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by Abigail Van Buren

Grandma's Taste in Clothes Makes Gift-Giving Awkward

DEAR ABBY: My mother keeps buying me (and my now-teenage daughters) clothes from a catalog for elderly women. Think lots of bird prints, florals and elastic-waist pants.

She's an amazing mother and grandmother and an inspiration in my life. I appreciate her generosity and that she thinks of us. However, none of us wear the clothes, and I don't want to hurt her feelings by telling her we are "pretty particular" when it comes to style. We are very frugal and even shop second-hand stores for some clothing.

Should I speak up, or quietly continue donating the clothes? The last thing I want is to hurt her. -- WINCING IN LANSING, MICH.

DEAR WINCING: Do NOT tell your mother you and your daughters have been donating the clothes she orders for you. DO tell her that teenage girls these days dress much differently than women her age and yours, and that it would be "prudent" to ask them what they might like or gift them money to buy something of their own choosing. It's the truth, and she should hear it.

As to what she is ordering for you, thank her for her generosity and point out that since the pandemic began most women have been wearing jeans, sweats, leggings, etc. and that while you are grateful for her, you think she should be aware of it. Fashions change, and there is nothing so constant as change.

Read more in: Family & Parenting