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by Abigail Van Buren

Grandfather's Bad Timing Mars a Perfect Wedding

DEAR ABBY: I recently married a wonderful man. Our wedding day was going perfectly and I had all the family I loved around me -- including my divorced grandparents.

My grandfather has remarried, but still had a lot of unfinished legal business with Grandma that needed settling. Grandpa thought my wedding reception would be a good place to do it and served her with court papers there.

I was so upset that he would do this on my special day, I have stopped talking to him. He dropped by my mom's one day and I ignored him. He told me if I wanted to "divorce" him as my grandfather I could, but that he wasn't wrong and wouldn't apologize for it.

Please tell me what you think. Am I wrong for expecting him to apologize to me for what he did? -- NEW IOWA BRIDE

DEAR NEW BRIDE: Your grandfather owes all concerned that day an apology. His judgment was atrocious. But please don't hold your breath waiting for him to offer one. Your grandfather is self-centered, self-righteous, insensitive and stubborn, and it won't be forthcoming.

DEAR ABBY: When my wife and I go to a buffet for lunch or dinner, she takes too much food on purpose to take home with her. I say it's wrong because you pay for what you eat, not what you "carry out." She insists that paying means she can take whatever amount she wants.

The last time we went, she actually waited for more chicken to be brought out so she could put three pieces in a napkin before we left. Now she's mad at me because I told her it was wrong. I'll live by what you say, Abby. What is it? -- CRYING "FOWL" IN LAKEWOOD, CALIF.

DEAR CRYING "FOWL": Your wife isn't mad at you because you told her what she did was wrong. She's pouting because she doesn't want to admit that you were right -- that she was pulling a fast one and you didn't approve. If all the patrons behaved as she does, the restaurant would not be able to break even, let alone make a profit. Her behavior was not just tacky; it showed a distinct lack of character.

DEAR ABBY: What do you think of a person who makes fun of others about various "shortcomings" (e.g., being computer illiterate) while she knows little about these subjects herself? I am weary of listening to her whining voice belittling others. She's always talking about how "stupid" this person is, and how "dumb" that person is.

The individual I'm describing is my mother. Growing up, I didn't know differently. But as an adult and a mother myself, I cringe when she says these things. My 10-year-old daughter has asked me why Grandma makes fun of people. Is my mother a bully? -- NAILS ON A BLACKBOARD

DEAR NAILS: Yes, she is. She's also someone who is trying to make herself appear superior to those she disparages. Use her poor example to teach your daughter what an unattractive personality trait it is -- although from your letter, she appears to have already concluded that herself. You have a wise and discerning child who obviously does not take after her grandmother. And I'm sure that's because of your good influence. I salute you.

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