Dear Abby: I am pregnant. Because of this, my father-in-law has started to dote on me, especially with food. He says cooking is his passion, but he's a horrible cook. Every time he shows up, he brings something he spent hours making and I feel obligated to eat.
My husband stepped in briefly when his father kept making me spinach quiche. After one slice I got sick. My FIL kept bringing more quiche over until my husband told him it was one of my trigger foods for nausea.
The thing is, ALL of his cooking triggers my nausea. How can I get my FIL to back off? It was bad enough eating his food before I was pregnant, but I can no longer stand it. It's a waste of his time and a waste of food. — NAUSEATED IN THE EAST
Dear Nauseated: It's time for you to speak up for yourself. Tell your father-in-law you appreciate his trying to nurture you, but that in your present condition you cannot eat any of it because of the violent nausea it brings on. Many women share your problem during pregnancy, by the way.
When the baby arrives, tell him you will remain on a restricted diet as long as you are nursing. Surely you are aware that women have been known to nurse their little ones for years. Once your child is ready to enter preschool, if your FIL is still trying to bring food over, tell him thank you but please stop cooking for you because your palette and his are just too different. It's the truth.
Dear Abby: My mom recently moved from her home to a memory care facility. While she has no short-term memory left, she's happy, lighthearted and remembers her life and friends well.
I want to send a short change of address note to people across the country whom my mom has known for the past 70 years, to let them know how to reach her, or that they can drop by if they are in her city. I'm having trouble deciding how much to say and what is appropriate. I read your column daily, and your examples of how to phrase things are smart and spot-on. Please give me some direction. — NEEDS GUIDANCE
Dear Needs Guidance: Consider wording your message like this:
"I'm writing to let you know that Mom is no longer living in her house on Summerville Place. She recently moved to an assisted living facility called Memory Lane. Her address is _____________________________, and her phone number is ___-___-____. She is happy and lighthearted and remembers you all with great affection. If you are passing through her city, feel free to drop by and visit. I know she would love to see you and reminisce."
Dear Abby: I'm from the South and have an accent, although not a strong one. I was around some people from the North who made fun of my accent, which I did not find funny. I finally asked them to please stop, and the response was, "We just love to hear you talk!" How do I handle people who make fun of me? — NOT FUNNY IN SOUTH CAROLINA
Dear Not Funny: Ridiculing others isn't funny; it's rude. The way to handle people like this is to avoid them.