DEAR ABBY: I am a 20-year-old, single college student. I live on my own and work two jobs in order to make ends meet. I recently told my dad I want to move back home, because working two jobs and going to school is wearing me out -- not to mention reflecting badly on my grades. My dad is very excited at the prospect.
The reason I moved out was my stepmother. I can't stand her. She is very controlling, and we have never gotten along. I have tried to make peace with her since I left, but she is still the same. She tells me what time I should be home at night when I go out with my friends!
Abby, at this point I am used to being on my own and not having to account to anyone for my time. How am I going to make this drastic change? -- TROUBLED IN TENNESSEE
DEAR T. in T.: By gritting your teeth and recognizing that there's no free lunch. Instead of paying rent for a roof over your head, you will be sacrificing some of your freedom. Once you accept that this is an exchange -- and that it will help you achieve a goal -- you'll adapt. However, if you can't accept the terms, I advise you to stay where you are, because moving back will only cause aggravation for all concerned.
P.S. Your stepmother's insistence on a curfew may have to do with not wanting to be worried about you until all hours nor be awakened in the middle of the night.
DEAR ABBY: My parents watched two of my younger children last week while my husband and I took our older children on vacation. Today, while helping my 5-year-old daughter visit a Barbie Web site, I discovered someone had used my computer to extensively visit a pornographic Web site.
We have three computers, and my father had access only to this one. Our other computers were unaffected. I know these Web sites were not on my computer when we left. Our family has always joked with my dad about the amount of time he spends on computers, but we assumed it was for work.
Should I tell my parents what I found? I'm disgusted that Dad would use my computer this way and that my children were exposed to pictures of naked women. The bottom line is I do not want this material in my house, nor do I want someone around my kids who engages in this behavior. Please advise. -- NOT IN MY HOUSE
DEAR NOT: Tell your parents what you found and let your father know that you feel he betrayed your trust. To ensure that it doesn't happen again, either install parental control software on your computers or discuss it with your Internet service provider so access to these sites can be blocked. Once that's done, I see no reason to keep your children from a loving grandfather as long as he views his adult material in his own home, in private.
DEAR ABBY: My fiance and I are being married in a few months. It's the second time around for both of us. Only our parents and children will attend.
We would like to send announcements to the rest of the family afterward to share our joy, but we worry that it might be considered a bid for gifts.
Is there a proper way to put something like "No gifts, please" on the announcements? -- WANTS TO DO THE RIGHT THING IN RENO
DEAR WANTS: Wedding announcements carry no obligation regarding gifts -- and no reference should be made to gifts when sharing your happy news. If you are contacted and asked about gifts, that is the time to verbally state that no gifts are necessary or expected.
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