DEAR ABBY: For the past several years, my husband’s sister-in-law, “Janine,” has used my photographs (with my permission) in calendars she has made as gifts to different family members. One year, I asked her if she would have one made for me since most of the photos in it were mine. Her answer: “No, make your own.”
Last year, at a cousin’s wedding, Janine came up to me and told me to be sure to take some “good pictures” for HER calendar. I just about lost it! And for the current year’s calendar, she had her husband ask for 12 more photos.
I feel Janine has been using me to give gifts with her name on them to other family members. I get none of the credit for having taken the pictures. It seems to me that she is stealing. What do you think? — “DEVELOPING” A GRUDGE IN KANSAS
DEAR “DEVELOPING”: I disagree that what your sister-in-law is doing is stealing, because by giving her the pictures with no conditional stipulation — in this case, being given the credit for having taken them — you are enabling her. And I “think” the time has come for you to insist that your name be on the pictures, or that she take her own photos for “her” calendar. Don’t you?
DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend is 43 and I am 48. I admit he moved in very fast — a few weeks after he lost his job.
After three months his mood began to change. He tells me he loves me and I’m the greatest thing that ever happened to him, but I noticed he was becoming quiet and withdrawn. I texted him at work to ask if something was wrong, and he said “things” were on his mind. I asked was it me? He said no.
When he came home I asked what was wrong, and he said things were happening too fast, that he wanted his own place and to move around as he wants to. I asked him if he sees me in his future, and he said, “Yes. Just bear with me and give me some time.”
I need advice, Abby. I am so confused. I love him dearly. — TORN APART IN TOMBALL, TEXAS
DEAR TORN APART: When a man tells you things have moved too quickly and he needs time and space, that is what you have to give him. He may care for you, but unless you give him the chance to miss the comforts you provide him, what you want won’t happen. And the harder you try to cling, the more it will drive him away.
DEAR ABBY: My stepdaughter is being married for the first time to the father of her two children. She is planning a large traditional wedding in which her father will give her away. She wants to include their children in the ceremony, too.
Under the circumstances, wouldn’t a small wedding (without the long white dress and associated traditions) be more appropriate? My opinion has not been requested, nor would I ever provide it, but I am curious because I believe some of the older relatives in the family may be shocked. — SOMEWHAT SHOCKED MYSELF IN SOUTH CAROLINA
DEAR SOMEWHAT: Unless the older relatives in the family have been living in seclusion, with no magazines, tabloids, television and the Internet, I’m sure they realize that in the last 40 years some of the old rules have been retired. Among them: restrictions against large church weddings for longtime cohabitating couples and white dresses for non-virgin brides. Should any of the old folks show signs of shock, offer a shoulder for them to lean on. But don’t be surprised if none of them is surprised at all.
TO MY JEWISH READERS: Sundown marks the first night of Passover. Happy Passover, everyone!
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.