Dear Abby: My son is single and enjoys vacationing with us every summer. He pays all his expenses.
My married daughter has become jealous. Her financial situation is such that I would have to pay her expenses if she were to vacation with us. We also have a compact SUV, so when our luggage is in the car, there's room for only one other person besides my wife and me.
Am I showing partiality to my son, who does not have a spouse to travel with and is able to pay his own way? Most years I guess we could afford to take my daughter and pay her expenses, but I feel her financial situation is the result of her own poor planning. —DAD IN DES MOINES
Dear Dad: I can see how hearing about the enjoyable trips your son shares with you every summer might sting when your daughter hears about them. But does she expect that you include her husband on these trips and pay his way, too? And what about the driving and luggage arrangements if her husband accompanies her? Also, if you invite only her, how would her husband feel about being left behind?
A more practical alternative would be to figure out some other activity you, your daughter and her spouse can enjoy together that doesn't involve travel.
Dear Abby: I'm a widow in love with a wonderful man. We have decided to live together for a few months before getting married. Had we done this with our former spouses, we could have avoided marriages that led to divorce.
My mother has always said living together before marriage is a good idea. That was, until I told her my fiance and I plan to. She went ballistic! She said it's OK for others, but not HER daughter. Her main concern is what people may think or say to her. I told her to simply say, "It's my daughter's business, and she's old enough to make her own decisions."
I'm upset by Mother's reaction. She seems to think that because she gave me life she has the right to run it. I'm a mature, responsible adult who can make her own life decisions. What do you think? —SHACKING UP IN SYRACUSE
Dear Shacking Up: I think that as a mature, responsible adult, you need to do what is right for you. Your mother comes from a generation when standards were more strait- laced and judgmental than they are today. So remember she loves you, forgive her for "going ballistic" and agree to disagree.