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My father died five years ago at age 90. For the last 20 years of his life, my two sisters shunned him because they didn’t love his second wife (who predeceased him). She had never been anything but nice to all of us. They refused to speak to him and, as he lay dying, announced that they would not attend his funeral.
When an aunt informed them that dad had left over a million dollars in cash and there was no will, they couldn’t get there fast enough. They caused me great distress by falsely accusing me of trying to steal them. I never took anything from my sisters. I made sure the money was distributed equally, and then I cut them out of my life.
“Family”, for me, is synonymous with loyalty, love and trust. Without it, we are just relationships. I plan on never speaking to them again. Am I wrong?
— Disgusted in Denver
You are not wrong. Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your father. With parents like your sisters, you don’t need enemies. In a case like this, it makes good sense to protect yourself. Keeping your distance will accomplish this well.
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Dear Abby, Do you talk about the problem of adult bullying in the workplace? Bullies are usually buddies with supervisors and get away with harassment, which includes name-calling, ridicule, and gossip, which creates a very uncomfortable work environment. It happens too often. — ONCE BULLYED
DEAR BULLIED: Unfortunately, you’re right. It happens too often. One way to stop it is to first tell the bully you don’t like it. Then start documenting incidents, including dates, times, and what was done. Take this information to your boss or supervisor and ask them to put a stop to it. If that doesn’t help, bring your concerns to HR. If HR doesn’t stop what’s happening, bring the issue — and your evidence — to the EEOC. What you have described is a hostile work environment, which could be the basis for legal action.
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Dear Abby, I recently hosted a bridal shower for my daughter’s future sister-in-law. It was a great deal with delicious food and lovely decor. Everyone feasted. After it was over, my daughter blamed me for not giving a present. I was stunned, hurt and more than a little angry. The cost of the shower, not including my time and labor, was way more than I would have spent on a gift.
My daughter is mad at me now because I told her she was rude and ridiculous. Should I apologize and give the couple an extra gift? I have organized many such events and always thought that the party was a gift. — BORED IN ALBUQUERQUE
DEAR ANNOYEE: According to “The Everything Wedding Shower Book,” by Jennifer Jenkins, “It’s customary for the hostess to give the bride a shower gift, like everyone else.” However, I’m not sure I agree with Jennifer. After putting in the time, effort, and expense of planning and executing the shower, I really don’t think an extra gift is needed.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
This article originally appeared in The Providence Journal: Dear Abby: Sisters’ display of greed is the straw that breaks the camel’s back for a sibling.
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