DEAR ABBY: My husband, “Dennis,” and I have been happily married for 13 years and have two great sons. Our only problem is we haven’t spoken to Dennis’ mother, “Roz,” in more than three years. Roz is always mad at us – for what, we’re not sure. It’s as if we can never please her, and she has just cut us off.

Dennis has gone through years of psychotherapy to heal the emotional damage Roz has caused him, and he has come a long way. He’s now a successful and happy man.

Our older boy will be having his bar mitzvah in two years, and already Dennis is stressing out about whether to include Roz or not. Having a relationship with her was strained at best. We were constantly walking on eggshells. In Roz’s eyes we could do no right. How can we avoid feeling guilty about not including her – or should we invite her? – AMBIVALENT IN FLORIDA

DEAR AMBIVALENT: Grit your teeth and invite her. A Jewish grandson’s 13th birthday isn’t an occasion that slips by unnoticed. If Roz does not attend your son’s bar mitzvah, there will be questions about her absence. Of course, if there has been no communication for three years, there’s a strong likelihood that she won’t attend. However, if she does, make sure she’s seated with other relatives, as far away from your husband as possible. If she’s absent, be sure to tell anyone who asks that she was invited.



DEAR ABBY: Last February, I went for my annual mammogram. They found that I had an invasive cancer in one breast. I opted to have both breasts removed because I didn’t want to go through the trauma of it all over again. I kept my spirits up, and opted against reconstructive surgery because I am not comfortable with the procedure. I don’t wear padded bras because they are a hassle. I’m happy with my chest the way it is.

Sometimes it’s a challenge to wear certain kinds of dresses, but I can usually overcome that.

My problem is, I have many friends – well-meaning, I am sure – both male and female, who are always suggesting different ways for me to make it look like I have breasts. One male friend even suggested that it takes away the “eye appeal and mystery.” How can I make these people understand that I’m happy the way I am? My husband says I’m just as sexy as I was before. – FLAT AND SASSY IN OREGON

DEAR SASSY: You are a woman who is doubly blessed. Not only do you have a healthy sense of self-esteem, you also have a mature and loving spouse. When your friends offer unsolicited advice, smile and tell them, “I’m happy the way I am, thank you, and I don’t believe in false advertising. End of subject.”



DEAR ABBY: It has been almost a year since the home invasion at my son’s apartment that nearly cost him his life. (He was nearly beaten to death.)

A week ago, I found out that the woman who spends most of the time living with my son was the person who set the whole thing up. Should I tell my son the facts of the matter? How, exactly, should I broach the subject? – WORRIED MOM IN L.A.

DEAR WORRIED MOM: If you have facts pertaining to a crime that was committed, inform the police so the matter can be properly investigated. Once that’s done, tell your son face-to-face what you have learned and how you learned it. The information could save his life.

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.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order “How to Have a Lovely Wedding.” Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.