World trav­el­ers mooch rides to the air­port

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - PARTIES ETC. - Jeanne Phillips www.DearAbby.com

DEAR ABBY: We have some friends who take a cou­ple of ex­pen­sive ex­tended va­ca­tions each year. They go to Europe and take cruises. For the last four years, they have never once booked ground trans­porta­tion from home to the air­port and back. In­stead, they rely on friends to take them to the air­port.

They have plenty of money. They are just too cheap to pay for a shut­tle, cab or limo. They never of­fer to put gas in the car or pay for the park­ing. It is a 45-minute drive in heavy traf­fic.

They are get­ting ready for an­other trip. What should I say when asked? Please give me your thoughts on their be­hav­ior.

— Un­happy About This in Ge­or­gia DEAR UN­HAPPY: Th­ese friends ap­pear to be cen­tered on them­selves. Rather than fume about it, the next time you are asked to drive them to the air­port, tell them you have a con­flict and are un­avail­able.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 47-yearold pro­fes­sional man who loves chil­dren, but never had any of my own. Con­se­quently, I have never had to con­tend with the con­sid­er­able cost of rais­ing chil­dren. Many of my friends are par­ents, and I feel the urge to buy their kids nice presents I know they want, or that I never re­ceived when I was a child, e.g., a won­der­ful bike or train set.

What’s the pro­to­col for giv­ing an ex­pen­sive gift

(e.g., a sax­o­phone that can cost $1,000) to non-re­lated chil­dren with­out creat­ing awk­ward­ness or obli­ga­tion? Nat­u­rally, I would al­ways check with the par­ents first. (All of us are white-col­lar ex­ec­u­tives and em­ployed, but no one is “filthy rich.’’)

— Gift Giver in Oak­land, Cal­i­for­nia DEAR GIFT GIVER: The pro­to­col is the one you are al­ready ob­serv­ing, which is to have a con­ver­sa­tion with the par­ents be­fore buy­ing ex­pen­sive gifts for their chil­dren. And when you do, make clear that it is not your wish to cause awk­ward­ness or a sense of obli­ga­tion.

DEAR ABBY: I am in­creas­ingly re­luc­tant to at­tend so­cial and church events be­cause sev­eral mem­bers of our group pho­to­graph ev­ery­thing and post the pic­tures on­line. My hus­band and I are pri­vate peo­ple, and we are un­com­fort­able with this. Why do peo­ple think they have the right to do this, and what can we do to stop it?

— Dis­cour­aged in the East DEAR DIS­COUR­AGED: Peo­ple post pho­tos of them­selves, their ac­tiv­i­ties, their meals, etc. for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons. Be­cause you and your hus­band pre­fer not to be “memo­ri­al­ized’’ this way, tell the per­son tak­ing the pho­tos that you pre­fer to re­main out of cam­era range — and re­quest that in the fu­ture, any shot you might “ac­ci­den­tally’’ be in not be posted. If the per­son de­mands to know why, say, “Be­cause I don’t want any­one from the IRS to find us.’’

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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

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