DEAR ABBY: The other day at my in-laws’, my mother-in-law, father-in-law, “Bert,” and I were in their computer room. Bert has pictures of his family posted on his bulletin board, and we often look at them when we’re in the room.
One of the photos he posted recently I found disturbing. It was of a young, well-endowed woman in her early 20s wearing a tight tube top. What disturbed me was that Bert has printed my 16-year-old daughter’s name underneath and the date “2017.” When I asked him about it, he said that was what she will look like at 21. My mother-in-law said she thought it was crude, and I think it’s unnerving for a grandfather to be picturing his only granddaughter in such a manner.
We have a great family life, and I wouldn’t want that to end over a picture, but I don’t want to look at it, and I don’t think this is behavior that’s expected from a man in his 60s.
How should I broach the subject that the photo needs to come down? — CONCERNED FATHER FROM GREAT LAKES
DEAR CONCERNED FATHER: Grandpa “Bert” appears to be a dirty old man. I’m not sure “you” should talk to him about this. It would have more impact if you, your wife and your mother-in-law do it together. When you do, tell him that putting your daughter’s name under the picture was in poor taste and you all want the picture with your daughter’s name shredded. (That way you’re sure it’s gone.)
Privately, your wife should ask your daughter if Grandpa Bert has ever done anything that made her uncomfortable. If the answer is yes, confront him. If not, explain your concerns to your daughter, tell her you and your wife love her, and she can always come to you with any concerns of her own.
DEAR ABBY: I’m a young mother who dropped out of high school because I didn’t have enough credits. I started a great job in fast food and have a very understanding boss. I met my boyfriend at work. We’ve lived together since before my son was born and he has helped me to raise my boy. (His biological dad left me and has had no contact since I was two months pregnant.)
Lately I have been incredibly depressed. I’m nowhere I wanted to be in life, miserable in my relationship and have started to hate my job. I’m clinically diagnosed as bipolar and on medication. I have also been seeing a therapist since I was very young. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to throw my life away. I love my son and want the best for him. Any advice on how to pick myself up? — DOWN DEEP IN CLEVELAND
DEAR DOWN DEEP: Yes. Tell your therapist that you are cycling into a depression. Your medications may need to be adjusted. Next, explore completing your high school education by getting a GED degree, which may widen your employment opportunities. Once you’re feeling better, you should consider whether you want to end the romantic relationship you have with your boyfriend. When your emotions are on an even keel, you’ll be better able to make that decision.
P.S. If you’re not receiving child support, contact the department of social services in your state, because your child’s father should have been contributing regularly.
DEAR ABBY: When filling salt and pepper shakers that aren’t marked, does the salt go into the one with the fewer holes on the top? — PLEASE PASS THE SALT
DEAR PLEASE PASS THE SALT: There is no set rule. Although traditionally the salt shaker is the one with more holes, because doctors now advise Americans to cut back on our salt intake, it might make more sense to put it into the shaker with fewer holes.
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.