DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Keith," and I are eagerly awaiting the birth of our first child. Sadly, Keith's mother is in very poor health. She's not expected to live more than a few months after the birth of her newest grandchild.
For this reason, all of Keith's siblings are planning to visit after the baby arrives so that everyone can pose for one last family photo, complete with our new baby. My problem is with Keith's niece, "Bridget." I know when the time comes to snap the picture, Bridget will insist on including her latest loser boyfriend.
I wouldn't care if it weren't for the fact that Bridget has a history of demanding that her current boyfriends be put in family photos and then insisting that the pictures never see the light of day again after the relationship has ended. She threw a fit at my in-laws' anniversary party when she saw that their picture board contained family pictures with past boyfriends. She was even so bold as to tell everyone in Keith's family to get rid of any family pictures from our wedding because seeing images of her boyfriend at the time "dredged up too many painful memories." (That boyfriend would eventually become her ex-husband, to whom she was married for only one month.)
How do I inform Bridget that her newest boyfriend is not wanted in what will most likely be the only family portrait to include my baby? -- MOTHER-TO-BE IN MICHIGAN
DEAR MOTHER-TO-BE: I see no reason to "inform" Bridget that the family regards her current boyfriend-to-be as yet another loser. It will only cause her to become hurt and defensive, and create resentment that could last for years. Instead, when everyone is lined up for the family picture, make sure that Bridget's boyfriend is posed on the end of the grouping. That way, if the romance tanks he can easily be photo-edited out.