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by Abigail Van Buren

Nosy Co-Workers Press for Details About Estrangement

DEAR ABBY: I have two adult children who are divorced and both live out of state. My son has no children, and my daughter has two who are now adults. I'm close to my son but have been estranged from my daughter and grandchildren for almost 20 years. (There is no possibility of a reconciliation.)

I have not explained the details about this situation to anyone. My close friends know I have no contact with them and, thankfully, to their credit, they haven't asked. My co-workers, however, want to know about my family. I have tried giving them generic information, such as "they live out of state," but a few keep asking for more details, such as when are they coming to visit, what do they do, etc. Some are being friendly, but a couple of them are busybodies. What can I say to deter them and their questions without being rude? -- COMPLICATED IN VIRGINIA

DEAR COMPLICATED: This situation is more common than many people realize, and the best way to stop nosy people from repeatedly asking questions would simply be to say, "We are estranged." Period. If someone is so insensitive as to question you about why, you are free to say you prefer not to discuss it -- now or ever.

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