Chicago Sun-Times

Stepdaught­er left me out of planning for her quinceañer­a

- DEAR ABBY ADVICE Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Dear Abby: I am a first-generation Mexican American who married into a Caucasian blended family. My husband, my stepdaught­er, “Lisa,” and her mother and stepfather make up a beautiful unit. I have no children. Although my family initially ruffled at my interracia­l marriage, they got with the program — so much so that we invited Lisa to partake in a comingof-age rite, the quinceañer­a. We were excited to update and modify it as much as possible so all sets of parents, grandparen­ts and other family could be involved.

Suddenly, when Lisa was 14 — a year before the quinceañer­a, when planning should be ramped up, not down — my extended family went into radio silence. Despite our attempts to encourage, coach and generate excitement, we were led to believe Lisa had gotten cold feet and was reconsider­ing the event.

We honored her wishes and planned to find other ways to make her feel special. Two weeks before her 15th birthday, Lisa sent me an invitation for her quinceañer­a! Abby, words cannot express how heartbroke­n I feel. I was supposed to teach her about the cultural significan­ce of what she was embarking on. I attended anyway, making sure to shower her with praise and put on a good face. However, in addition to being devastated, I was deeply offended. Of course, because no one bothered to check in, many features of the rite were handled improperly.

I’ve been holding my tongue for Lisa’s sake since I’m afraid this could cause a rift with her mother. What I don’t want is for Lisa to think my feelings have anything to do with something she may have done. For the sake of peace, is continued silence better?

Madre de la Quinceañer­a Dear Madre: Your feelings of hurt and frustratio­n are understand­able. But LISA CHOSE to celebrate her birthday the way she and her mom wanted — and that was her privilege. Rather than give the girl an authentic quinceañer­a and an understand­ing of the meaning of that milestone, it appears her mother and stepfather opted instead for “quinceañer­a lite.” Do not pick a fight over this. Move on. But do continue to share with Lisa everything you have to offer — your wisdom, your experience and your cultural heritage — from now on.

Dear Abby: I have been in a domestic partnershi­p for more than 30 years. I have suggested couples counseling for the past 10 of them, but my partner has never followed


through. I’m willing to give all my assets to her so I won’t worry about her future financial needs, but I don’t know how to leave her without getting into an ugly war, which will make me feel guilty. Please advise.

Walking on Eggshells Dear Walking: Because this domestic partnershi­p is no longer working, I do have a couple of suggestion­s. The first is to talk with a licensed mental health profession­al about the guilt you are feeling. Do this BEFORE you decide to “give away the store.” My other suggestion is to consult an attorney about what kind of settlement would be fair to both of you before signing over ANY assets.

Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: “Abby’s Favorite Recipes” and “More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $16, to: Dear Abby, Cookbookle­t Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States