DEAR ABBY: My adult daughter is single and lives alone. She lives five hours away but manages to visit every two months or so. The problem is, when she comes home, we hardly ever see her. She’s mostly at her cousin’s house. During her most recent visit, we saw her a total of one hour a day the five days she was here — just enough time for her to come over, change clothes and leave again. She even sleeps there most nights.
I have asked her to spend more time with us, but we just end up arguing. She goes on vacation with them every year, but when I suggest we go on a family vacation, she always says, “I don’t have money for that.” I love her, but I’m beginning to feel used. Whenever she needs something, I’m the one she calls.
We have always butted heads, but my husband and I are getting older, and he has some health issues. I wish she would spend more time with him. I realize she wants to be with her friends when she’s here, but no one travels to her place to see her. She does all the traveling to see them. I would have no problem with friends coming to see her here at the house. Am I being selfish? — COMING IN SECOND
DEAR SECOND: You are not being selfish. You may, however, be unrealistic. You stated that you and your daughter have always “butted heads,” and this is the result. I’m doubtful that you can get the message across to her without her becoming defensive. Your husband and daughter may be overdue for a meaningful conversation about his health and his desire to spend time with her while he can. As for her relationship with you, it seems she has made her feelings quite clear.
DEAR ABBY: Throughout the year, the department in which I work recognizes each employee’s birthday with a cake — except me. I have worked here for two years, and while my supervisor writes my birthday on a calendar that hangs in the front office, each year my birthday has come and gone without even a verbal acknowledgement. I watch as all the other employees in my department have their special day recognized with a cake brought in by the department supervisor.
I’m wondering why I was even asked when my birthday is and why it was written down if no mention is even made of it? My co-workers are all friendly with me, and I have never gotten the impression that I’m not liked, but I can’t help but wonder if something I have done has caused this.
If this isn’t something that is done for everyone, then it shouldn’t be done at all. Am I just being immature because my feelings are hurt by this? Would you say anything in a situation like this? I would appreciate your feedback and advice. — EXCLUDED IN ALABAMA
DEAR EXCLUDED: This is a question you should ask your supervisor because it likely was an oversight. Or, on your next birthday, bring a cupcake with a candle to the office and enjoy it with your lunch. (“Happy Birthday to ME!”) Then HIGHLIGHT it on the calendar.
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 P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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