Dear Abby: Boyfriend’s bad advice proves costly to woman

Dear Abby can help. / Getty Images
Dear Abby can help. / Getty Images

DEAR ABBY: I went to visit a man I was dating and there was no visitor parking available. He told me to park in any space, even though there were signs stating non-residents would be towed. He said not to worry about it, that I'd be there only a few hours. Suffice it to say, I got towed.

He did drive me to the tow yard to retrieve my car, but he didn't offer to pay for my tow charge, or even half of it. I thought it would have been nice of him to at least offer, and that his not offering demonstrated lack of character.

Yes, I know I chose to believe him at my own risk and that I'm responsible for my choices. But I trusted his information. In your opinion, did that demonstrate questionable character on his part? — TOWED IN TEXAS

DEAR TOWED: I'm not sure it demonstrated lack of character, but it certainly demonstrated lack of generosity. If he couldn't bring himself to take full responsibility, I agree he could have offered to pay half the fee. (I hope you put this guy in the rearview mirror.)

DEAR ABBY: I overheard my adult child speak to his significant other in a way I have heard only one other time. My child was not raised that way. My spouse and our children lived in what I thought was a traditional upbringing. I was shocked the first time and calmly expressed that speaking to another person with those words was disrespectful. I chalked it up to being young and not being mindful of other people's feelings.

Once again, although I was not attempting to eavesdrop, I heard the same language. I expressed that I was disappointed, embarrassed and ashamed of that language directed at another person. I suggested therapy to deal with this, but it scares me to think I don't know my own child and they are capable of such behavior. Is it possible I raised a Jekyll and Hyde or a young adult with no sense of pride or manners? — NOT MY CHILD

DEAR NOT MY CHILD: It is possible that you raised an adult child who has trouble controlling their temper and forgets that vulgarity and disrespect lessen the target's respect for the invective-thrower. Therapy might help if your child is open to it, but having suggested it, the time has come for you to step out of this unfortunate scenario. (The exception would be if you are afraid the verbal abuse could escalate.)

DEAR ABBY: I am a single, childless aunt/great aunt. For decades I took on the task of traveling to visit family while the kids were young. No problem. But I've recently learned the now-adult kids have been in my area and never contacted me. I was extremely hurt and let them know it when the opportunity presented itself. I am also insulted that they would make no effort. My initial reaction is to no longer make the effort. What to do? — ACHING AUNTIE

DEAR AUNTIE: The first thing to do is ask your nieces and nephews why they didn't let you know they were nearby. Once you know the reason, you can decide how much effort you want to make to see them in the future.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

  photo  Jeanne Phillips

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