Dear Abby: My husband and I have been married 2 1/2 years. We have both been married before. I have a son, and he has three daughters. My son is married with two children. He works and is pretty self-sufficient. Two of my husband’s daughters live in the same city we do. They are 26 and 28. They don’t have cars or driver licenses and live with their mother, who is also car-less.

They often ask us for transportation. While I don’t mind doing it once in a while, we are not a taxi service. Occasionally, they’ll offer gas money. But my point is, every time the car is started and driven down the street, there is wear and tear on the vehicle. The girls don’t step up when it’s time to pay repair bills.

This is a constant argument between my husband and me, and I don’t know what to do about it. I love my stepdaughters, but in my opinion, they are old enough to be more self-sufficient. Advice, please.

Desperate in Reno, Nev.

Dear Desperate: You’re right; the “girls” are old enough. The solution to your problem lies in helping them become independent. This is what you should discuss with their father. There is a public transportation system in your community, and they should be familiar with it. If for some reason that’s not workable, perhaps their father could help them pay for driving lessons and/or a down payment on a used vehicle of their own.

Dear Abby: My fiance told me that an old friend of mine whom I am close to has kissed him goodbye on the lips twice now. He said the last time she did it, it made him feel uncomfortable and guilty.

I have never seen her do this to anyone else, and to be honest, I was angry about it when he told me. I am the godmother of her child, and I feel awkward around her now. What should I do? Should I let her come to me, or tell her it has been brought to my attention?

In A Weird Spot in California

Dear Weird Spot: Ideally, your fiance should ask her to stop kissing him on the mouth. However, if he’s not up to doing that, tell your old friend your fiance mentioned that the last few times he has seen her, she kissed him on the mouth and it made him uncomfortable. Then tell her that when you heard about it, it made YOU uncomfortable, so please don’t do it again.

Dear Abby: I was eating a Greek salad at a restaurant the other night, and I started to wonder about the polite way to eat olives with pits. I typically put the whole thing in my mouth, eat the flesh, then pull the pit out with my fingers and place it on a dish. I started wondering if it was rude to reach into my mouth and spit things out in a restaurant. What is the polite way to eat an olive in public?

It’s The Pits in New York

Dear Pits: According to etiquette experts the Post family, you’ve done nothing wrong. The key to disposing of an olive pit is discretion. (Shield the maneuver with your napkin to avoid offending your companion(s) if you’re not alone.)

Dear Abby: My investment adviser got married four months ago. He and his wife invited me to a celebration of their marriage. It is not formal, but an evening BBQ at their condo rooftop. Should I bring a gift? And if so, what would be appropriate for an investment adviser?

Betty in Florida

Dear Betty: A token gift would be thoughtful. Something they could use at one time or another might be a nice picture frame for their home. Be sure to include a thoughtful note with it, wishing them a lifetime of happiness together.

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

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