Jeanne Phillips

DEAR ABBY: There’s a social club within our retirement community that meets once a month, and I have attended since moving here. During this time, I have brought new ideas and proposed new events. Everyone likes me, for which I am grateful. The current president is stepping down because he is relocating. Following his announcement, everyone was abuzz and people started asking me to run for president. At last month’s meeting, the subject was again brought up, and we were asked if anyone was interested. Well, all eyes were on me, so I put in my bid.

I’m very close to several neighbors, and two of them have approached me and want to be the vice president. This presents a dilemma. I like them both, and either one would do a fine job. I told them I have to stay neutral, and they understood. However, I see one more often and am much closer to them than to the other. I don’t know what to say or how to act when it keeps getting brought up. Elections are in three months. Your help and thoughts would be much appreciated. — PRESIDENT-TO-BE IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR PRESIDENT-TO-BE: Not knowing the rules in your social club, it occurs to me that whoever becomes vice president should be up to the club members, rather than the new president. Whoever receives the larger number of votes should be the next vice president. Who gets what title should be decided by the group, which will let you off the uncomfortable hook you feel yourself on.
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DEAR ABBY: My husband of 30 years died. We weren’t rich. I was 54 years old. We each had a will leaving all our assets to the other. We were self-employed, so there was no IRA or 401(k). I sold our only piece of property, and as a result, I have a small savings.
My daughters have now cut ties with me because I won’t give them money that I need to live on and will need for my future. I have been alienated from all the grandchildren as well. I feel terrible about it, but I’m scared about my future if I give my savings away. My daughters are all married and doing well financially. Is this normal? I gave them all of their father’s personal items after he passed. How can I feel better about all of this? — LOST THEM ALL AT ONCE
DEAR LOST THEM: Please accept my sympathy. Emotional blackmail is not “normal.” Neither is holding the grandkids for ransom, which is what your daughters are doing. I hope you realize they will continue to do this as long as they perceive you have a penny.
I predict you will start feeling better about all of this as soon as you are able to step back and fill your life with caring friends, who can fill, to some extent, the void your daughters are leaving in your life. You might also derive comfort and satisfaction by volunteering at an organization that benefits children. Please don’t wait to start.
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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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(EDITORS: If you have editorial questions, please contact Clint Hooker, chooker@amuniversal.com.)
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