DEAR ABBY: My husband's parents will soon be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. My husband has two brothers and two sisters. His sisters decided, without consulting us, that all the children would chip in and send their parents to Hawaii as their anniversary gift. They have already told their parents, who are thrilled about it.
The problem is, the sister whose idea it was is the only one who can afford such an expensive gift. The rest of us are barely making it from paycheck to paycheck.My siblings and I bought our parents a set of dishes for their 50th.
I am more than a little resentful that my parents got dishes while my in-laws will get a trip to Hawaii. (My parents are no less deserving.)
I have polled my friends and co-workers and they agree that a trip to Hawaii isn't a typical anniversary gift - it is excessive. - BURNED UP AND BROKE
DEAR BURNED UP: A trip to Hawaii is not an excessive anniversary gift for people who can afford it. However, one or two members of a family have no right to decide on any gift "from all the children" without having consulted them. And to have told the parents before discussing it with all the siblings was inexcusable.
DEAR ABBY: My father sent for your booklet "What Every Teen Should Know," and asked me to look it over to see if it would be helpful to my 12-year-old daughter. (She is his granddaughter.)
I read the booklet and thought that the way you approached all of the subjects was just great. I decided not just to hand her the booklet, but to read it with her so we could discuss it. Now she feels very comfortable talking with me about all the subjects that young girls wonder about.
My daughter now comes to me with questions because she knows I will be there to listen to her and guide her. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for caring about our young people. - GRATEFUL MOM IN LYNN, MASS.
DEAR GRATEFUL: I, too, am grateful. Thanks, Mom; your letter made my day.
DEAR ABBY: When you get a wedding invitation and can't go, are you obligated to tell them why?
I received an invitation to a church wedding that is scheduled for 10:30 in the morning. It's a good four-hour drive from where I live, and that's too long a drive and it's too early.
Also, if you get money from relatives as a gift, are you supposed to tell them what you bought? - PERPLEXED IN TUCSON
DEAR PERPLEXED: It is not necessary to state why you are unable to accept an invitation to a wedding - or to any other affair - but it softens the turndown if you can truthfully say that you are unable to attend due to a previous commitment.
When you receive a gift of money, you are not obligated to disclose how the money was used.
What teenagers need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with their peers and parents is now in Abby's updated, expanded booklet, "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)