DEAR ABBY: My companion of many years and I are retired and live a few hours away from some of his family. When one of them plans a visit, she always insists on taking us out for a meal and insists on paying for the meal.
I enjoy cooking and visiting with family during and after meals. I know what our dietary restrictions are, and most restaurant meals do not meet those requirements.
I need a suggestion on how to deal with the situation without hurting anyone's feelings. — THANKS, BUT NO THANKS
DEAR T.B.N.T.: This relative may not mean to seem overbearing and may only be trying to be nice. Thank her warmly for wanting to take you to dinner, but tell her no. Explain that because of medical reasons, both of you must strictly limit the sodium, fat, sugar and gluten in your diet, which is why the two of you have decided it is "safer" to eat at home, where you can control what goes into your food. Then invite her to join you because you would love to see her and spend time with her while she's in town.
DEAR ABBY: I am in a difficult situation. My dear friends and bosses, "Rebecca" and "Caesar," are selling their home. They had offered to sell it to me and, at the time, I was interested in buying it. Then I did the one thing I never thought I would do. I found love. Because it's no longer just me, their house won't work for us. I was honest with my friends. They have been giving me the silent treatment ever since, and it's causing problems at work. What is a girl to do? — IN LOVE IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR IN LOVE: Recognize that Rebecca and Caesar are understandably upset that what they thought would be a quick and easy sale has now become more complicated. Explain to them again that you didn't mean to cause them a problem, but your circumstances changed. And if they continue to take out their disappointment by punishing you at work, look for another job.
DEAR ABBY: I agreed to pay for a cellphone for a friend's daughter while she went to school in the U.S. She was supposed to be here for three years. WELL, it is now year four, and she's planning to stay here after graduation. How do I tell her that I am not willing to continue paying for her phone after graduation? — TRIED TO HELP IN TEXAS
DEAR TRIED TO HELP: You have several choices. You can tell her parents, write to her or call her on the cellphone you have so generously underwritten. And after you deliver the message, you should be thanked for your generosity not only by her but also her parents.
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.
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