DEAR ABBY: My mother passed away a little over a year ago, after being married to my father for 30 years. Recently, Dad has found a girlfriend -- or rather, she found him. I'll call this woman Alexis.
Alexis has taken it upon herself to come into his home, take down the wallpaper, paint the walls a different color, and throw away a lot of his "junk" -- which is what she called most of my mother's things! She has also reorganized the kitchen and rearranged the furniture, books -- everything.
One room in Dad's house was set up just for my children. Alexis removed all their toys, put them in an upstairs closet, and replaced them with a display case filled with fragile china figurines. She has also instructed her granddaughter to call my father "Grandpa."
Alexis prepared a holiday dinner at Dad's house and sat her own family at the main table. I was relegated to a card table in the other room. She also invited her daughter, parents and sisters to my father's house for a birthday party that Dad didn't even want -- and made him foot the bill! She never offers to pay for anything. I think Alexis thinks she's found herself a "meal ticket."
How do I let her know that what she's doing is extremely rude without being rude myself? -- DISPLACED DAUGHTER
DEAR DAUGHTER: Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your mother. If you believe your father is of sound mind and not being intimidated by his girlfriend, then you must respect his wish to have her around. Alexis may be tactless, and you may not approve of her, but it is up to him to tell her when she has gone too far -- not you.