Dear Abby: One day I was having a holiday dinner for which I had prepared ham and turkey with all sides and three different pies. I even made a special minced pie for one of the guests. The guests – my brothers-in-law, a brother with a family of four and his mother-in-law – showed up with an empty Tupperware. At the end of the day I had only dirty dishes left.
Then the same family invited my husband and me to a holiday dinner. My husband felt bad and couldn’t go. When I asked my daughter-in-law if I could take his plate home, she said, “No! If he doesn’t want to come home, he can’t have anything to eat. ” Yes, Abby, she was serious.
Meat, which she received as a gift from her employer, is prepared by my sister, and the other guests prepare side dishes and desserts. I NEVER walk around empty-handed. At the end of the meal she transfers leftovers to her own Tupperware and returns us the cleaned bowls. When I ask for a little something to take home, she protects her remains like her children.
How do you feel about leftovers? Is it forbidden to ask for a little fruit salad? Does the owner relieve the burden of storing all the leftovers out of turn? Are there rules of etiquette here? – HOPE FOR THE AFTER SANDWICH
Dear hope: If you want a lively, breathing definition of cheeky guests and unfriendly hosts, look no further than your mother-in-law’s contact file. However, the blame may lie not only on them. If this has happened several times and you can’t muster the courage to tell these greedy people to clean up their Tupperware and help with the utensils, you can’t blame them that you don’t mind being imposed that way.
As for the daughter-in-law who refused to allow you to bring anything of her food to your sick husband, I would not blame you if you decided not to decorate her table anymore by telling her the reason.
Dear Abby: I am an adopted 17 year old high school student and I live with four people who are all disabled. I want to leave when I turn 18 when I can. I have several older siblings, but each has a family to take care of. My older brother is 60 and my younger brother is 40.
I don’t want to seem selfish for wanting to live on my own, but I don’t know how to tell them. I don’t know how to tell them anything because they haven’t listened to me before. If you have any tips on how to tell them, I will be very grateful. – A NERVOUS GIRL IN NEW YORK
Dear nervous girl: I wish you didn’t mention when you turn 18, because at that point you will have the legal right to live where you want, and your parents and siblings will have to “listen to you”.
Since you are determined to move, it is important to start preparing now. You will need to find a job so you can afford a deposit and pay for rent, food, etc. You may also have to find roommates until you can afford a place that is your own. A school counselor can help you, especially if you plan to continue your studies.
Written by “Dear Abby” 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 mailbox 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.