DEAR ABBY: We have a 17-year-old granddaughter who has not spoken to us in six months. We sent "Tiffany" a Christmas card with a $50 check inside and she didn't even call to thank us. (She cashed the check immediately, though.)
We received an invitation to her graduation. It was sent by her mother (I know the handwriting). My husband says we should not go to her graduation because she hasn't called us in six months, even to say hello. He says we should just send a nice card with no money.
Please help me. What should I do? Tiffany is my grand-daughter, and I don't want to do the wrong thing. (She does have an attitude!) -- FAITHFUL READER IN NASHVILLE
DEAR FAITHFUL READER: If you think Tiffany has an attitude now, just wait until she doesn't receive what she thinks is coming to her.
While it is not unusual for many people her age to be centered on themselves and not stay in touch with a visit or a phone call, your granddaughter was rude not to acknowledge the money you sent her for Christmas. What you choose to do about this, in addition to telling her mother, will depend upon how much backbone you have. I'll say this: If you do not attend the graduation, it's a lesson she'll remember for the rest of her life.
DEAR ABBY: How should one respond to a gift of flowers that either aren't satisfactory or die shortly after arrival? Should the recipient contact the giver or the florist? I recently gifted flowers to a family member and received no fewer than four phone calls in 24 hours expressing disgust at the quality of the gift.
I have taken care of the issue with the florist, but I am a bit taken aback at the response I received from the recipient. -- FRUSTRATED OVER FLOWERS, SUFFOLK, VA.
DEAR FRUSTRATED: Four phone calls in 24 hours from one person complaining about the flowers? I'd call that overkill. The recipient was right in letting you know that you did not get your money's worth in the gift that you sent. (How else would you know?) But you should have been thanked for the thought and for your generosity, as well as informed that you might want to change florists.
DEAR ABBY: I have had four years of really bad luck. Is there a proven method to end this streak? How is it that some folks are lucky at almost everything they do, and then there is someone like me who could really use some good luck? Any suggestions? If positive thinking is your answer, please explain that concept. -- CONNIE IN COLORADO SPRINGS
DEAR CONNIE: There is a theory that positive thinking attracts positive results. In other words, if you approach each day with an optimistic attitude, you will become more energetic, clearer in your thought process and nicer to be around. (More people around you creates more opportunities for success.)
Conversely, negative thinking can cause negative results. People who think negatively walk around with a black cloud over their heads, and people tend to avoid them. They can also become so burdened with their depression that they fail to recognize and take advantage of opportunities that come their way.
TO FATHERS EVERYWHERE -- BIRTH FATHERS, STEPFATHERS, FOSTER FATHERS, TOO: Happy Father's Day, one and all! And to my father, Morton Phillips in Minneapolis, a Happy Father's Day to my one and only "Pop."
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600