Dear Abby: Girls gets early training in art of writing thank-you notes

Dear Abby
Jeanne Phillips

Dear Abby: I have my granddaughters write thank-you notes to everyone who gave them presents for Christmas, birthdays and special events. They are 7 and 8 years old now. They have fun drawing pictures and mailing the letters, and the recipients enjoy receiving their notes. I would like to order your Letters Booklet because it contains samples of many other types of correspondence.

— Linda in Centerville, Texas

Dear Linda: You are giving your granddaughters an early lesson in good manners, and your idea of having them draw pictures on their thank-you notes is clever. Because most children like to draw, some parents have their children do this before they learn to write.

As your granddaughters grow older, suggest that they keep a notebook handy when they open their gifts and jot down the first thing that comes to mind when they see the gift. Do they like the color? The style? Is it something they have been wanting? Write it down and use it for inspiration.

My booklet is helpful for people of all ages who put off writing because they don’t know what to say. It can be ordered by sending your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to Dear Abby Letters Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price. Inside you will find many samples that can be used as patterns from which to write your own. For anyone who has ever wondered where to begin when writing a note of thanks, congratulations, condolences, composing a love letter or the opposite — announcing a broken engagement or a decision to divorce — “How to Write Letters” is a handy guide for putting words down on paper.

Dear Abby: A close friend of mine recently confided that at a recent office happy hour, after most of her co-workers went home, she made out with a married manager. After that, they went to another bar, after which he eventually paid a $200 taxi ride for her to go to her parents’ house where she was spending the weekend. Now they text after work hours (presumably while he is home with his wife and kids), and he has invited her out to lunch and drinks, which she has rebuffed.

I asked her what their goal was for this “relationship” — do they want an affair? Something more? She says they are just friends, and she’s mad at me for even questioning it. She just broke up with her longtime boyfriend, and I don’t want her to get hurt by getting involved with this man from her office. Any advice?

— Worried Friend in New York

Dear Worried Friend: You asked your friend an intelligent question. Now it’s time to step back out of the line of fire. This will not end well, and somebody is going to be unhappy as this unfolds. Do not let it be you.

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