DEAR ABBY: More than a year ago, my daughter's boyfriend was thrown out of his parents' house. My husband and I opened our home to him because we felt sorry for him. The deal was, he could stay with us until he got on his own feet.
The problem is, he's still here, and we now have a grandchild from him. He barely supports the baby, let alone himself, and I have reason to believe he is cheating on my daughter. He has even put the moves on me. (They were halted promptly.) We have kicked him out several times, but he keeps returning.
How can I open my daughter's eyes to this person? No matter what I or her friends say, she still loves him and believes in him. –- UPSET MOM IN MINNESOTA
DEAR MOM: It's time for the gravy train to stop and your daughter's boyfriend to disembark until he can provide a home and support for your daughter and the baby. You are doing no one a favor by allowing him to continue to be a parasite.
Explain to your daughter that until this man gets settled, it would be better for the baby -– and her -– to remain with you. Common sense tells me that could be a long, long time. She should also prepare herself to support her child, because the father is showing all the signs of being a deadbeat dad. Then pray that while concentrating on the practicalities of life, she will grow up and realize that the responsibility for her and her child's future rests entirely on her shoulders.
As much as you love your daughter, you can protect her from reality no longer. I anticipate a bumpy ride ahead and wish you luck.
DEAR ABBY: In your reply to "Still Laughing in Short Hills, N.J.," you said, "Perhaps those who think of a wedding as a fund-raiser should consider charging admission. (Only kidding!)."
Well, that's exactly what my husband and I did. Our wedding took place at a historical ranch that was being restored. It was held in conjunction with an annual event hosted in part by our local historical society. While it was in the planning stages, it was suggested that we be married at the ranch in period clothing. The catch was that our wedding would be considered the "entertainment" for that day, and anyone who attended the event would be welcome to witness the marriage ceremony and have cake. The entrance fee/donation was $1.
We sent 50 invitations to family and friends, and everyone came. The event made money (some of our friends donated more than the $1 entrance fee), and our wedding was held in beautiful surroundings with loving friends. Everyone had a great time. It was a win-win situation. It's still the talk of the town five years later.
So, you see, you can have a tasteful wedding/fund-raiser -– if it's done right. -– HAPPILY MARRIED, RIO LINDA, CALIF.
DEAR HAPPILY MARRIED: So I see. However, if it's done "wrong," it can appear to be a fund-raiser for the bride and groom -– who should be self-supporting -– and not for such a worthy cause.
DEAR ABBY: I read with interest the letters about pennies, but I have always wondered, if someone says, "A penny for your thoughts," and you put in your "2 cents worth," where does the other penny go? –- TOM W., MILWAUKEE
DEAR TOM W: The other penny covers the rate of inflation since that saying was "coined."
Dear Abby is written by Pauline Phillips and daughter Jeanne Phillips.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600