Young girl’s story of boy’s gen­eros­ity fails to pass grand­mother’s smell test

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FEATURES - Abi­gail Van Buren 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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069. To re­ceive a col­lec­tion of Abby’

DEAR ABBY: Yes­ter­day, when I picked my grand­daugh­ter “Michelle” up from school, she asked me to take her to get a pizza. I told her I had no money, and she re­sponded that she had her own money. She then pulled $40 out of her pocket.

Michelle is only nine and has no job. When I asked where she got the money, she told me, “A lit­tle boy who’s dis­abled gave it to me.” I didn’t be­lieve her story, and af­ter I ques­tioned her fur­ther, she con­fessed that she had taken the money from a boy who is not dis­abled.

I took the money from her and gave it to her teacher. Her teacher said the boy had ac­cused Michelle, but Michelle had sworn she hadn’t taken it. Abby, my grand­daugh­ter not only took his money, but also lied about it. I was dev­as­tated.

When I told my daugh­ter, she said I should have let her and her hus­band han­dle it be­cause now Michelle’s teacher won’t like her and may treat her dif­fer­ently. My daugh­ter is now up­set with me, but I was just try­ing to do the right thing. Did I do the wrong thing? — HURT GRANDMA IN TEXAS

DEAR HURT GRANDMA: I don’t think so. I’m not sure how your daugh­ter planned to “han­dle it” and make things right for the boy who was bul­lied and stolen from, but by do­ing what you did, you en­sured that he got his money back.

One can only hope that Michelle got a talk­ing-to from her par­ents about what she did and has learned not to re­peat it. But if she’s tempted to do it again, it’s just as well that her teacher will keep a closer eye on her.

DEAR ABBY: My hus­band has been in prison for three and a half years, but now he’s mov­ing to a half­way house where he will have much more free­dom. He wants to at­tend my church with me, and I know peo­ple there will have ques­tions. Only a few of them know where he has been be­cause I shared it with them. What’s the best way to make this com­fort­able for both of us and share it as we need to? — FREE AT LAST

DEAR FREE AT LAST: That your hus­band would like to at­tend church with you is laud­able, and I hope his en­try into the con­gre­ga­tion will be a smooth one. I have of­ten said that once a “se­cret” is known by more than one per­son, it is no longer a se­cret.

Dis­cuss this with your cler­gyper­son and let him or her guide you in the process. If you do, it may help to avoid any rough spots along the way.

DEAR ABBY: Many peo­ple th­ese days rely on their devices to auto-cor­rect spell­ing and gram­mat­i­cal er­rors. Too of­ten I see sig­nage on busi­nesses with mis­spellings. A few of my friends own their own busi­nesses, and their post­ings on so­cial me­dia are of­ten mis­spelled. Some­times they ask for my opin­ion. Should

I of­fer ad­vice or ig­nore this grow­ing trend? — MISS PELLED IN THE SOUTH

DEAR MISS PELLED: Of­fer ad­vice only when it’s been re­quested. Ad­vice that is unasked for is usu­ally un­wel­come. Un­less you want to be known as the “gram­mar ham­mer,” keep it to your­self.

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