Mom wants to at­tach strings to trea­sured hand-medowns

The Western Star - - Life - 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.

DEAR ABBY: I come from a large fam­ily. We are not wealthy but al­ways loved dress­ing our chil­dren up for hol­i­days. Be­cause the out­fits were ex­pen­sive, as our chil­dren out­grew them, we passed them on to my sis­ter-in-law.

When my youngest daugh­ter was born, I asked her about the dresses, and she in­formed me they were not her style so she had given them away. I was heart­bro­ken, but I never said any­thing.

My older daugh­ter is not a prac­tic­ing Catholic, and my younger daugh­ter is not hav­ing chil­dren at all. I saved their chris­ten­ing gowns, but they don’t want them. I would love to pass them on to an­other fam­ily mem­ber so they can be used in­stead of sit­ting in a trunk, but I don’t want them to leave the fam­ily or be sold. Is it OK to put stip­u­la­tions on some­thing you are pass­ing on? — UN­SURE IN NEW JERSEY

DEAR UN­SURE: You can stip­u­late what­ever you like, but there is no guar­an­tee that the gar­ments will re­main in the fam­ily. Once a gift is given, it be­comes the prop­erty of the re­cip­i­ent to keep or dis­pose of. DEAR ABBY: If some­one did some­thing “nice” for you, but it turned out to cause such a has­sle that you didn’t ap­pre­ci­ate the ges­ture, how do you po­litely tell the per­son not to do it again, or that you wish they hadn’t?

An ex­am­ple: Some­one gives you a box of choco­lates or cup­cakes when you are try­ing to lose weight. Or, the baby sit­ter folds all the clothes that were sit­ting in the laun­dry bas­ket, but puts ev­ery­thing away in the wrong draw­ers. (And you didn’t ask her to fold the laun­dry in the first place.) — DON’T DO IT AGAIN

DEAR DON’T: Here’s how. Thank the per­son for the thought­ful ges­ture and ex­plain that you are watch­ing your diet, can­not have candy and won’t be able to for the fore­see­able fu­ture. If the per­son is some­one who cares about you and is not a sabo­teur, he or she won’t tempt you again with­out ask­ing first.

As for your baby sit­ter, while you thank her for try­ing to help you by fold­ing and putting away your laun­dry, ex­plain that this isn’t some­thing any­one can do for you be­cause you have your own way of do­ing it, and please not to do it again.

DEAR ABBY: I am writ­ing this to re­lieve a heavy bur­den I have car­ried for many years. I’m 16 and have had a crush on this girl since I was 9. I fell in love with her the first time I saw her, and have never got­ten over it.

I have al­ways had a prob­lem ex­press­ing my feel­ings. I have been very shy from the day I

was born. Now that I’m older, I have more con­fi­dence and have lost most of my shy­ness. What should I do af­ter years of barely talk­ing to her? — NOT SO SHY ANY­MORE DEAR NOT SO SHY ANY­MORE: Now that you have more con­fi­dence, start talk­ing to her. You don’t have to de­clare your love in the first con­ver­sa­tion, but her re­ac­tion will tell you if she wants to have some sort of re­la­tion­ship with you, even if it’s only friend­ship — and that’s an aus­pi­cious be­gin­ning.

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