DEAR ABBY: The way my mother dresses has me so embarrassed I don't want to be seen in public with her. Her hair looks as if she's stuck her finger in a light socket, her clothes are three sizes too big, she wears no makeup. It looks as if she just rolled out of bed, no matter where she is going.
Mom held a dinner party for my birthday, and even my boyfriend did a double take when he walked in and saw her wearing a giant T-shirt that came to her mid-thigh. Abby, she wasn't even wearing a bra! When I mentioned it to her the next day, she just laughed it off.
I take pride in my appearance. I realize that not everyone is as concerned as I am about their appearance. But shouldn't she respect others enough to at least look decent? Am I being conceited, or should she be given a makeover? -- MORTIFIED IN EUGENE
DEAR MORTIFIED: Has your mother always been unkempt and careless about her appearance, or is this something new? If it's something new, then she does not need a makeover; she needs a checkup from her doctor. If she has always presented herself this way, then I doubt she is open to change. Makeovers can work wonders, but they are successful only if the person is willing to admit that one is needed.
DEAR MORTIFIED: Don't be jealous of your mother's natural beauty. From the sound of it, she's probably just into the whole punk scene and far too hip for you and maybe you need to stop being such a goddamn stuck up fashion nazi. Your mother brought you into this world and she could murder you in your sleep. Never forget that.
DEAR ABBY: My grandmother died while I was out of the country on a two-week vacation. My dad left when I was in second grade, and she raised me along with my mother. We were very close. I always took care of her and made time to spend with her.
Although she had been in poor health for two years, Grandma was not in critical condition when I left. She passed away three days before I was to return, and my family held her funeral the day before I arrived.
I had expressed my wishes that they wait if at all possible. They did not, and I feel betrayed. We have always been close, and now I am so hurt and angry that I don't even want to see them. Can you offer any advice? -- CRUSHED IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
DEAR CRUSHED: Please accept my sympathy for your loss. It is regrettable that the funeral could not be postponed, but there may have been extenuating circumstances.
Your feelings of anger are a part of your grieving process, and it is important that you work them through. It would be helpful for you to discuss this with your clergyperson so he or she can guide you to a grief support group. Please don't wait. The sooner you resolve this, the better it will be for you and your family, who I am sure are also grieving.
DEAR CRUSHED: Dude, she was dead. That's gross. They couldn't have kept her forever, she would have started smelling and all kinds of gross shit would have started getting awkward having a dead lady hanging around. I think they did the right thing. Get with the program.
DEAR ABBY: When dining out and someone asks for the salt (or any other item at the table) should you (a) use it first and then pass it, or (b) pass it first and then ask for it back? -- BETH IN WOODSTOCK, ILL.
DEAR BETH: When someone asks you to pass the salt, you should hand both the salt and pepper shakers at the same time, without helping yourself first. The same goes for any other item.
DEAR BETH: Depends on how much salt there is, Beth. If there is only a little bit and you can see this other person may like their food really salty you use it first that way they can't hog it all for themselves. Also, the tone of their voice. If they are grovelling for a mere grain of salt like a dog and there is a bountiful ammount of salt, then you hand it over. If, however, there is only a few shakes left in the shaker and they ask it and give you a face that reads, "Let me have that salt you fat son of a bitch, its the last thing you need." Say no and eat all of it so they can't have any. Then hit a batusi to rub it in.