Woman can’t stand crude sis­ter-in-law

The Buffalo News - - LIFE COLUMNS - – Fed Up Sis­ter-In-Law – Re­turned Peace Corps Vol­un­teer

Dear Abby: I can­not stand my hus­band’s sis­ter. She thinks way too much of her­self. She “had” to get mar­ried to a for­eigner (who never works), and her three grown sons still live at home and don’t work or go to school. She works sev­eral odd jobs to sup­port the lazy men in her life.

She’s 53, but she was al­ways re­bel­lious and a hell-raiser. At fam­ily events she dresses like a street­walker. My poor hus­band was em­bar­rassed at the last fam­ily wed­ding because she was so scant­ily dressed and look­ing for at­ten­tion. It about kills me and my chil­dren when­ever she comes over to our house with her drugged­out hus­band. She is rude to me and makes back­handed com­ments.

I can’t be­lieve that af­ter all these years, I still tol­er­ate this garbage. I’d love to end these get-to­geth­ers, but how do I do it, because she’s “fam­ily”?

Dear Abby: This is in re­sponse to “Bad Idea,” (Dec. 15), the par­ents who don’t want their daugh­ter to join the Peace Corps for fear she will re­turn only to mooch off them un­til she’s gain­fully em­ployed again.

I agree they should voice their con­cerns to her be­fore she goes, but you missed an op­por­tu­nity to ed­u­cate your read­ers. Yes, she is putting a lu­cra­tive ca­reer on hold, but she is do­ing it to serve her coun­try. I doubt your re­sponse would have been the same had she been leav­ing her job for a mil­i­tary ca­reer.

The Peace Corps will train her to work in a de­vel­op­ing na­tion where she will be shar­ing her ex­per­tise and Amer­i­can good­will with oth­ers while learning a new lan­guage and cul­ture. She will gain com­pas­sion, un­der­stand­ing and a world view that will in­flu­ence her de­ci­sions for the rest of her life. She will learn that suc­cess is not just about the almighty dol­lar; it’s more about find­ing mean­ing­ful work you en­joy and can be proud of.

Dear Abby

Dear Fed Up: It shouldn’t be all that hard to ac­com­plish. Tell your hus­band that because of the way his sis­ter has treated you all these years, you are fi­nally draw­ing the line. You no longer want her (or her drugged-up hus­band) in your home. If they drop by un­ex­pect­edly, tell them you can’t en­ter­tain them right then and suggest that in the fu­ture they call be­fore show­ing up.

At fam­ily func­tions you must at­tend, limit your ex­po­sure to her. Be po­lite but con­cen­trate on other rel­a­tives whose com­pany you do en­joy. You can’t con­trol her mouth or what she wears, but you can choose to ig­nore the woman, and that’s what I recommend.

Dear Vol­un­teer: Vol­un­teerism is a boon to our so­ci­ety as well as other so­ci­eties who ben­e­fit from it. Al­most 25 per­cent of Amer­i­cans vol­un­teer their time and tal­ents at one time or an­other. Many read­ers be­sides you wrote de­scrib­ing the sat­is­fac­tion they have de­rived in ad­di­tion to what they learned while work­ing in the Peace Corps. I hope your let­ter will al­lay the par­ents’ fears.

ABI­GAIL VAN BUREN

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