DEAR ABBY: I have an 8-year-old son who was disagnosed with diabetes last year. A few months ago, I took him to a matinee at a theater.
I took some dietetic sugar-free wafers and dietetic sugar-free chocolate candies with us. When the young lady at the ticket counter saw that my son was holding some food, she very loudly read the sign that was posted on the wall: "No Outside Food Permitted." (As if I couldn't read.)
I was embarrassed and quite upset. I explained that my son has diabetes and she just repeated to me, "Sorry, ma'am, no outside food permitted." I thought she was very rude.
Abby, couldn't they bend the rules a little bit? My son CAN'T eat the candy they sell. I understand the rules about bringing in outside food -- it would mean they'd lose business. However, there must be exceptions for people with medical conditions. Aren't there? What do you think, Abby? -- ANNOYED IN OREGON
DEAR ANNOYED: If sugar-free items are not sold at the theater, an exception should have been made. However, the ticket-seller wasn't in a position to bend the rules for you. It was beyond her authority. Had you taken your problem to the manager, I'm sure you would have had a more favorable result.
DEAR ABBY: You advised "Feeling Guilty in the Desert" to allow her mother to live with her temporarily if the mother and father separate. Well, let me tell you why that is NOT good advice. How do I know? I'm speaking from personal experience.
I owned my own home and was still unmarried when I foolishly allowed my mother to live with me. She stuck like a leech and insulted every man I dated. I had to fight for every idea I wanted to implement in my own home. It was a miserable fight all the way.
Mom worked and was capable of having her own home, but she was terrified of living alone. Finally, in desperation, I sent all her belongings to my brother's home while she was visiting him. I caught hell from him and his family because they knew it wouldn't work for our mother to live with them. She begged to come back to my home, saying it would be temporary, only until she could find a place of her own.
I weakened and allowed her to return. She lived with me and made my life pure hell until the day she died.
Abby, please retract your advice to "Feeling Guilty." Encourage her to stick to her guns and not allow her mother to take advantage of her. -- LEARNED THE HARD WAY
P.S. I married AFTER Mother died, not before.
DEAR LEARNED: Your letter was one of many warning against allowing a manipulative parent to get a foot in the door. However, I stand by my advice because the daughter had lived in her mother's home until age 29. That means her mother provided for her long past the time when most adults should be self-sufficient. I think she owes her mother at least temporary shelter. And may I emphasize, I advised TEMPORARY shelter, not a permanent home.
After a reasonable period of time during which her parents could resolve their marital problems, it would then be appropriate for the daughter to give her mother her walking papers. It may be difficult, but it is possible to evict an individual, even if she is a parent.
Abby shares more of her favorite, easy-to-prepare recipes. To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, More Favorite Recipes, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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