DEAR ABBY: My wife and I recently visited our daughter and two beautiful grandchildren, "Mary" (age 17) and "Patrick" (age 15). Mary has a boyfriend I'll call "Brandon" who is all she has talked about since we arrived. She's quite smitten.
One night I was having trouble falling asleep and decided to go downstairs for a glass of wine. As I descended the stairs, I noticed Patrick and Brandon locked in a passionate embrace on the couch. They never noticed me, and I quietly returned upstairs. The boys' lovemaking did not help my insomnia.
I haven't mentioned what I saw to anybody. I am not bothered by the gay aspect of the encounter I witnessed. However, my paternal instincts make me want to protect Mary from being hurt. I don't believe in meddling, but I'm not sure keeping silent is right, either. Any advice? -- SURPRISED GRANDPOP IN PHILLY
DEAR GRANDPOP: I assume that Patrick has not yet come out to the family about his sexual orientation. If that's the case, then I don't recommend you out him by telling his sister what you saw. I do, however, think you should discuss it with Patrick, because he should be the one to tell Mary she shouldn't pin her hopes on Brandon, as he's not the person he may pretend to be.
DEAR ABBY: My twin sister and I are close, but sometimes we like to do things apart from each other.
Other kids don't seem to understand why we're not together 100 percent of the time, even though we're together probably 90 percent of the time. When we're not together, we are invariably asked, "Where's your sister?" or "Did you two have a fight?" We're tired of having to explain that nothing is wrong and that we've just chosen to do something different at a particular time.
We share a room and sleep in a double bed, so we are always very close at home. But once in a while, we like to get out and do something apart, and we don't see why others should question it. How do we put an end to these questions and comments? -- NOT SIAMESE IN MEDFORD, ORE.
DEAR NOT SIAMESE: The reason you are asked those questions is because you and your sister are together 90 percent of the time. People tend to question anything that is unusual, and seeing you apart is unusual. There is no way to put an end to the questions, but you can keep your sense of humor and respond honestly by saying, "We're not joined at the hip. We felt like doing something different today."
DEAR ABBY: Can you suggest a sincere, non-religious phrase that is the equivalent of "I'll keep you in my prayers"?
I'm not formally religious, but when I have a friend who is sick or experiencing a rough patch, I want to say something that carries the same sentiment. I'm not comfortable "acting" religious when I'm not, but I would like friends to know how truly concerned I am and how much I hope they get better. -- CARING TEXAN
DEAR CARING TEXAN: Say it to them just as you have said it to me: "I'm concerned for you, and I hope you are better soon; you're in my thoughts today and every day."
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 $6 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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