DEAR ABBY: Two weeks ago I got a memorial tattoo done for my beloved grandma. It's on my arm and says "in loving memory" at the top. Gram's portrait is underneath, and a beautiful poem my grandpa wrote for her is under the portrait. The tattoo artist did a phenomenal job! It looks just like her and I was thrilled with the results.
The problem is, I posted a picture on Facebook of the tattoo, and out of the blue a distant cousin sent me a message telling me that the tattoo was "selfish and attention-seeking behavior"! He said he was hurt in more ways than one because of it.
Abby, I don't understand. I love this tattoo. I wanted to honor the woman who meant so much to me. Did I honor her the wrong way like he says? Was I selfish? I'm so hurt, I guess I'm just looking for some input into this. My friends and family say he's jealous and not to give it another thought, but I'm obsessing. Please help. -- HONORING GRANDMA
DEAR HONORING GRANDMA: Please accept my sympathy for your obviously heartfelt loss. Your family and friends are correct that your cousin's comments are out of line. You are not responsible for your cousin's feelings, so stop obsessing. Whatever has hurt him "in more ways than one" is not your tattoo, or anything you posted on Facebook.
You say he is distant. Keep it that way and concentrate on something positive like the fact that you have honored your grandmother's memory. Then go on and build a happy and constructive life. I'm sure that is what she would want you to do.
DEAR ABBY: My neighbors' teenage sons ask to borrow our lawn mower and other yard tools so they can make money cutting the grass for other neighbors. What do we do? -- LOVE THY NEIGHBOR
DEAR NEIGHBOR: How responsible are the boys? If they can be trusted with your lawn mower and other yard tools and you're kind-hearted, allow them to use the items with the understanding that they will be returned to you in the same condition in which they were borrowed. Then have them cut your lawn as a way of showing their appreciation.
DEAR ABBY: My co-worker "Oscar" is a grouchy, bitter man. His cubicle is close to mine, so I can hear everything he says. He constantly talks about other employees and even about the owners of the company.
Oscar's general bitterness and poor attitude constantly bring me down. I have tried tuning him out, unsuccessfully. I don't like being subjected to this daily, but I don't know what I can do about it. Please help. -- NEEDS POSITIVITY IN LEXINGTON, KY.
DEAR NEEDS POSITIVITY: The first thing you should do is tell Oscar that you can hear every word he's saying because he may not know that he's being overheard. Tell him his conversations are distracting and ask him to stop. If he does not comply, complain to a supervisor. And if your complaint is not acted upon, bring headphones, if it's allowed, so you won't be subjected to the daily dose of negativity.
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