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by Abigail Van Buren

Grandpa Is Not Living Up to Grandson's Expectations

DEAR ABBY: I'm worried about Grandpa, who is 96. Ever since Grandma died two years ago, Gramps has been acting like a playboy. Granted, he works out every day and looks like he's only 70, lives independently in his own home and still drives a car. However, Grandpa chases around with women half his age, spending money like it's water, going to social events and sometimes having a cocktail!

Abby, how can I get Grandpa to behave himself, keep those gold-diggers away and stop spending my inheritance?

I've tried talking to him. He says it's his life, he practices safe sex and to mind my own business! Since it's MY inheritance he's wasting, I think it is MY business!

What do you think about this, Abby? -- WORRIED GRANDSON, GLENDALE, CALIF.

P.S. I'm worried his new lifestyle will kill him.

DEAR WORRIED GRANDSON: No, you're not. You're worried that Grandpa's got a new lease on life, and when the lease is up, you'll be broke. Shame on you.

DEAR ABBY: My 11-year-old niece, "Tori," has begun sending thank-you notes by e-mail rather than snail mail. Although I would much prefer receiving an old-fashioned thank-you note, I understand that in this day and age, an electronic acknowledgment for a gift may suffice.

However, what I find more upsetting is the fact that Tori writes only one thank-you message, and then copies it to everyone who has given her a gift.

Recently she participated in a school fund-raiser that happened to fall on the same week as her birthday. Certain family members and friends contributed to her fund-raiser, while others sent only birthday gifts. Tori's one-size-fits-all e-mail read: "Thank you for your fund-raiser/birthday contribution."

What do you think of this, Abby? How can I tactfully let my niece know that a mass mailing is no different than not being thanked at all? -- UPSET AUNTIE

DEAR AUNTIE: Say it in an e-mail. Each thank-you should be individual and personal -- and now is the time for your niece to learn this valuable lesson. Your message is an important one.

DEAR ABBY: Your column recounting timeless maxims of the now defunct Finch School for Women in New York City reminded me of more Finch wisdom -- something taught by Jessica Cosgrave, the school's founder and president when I was a student there in the '40s.

Those maxims contained the philosophy she most wanted us to remember and to be guided by. Like her school, Ms. Cosgrave is no longer in existence, but I hope you'll agree that hers is a still timely philosophy and consider sharing it with your readers:

"Thought makes action

"Action makes habit

"Habit makes character

"Character makes Destiny."


P.S. The Finch motto, "Ineamus Meliora," translates to: "Let Us Go On to Better Things." Your column promotes that goal by creating better understanding among people.

DEAR MARY: Thank you. Good advice, like good manners, never goes out of style. Although Ms. Cosgrave is no longer with us, she left behind a beautiful legacy.

Dear Abby is written by Pauline Phillips and daughter Jeanne Phillips.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)

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