Dear Abby: My sister-in-law quit her job and moved into my in-laws’ basement six years ago. I think there may have been an emotional breakdown having to do with her work. I also think it upsets my mother-in-law to have her adult daughter living this life.
Mom isn’t willing to ask her to move out or even discuss the situation.
This was fine until my sister-in-law told my 10-year-old daughter that she lives with her parents because “they need her to take care of them.” Nothing could be further from the truth!
My in-laws are fine on their own.
My concern is that this is sending a bad message to my daughter, and she will think she will need to take care of her father and me in 30 years. I have told my daughter that kids do not need to move back in with their parents — even if they need help.
My question is, should I tell my mother-in-law about this or just drop it?
Taken Aback in Nevada
Dear Taken Aback: Your sister-in-law may have justified her living with her parents in order to save face after having been asked about why she was living in their basement. Because you have dealt with this with your daughter and the subject is a sensitive one with your mother-in-law, my advice is to let it go.
Dear Abby: Can you please help me understand the rule of etiquette when borrowing a wedding dress?
The owner was fully aware that the bride had intentions on altering the dress. It was obvious that it would need to be made several sizes smaller and be shortened.
Also, the bride stated clearly that she intended to lower the neckline and remove the sleeves. Everyone seemed happy the gown was being used again after 25 years of being in a box.
After the wedding, the dress was professionally cleaned, boxed and returned to the owner. She is now livid and contends that the dress should have been returned in its original state — just like it was loaned.
I’d appreciate your help settling this family dispute.
How should this work?
in The Midwest
Dear Borrowing Trouble: It is a fact of life that when cloth is excised so a garment can be made “several sizes smaller,” it cannot be put back in its original condition. If that was the expectation of the owner, it was unrealistic.
The bride did the right thing by having the wedding gown professionally cleaned and boxed, and it shouldn’t be necessary for her to make any apologies.
Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.