DEAR ABBY: Thirty-eight years ago, I crocheted a tablecloth as a wedding gift for my husband's sister. (I'll call her Charlotte.) I asked my mother-in-law to deliver it to her because Charlotte and my mother-in-law lived in the same neighborhood, and I lived on the other side of town.
I never received any kind of "thank-you" from Charlotte, and I didn't have the nerve to ask my mother-in-law if she ever delivered the tablecloth to her. I just assumed she did.Well, Abby, after all these years, I visited Charlotte, and there on her dining room table was the tablecloth I had crocheted for her. I was delighted to see it there, and exclaimed, "My, how lovely that tablecloth looks on your table!"
Charlotte replied, "Thank you. I just love it. My mother made it for me."
Abby, I was shocked speechless, but I never said a word. This has really bothered me, but since my mother-in-law has been dead for several years now, I saw no point in telling Charlotte that I had crocheted that cloth for her and asked her mother to take it to her.
What do you think should be done about this misunderstanding after all these years? - PUZZLED IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR PUZZLED: Nothing. Your initial decision to remain silent was both kind and wise. Keep it that way.
DEAR ABBY: I never thought I'd be writing to you, but at least it's not about a personal problem. I want to thank you for allowing The Tacoma News Tribune to print a few recipes from your cookbooklet. I made your gourmet rice pudding, and it was out of this world!
I am a homemaker with two children. My husband is the supervising chef at the Tacoma General Hospital. He called me from work today and I told him I was in the middle of making a new dessert and he said, "Oh, noooo!" (He is leery about new recipes.)
Well, to make a long story short, I gave him a bowl of your rice pudding for dessert that evening, and he asked for a second bowl. Then he said it was so good he wanted to know if you'd have any objections to his giving the recipe to the hospital for it to use. Now, that's a compliment!
I'm enclosing $3.50 for your favorite recipes cookbooklet. If the others are as good as the rice pudding, I'll be more than satisfied. - KAREN COOK, TACOMA, WASH.
DEAR KAREN: Tell your husband he has my permission to take that recipe to the hospital for its use. And if he thinks the rice pudding is out of this world, he should try my quick-and-easy date cake. (It tastes like chocolate!)
DEAR ABBY: I recently lost my beloved husband after 42 years of marriage. This was difficult enough, but some of my friends and neighbors act as though I not only lost my husband, but my mind as well.
They are constantly giving me advice about what to do with my husband's business and my large home.Is there a diplomatic way to handle this? - A SAD WIDOW, NOT A STUPID ONE
DEAR SAD: Tell your friends exactly what you have told me - that you appreciate their advice, but you have the situation well in hand.