“Not a real reg”

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#1 Jun 28, 2013
DEAR ABBY: I have been divorced for almost 15 years. In that time, my ex-husband has been self-employed and works out of his home. He rarely leaves his house, and I think he suffers from depression.

At a school honors event for our daughter for which most of the attendees dressed for the occasion, he arrived in dirty shorts and a T-shirt. I sat next to him to be polite, until I realized he also smelled awful. When I tried to excuse myself saying I needed a "better seat for my camera," he got up, too! It was an unpleasant two hours. I felt bad for the others in our vicinity.

I have tried to suggest that he may suffer from depression in the past, but he denies it. Is there anything I can say that won't be resented (with him possibly showing up even more disheveled the next time just out of spite)?-- UNPLEASANT SITUATION, GETTYSBURG, PA.

DEAR UNPLEASANT SITUATION: While you may have ended your marriage 15 years ago, it doesn't appear you have truly divorced yourself from your ex. Rather than having pussy-footed around the reason you wanted to change your seat, you should have told him it was because he smelled like a goat and showed he lacked enough respect for those around him and his daughter to shower and put on clean clothes.

He may -- or may not -- suffer from depression. Because he denies it, there is no way you can force him into treatment. You are no longer responsible for his attire or his welfare.

Because you're concerned that he may show up looking more disheveled "out of spite," you have my permission to distance yourself if it happens. And if your daughter is embarrassed by his attire, she has every right to talk to her father about it.

DEAR ABBY: I'm a small-business owner. I have an educational supply and toy store. Business has been pretty good, even through the hard times.

My problem is my customers' children are about to put me out of business. They are out of control. They climb on shelving, open products, tear things apart and throw screaming tantrums.

Their parents let them run through the store like it's a playground. I have signs posted at the entrance and around the store reminding parents to attend to their children.

We have lost a lot of inventory due to these brats, and my time is consumed trying to keep them in line instead of working with my customers. I don't go to their homes and wreck them. I wish they'd show the same respect for my business. Thanks for any advice you can offer.-- HAD IT WITH OVERINDULGED KIDS

DEAR HAD IT: If possible, designate a small area of your store where kids can go to play while their parents are shopping. Also, post a sign at the cash register that reads: "Customers Will Be Charged for Broken or Damaged Items."

The problem you are experiencing is one that is shared by many other retailers. If any of them are reading this column, I'd love to know how they resolved this problem.

DEAR ABBY: Since my mother passed away, I feel awkward when my parents' anniversary comes up. I don't want to ignore this important date for my father (we are very close), but I don't feel saying "Happy Anniversary" is appropriate either. What do you suggest?-- REMEMBERING IN ORANGE COUNTY, CALIF.

DEAR REMEMBERING: Your father already knows what the date means. Pick up the phone, say, "Dad, I'm thinking about you and I love you," and if he lives close by, invite him to dinner if he doesn't have plans.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#2 Jun 28, 2013
1 Yay, great man bashing abby! If I was self employed and worked out of the house, who the hello would know what would come crawling out. How about she just tell the guy he needs a bath and walks away? Yeah, thats what you did say, but you said it meaner.

2 NO NO NO!!! The guy does not have to do that! What he needs to do is post a sign saying disruptive children will be tossed into the paper shredder and the ones that dont fit will be escorted out of the building, then hire a rent a cop to do it.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#3 Jun 28, 2013
L1: Tell him. Nicely.

L2: Is this really a thing? I mean, I'm annoyed by brats as much as the next person, but I feel like *most* parents are on the ball. One of the last times I was at Meijer when it was super crowded, the only two kids acting like sh1ts had moms that were yapping away on their cell phones.

Plus, eh, it's a toy store. You're going to have excited kids by default.

L3: I am an azzhole. I've never mentioned my parent's anniversary after my mom's death. I didn't celebrate it before she died, so...

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#4 Jun 28, 2013
LW1: This is not longer your problem, but have you asked your daughter if she was embarassed by this? She is the only one who can say something that the ex might actually hear. And if it doesn't bother her, then it shouldn't bother you.

LW2: The play area is a good idea. Use some of the damaged goods as a start.

They just lost their lease, but we had an excellent toy store near us that had a train table and a bunch of trains. It kept my kids occupied long enough to let me shop.

LW3: A call or a card saying "I'm thinking of you" would be nice.

But I have to add that I feel a wedding anniversary is really only important to the married people. I don't expect my kids to remember or care when their dad and I got married.
not a ghost

San Antonio, TX

#5 Jun 28, 2013
LW2 is a rerun. The follow up suggested the business owners post a sign saying, "Any unattended child will be given a kitten." Then when there were customers who wanted a kitten, the owner would give them a kitten cloth toy.

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