Boyfriend in family photo can always be edited out

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DEAR ABBY: My husband, Keith, and I are eagerly awaiting the birth of our first child. Sadly, Keiths mother is in very poor health. Shes not expected to live more than a few months after the birth of her newest grandchild.

For this reason, all of Keiths siblings are planning to visit after the baby arrives so that everyone can pose for one last family photo, complete with our new baby. My problem is with Keiths niece, Bridget. I know when the time comes to snap the picture, Bridget will insist on including her latest loser boyfriend.

I wouldnt care if it werent for the fact that Bridget has a history of demanding that her current boyfriends be put in family photos and then insisting that the pictures never see the light of day again after the relationship has ended. She threw a fit at my in-laws anniversary party when she saw that their picture board contained family pictures with past boyfriends. She was even so bold as to tell everyone in Keiths family to get rid of any family pictures from our wedding because seeing images of her boyfriend at the time dredged up too many painful memories. (That boyfriend would eventually become her ex-husband, to whom she was married for only one month.)

How do I inform Bridget that her newest boyfriend is not wanted in what will most likely be the only family portrait to include my baby?

MOTHER-TO-BE

DEAR MOTHER-TO-BE: I see no reason to inform Bridget that the family regards her current boyfriend-to-be as yet another loser. It will only cause her to become hurt and defensive, and create resentment that could last for years. Instead, when everyone is lined up for the family picture, make sure that Bridgets boyfriend is posed on the end of the grouping. That way, if the romance tanks he can easily be photo-edited out.

DEAR ABBY: I often order a cup of herbal tea with dinner at restaurants. I use quite a bit of sugar, and end up with four to five empty packets after Ive sweetened my tea. What should I do with them? Ive tried hiding them under the saucer, but they never seem to fit.

TEA LOVER

DEAR TEA LOVER: Because the evidence is making you self-conscious, you could sneak the packets into your purse (or even your brassiere). However, speaking as a fellow sugar addict, my advice is to start cutting back on the sugar, because not only is it addictive, it also makes you crave more and more. And an hour after youve consumed it, youll feel as fatigued as you felt energized immediately afterward.

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