DEAR ABBY: Crushed in California whined about her new stepdaughters rude, tacky, inappropriate and cruel reaction after Stepmom and Dad dumped notice on his 24-year-old daughter in a public place, no less that they had eloped.
Abby, the ADULTS were the rude, insensitive, inappropriate, self-centered and inconsiderate parties in this matter not the daughter. They are the ones who should be seeking to mend fences.
When I decided to remarry, we invited my daughters (all in their 20s) over for a private dinner at home where we made the announcement, invited the girls to participate in the planning and answered questions. And yes, the question about a pre-nup was raised. So what! My daughters wanted assurance that I had thought things through. They wanted to know how the marriage would change our familys dynamics, home arrangements, college plans, etc. They were surprised. They got emotional. But they clearly cared about me and my happiness. Their questions werent out of line; they were the same questions I got from close friends.
It seems to me that these self-centered adults cared diddly-squat about what Dads daughter felt or worried about: Keep the young woman in the dark. Dont let her contribute toward planning the event. Dont let her attend this milestone. Then dump the news on her in a public place to keep her emotional response contained. That ought to show her how important she is in her dads new life!
Get over it, Stepmom. You married a man with a daughter. She needs to be part of your life right now. You and Dad blew it by shutting her out. Maybe in time the daughter will forgive you.
A DAD IN
DEAR DAD IN NEW HAMPSHIRE: You appear to be at the helm of a close and functional family. Its sad that more families arent like your own.
What bothered me about the letter from Crushed in California was that the first words out of the daughters mouth had to do with money. I believe that people who earn and save money should be able to spend it as they wish. I also believe that it is unwise to count other peoples money as your own. If the father wants his daughter to have any of his assets, then he should have a will that says so. (Its called estate planning.) If he already has a will leaving his property to his daughter, now that he is married he will need a new one, because here in California, his wife would have a claim on half his estate in the event of his death.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with peers and parents is in What Every Teen Should Know. To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.) Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.