Dear Abby: My father died five years ago at 90. For the last 20 years of his life, both my sisters shunned him because they disliked his second wife (who predeceased him). She had never been anything but kind to us all. They refused to speak to him and, when he was dying, announced that they wouldn’t attend his funeral.
When an aunt informed them that Dad had left over a million dollars in cash and no will, they couldn’t get here fast enough. They caused me major distress by falsely accusing me of trying to steal from them. I have never taken anything from my sisters. I made certain the money was equally distributed, then shut them out of my life.
“Family,” to me, is synonymous with loyalty, love and trust. Without it, we’re just relations. I plan to never speak to them again. Am I wrong?
— Disgusted in Denver
Dear Disgusted: You are not wrong. Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your father. With relatives like your sisters, you don’t need enemies. In a case like this, it is common sense to protect yourself. Keeping your distance will accomplish it nicely.
Dear Abby: Will you mention the problem of adult bullying in the workplace? The bullies are usually buddy-buddy with supervisors and get away with the harassment, which includes name-calling, ridiculing and gossiping, which makes for a very uncomfortable work environment. This happens too often.
— Once Bullied
Dear Bullied: Sadly, you are right. It does happen too often. A way to stop it is first to tell the bully that you don’t like it. Then start documenting the incidents, including the dates, times and what was done. Take that information to your boss or supervisor and ask them to put a stop to it. If that doesn’t help, take your concerns to H.R. If H.R. doesn’t stop what’s going on, take the problem — and your evidence — to the EEOC. What you have described is a hostile work environment, which might be the basis of legal action.
Dear Abby: I recently hosted a bridal shower for my daughter’s soon-to-be sister-in-law. It was a lovely affair with delicious food and adorable decor. Everyone enjoyed themselves. After it was over, my daughter chided me for not giving a gift. I was dumbfounded, hurt and more than a little angry. The cost of the shower, not including my time and labor, was well over what I would have spent on a gift.
My daughter is angry with me now because I told her she was being rude and ridiculous. Should I apologize and get the couple an additional gift? I have hosted many such events and always thought the party was a gift.
— Annoyed in Albuquerque
Dear Annoyed: According to “The Everything Wedding Shower Book,” by Jennifer Jenkins, “It is customary for the hostess to get the bride a gift for the shower, just like everyone else.” However, I am not sure I agree with Jennifer. After having expended the time, effort and expense of planning and executing the shower, I really don’t think an additional gift was necessary.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com.