DEAR ABBY: My husband's friend, "Kevin," has been coming to our house once a week for the past eight years. He is always broke and looking for a handout, even though he has a full-time job.
In the beginning, I tried to help him by inviting him to stay for dinner once in a while. Now he has started to complain: The steak isn't cooked the way he likes it, or I don't toss the salad the way his mom does. (By the way, Kevin is 35 and still lives at home.) The reason he always needs money is that he spends every paycheck on drugs.
I recently gave birth to my first child and I don't want him to be around someone like Kevin, but my husband refuses to stop his friend from coming to our house. How can I -- politely -- get this moocher out of my home without causing trouble between my husband and myself? -- NEW MOM
DEAR NEW MOM: That's easy. Stop feeding that moocher steak, go vegetarian, and toss the salads YOUR way. I predict he'll be out of your hair as soon as the gravy train stops rolling.
P.S. You don't mention what kind of drugs this man is addicted to, but he should not be around your baby while he is under the influence. If your husband continues to object, explain to him that it could be considered child endangerment.
DEAR ABBY: My 13-year-old daughter was molested by her half-brother for almost a year before she found the courage to tell us.
When we found out, we did everything we could to help her overcome this. We even moved out of state to give her a fresh start.
The trouble is, her half-brother has contacted my husband again. He wants to visit us. I do not want him in this house -- and my daughter feels the same way. Some family members say I am denying my husband a relationship with his son. I'm not trying to keep them apart; I'm trying to protect my daughter. I have reached the point that I will leave and take my kids with me before I'll expose them to this again. Am I wrong? -- STRONGLY AGAINST VISIT
DEAR STRONGLY: No, you are not wrong. You are a concerned and protective mother, and your first obligation is to protect your daughter from her predator. Tell the "family members" that your husband can visit his son, but not vice versa. And make no apologies.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are anticipating the arrival of our first child in two months. We have registered at a local store for the items we will need.
A close friend has graciously offered to give me a baby shower, but she refuses to add where we are registered to the invitation. She says it's poor etiquette.
Isn't the whole point of a baby shower to receive gifts? Is pointing people in the right direction so wrong?
The invitations go out in less than a week. Help, ASAP! -- BAFFLED IN ORANGE, CA.
DEAR BAFFLED: Sorry, but I agree with your friend. While it is understood that showers are all about getting gifts, a more refined way to get the message across is for the hostess to verbally communicate where the guest of honor is registered at the time the invitees RSVP.
Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: "Abby's Favorite Recipes" and "More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $10 (U.S. funds)
to: Dear Abby -- Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in price.)
4520 Main St., Kansas City, MO 64111; (816) 932-6600