Mom won’t stop talk­ing about daugh­ter’s or­deal

Austin American-Statesman - - FOOD & LIFE - Dear Abby Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Dear Abby ap­pears on Sun­day, Mon­day, Wed­nes­day and Fri­day. Email Dear Abby at

Dear Abby: When I was an ado­les­cent, my fa­ther mo­lested me. It took me 20 years to fi­nally con­fide this se­cret to my mother. Af­ter­ward it felt as if a huge weight had been lifted from my shoul­ders.

That feel­ing lasted about two min­utes. That’s how long it took for her to get on the phone and spread the news to ev­ery­one she could think of.

This was two years ago and, af­ter re­peat­edly ask­ing her to stop, she con­tin­ues to tell. Two days ago, I caught her spilling the beans to an ac­quain­tance she hadn’t spo­ken to in more than a decade. We got into a heated ar­gu­ment, and she told me she will say what she wants, when­ever she wants, to whomever she wants.

My feel­ings are not con­sid­ered, even though I was the vic­tim in all of this. I feel she tells my story to gain sym­pa­thy for her­self.

Abby, I’m ready to end my re­la­tion­ship with my mother. How can I make her stop flap­ping her lips?

— The Gossip’s Daugh­ter

Dear Daugh­ter: I sus­pect you are cor­rect about your mother’s mo­tives, and you have my sym­pa­thy. Be­cause you can’t “make her stop flap­ping her lips,” you will have to ac­cept that she can’t be trusted with any con­fi­den­tial in­for­ma­tion.

As I see it, you have two choices. The first would be to cut her out of your life (for which I wouldn’t blame you), and the other is to avoid shar­ing ANY per­sonal in­for­ma­tion with her in the fu­ture.

Dear Abby: My 21-yearold daugh­ter, “Shan­non,” has moved back home and has a part-time job. We pay for her health and car in­surance. Be­cause her funds are lim­ited, I asked her to make me a list of things she might want for Christ­mas. The two things she wants are a tat­too and a pierc­ing.

I told her that while I re­spect her wish to ex­press her­self, I do not want to pay for some­thing like that. I said if she wants a tat­too and a pierc­ing, she will have to save her money and get them. She be­came up­set with me and said I should give her what she wants in­stead of some­thing I pre­fer.

I know there are things Shan­non needs. Am I self­ish for want­ing to spend my money on some­thing prac­ti­cal like shoes, cloth­ing or in­ci­den­tals?

— Sen­si­ble Mom in Longview, Texas

Dear Sen­si­ble Mom: If you are un­com­fort­able paying for a body mod­i­fi­ca­tion for your daugh­ter, then don’t do it. How­ever, you should take into con­sid­er­a­tion that Shan­non is an adult now and re­con­sider im­pos­ing your val­ues on her.

If she were my daugh­ter, I would give her a check for Christ­mas along with a note ex­press­ing hol­i­day wishes and the thought that you gave her a healthy body, and with it, a nice com­plex­ion. It is now hers to do with as she wishes. Then cross your fin­gers and hope she’ll have sec­ond thoughts.

Dear Abby: One of my neigh­bors in­sisted on giv­ing me some hand­crafted Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions that are hideous. I have never been big on dec­o­rat­ing the out­side of my home for the hol­i­days, but when I do, I have my own that I like much bet­ter.

I know she ex­pects me to dis­play her items and will be all bent out of shape when she sees I haven’t. Is there a diplo­matic way to avoid hurt feel­ings? — Florida Reader Dear Reader: Not really. So hang one or two of them in an in­con­spic­u­ous place when you dec­o­rate for the hol­i­days, so they will be “lost” among the items you pre­fer to dis­play, or re­frain from dec­o­rat­ing this year.

Kathy Street, Richard Bow­den (cen­ter) and Tommy Byrd per­form at last year’s Mistle­toe Jam. The band Byrd and Street will head­line this year’s third an­nual jam.


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