DEAR ABBY: My father is a state worker who has "furlough Fridays." My sister, "Dee," went home early from school last Friday because she wasn't feeling well and found him in bed with one of his co-workers. Mom was at work, so apparently Dad thought he was safe. If Mom ever found out, their marriage would be over. Dad is begging Dee not to tell.
Dee and I have been saving for a large HDTV for our bedroom. Dad is now offering to pay for it. He says he'll tell Mom he's helping us because we have been working so hard to save the money. Actually, he'd pay for the whole thing and let us keep our money.
Dee is all for it. She says we can use Dad's affair to get more from him in the future. I'm shocked and disappointed in my father, and while I don't want to see my parents' marriage destroyed, I don't feel right about letting him bribe us. What should I do? -- CALIFORNIA GIRL
DEAR CALIFORNIA GIRL: Your father is a piece of work. That he would attempt to rope his daughters in as co-conspirators shows the extent of his lack of character. And if you didn't realize it, you wouldn't have written to me.
Please do not go along with your sister's plan to accept the payoff. It's extortion. If you keep the secret, there is nothing to prevent your father from continuing his adulterous affairs. As difficult as hearing about this from you may be to your mother, if she should find out what's been going on - - and it ALWAYS comes out - - and realize her daughters were aware of it, her pain will be magnified.