DEAR ABBY: My in-laws live in an apartment above our garage. It wasn't my idea. It was a compromise with my husband.

They now want to move Grandma into a trailer in our backyard! I am totally against it, and have voiced my opinion loudly.

My husband is stressed out and isn't capable of saying no to his parents. I have a feeling they are going to move forward with this plan regardless of my objections. I feel completely disrespected in my own home. Any advice? -- DISRESPECTED IN OHIO

DEAR DISRESPECTED: You have a right to be respected in your home. If you don't want it turned into a "family compound," that's your prerogative. Put your foot down and tell your husband that his parents living there was all the compromise you are willing to make. If he can't summon the strength to tell his parents "NO!" then you will have to do it for him. If that doesn't put a stop to it, ask a respected friend or religious adviser to mediate.

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DEAR ABBY: My husband and I endured months of trying and multiple trips to a specialist before we finally conceived our daughter. My due date was Dec. 23, and I worried throughout my pregnancy that she would be born on Christmas Day. Lo and behold, on Christmas Eve I went into labor and our precious baby girl joined us early Christmas morning.

Looking back now, I wouldn't change a thing. I know it's silly to worry because we have a happy, healthy baby girl and feel very blessed and lucky. But how can I respond to people -- strangers included -- when they say how "sad" it is that my daughter was born on Christmas and that she will get stiffed on presents, and maybe I should have timed my pregnancy better? -- BLESSED IN NEW YORK

DEAR BLESSED: If anyone is so insensitive as to imply that you should have timed your pregnancy differently, perhaps you could put them in their place by responding that you feel lucky to have gotten pregnant at all. Then tell them you wouldn't change a thing because being born on Christmas Day puts her in good company.

And as to her being "stiffed" when it comes to receiving presents, consider doing what other parents have done: Choose a date in June and celebrate her half-birthday.


DEAR ABBY: I am a gay man. My friend "Brian" and I have known each other for 10 years. We dated for a while, but realized we are better off as friends. We have lived together for the past several years and are now considering getting married because my job has better benefits. My question is, is a marriage of convenience legal? -- GOING TO THE CHAPEL?

DEAR GOING: Marriages of convenience have been happening since the institution of marriage was invented. That said, however, this is a question you should address to a lawyer to make sure that if you decide to marry Brian, you'll be going to the chapel instead of going to the hoosegow for insurance fraud.

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