Abby: Cereal, hot coffee early-rising houseguest needs

Dear Abby
Jeanne Phillips

Dear Abby: A family member, “Bill,” likes to come visit in the afternoons and, because he’s not comfortable driving in the dark, he always plans to stay overnight. When he does, he often wakes up before 6 a.m.

Bill tries to be as quiet as possible, but we know when he is up. Our dog hears someone moving around and thinks it’s time to go out and eat. My husband or I will get up to take care of our dog, but at that point, it seems rude to go back to bed. My husband likes to go back to sleep, but I feel I should get up and entertain our guest.

Is it bad manners to go back to sleep even though it is still very early?

To Sleep, Or Not To Sleep

Dear T.S. or N.T.S.: If you need your sleep, go back to bed. The right amount of sleep is important, and not getting it can ruin one’s entire day.

If you’re concerned about Bill not having a good breakfast, before bed, put the coffeemaker on “automatic” and show him where the cereal is kept. That’s not being a bad hostess.

Dear Abby: My letter is in response to “A Mom in Connecticut” (Dec.), who feels she is being “fitted in” because her daughter calls her only while driving in her car.

My daughter calls me almost every morning on her way to work. She calls me her “commute buddy.” It gives us 10 to 15 minutes to catch up, vent about “stuff” on both ends of the phone, or just chat. I can tell when she arrives at work or very nearly, and we always end with “Love you.”

I love our conversations and the fact that, although she has an extremely busy schedule, she finds the time to chat with me. She uses her hands-free phone, so I don’t worry too much about her being distracted.

Sheila in Prescott, Ariz.

Dear Sheila: You may not be worried about your daughter using a hands-free phone, but others have a different view:

Dear Abby: Drivers on cellphones — even hands-free — are four times more likely to crash and hurt themselves or someone else within five minutes of making a call. Texters are 23 times more likely to crash. More than 3,000 people are killed this way each year and 300,000 to 500,000 are injured.

How do I know the statistics? My son was killed by a driver on a cellphone.

Gary in Kenosha, Wis.

Dear Gary: Please accept my condolences for the tragic loss of your son. Too often people take the privilege of driving for granted, forgetting that if they don’t concentrate fully on driving, they place themselves and those around them in danger.

Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.