DEAR ABBY: Your "Penny From Heaven" letter about the coin found by the employee of a car reconditioning business (the penny was given to his boss) missed one important fact. That penny belongs to the owner of the car and should not have been taken without the owner's permission. It is called stealing. Shame on you, Abby. -- HONEST TO A FAULT IN PHOENIX
DEAR HONEST: Your letter was one of hundreds I've received from sticklers for honesty who also scolded me for not chastising her. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: That penny could well have been "from heaven" for the client who owned that vehicle. It could easily have fallen from the client's pocket or purse and have been presumed lost. That writer should have offered the penny back to the customer. And you, Abby, instead of taking pleasure at the taking of another's property, should have pointed that out. -- C.R. IN WALLER, TEXAS
DEAR C.R.: Thanks for putting your helpful criticism so kindly. One reader from Studio City, Calif., asked me if I had a geranium in my cranium for overlooking the point.
DEAR ABBY: My daughter, "Melanie," and her fiance, "Tom, expect their first child next month. Tom's mother, "Shirley," currently has no home of her own and is living with relatives. Shirley plans to attend Melanie's baby shower three weeks before the baby is due, and remain indefinitely with them in their apartment. The apartment is big enough for Tom, Melanie and the baby, but certainly no more.
Tom can't bring himself to say "No" to Shirley, and Melanie is distraught over this. She doesn't like having people around her 24/7, and she's physically sick to her stomach about it. Shirley was not invited. She simply informed my daughter when she would arrive and where she would be sleeping.
Should I get involved, or should I let the children work this out themselves? Please advise. -- ANXIOUS MOTHER IN MASSACHUSETTS
DEAR ANXIOUS: I advise you to stay out of the fray. Offer your daughter emotional support, but do not fight this battle for her. As much as you might like to help, it is time for your daughter to strengthen her backbone and learn to assert herself. It would be nice if her fiance had matured enough to tell his mother to back off at some point, but it appears he hasn't.
DEAR ABBY: My son-in-law, "Donald," ransacks our desk and bureau drawers and looks at everything when he comes to visit. He doesn't take anything, but he goes through anything that arouses his interest.
Donald has a pleasant disposition, but his pawing through our things makes my other daughter furious. Neither of us knows what to do about it because we don't want to alienate my younger daughter.
Anything you suggest will be appreciated. Last week, he opened a small drawer where I keep my checkbook and monthly payment records. It's driving us batty. Help! -- GOING BATTY
DEAR GOING BATTY: Relocate your financial and personal papers to a locked filing cabinet. Put a lock on your bedroom door and use it when Donald is in the house. Actions speak louder than words.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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