DEAR ABBY: I'm a 65-year-old father of six; the youngest left the nest two years ago at the age of 26. Although I was divorced almost 15 years ago, I've always provided a good home for all of them and helped with college, cars, etc. I retired two years ago, hoping to travel and enjoy my "golden years." That's when my 34-year-old daughter, "Jenny," divorced her husband after seven years on welfare and moved into my home with her 10-year-old son. Now I find myself cooking, baby sitting and cleaning house for the two of them, and I resent it.
I have enough retirement income to support myself comfortably and take a few trips, but I shouldn't have to support Jenny and Junior, much less have them live with me so I can't feel comfortable having an overnight guest or a dip in my pool "au naturel."
So, my question is, How do I get rid of them? I think I've paid my dues, and now it's my turn. What do you think? -- HAD IT IN SUNNY CALIFORNIA
DEAR HAD IT: I think it's time you gathered the gumption to tell Jenny that you love her, but your golden years are beginning to tarnish. Tell her quite frankly that you can no longer have her and Junior as your houseguests, so she will have to make other living arrangements. (Offer to help her relocate, if necessary.)
The alternative is to chicken out and sacrifice your privacy. The choice is yours, Dad.
DEAR ABBY: I have been reading your column for maybe 30 years, and I can't believe I am actually writing to you, but here goes:
I had a very happy marriage for 30 years and then my husband passed away. Two years later, I remarried. It was love at first sight, but I should have taken a second look.
I have been married to this no-good, wife-beating alcoholic maniac for eight years. His filthy language alone is driving me crazy. We do not eat together because he picks a fight the minute he sits down. We don't sleep together because I can't stand the way he thrashes around and hollers in his sleep, so I sleep with my little dog, which my husband hates.
I would like to get a divorce because I am not happy with this man, but my friends tell me that a divorce is always painful and will leave deep scars. Don't suggest counseling. My husband knows everything and won't listen to anybody. By the way, this hypocrite goes to church every Sunday; then he comes home and drinks a whole bottle of wine by himself. Don't suggest A.A. -- he won't go.
Abby, please tell me what to do. When my man drinks he gets mean. By the way, I've suffered two broken wrists, three broken fingers and a broken nose. -- MISERABLE
DEAR MISERABLE: Don't listen to your friends. A separation or divorce from this no-good, wife-beating alcoholic maniac (your words) could be no more painful than your marriage. I rarely advise people to separate or divorce, but in your case, I'm making an exception. Call a lawyer while you are still able to dial the number.
DEAR ABBY: Your "Confidential to G.F. in Dayton, Ohio" astounded me, as it seemed to imply that because the Wright brothers were bachelors, they could not have had any direct descendants. Do you actually believe that bachelors are somehow incapable of having "direct descendants"? -- LEBERT DUKE, PITTSBURGH
DEAR LEBERT: I am indeed aware that bachelors are capable of procreating, but I was referring to LEGITIMATE progeny. Somehow, I could not conceive (pun intended) of the Wright brothers being such high fliers.
People are eating them up! For Abby's favorite recipes, send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054. (Postage is included.)
4900 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64112; (816) 932-6600