DEAR ABBY: I'm a high school senior. At the beginning of the school year, I agreed to drive my best friend to school in the mornings, and for a while it was nice.
Last month she started to refuse to talk while I was driving. If I tried talking to her, she wouldn't respond. She recently told her boyfriend (who she texts constantly while riding with me) that she didn't like my driving. I found out because of a post he made on Facebook. When I asked her about it, she said that morning I had slammed on the brakes and it scared her.
This has made me tense and stressed out in the mornings, and I want to stop driving her. My grandmother says I should stick it out instead of causing friction. My mom thinks I should stop driving her, but only if she can find another ride.
I tried to explain this to her, but she won't listen and I'm still stuck with her. This has ruined our relationship. I feel like she hates me, but I don't know what to do about any of it. Help! -- DRIVEN CRAZY IN FLORIDA
DEAR DRIVEN CRAZY: Your former best friend may have stopped talking to you on the way to school because she was too busy texting her boyfriend. She is ignoring the fact that you have been doing her the favor of transporting her and is using you as a private taxi service.
If she was frightened because you braked suddenly, the person she should have said it to was you. So stop "explaining" to her and tell her that if she wants to continue getting a free ride, she had better adjust her attitude or make other arrangements for transportation.
DEAR ABBY: My daughter, the mother of a toddler, just had twins. We live four hours away, so I stayed with them for a few weeks to help her and her husband adjust to their larger family. It taught me a lot about how to help new mothers who are feeling overwhelmed.
It's not about holding the babies; everyone wants to do that. Instead, if you really want to help tired parents, do one of the following:
Take the older children to the park, the library, the zoo, to a diner for breakfast. Keep them happy and safe, and bring them home worn out.
Bring dinner or takeout when visiting. Wash, dry and fold the laundry. Get the kids ready for bed, give them their baths, read books to them and wait until they are asleep to leave.
Clean the house, run the vacuum, empty the garbage and change the beds. Buy groceries (the basics), including paper goods, and grab a box of gallon plastic bags, masking tape and Sharpies (to date frozen foods).
The gift of your time is ever so much more helpful than cute baby outfits that are quickly outgrown. Thanks, Abby! -- PROUD GRANDMA IN NEW YORK
DEAR PROUD GRANDMA: My warm congratulations on the new additions to your family. Your daughter is a lucky woman. Your letter should be clipped and saved by anyone who is looking forward to grandparenthood because it is a classic.
DEAR READERS: Today we celebrate the birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the visionary civil rights leader who was assassinated in 1968. Many of his words ring as true today as when they were first spoken.
The quote I have in mind as I write this is, "All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face-to-face with another problem." It applies to many aspects of life.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)