Dear Abby: Mom tries to patch rift between two daughters
DEAR ABBY: I have three beautiful daughters. The oldest moved to Wisconsin some years ago. About a year ago, my middle daughter went to visit her. My older daughter said something about politics that the younger one didn't like, and since then the younger one refuses to communicate with her, which is breaking my heart. My older daughter asked if I could help by talking to her. They used to be close and now this.
I tried talking to the younger one. She said she loves her older sister and for me to let her handle it. She promised she would contact her. It has been three months and -- nothing. What can I do? -- MOM REFEREE IN OREGON
DEAR MOM REFEREE: Too many things have become politicized lately, and it is to the detriment of relationships both personal and professional. If "change begins at home," let it start with you. Step back, stop counting the days and refuse to be put in the middle of this. Whatever their disagreement was, the problem is theirs to resolve, not yours.
DEAR ABBY: A few months ago, new neighbors moved in next door. They have been very nice and helpful. I work a lot, so they have done things like grab packages or take care of little things like bringing in my trash can.
I have thanked them many times, but three weeks ago I decided to do something extra special. I bought a lovely thank-you card and put a $100 restaurant gift card inside. I knocked on their door and handed it to the husband.
Abby, I haven't received any type of thank-you from them. I don't want to seem petty, but part of me is hurt by their lack of acknowledgment. They have my number, and I'm obviously home at a certain hour of the day. Do you think that because they helped me out, they felt they deserved my gift and a thank-you wasn't necessary? I am at the point where I no longer want them to do anything for me. Am I being petty, or do I have a right to feel hurt? -- UNAPPRECIATED IN NEW YORK
DEAR UNAPPRECIATED: Yes, you are being petty. You are essentially bemoaning not getting a thank-you for a thank-you. Your neighbors may not have said anything because they were overwhelmed by your generosity. The next time you see the husband or the wife, ASK if your display of gratitude may have made them uncomfortable. But in the interest of good relations, please stop judging them as harshly as you have.
DEAR ABBY: My sister was spring cleaning recently and came across a 14-karat gold crucifix pendant she had found in front of our family's house decades ago. Being nonreligious, my sister didn't know what to do with it. She didn't want to be disrespectful by improperly disposing of it, so she kept it. I offered it to someone I know, but she doesn't need another crucifix, so I'd like to know what should be done with it. Is there an organization that handles this sort of thing? -- RESPECTFULLY NOT RELIGIOUS
DEAR R.N.R.: If selling the crucifix doesn't interest you, contact the nearest Christian church and talk to someone there about donating it so it can be given to someone who needs it, such as a recent convert or a newly confirmed young person. I am sure your offer would be appreciated.
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.