometimes people are so persistent they won't let it go. The most common response from them is, "I don't mind telling you MY age." I usually respond with, "I don't care what your age is."
I find the question intrusive and, frankly, rude, especially when it's asked in front of other people. Sometimes this is followed by guessing my age. When did it become acceptable to ask someone -- who is obviously older -- their age? My thought is if you listen to things I talk about, the music I grew up with and how I talk about retirement, you should be able to figure out my age. Please advise. -- AGELESS LADY IN WASHINGTON
DEAR AGELESS: Try this: When someone asks that question, respond by asking, "Why do you want to know?" and let the questioner explain why they NEED that information. When the person is finished talking, say: "Well, my age is not your business, and please don't ask me again."
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Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)
(EDITORS: If you have editorial questions, please contact Clint Hooker, firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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