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by Abigail Van Buren

Request for Silver Flatware Tarnishes Family Relations

DEAR ABBY: Please help me solve this problem. I gave my son and his wife, "Janet," my sterling silver flatware set. A short time later, they divorced. It was my son's fault that the marriage broke up.

Janet received the silver in the divorce settlement. She is now engaged to a nice man, and I wish them the best.

I wrote Janet a letter asking her to please give the silverware to her daughter, my granddaughter, as I would like to keep it in the family. Now she is angry and will not speak to me or return my calls. She lives in New Jersey and I live in Arizona.

Was I wrong to ask her to give the set to my granddaughter? -- ALICE IN PHOENIX

DEAR ALICE: No. However, Janet is probably still bitter over the breakup of the marriage and doesn't want you or your son dictating terms to her.

Write her another note and offer your apologies if she was offended -- as that certainly was not your intention. Then keep your fingers crossed because chances are Janet intends to give it to your granddaughter anyway in due time.