Woman ready to dress down her sister in family dustup

Published 9:13 am Monday, January 24, 2022

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DEAR ABBY: I’m one of three sisters. My mother passed away more than 10 years ago. My middle sister has my mom’s wedding dress and says Mom gave it to her. My daughter is now engaged. I asked my sister to mail me the dress or, when I visit, I can carry it back myself so my daughter can try it on. We live in the U.S.; my sister lives in Canada. My daughter would not alter it in any way, she would just like to take a photograph in it and have a special moment with it. My sister has refused.
Is this right? It feels like such an ugly, selfish decision. She has three daughters and wants it for them, which I can understand. But how does my daughter trying it on take away from that? I’m having a hard time with this, and I would like to know your thoughts. How can I take the high road but let her know she took the low road and I’m disappointed in her? I don’t think she has the corner on the market for caring about our mother just because she got married before I did and has the dress. — DRAMA ABOUT THE DRESS

DEAR DRAMA: If you want to take the “high road,” omit any geographic reference to her refusal. Just say that you and your daughter are “very disappointed” by her reaction and, had the situation been reversed, you would have been “more generous.”
You might also consider visiting your sister and bringing your daughter with you, if your sister agrees, so she can try on the dress there. I wish you luck.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are friends with another couple (“Allen” and “Laura”) we enjoy very much. We live about an hour apart, so we don’t see them as often as we’d like. When we do make plans, Laura almost always invites along her sister and her husband. While they are a nice couple, we would sometimes prefer it be just the four of us.
We are spending the winter in another state and have invited them to come for a visit. Laura is already hinting around about wanting to invite her sister and husband. How do I politely handle this? — CROWDED IN THE EAST

DEAR CROWDED: Handle this by “politely” telling Laura that you and your husband would prefer it just be a foursome this time, and “perhaps another time” you can include her sister. Period!
DEAR ABBY: I’ve wanted to be a pilot for a long time. But because of my medical history and my need to be on medicine, both of which are disqualifying, it’s not possible. I have been good at handwriting comparisons as a hobby, specifically in legal cases, although I am unpaid. Also, I may get a job as a mail clerk at a federal department.
How can I move past this major disappointment where I’m grounded (job-wise) for life? I pray, and have given free psychic readings. I’d like to find love but I struggle with emotional regulation. Please help. — ALL OVER THE PLACE

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DEAR ALL OVER: Your first order of “business” needs to be finding a job you can enjoy other than flying. Once that’s done and you are on firm financial footing, explore those hobbies of yours. Rewarding relationships are based on mutual interests.
Between your job and your hobbies, you may meet someone with whom you can have a romantic relationship.
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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