DEAR ABBY: I am a widow who lives independently. I do my own cooking, shopping and laundry. I have good friends, play cards, go to movies and, in general, enjoy life.
I recently gave my only granddaughter, "Wendy," a sizable sum of money. After 30 days and no acknowledgment, I mailed her a blank thank-you card. Here's the response I got:
"Grandmother: Thank you for the money. It couldn't have come at a better time, and my family is very grateful. I have always appreciated everything you have done for me, but I didn't realize that 'family' had to thank one another for every gesture of kindness. I always believed that love was thanks enough.
"I love you very much and want to be a part of your life and have you be a part of my life and my family's lives -- but it's up to you. It's your decision, because we have a lot of love to give and share together with no thanks required or necessary. Love, Wendy."
Abby, this is a girl with a good education and a job she has held for 12 years. The only time I see Wendy is at family gatherings. I used to take her shopping and to lunch. I stopped that when she never reciprocated or invited me to her home.
From infancy through college I have given Wendy toys, clothing, furniture, money -- but no more! My grandsons never ask for anything and are loving and respectful. I feel foolish and used. -- GRANDMOTHER IN IDAHO
DEAR GRANDMOTHER: For someone with a "good" education, your granddaughter seems ignorant of basic good manners. Her parents should have taught her by example from earliest childhood to say thank you when a kindness was extended, and the importance of a prompt thank-you note. (And "family" is no exception!)
If Wendy "loves" you, she has a strange and self-serving way of showing it. She owes you an apology, and if it is not forthcoming, you have every right to direct your attention -- as well as your estate -- to the grandsons who have been both loving and respectful.
DEAR ABBY: I have been with my significant other for 15 years, and I would like a suggestion as to what I can do for this special occasion. We have always seen eye to eye, and she's the best thing that has ever happened to me.
In recent years we have been fortunate enough to travel our great country from coast to coast. We have done pretty much everything you can imagine, going out to eat, going to movies. I just don't have a clue about what to do for our 15th year of being together. Any ideas? Please respond soon. -- CHRISTOPHER IN MICHIGAN
DEAR CHRIS: I have a novel idea. Because she's the best thing that ever happened to you, why not propose marriage? And here's how: Tell her that since you have already traveled this great country from coast to coast, you think it's time you both went for a cruise on the sea of matrimony. I'll bet she'll be surprised.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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