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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: My mother does other things while she's driving, and it's a big problem for me. I only just got legal to be in the front seat (I'm 13). I don't want to be in the car with her.

She does things like put on lip liner and lip gloss and texts while she drives. She also takes both hands off the wheel and drives with her knees. When I ask her to stop, she tells me not to be a backseat driver. I have even told my grandparents what she's doing. What else can I do? -- GETTING GRAY HAIR AT 13

DEAR GETTING GRAY: If ever I heard of someone who needs a backseat driver, it is your mother. It's bad enough that someone alone in a car would do the dangerous things she is doing, but for a parent to do it with a child in the car is beyond the pale. It's child endangerment. Clip this column, circle your letter and show it to your mother!

DEAR ABBY: Our youngest daughter, "Camille," has been married for a year. During this time my husband and I have watched Camille berate her husband, "Mike," in front of us and others. When I ask her why she does it, her answer is invariably, "He does these annoying things to tick me off." I can't stand how humiliating it must be for Mike.

Camille's husband is quiet and passive. Watching my daughter turn him into a wimp is heartbreaking. My biggest concern is that they are expecting their first child and, when it comes to mood swings, Camille is in rare form. I can't help but wonder how all this will play out. Will this drive Mike off, leaving Camille a single mother?

I have tried talking to my daughter about how wives and husbands should respect one another, but she refuses to listen. Can you advise me in this sad situation before it is too late? -- WORRIED GRANDMA-TO-BE

DEAR GRANDMA-TO-BE: Yes, take a look at how Mike's mother treats his father. It's possible that Mike is passive and accepting of your daughter's abuse because that's what he was brought up to think is normal. However, if that's not the case, warn your daughter again -- and again -- that if she continues her verbal abuse and he rediscovers his self-respect, she may eventually find herself raising their child alone. People who don't value what they've got often wind up losing it.

DEAR ABBY: My daughter is in a new relationship. One thing I have noticed that seems to drive guys away is her use of the cell phone.

Before texting became popular, she would feel the need to call a guy during the day to wish him a good day at work. Then she'd try to call him at night to "see how the day went." Now, with texting, she'll text him "good morning," do it again sometime during the day if he doesn't answer back, then text again in the evening.

I have told her many times that guys get annoyed by this after a few days, but she doesn't understand. She says it's a gesture of caring. My daughter is 27, so I can't take the phone away. How can I tell her to back off? -- TRYING TO HELP IN RAYTOWN, MO.

DEAR TRYING TO HELP: The next time your daughter tells you that what she's doing is a "gesture of caring," tell her it is also a gesture of stalking. Remind her that most men like to at least think they are doing some of the chasing, and then tick off for her the names of the many (I'm sure) men she has chased off by doing what she's doing. If that doesn't help her to see the light, then accept it -- she's going to be single for a long, long time.

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