Dear Abby: I regard my photograph albums as diaries. I don’t like to make copies of my pictures for others. My future mother-in-law looked through my albums and chose half a dozen that she would like me to copy for her. I had already given her several snapshots of her son and me, but she wants more.
Abby, I don’t understand why she doesn’t just take her own pictures of us! I view these pictures as personal items. I don’t think they are for others to own and display. Am I wrong? How can I refuse requests for copies of my pictures without offending someone?
Dear L.E.: I think you’re viewing this scenario from the wrong perspective. Perhaps your mother-in-law-to-be isn’t as comfortable or creative with a camera as you are. If she didn’t have warm feelings for you, she wouldn’t want to own and display the pictures she’s requesting.
Unless you become less territorial and change your attitude, I foresee a troubled relationship with your mother-in-law looming on the horizon. Get the picture?
Dear Abby: I have been married for seven years and have two small children. My husband loves me and is good to me. My problem is I no longer feel the same about him anymore.
My former fiance recently came back into my life. I hadn’t seen him in eight years, and the moment I saw him all the old feelings came flooding back. We even spent the night together.
I told my husband everything, hoping he would be upset and leave me, but he was forgiving and wants to stay married! Now I don’t know what to do — stay with him or be with the one true love of my life. I can’t stop thinking about my love. Please help me.
Dear Unhappy: Nowhere in your letter have you indicated that your ex-fiance feels the way you do, and is ready to support you emotionally and financially. You have much to lose if you abandon your husband and children. That’s why I’m urging you and your husband to seek counseling to try to reignite your marriage, because right now you are living in a fantasy of what “might have been.”
Dear Abby: My neighbor “Marcella” is 84. She’s a lovely woman, but she’s dependent on me to do everything for her because she’s quite senile. Marcella has been in three auto accidents and goes from doctor to doctor for treatment because she forgets who treated her last.
Abby, this poor woman’s “children,” who are in their 40s and 50s, live 10 minutes away and visit her only twice a year. They knew about Marcella’s car accidents and never even showed up at the hospital.
I have my own family to care for and I work. Marcella demands my attention daily to do her grocery shopping, check her furnace or take her to doctor’s appointments. I just can’t do it all anymore! Your advice?
Dear Loyal Neighbor: You are very kind-hearted, but the responsibility for your neighbor’s care should be borne by her children. If you don’t want to confront Marcella’s children directly, phone or write them a letter explaining what you have told me. If they refuse to help, then senior citizen services in your county should be contacted ASAP.
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.