Dear Annie: My father has late-stage Alzheimer's and is in a nursing home. Do I send an invitation addressed to my dad and mom, my mom alone or my mom plus one? I want to acknowledge the fact that he is still alive, but I don't want to act as if I have my head stuck in the ground. I'm more interested in respecting them as a couple and as individuals than in formal etiquette. I appreciate any advice you can offer. — Conflicted Daughter
Dear Conflicted Daughter: The very fact that you are writing this letter expressing your concern shows that you are not an ostrich with your head stuck in the ground. Quite the opposite. You are aware of everyone's feelings and want to respect them as a couple. Address the invitation to both your mom and your dad. Though he might not be mentally all there, he is still alive and thus deserving of the invitation.
Dear Annie: I wrote to you about the falling-apart golf group for ladies. We took your suggestion about talking to the chairwoman about the issues. Four of us went to speak to her. We were kind and caring, and we all felt better afterward because we had figured out how to help. She was surprised by how off-putting she can be to old players and new players and by how some have felt intimidated by her citing rules and the proper way to play. The chairwoman has agreed to run the group with changing weekly volunteers to make things more fair and to help her.
Without your excellent input and advice, we most likely would have ended the group. Thank you again for showing that honesty and working together are ways to resolution. We really would have been stuck without your advice. — Happy and Satisfied Golf Gal
Dear Golf Gal: Talk about a hole-in-one! Your letter made my day. Thanks for the follow-up. I'm thrilled my advice helped, but the main kudos goes to you for using honest, kind and open communication to solve what had become a serious problem in your golf circle.
I always love hearing from readers who have taken my advice, to see how it worked out, whether it solved the problem or it made it worse. Readers: If you've ever taken my advice, please drop me a line.
Dear Annie: I am writing in response to your suggestion to "Wants to Keep the Peace on Our Peaceful Road" to hang a sign on the portion of the street where speeding is not an issue. It sounds as though Sally the Sign Purchaser thinks that drivers need to bend to her will, versus thinking that she should be responsible for her pets and grandchildren. If I were her neighbor, I, too, would want to politely decline hanging up her sign.
Let's be real. Drivers understand the hazards of the road. A sign indicating that pets or children may be present is completely unnecessary. According to a survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association, 68 percent of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet. In 2012, according to census data, 66 percent of households were family households.
With percentages that high, a sign is not warranted. Sally needs to be the responsible one; her neighbors, their guests and others traveling in the neighborhood should not be going above and beyond for a careless and entitled neighbor. — Dawn W.
Dear Dawn W.: Yes, perhaps I was a bit too sympathetic to the sign purchaser in my original response. Thank you for the data.
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