DEAR ABBY: A friend's daughter was married several years ago. I attended the shower and her wedding, and gave gifts for both.
Two months after the wedding, I received a thank-you note in which a form letter was enclosed that read, "By the way, we are now separated and getting a divorce"! I was shocked not only by the news, but even more that my gifts were not returned with the divorce announcement.
This young lady is now being married again to a different man. If I attend the shower/wedding, am I obligated to give her another set of gifts? Or should I skip the shower and go to the wedding without giving another gift? What is proper in this case? -- CONFUSED IN MASSACHUSETTS
DEAR CONFUSED: The rule of etiquette regarding disposition of wedding gifts when a couple divorces after a short time is that any unused items (preferably in their original packaging) go back to the givers. However, to return cookware, linens, china, glassware, etc., that have been used is impractical, so please don't hold a grudge.
If you decide to attend the shower and/or wedding for your friend's daughter, it is customary to give a gift.
DEAR ABBY: I recently began a new job, and although I love what I do, I have only one problem. My boss, "Harold," does not like eating lunch by himself. Every day, he asks me what I'm doing for lunch. If I say I brought my lunch, he wants me to eat it in his office with him. If I tell him I'm going out, he wants us to go out together.
I don't think he's attracted to me; I just think he hates being alone. He's entirely too clingy, and I feel my lunch break is supposed to be a time to do whatever I want to do.
I don't believe the last lady who worked for him had a problem with this, but I do. How do I tell him "no" without offending him or hurting his feelings? -- LUNCH BUDDY IN SOUTH CAROLINA
DEAR LUNCH BUDDY: Tell your boss politely but firmly that you need your lunch hour to perform personal tasks -- go shopping, make personal phone calls or catch up on some reading. You are entitled to that break time, and that is what it should be used for.
DEAR ABBY: A family member has six cats and wants to have the Thanksgiving meal at her house. Every time I eat there, I find cat hair on the table, on the plates and in the food. I don't want to cause hard feelings, but how do I handle this? I'm allergic to cats. -- HOLD THE FUR IN AMARILLO, TEXAS
DEAR HOLD THE FUR: Your health must come first. Arrange to celebrate Thanksgiving elsewhere and curtail your visit. If the relative attempts to "guilt" you into changing plans, explain that you cannot because you have become allergic to cat hair and dander and your doctor has instructed you to avoid exposure.
DEAR READERS: Today is Veterans Day, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank not only our veterans, but also those men and women who are still on active duty for their service to our country. -- ABBY
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)