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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: My sister-in-law has asked me to pay for repairs to the passenger seat of her car. She was picking up my 9-year-old to stay the night, and when he got inside, he moved the seat forward to better fit his stature. She got upset and said, "The seat was broken. We had it set just right for me when I'm the passenger."

Since he adjusted it she hasn't been able to reset it. When I asked if there was a note on the dash that read "Do not move seat," she said no. Then I asked, if this was her best friend's son, would she be requesting money to repair an already broken seat? Her response was, "No." Am I wrong to think she was out of line to ask? -- FUMING IN WASHINGTON STATE

DEAR FUMING: You're not wrong. If your sister-in-law had warned your son not to touch the seat before he adjusted it, she might have a leg to stand on. However, if she's short of money and was baby-sitting your son as a favor, in the interest of keeping peace in the family, offer to contribute to the cost of the repair.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Money | Etiquette & Ethics

Dad Driving on Painkillers Is Red Flag for Family

DEAR ABBY: What are the dangers of driving while on strong painkillers? Since codeine is a controlled substance that you have to sign for to receive the prescription, does it impair distance vision and reaction time?

My elderly dad says as long as he has taken the pill the night before, it's all right for him to drive. He takes about 12 different medications every day, and the pain medicine must stay in his system at all times to work effectively.

Are other drivers in danger when he drives under the influence of prescription drugs? Can he be arrested if he hits someone? His car is already dented because he hit something. It would be a shame for him to cause some innocent driver who encounters him on the highway to be crippled or die. What do you think? -- MEDICATED IN RALEIGH, N.C.

DEAR MEDICATED: I am not an expert in pharmacology. I suggest you compile a list of all the drugs your father is taking -- both prescription drugs and the over-the-counter variety. Take the list to his pharmacist and ask these questions. He or she can give you the answers you need because some drugs can interact with each other.

Read more in: Health & Safety

Sharing Among Friends Doesn't Include Dessert

DEAR ABBY: A friend and I had a falling-out over a manners thing. When three people eat out together and everyone orders their own dessert, is it rude to not allow someone to take a bite of yours?

This friend wanted to taste another one's dessert and the guy said no. The friend then claimed the refuser was rude because he didn't want to share. Was the person wrong to have declined? -- JUST ONE BITE

DEAR JUST ONE: Whether to share one's food is a matter of personal preference. No rule of etiquette demands that someone do so just because it has been requested, and it wasn't rude to refuse.

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics

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