DEAR ABBY: Six months ago, my 31-year-old daughter and her 40-year-old boyfriend moved in with my husband and me. They have financial problems. We didn't ask them for money, but did expect them to help around the house.
I just had an argument with my daughter over the fact she works only 15 hours a week and does nothing to maintain the house. My husband and I are in our late 50s and both work full time.
We don't expect them to scrub floors every day, but it certainly wouldn't hurt them to vacuum, shovel snow and pick up after themselves. I know we should have set ground rules when they moved in, but we figured since they were adults they didn't need to be told what to do.
Abby, are we wrong expecting them to help around the house? -- GETTING MAD IN MICHIGAN
DEAR GETTING MAD: Not at all. Lay down the law NOW and tell your freeloading daughter and her boyfriend exactly what you expect from them.
P.S. If your daughter worked a traditional 35- to 40-hour week, they'd solve their financial problems much faster -- and the faster they could move into their own place.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 34-year-old single male, never married. I recently met a woman I want to marry, but here is my problem: She wants a big wedding, and it makes me uncomfortable.
I have no close male friends, so I would have a hard time finding a best man, much less groomsmen. Also, I don't have a good relationship with my family, so I don't think many guests on my side would attend. Because of this, I think a big wedding would be embarrassing. Her family would think I am a loser. Any suggestions? -- TIED UP IN KNOTS
DEAR TIED UP: One of the most important ingredients in a successful marriage is communication. Tell your fiancee how you feel. A wedding is for both the bride AND groom. It shouldn't be a fantasy created only by the bride. Therefore, she may have to alter her dream wedding to conform with reality.
P.S. If you are unhappy not having male friends, you may have self-esteem issues that need to be explored. Please consider counseling to resolve them.
DEAR ABBY: Everyone has heard the saying, "Don't drink and drive." Well, here's a new one: "Don't drink and COOK!"
Late last night the fire alarm in our condo complex went off. The hallway was filled with smoke. The firemen arrived and traced the smoke to the unit next door to mine.
After banging on the door and getting no response, they broke down the door. Inside, they found two guys "asleep." They had been cooking something on the stove, got drunk and passed out.
So, if you cook, please don't drink -- and if you drink, please don't cook! -- STEAMING IN MASSACHUSETTS
DEAR STEAMING: I'm sure you're still steaming, but you're lucky you were not burned up -- literally. I hope your neighbors learned from that expensive lesson. They could have died from smoke inhalation had the fire department not responded in time.
A drunk in the kitchen is a danger to property, life and limb. In an apartment house or condominium complex, the danger is compounded because the neighbors are also vulnerable.
Abby shares her favorite recipes in a two-booklet set. To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $7.90 per set ($9 per set in Canada) to: Dear Abby Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)
4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600