DEAR ABBY: I am a 24-year-old woman who has been married for four months to an amazing man. We have a wonderful marriage and are looking forward to growing old together. However, I have a slight problem:

I have a baby blanket I have had since I was a baby and have slept with it since before I could walk. When I turned 16, I told myself I’d get rid of it. Sixteen turned to 18, 18 turned into getting rid of it when I graduated from college, which turned into getting rid of it when I married.

I am now married and have no intention of getting rid of it. I guess I’ve held onto it because it’s familiar. (We moved far from home after our wedding.) My husband says he doesn’t mind, and I’m sure he’s not lying, but it’s a little embarrassing. I can’t fall asleep without it. I even watch TV with it in my lap or read with it behind my head.

Do you think it’s ridiculous for me to have a baby blanket at 24 with a new, wonderful husband, or should I just keep it and not worry? – K.T., IN KENTUCKY

DEAR K.T.: Your “problem” may be unusual, but it’s not unheard of. Your “blanky” is familiar and soothing, and since your husband doesn’t mind, I see no reason why you should be concerned about keeping it. Enjoy!

DEAR ABBY: I have finally been reunited with my 30-year- old son, who was in the Marines as a sergeant in Iraq. He decided he wanted to get in touch with his dad after 15 years. I welcomed him with open arms.

I love my son very much. Is it wrong for me to want to hug him?

He is married, and I have just met his wife. She’s a great person and a wonderful daughter-in-law. She met me at the door with a hug. I told them both that I love them, always have and always will, and it wasn’t my choice that we were separated. I don’t ever want us to be separated again.

He told me, “Dad, I love you, too,” but he’s not too keen about the hugs all of a sudden. (It was OK the first couple of visits.) I just want him to know I really love him. Do you think my son is too old to be hugged? – DEMONSTRATIVE DAD IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR DEMONSTRATIVE DAD: No, I do not. Hugging is a common expression of affection in many families. However, you must remember that you have been separated from your son for half his life. And for hugging to be OK, it needs to be mutual. So before you do it again, talk to your son about it and be sure the gesture is welcomed. And if it makes him uncomfortable, respect his feelings.

DEAR ABBY: My father recently died. My co-workers took up a collection to give to me. It has always been my understanding that gifts such as this should be used for the funeral expenses. Therefore, I passed the money on to my mother.

When I mentioned it to a couple of my co-workers and friends, they said I should have kept the money for myself – that was the intent. Was I wrong to pass it on to my mother? She is the one paying for the funeral and needs the money for a headstone, etc. – LINDA IN EDINBURG, ILL.

DEAR LINDA: Your friends are well-intentioned but mistaken. My understanding is the same as yours – and you did the right thing in giving the money to your mother to help with the expenses surrounding your father’s funeral.

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.


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