DEAR ABBY: It has been a year since my mother passed away. The month of February was especially tough because it was the month of her birthday and also the month in which she died.
Mother's Day will be here soon, and I'm already feeling bitter, anticipating all of the commercials, advertising, brunches and everything. I don't want to be bitter about Mother's Day, but I am. How do people typically celebrate Mother's Day when they have lost their mother? -- JODY IN KEARNEY, NEB.
DEAR JODY: Please accept my condolences for the loss of your mother. If you have siblings, you might find it comforting to talk with them about your feelings. If not, then spend the day quietly, being grateful for the precious time you had with your mother and the many lessons she taught you. I can't speak for others, but that's how I have coped with the loss of my mother, and I'm sure others do it, too.
DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, "Glen," and I have been dating for two years. Over the past few months he has been pushing me to open a joint checking account with him.
I have tried explaining that I don't feel like it's a good idea until we are engaged. But every time I say no, he gets upset and angry. Am I wrong for not wanting to put our finances together, and how do I make him see my side? -- CAREFUL IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR CAREFUL: You are absolutely NOT wrong, and you should not have to justify your discomfort with the idea of pooling your money with anyone to whom you are not married. In fact, Glen should be trying to explain why he is pushing you into making such a foolish decision.
His "anger and upset" are either attempts to bully you into doing what he wants, or a sign of desperation to get access to your hard-earned money. If you are at all tempted to relent, I URGE you to first talk to a lawyer about what the ramifications could be if the relationship went sour.
DEAR ABBY: I have a 15-year-old next-door neighbor who loves to come to my house and visit when my preschool-age grandchildren are here. She always overstays her welcome, staying past the girls' bedtimes.
I know the girl is lonely and doesn't have many friends, but I want some private family time with my grandchildren. I don't want to hurt her feelings, but it is starting to interfere with my visits with my grandchildren. Please help. -- GRRR-ANDMA IN TERRE HAUTE
DEAR GRRR-ANDMA: I feel sorry for your lonely neighbor, who not only doesn't have many friends, but may also not have a grandmother in her life. Your relationship with your granddaughters may be the only taste she has of what this special, loving bond is like.
I don't think you should cut her off completely. However, it is important that you have a private chat with the girl and explain that you would prefer she limit her visits to once a week (or two) because your grandchildren need alone time with you.
TO MY CHRISTIAN READERS: A happy Easter to all of you!
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)