San Francisco Chronicle

Va­ca­tion plans tripped up by bro­ken an­kle — but who should pay?

By Jeanne Phillips

- Write to Dear Abby at P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069 or www.dearabby.com.

I had planned a trip to Europe with my friend “Eliz­a­beth,” a friend of hers and Eliz­a­beth’s daugh­ter. The plan was I would share rooms with Eliz­a­beth. We paid for the ho­tels in ad­vance. Shortly be­fore our sched­uled de­par­ture I fell, broke my an­kle and couldn’t go. We tried un­suc­cess­fully to ob­tain some kind of re­funds, and travel in­sur­ance paid only if the ac­ci­dent hap­pened while we were ac­tu­ally trav­el­ing. I was out $2,000. Eliz­a­beth’s friend of­fered me $500. Eliz­a­beth, feel­ing some obli­ga­tion, also of­fered me $500. I feel guilty tak­ing Eliz­a­beth’s money be­cause she paid for her­self and her daugh­ter. I think the other woman should give me at least half — not just $500 — be­cause she de­rived 100 per­cent of the ben­e­fit. Also, she has never reached out to me di­rectly at all. No money has been re­ceived at this point. Should I just write it off ? Or am I wrong to ex­pect some of the money back?

Dear Abby:

Money Woes in the East

Dear Money Woes:

Yes, you are wrong. No­body owes you any­thing. Ac­ci­dents hap­pen, but the bro­ken an­kle was your bad luck. It was gen­er­ous of Eliz­a­beth and her friend to of­fer you any money at all. My ad­vice is to ac­cept it gra­ciously, write the rest off, and stop look­ing for some­one to be mad at.

One of my rel­a­tives has bipo­lar dis­or­der and, as far as I know, he takes medicine for it. How­ever, at our Christ­mas cel­e­bra­tion last year he be­came ver­bally ag­gres­sive and abu­sive to­ward a fam­ily mem­ber who had done noth­ing to pro­voke it. Need­less to say, it put a damper on the fes­tiv­i­ties. Some peo­ple make ex­cuses for him be­cause he’s bipo­lar, but I don’t want an­other hol­i­day ru­ined be­cause of his be­hav­ior (which can be un­pre­dictable). Must the rest of us sit on pins and nee­dles hop­ing he doesn’t ex­plode this Christ­mas? I’d pre­fer not to in­vite him un­til he has bet­ter con­trol of him­self. Your opin­ion, please? Hop­ing for Happy Hol­i­days

Dear Hop­ing:

You have a point. A so­lu­tion might be to talk di­rectly with your rel­a­tive and ex­plain that if he’s tak­ing his med­i­ca­tion — which means there will be no un­pre­dictable out­bursts — he is wel­come to be your guest for Christ­mas. If not, how­ever, he should make other plans.

Dear Abby:

On Vet­er­ans Day I vis­ited my fam­ily’s ceme­tery plot and no­ticed my clos­est un­cle does not have a mil­i­tary ser­vice marker like his two older broth­ers do. “Un­cle Claude” had fre­quently men­tioned to me how im­por­tant a ser­vice marker was to him. I dis­cussed it with his two out-of-state chil­dren sev­eral times af­ter his death. Al­most two years have passed now, and it ap­pears get­ting the marker might not hap­pen. Should I in­quire about this with my cousins, of­fer to as­sist them in get­ting and plac­ing the marker or let it go? I did place a small flag on his grave later in the day. Mil­i­tary Ser­vice Marker

Dear M.S.M.:

Dis­cuss this with your cousins once more and ask if they would like you to pur­sue get­ting the marker for your un­cle. There may be rea­sons why it hasn’t hap­pened — in­clud­ing that they may not be able to af­ford the ex­pense. You will never know un­less you in­quire. Uni­ver­sal Press Syndicate

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