DEAR ABBY: We have two granddaughters who will be going to college soon. We are in a position to help them with expenses, but we are asking you if we should.
We put our daughter through college, and she has a career in the medical field. Her husband has a part-time, low-paying job and has shown no ambition to find other employment to assist with college expenses for the girls.
He's into electronics, and when he wants a new item, he has our daughter work overtime to buy it for him and she does! He has told our granddaughters they must pay for their own education because that's what he had to do, although he never graduated. (His father told us it isn't true -- that they would have helped.)
We have helped them out financially over the years, which of course enables our son-in-law to not improve himself. We realize that they quite often play us and think we are too ignorant to realize we are being taken advantage of. I believe that further education for their girls is a no-brainer because we want them to be able to support themselves, but where should we draw the line? -- GRANDMA IN TROY, OHIO
DEAR GRANDMA: Stand pat before writing any checks; look at your granddaughters' grades and ask yourselves if they take after your daughter or her husband. If they take after him, they may be more interested in a trade school instead.
Depending upon their ambition and aptitude, they may qualify for scholarships or student aid. They could also get part-time jobs to help pay for books or tuition, which would help them to grow into independent young women.
By now it should be apparent that it's time to draw the line. If you decide to pay for your granddaughters' education, be sure that any money they'll be getting goes to the school.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 21-year-old female living in Washington, D.C. Today, while on the Metro coming home from work, a group of eight high school kids hopped on, excited about what they had in their backpacks.
After they sat down across the aisle from me, I saw they were pulling handfuls of clothing out of their backpacks and attempting to take the sensors off the clothes. I heard a couple of them exclaim how excited they were about their new clothes, and one of the boys said, "I'm never paying for any clothes ever again."
Now I feel guilty that I didn't report anything to the authorities, or at least tell the boys the consequences of their actions weren't worth the possible repercussions. However, because I was a female traveling alone at sunset, I didn't want to involve myself in a possibly dangerous situation. What would your advice be on how to handle this encounter should it happen again? -- METRO RIDER
DEAR RIDER: You handled the situation correctly. If you are ever again alone in a situation in which you feel unsafe, particularly if you are outnumbered by individuals you think are up to no good, you should get away as quickly and quietly as possible.
P.S. If you have any idea where the clothes may have come from, call the store and the police and tell them what you saw.
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