DEAR ABBY: I am very concerned about my 33-year-old daughter's safety. A man in his mid-60s, someone she met at a previous job, has become obsessed with her. He has declared his love for her, divorced his wife and slathered my struggling, single daughter with gifts over the last three years.
She has refused his advances on nearly a daily basis, and he is now tracking her every move. If she leaves her house for even 30 minutes, he knows and accuses her of going to have sex with someone. If she says she's coming to my house, he drives by to verify it. If it takes her longer than he thinks it should, he accuses her of having sex with someone. She swears that she has never had sex with him.
It has really intensified lately. I'm frantic about her safety. What should I do? -- SCARED MOM IN FLORIDA
DEAR SCARED MOM: Your daughter's "admirer" is showing all the signs of being a stalker. Why is she carrying on any conversations with him and telling him where she's going? If she accepted gifts he "slathered" on her, it may be why he feels she encouraged him. They should be returned.
You and your daughter should go to the police and report what he has been doing. It may be necessary for her to take out a restraining order because this person appears to be unbalanced and may be dangerous.
DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I recently decided to get married. We plan to go to the courthouse next month and have a justice of the peace perform the ceremony. Since it will be nothing fancy, we have decided to invite just a few family members -- his mom, grandma and brother, along with my mom and dad.
What we need advice about is how to tell his mom. She feels that marriage is just a piece of paper and you shouldn't need it to prove how committed you are. Because of her views, he wants to "surprise" her the day of the wedding when we all arrive at the courthouse. I feel it's a bad idea, and she should have some time to get used to the thought of us being married.
Any advice you can offer on when to tell her, and how to handle what she's going to say? -- FUTURE DAUGHTER-IN-LAW
DEAR FUTURE D.I.L.: I agree that your boyfriend's mother should be told beforehand, and the good news should be delivered by both of you. When she delivers the predictable "marriage is just a piece of paper" comment, you should respond that the piece of paper is an important one to you, and your boyfriend should tell her he's doing this because he loves you and, in the event that anything should happen to him, he wants to provide for you. If she gives you an argument, remember that you're asking for her blessing -- not her permission.
DEAR ABBY: Do you think people can change? -- JILL IN CHESTER, PA.
DEAR JILL: I assume you mean change for the better. The answer is yes, of course people can change. With motivation, determination and perseverance, people can accomplish almost anything they set their minds to.
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.)