Dear Abby: This year it's our turn to have Thanksgiving dinner for my parents, my two brothers and their families at our home. My parents and brothers all live in the same city, about three hours from my family.
My father recently had major surgery. He's recovering at home and can't drive. My mother can drive. However, she drinks a little, although she has never caused an accident.
Abby, I'd still like to host Thanksgiving dinner at our home. We don't have a spare bedroom, but I don't think it would be a problem to make sleeping arrangements for my parents, my brothers and their families. All together, there would only be eight adults, a preschooler, a 6-year-old, 8- year-old twins and two teenagers in our house — and it would be only for two nights. (Members of our families always stay with relatives when they travel, so a motel is out.)
My wife thinks it would make more sense (even though she enjoys cooking) if we stayed in a motel close to my parents' home this year and treated everyone to Thanksgiving dinner in a restaurant close by. How can I convince her that my plan to have everyone at our home will work? —Perplexed In Santa Barbara
Dear Perplexed: Your plan is well-intended, but it might not be what's best for your father right now. When anyone is recovering from surgery, it's not unusual to tire easily, and when the patients are older, they do not bounce back as quickly as younger people do. Once fatigue sets in, it is important that the patient go to bed and rest. With eight adults, a preschooler, a 6-year-old, 8-year-old twins and two teenagers all under the same roof, that would be impossible.
Another possibility is for you and your wife to stay in a motel but offer to host the dinner at your parents' home.
Dear Abby: I have been dating a wonderful man. He is 38 and I am 43. He is living with his parents until he can get his dad's business license.
His parents are mad because he goes out, and have demanded that he break up with me. They have not even met me, yet they are accusing me of being after a meal ticket. Abby, I have my own place, my own car and a job that I enjoy. He lives with his parents and is starting over with almost nothing, not even his own car. I am heartbroken.
What should I do? People say I need a man, not a boy. —Heartbroken In Texas
Dear Heartbroken: I don't know how expensive a business license is, but this one is costing a "wonderful man" his independence. What you should do is find a man who is not financially dependent upon staying in his parents' good graces. If you pin your hopes on this one, you will STAY heartbroken.
Dear Abby: I am an 11-year-old in middle school. I would love to show how responsible I am by doing chores for other people for a little extra money on the side.
I am very mature and get good grades, but I'm afraid that people will underestimate me because of my age. Do you have any suggestions? I read your column and love it. Please help. —Curious In San Diego
Dear Curious: I respect your ambition and your entrepreneurial spirit. Proceed only with your parents' permission, and with neighbors they know. One way to accomplish your goal would be to distribute a list of the chores that you would like to do, along with a price list for your services. Include your contact number, and you'll be off to the races. If you are told by people that they have doubts about your level of maturity, use your parents as your first reference. Good luck!
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. © Universal Press Syndicate