Dear Abby: My father, who has been a widower for 17 years, has been dating a woman on and off for 12 years, a couple years after my brother and I left for college. My brother and I don’t care for her, but we live three hours away from them in opposite directions now. We figure if he’s happy, then it’s none of our business. I try not to be rude, but I simply do not enjoy spending time with her.
I’ve been planning an out-of-state sports weekend with my dad and brother. I have been looking forward to it, because with three small kids, I have little time for these kinds of activities. I got us all tickets and hotel rooms, but now my brother can’t come because of a family medical issue.
Dad has just hinted he may bring his girlfriend to take my brother’s spot, because “she’s upset and not talking to me because I didn’t take her to my brother’s son’s birthday.” I can’t imagine a more excruciating weekend.
I told him, “I expected this to be a ‘guys’ weekend.” But, like always, he was cagey, and I’m terrified he is going to show up with his girlfriend. How can I impress upon him that I don’t want her to use my brother’s unused ticket because I do not want to spend the weekend with her? — Bad Sport In Oregon
Dear Bad Sport: Is your dad unaware of how you feel about his lady friend? The solution to your problem would be to tell your father that while you are pleased he has found happiness with this woman, you do not enjoy her company, which is why he doesn’t see more of you.
While you’re at it, tell him what it is about her that you cannot tolerate. Then “remind” him that her presence would change the character of the “guys weekend,” and if he plans to bring her, he will spend the weekend alone with her — your treat — because you, too, will change your plans.
Dear Abby: In seven months, my 43-year-old son will be married for the second time. Because of his fiancee’s problem drinking, I am absolutely against the marriage. I hate the idea of going to the wedding. Should I go anyway, and have the most miserable day of my life? I doubt that I would be able to hide my sadness. Or should I decline, tell my son I wouldn’t be a good guest to have on his happy day and wish them “all the best”? — Hesitating In Washington
Dear Hesitating: I will assume that your son is aware of your concerns about his fiancee’s drinking. Do not boycott this wedding. If you do, you will create a wedge between you and your daughter-in-law that could last for decades. Plaster on a smile and attend so you can wish them all the best in person. Then cross your fingers that your wish comes true.
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 P.O.Box 69440,Los Angeles,CA 90069 or visit