DEAR ABBY: Recently something has come up in my life that has pushed the shaky relationship between my girlfriend, "Linnay," and my parents to the front burner. She insists they do not like her. Because of it, she rarely speaks more than a few sentences to them and dreads going to my house to visit them.
I don't think my parents dislike Linnay, but they do seem hesitant to interact with her, involve her in things our family does, and they don't seem motivated to create a better relationship with her.
Linnay has asked me to "fix" the situation, but I feel the way to make their relationship better is for them to work it out. What should each of them do to make this happen? And what can I do to help? -- ANONYMOUS IN TEXAS
DEAR ANONYMOUS: This is not something your girlfriend can work out on her own. Ask your parents why they seem hesitant to interact with her, why they don't invite her to things the family does and why they seem less than eager to create a better relationship with her. Linnay may be shy, or she may have picked up on not-so-subtle signals your parents are sending that they don't approve of her.
DEAR ABBY: I'm 11. My parents aren't in my life, so my grandparents are my guardians. I'm thankful for all they do, but I am very scared because my grandfather is 85, and I know soon he is going to leave this world. So how do I accept that? -- IN NEED OF A PRAYER
DEAR IN NEED OF A PRAYER: A wise person once told me that the way to ruin today is to spend it worrying about what "might" happen tomorrow. Many individuals a lot older than you make that mistake. It's clear that you love and appreciate your grandfather. Tell him that -- often. Hold a good thought and enjoy him for as long as the good Lord allows, because if your grandfather is in good health, he may last quite a while longer than you think.
DEAR ABBY: How do I get my roommates to do chores? I have tried talking to them, creating chore charts and explaining we will lose our security deposit if the house isn't taken care of. Nothing works. If I don't want sticky counters, ruined pots and pans, or trash piling up, I have to do it myself. Any advice would be appreciated. -- NOT YOUR MAID
DEAR NOT YOUR MAID: Whose name is on that lease? If it isn't yours, the logical thing to do would be find a place to live with more mature roommates who feel the way you do about clutter and hygiene. However, if it is yours, you will have to wait until the lease is up, get rid of those roommates and screen the next batch more carefully.
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