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by Abigail Van Buren

Turn About Is Fair Play for Friend Using Friend

DEAR ABBY: I have a friend who lived in my home most of the time for about six years. During that period, she rented out rooms in her house. She paid her bills, and I paid mine, but I covered her living off me. At the time, it didn't bother me much because I could afford it, although I would have preferred to save that money.

I have since sold that house and bought my dream retirement home in another state. Now, I stay with her, and her renters have moved out. It's unpleasant sometimes because when she gets drunk she accuses me of using her. (It's true, I am.) Is it OK to use her by staying in her home without really liking her much? I feel it's my turn to leech, and I'd like to stick it out until I retire in about a year. -- WAITING TO MOVE

DEAR WAITING: It's OK with me as long as it's OK with you. But don't kid yourself. You're not living there rent-free. Tolerating an unpleasant drunk is the price you're paying, and only you can determine whether it's worth it.

Read more in: Friends & Neighbors | Money

Mom's Offers to Host Play Dates Are Never Reciprocated

DEAR ABBY: I'm originally from another country and have been living in the U.S. for about a decade. Is there a rule of etiquette for kids' play dates?

Quite often, I have invited my child's school friends or the neighbor children to my home for play dates, but their parents never return the courtesy. If my child wants to keep having play dates with those children, should I continue inviting them?

I sometimes feel I could be making the parents uncomfortable, but I feel my child's socialization is more important than what the other parents might think. Am I setting myself up for abuse from those other parents by sending the message that I don't mind always being the host? -- CONFUSED MOTHER

DEAR CONFUSED: Kudos to you for helping your child to socialize and inviting the children into your home. However, not all parents feel as comfortable as you do about having children over, or are as able to do so. Whether or not you are being taken advantage of, I can't say. But perhaps it's better that you have the children in your home where you can observe and supervise what's going on than they be someplace where you can't.

Child Kept a Secret Longs to Connect With Siblings

DEAR ABBY: Ten months ago, I searched for my birth mother and made contact. We corresponded via letters. She was terminally ill and preferred to keep me a secret from her children. I understood her feelings and respected her wishes.

She passed away last month, and her husband sent a letter notifying me. My question is: How long should I wait before reaching out to my siblings? -- REACHING OUT IN MAINE

DEAR REACHING OUT: Do so at any time you wish, but be prepared for them to be shocked and possibly disbelieving. It would have been better had your birth mother prepared them before her death, but since she didn't, I see no reason why you should remain a guilty secret.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Death

Salute to Veterans

DEAR VETERANS: For your service to our nation, I salute you. My thanks to each of you on this Veterans Day. You are the personification of patriotism, self-sacrifice and dedication to our country. Today I would also like to recognize your families for the sacrifices they, too, have made. -- Love, ABBY

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 $8 (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.)